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Unread 10-01-2006, 05:40 PM   #1
Dave the Tile Guy
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Just lost my main guy

So, it finally happend. My main guy who I've had for almost 5 years finally quit...or got fired..whichever you wanna call it. Im just a small company. Myself, my son as a helper, and him, who I trained from no experience to a half decent tile setter. Wouldn't say journeyman, but his quality is far and above your average tile setter.
You have to have the background though. I run a really laid back crew. If we start by 8:30 or 9:00 Im happy. If we go for a long lunch at a pub and its an hour and half..no probs...they only take off the proverbial 1/2 hour for lunch breaks. If he doesn't want to work on Saturday..no probs. Leave early? no probs. I dont know how many times I've paid for the whole lunch..plus the loss time, which might run me well over $100.
I've loaned him money.....given him advances...let him buy materials for side jobs on my account..etc etc etc.
Now all of a sudden..this past two weeks I've been working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day on my rental house trying to get it ready for new tenants. Total main floor reno. gutting both kitchen and bath..new cabinets..paint..fixtures. AND doing it all by myself...both me and my wife.

WELL....I guess he figures thats not fair...(even though I pay him $50,000 a year and all he has to do is show up and set tile).

So after he DIDN"T hand in his time card on time for the umpteenth time...I wasn't able to have his cheque ready for him on Friday night....literally this was the FIRST time in 5 years that I haven't had it ready for him. I was sick...was working on my rental house...then out of town first thing Saturday morning. so he had to wait til Sat evening.
So he doesn't show up for work when he said he would. So we had the big blow out and we both agreed to part ways. He needs a taste of reality. He's never worked for a rigid tile company. So I think we both lost out on this...he's lost an easy laid back well paying job...I lost a good guy who literally made me a good 2 or 3 grand a month. But enough is enough. When I REALLY need to count on his help...he bails on me...

sorry....end of rant.
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Unread 10-01-2006, 06:22 PM   #2
Rd Tile
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It's his loss not yours, Oh, and when can I start.
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Unread 10-01-2006, 07:39 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear that, dave. He might be back when he gets a taste of reality. If you want him back.

I know what you mean, some guys take advantage of the situation instead of appreciating what you do for them. Some act like you owe it to them. Sounds like you're real good to him, he just might see how good he had it.

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Unread 10-01-2006, 08:01 PM   #4
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Hi Dave

I know what you mean. Same scenario with me and my helper not too long ago (after 5 years and all the gimme's).

Right now it's my sister in law working for me. She's a good helper. Laid back starts because of the travel distance to the current jobsite (which is fine with me). Then as Brian says "Got in late, so have to leave early to make up for it!"
John Koessler

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Unread 10-01-2006, 08:03 PM   #5
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dave I have the same problems with my helper... Hes got a cush job and takes full advantage of it ... shows up late.. takes long lunches... leaves early to go sight his bow?? I mean come on where else you gonna have freedom like that?? After reading your post something just occured to me... We are giving them too much freedom.. After all it is a job and we are thier employer... I hate to be a hard ass, but its like the old saying " Give em' an inch and they'll take a mile!!!" While i would like to think that if you treat someone right it they will be greatful, thats just not how it is. Guess I'll have to have a talk with him tom morn. and tell him how its gonna be and if he doesn't like he can go to work for Down the Road TILE...JMO...
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Unread 10-01-2006, 08:48 PM   #6
Dan Kramer
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It's a tough situation when you are nice guy and your help takes advantage of it. I've had a guy help me for 2 years and it seems to happen to me at times. I can relate to your situation, Dave, and only hope it turns out in your favor.
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Unread 10-01-2006, 10:26 PM   #7
Dave the Tile Guy
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Thank you all, for the vote of confidence, guys. I literally have been losing sleep over this for the past few weeks. I could feel it coming as I had heard his "grumblings" from my son. My first response was to fire him long ago...but I reasoned with myself thinking "he's at least making me some money.." etc etc. And our labour market here is insane (in the employees favor) Retail shops...gas stations, even fast food joints, are closing down in the middle of the day for lack of employees. They come in get hired...get bored..and walk out the door and can get a job within the next block. But I just couldn't take the un-appreciativeness of it anymore.
I grew up in this trade working for large union shops. I'd get up at 5 am..drive over an hour to start at 7:00. lunch was 30 minutes..not 31. If I was late by two minutes, I'd get "docked" 15. As a helper I'd continually get yelled at for the mud being "too soft....too stiff...not quick enough". Then as a journeyman and foreman, I'd get yelled at daily for "how come you're only this far....why didn't you start at that room...whadaya mean its not done".....So I thought I'd try to be the "good" boss and have a friendly job atmosphere. Hmmm....I bet in the beginning all those "jerk" bosses were like me too..and just got stepped on too many times lol.
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Unread 10-02-2006, 06:25 AM   #8
John K
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That really stinks, but maybe a few months down the road it will be a good thing. It always seems like the perpetual "startover". Just get them how ya like em and bang!

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Unread 10-21-2006, 04:16 PM   #9
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im a helper for a mechanic and i get a half hour lunch i usually take 10-15 mintues tops, i will work till he says its time to go. How do you let your helper leave early? He leaves when you say he can, I try to work as many saturdays as i can. I once worked a regular week monday to friday then we did a special job for a tilesetter who taught him about 45 minutes away on a sat and sunday in 10 inches of snow and a blizzard then i worked the following 5 days again and then the next saturday to finish up the house 45 minutes away. So i worked 13 days straight and the house 45 minutes away wasnt job 8 hours of work it was lay 22 sheets of hardi and tile in one day then lay another 15 sheets and tile and grout the 22 in one day. thats what a helper does, you got your mechanics back

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Unread 10-21-2006, 05:04 PM   #10
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Good attitude, Derrick.

Hope you're being well compensated.

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Unread 10-21-2006, 06:02 PM   #11
Scottish Tile and Stone
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Derrick, I hear they can actually clone helpers now.. Interested?

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Unread 10-21-2006, 07:24 PM   #12
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People come and go..i've had many, and have a good one now, but i don't expect him to be with me forever,no matter how well you feel you've treated them,if they have any moxie they'll want to do it on their own eventually,oh well, it's their right.Think of people as temporary help and you won't be disappointed.I'm fair, and pretty laid back, but i am a bit of a workaholic,but generally if they have anything
at all they like making the money,and i don't push them to work weekends with me,

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Unread 10-21-2006, 10:13 PM   #13
L.R.Puckett Jr.
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The tile mechanic (my dad) I apprenticed under was a real hard a$$. Looking back, I wouldnt want It any other way. Really taught me to work hard and do things rite. Thanks Dad
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Unread 10-21-2006, 10:22 PM   #14
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I agree with Dave on this one, help comes and goes. He will find out that the pretty green grass doesn't taste near as sweet as he thought. Besides if and he problly will come come back in a month or two cut his pay and give yourself a raise. Yet, don't feel bad for the guy, I to am guilty of letting help take advantage of me "free lunch, come when ya want, loans ect." till my wife pointed out when I worked for other people I had to be gone from the house before 6 am got home rarely before dark many many times after midnight and back gone again before 6. Lunch what? they say "you want it you beter bring it and eat it when you get the chance" . Old dude told me once when I ask about a lunch break about 3 pm "BOY, BREAK.. ..... WHAT? you got your break when I give you this JOB! and that is a true story. I was 18 years old will never forget it, told myself then when I own my own chit I will not be like that to people . But, thinkin back on it 14 years later he did me favor.

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Unread 10-22-2006, 12:33 AM   #15
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If you haven't sent his final cheque yet, may I suggest you include a glowing reference addressed to KBR (Kellogg Brown & Root)? They are hiring all sorts of folks just like him for various projects in a country with lotsa warm weather and opportunities for career advancement. Terms of hire? 12 hours a day minimum with one 30 minute lunch break and no mandatory days off. Oh, and the locals are really appreciative of your presence.

I get angry to take a break from being pissed off
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