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  • Employees are useless

    I've spent the first 5 years in my plumbing business, doing things for myself, relying on myself to bring it where it is today.

    I start a second business...where I "have" to rely on others and it has been nothing but empty promises, more colorful excuses than even I could manage and their work ethic is about as useless as it gets.

    The american worker is to where I'm pointing a finger at.

    I've thrown good money into bad, I've had nothing but errors coming from this venture and it doesn't discriminate from one person to another.

    This work when you want to attitude is ludacris. Somebody always has someone to lay back on and that's why you get a little money in your hands, you're okay.

    I couldn't be this lucky to find out the week of my grand entrance of my product to have my guy pull a no show for 3 days in a row, no call, no nothing and I advanced him money this weekend which was as stupid as it gets on my end.

    I've been too nice, paid for gas, meals because the hourly is so low ($15/hour) to come 44 miles each way every day. Constant mistakes that is nearing thousands at this point in "I should of known" theory.

    I cannot believe I was so naive that I could trust anyone to follow the same ethic I drive so hard to fulfill daily. Now I know why the intent is to follow immigration and its benefits, even if they don't speek a leek of emguish, they show up, they work, they don't complain with a million reasons why they can't do something in repetition more than 4 times in a row.

    There's something really wrong with this.....and all my business friends chuckle,

    welcome to the club.
    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

  • #2
    Re: Employees are useless

    i totally disagree. employees are not useless. they can always server as a bad example.

    as much as i want to expand i just can't see hiring some of the lazy jamokes here. those that profess to wanting to work really don't.

    i've asked one dude to send me a resume. he calls every couple of weeks wanting to know if i have something. ne resume, no references, nada, zilch, zip. and he wants me to hire him!! even on a PT basis. i don't think so.

    good luck, brother. i feel your pain

    In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!


    • #3
      Re: Employees are useless

      I've had some limited experience hiring people. The biggest thing I've learned is nothing will ever get better than those first few days; so if you aren't completely satisfied cut them loose right away and move on to the next.


      • #4
        Re: Employees are useless

        years ago i had a small electronics firm. we installed and maintaned broadcast type video equipment. the 1st expansion was to take on a business partner. Terry prefered bench work and i prefered field. we both worked well together and seperately. then we needed to hire a couple more bench techs. i went to local TV stations and interviewed some possible candidates. the deal i offered was simple: i'd pay $35/hr for bench work/installs. no guarantee of 40 hours BUT if they brought a company into the business they got 5% of everything billed to that client. whether or not they did the work. i also demanded perfection. no funny billing and no screwups or out the door.

        took on 2 guys and the business flourished. needed another and found him. talked a good game and had tons of talent. unfortunately he spent more time trying not to work than working and got the boot. the next guy hired was pure talent, unfortunately he needed a structured job and could not handle the freedom i offered and went back to a TVstation and did well for himself.

        i paid well, treated everyone fairly, and expected superior customer service. when i sold the company to Terry we had 2 full time employees that were dependable, honest, and driven.

        one moved to California and has a very lucrative editing/post production house and the other went to Miami and ran a technical services shop for TV production.

        i've seen the best and worst of employees. it's also good to see the ones you hire do good for themselves ... in another market

        In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!


        • #5
          Re: Employees are useless

          As a Union man all I can say is there's good and bad in everything and managing employees requires skill beyond being nice and generous. Some managers and business owners are lucky enough to take classes on how to properly manage workers while others learn as they go. My best advice to you would be get some background on the people you hire, tell them it is temporary and see how they work out. Evaluate them on getting to the job on time, effort, level of skill, attitude and so forth. Let them know they are being judged and don't keep a bum! There are great workers out there who appreciate the job, any benefits and money. You need to communicate your thoughts to the people you are bringing into your business and instead of getting upset, accept these things as part of being a boss/business owner. Employees are not machines and they do have personal problems at times, let them know as new workers you cannot pay them for time not worked and if they don't show up and don't call the job is lost! Of course if a person has been with you for a certain amount of time and done a good job it is customary to offer some sick time, or personal time off without getting upset and thinking they are taking advantage of the situation. Good employees can grow your business and do well for both you and themselves. Best of luck.
          Last edited by Frankiarmz; 07-01-2008, 03:33 PM. Reason: sp


          • #6
            Re: Employees are useless

            productively managing employees is a skill. usually,its best left to a profesional who knows what they are doing. assuming that someone who knows how to do a technical job well will also be a skillful and productive manager is usually an erroneous assumption. if you want employees managed productively, hire an experienced manager to get the job done right the first time.
            there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.


            • #7
              Re: Employees are useless

              sometimes in a small company hiring a professional manager, as you called it, is a luxury few can afford. my management skill was to show respect, lay down the rules up front, demand excellence, and lead by example.

              whether running a small company or supervising a dive staff, supervising a beach staff, or anything this is what i did and it's always worked. granted, i've never managed over 8 individuals at one time, but i've had bosses/managers that were impossible to work for and knew nothing about the job at hand, but they sure could pass blame and make themselves look good.

              just my $.02 before taxes

              In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!


              • #8
                Re: Employees are useless

                You are right about checking on the employees.

                If you really want to have employees you must read Michael Gerber's E-Myth for contractors. This book will be the beginning of chaning your entire life.
                Michael Gerber gives free two hour seminars throughout the country.

                You can read the entire book in less than 2 hours but you have to make it your bible until you see clearly what he is saying.

                Business can be a lot of fun when you know how to deal with the challenges.


                • #9
                  Re: Employees are useless

                  Dunbar, where the hell have you been for the past 10 years?

                  The whole American labor force is in the toilet and you are just finding this out?

                  Sounds like you may have a tweaker on your hands

                  Advance in pay then a no show when you need him the most. That's a classic manuever of a tweaker

                  He'll show up with some half-a$$ excuse about how his kid was sick or he had to leave town last minute to help his mother who's coming home from the hospital. Lies...all lies

                  I even had one tell me after being MIA for 4 days; he lost his leg in a motorcycle accident but the doctors did such a great job of reattaching it he was able come come back to work next week. First he needed an advance to get his bike fixed

                  I guess they think I'm as stupid as them

                  You should have better luck with the immigrant thing as long as you can get past the language barrier. I'd hire more but customers just don't want a non-english speaker in their house. Communication is a large part of what we do in plumbing service.

                  Feelin' your pain brother


                  • #10
                    Re: Employees are useless

                    "I even had one tell me after being MIA for 4 days; he lost his leg in a motorcycle accident but the doctors did such a great job of reattaching it he was able come come back to work next week. First he needed an advance to get his bike fixed "

                    PCrack, that is a classic.
                    "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



                    1/20/2017 - The Beginning of a new Error


                    • #11
                      Re: Employees are useless

                      The best/worst excuse I ever heard for being late was in a coffee shop one morning. The employee was explaining to her boss that her roommates alarm clock went off before hers, but because she can only wake up to the sound of her OWN alarm clock, the sound of which was drown out by her roommates louder alarm clock, she didn't wake up. Thus she was late. Her boss just nodded.

                      A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.


                      • #12
                        Hiring Employees

                        I see posts that some people hate hiring employees. To you, my posts are long-winded. I think I type 80 to 100 words per minute so no problem. I rarely edit. I added some bad humor as requested.


                        There are many terrible that have bad employees and an equal number of terrible bosses. It is ironic that both employees and bosses hate each other. Sort of a 'love-hate' relationship

                        You must read Michael Gerber's book E-Myth For Contractors. The 'E' stands for entrepreneurial. I love this statement, you quit working for one a.... ho... to work for another a...h...le." Get it? You are now the' a...h...le' boss. No insult intended to any specific boss.

                        The days of buying slaves and indentured servants are gone. Employees have too many choices today and these choices don't always fit into your business model. Employees don't have to work hard like in the old days. Too many 'would-be employees get along fine and never work one day in their entire life.

                        Many great employees work only because they enjoy working and they may enjoy working only three days a week.

                        Some of my best employees like to work only four hours a day.

                        Some of my best employees like to earn $250,000 per year.

                        One of my best employees refuses to get his hands dirty.

                        The best employee I ever had never worked more than four hours a day and he didn't even care if I paid him a penny.

                        One of my best employees was so damn lazy I had to go to his house, every day an noon, to wake him up?

                        Boss: Me Tarzan. You employee. Me hire you. You go work now.

                        Employee: Me employee! Me no like work today. Me stay home want football.

                        Boss: You no work, you never get more banana.

                        Employee: Me tell you where put banana today.

                        This is the way it really is. I am the boss. I am the only person who knows what is right. I will tell you exactly what I want from you. Otherwise, you are an a....ho.... and I'll do the damn job myself. All you employees are exactly the same and when I worked for the my last bosss, who also was was an a.....ho...., I was perfect employee. I knew everything the first day I started and I made my last boss tons of money. Now, it is your turn to make me tons of money.

                        This is one point of the story. Employees do not work for you. They work for themselves. Employees do not work for the money. Employees work because they like the job, they like the boss, and they work because they need the money. They are not like you . They don't want tons of money. They only need some to get by and they can get by with just about nothing, if they want.

                        Second point to the story. You do in life exactly what you want or have to do. Employees do in life exactly what they want or have to do. You may want to make a million dollars every year. An employee may want only $20,000 per year. Does this make him a bad employee?

                        You may want to work 20 hours a day. Your employee wants to work 4 hours a day. Is he a bad employee?

                        We are near the end. How do you get good employees and keep them?

                        THE SECRET - Don't look for employees that want to do what you want them to do. Look for employees want to do what you want to do. Does this make sense? Yes!

                        Don't tell applicants what you want. As them what they enjoy doing. Ask them about their lifestyle, hobbies, and ask them how may hours they like to work. As them how much they made in the past and whether or not they were satisfied.

                        NEXT SECRET - Why do we call these secrets? Hire as many employees as required` to get what you want accomplished. You can pay one employee $100,000 per year and you can't find one employee to fill this position. Everyone applicant wants to work only 3 days a week. Then hire two employees and pay each $50,000.

                        You have an employee who hate to work on week ends and after 3pm during the week.
                        If you can, accomodate him or her (I must say). See if you can find an employee that would like to work the other shifts, etc, etc.

                        I have about 30 to 35 employees and I never tell an employee to do a task or work when I even feel he does not want to. I accommodate my employees desires and wishes as much as possible. If I force an employee to something, he will sabotage my operation. If I accommodate him, he is always willing to accommodate me when I have an emergency or when I am sick, out of town, etc.

                        Respect is not something the boss is entitled to. Respect is something you earn. You need to be a role model. Many many bosses can't do a job better than their employees, yet the boss is always calling the employee stupid and lazy. Earn your respect by treating both the customers and employees with respect. Earn respect by being calm, being in charge (not a boss), and being honest with the customer and employee. Always make the payroll on time and at exactly the same time.
                        Be dependable, reliable, and a boss the employees can look up to.

                        Write systems and procedures. Continuously, write a manual describing, to the employee what your policies are, how your payroll system works, and how to deal with problems, how to perform their jobs, and on and on.

                        You are the boss. You get paid for being the boss. If being the boss is the job you are paid for then you should not get upset about dealing with employees.

                        As a boss remember that it is you job and every time you get mad, remember that this is what you get paid the bosses pay for. Make a promise to yourself, today, that you will never let employee get you upset because this is what I get paid for.

                        Get an education to learn how to be a good boss. You need to be organized. This is the link to the free software, plumbing codes PowerPoint, etc. Even if you don't use the software, you may find way to organized and improve your business.

                        I like them young! The younger the better! I like to get them young and teach them how to do it before their minds are messed up! The young ones are always the best and they stay with me for many years because nobody has spoiled or ruined their little minds with bad habits? Am I gay or what?

                        I hop you reallize that I am talking about hiring young employees with no prior experience. The employees I train from scratch are alway the best and most of my employees have been with me for 12 to 30 years. They are all lifers here because I use the principles described above.

                        Sorry, I promised not to make a long post. Arguments are great. Go ahead and tear me up!


                        • #13

                          Your wife-to-be is very charming and beautiful!


                          • #14
                            Re: Employees are useless

                            leonard you mentioned in an earlier post that you have 8 plumbers. now you mention you have 30-35 employees.

                            what do the 22-27 non plumbers do?

                            can i assume that your best employee that makes $250,000 a year is not from the plumbing side of your business

                            are you sure you don't know slyvan

                            with only 8 plumbers, why is it i get your flyer's a couple times a year and i'm a good 25 miles from your shop. do you need to travel that far to get work and keep busy?

                            i drive approx. 120 miles a week. and the closes i get to you is lax. and that's as a favor.

                            please explain

                            phoebe it is


                            • #15
                              Number of Employees

                              Hello Rick,

                              The post about hiring is an example. I do not have plumbers earning $250,000.

                              There were times when a few of my employees had the potential to earn a little over $150,000, but they had some serious problems and were terminated.

                              Most of my plumbers earh about $80,000.

                              Most numbers I give are rounded, general, and sometimes a little off.

                              I will tell you exactly how many plumbers and installers I have.
                              I have to name the crews and there is one plumber and one helper on each crew.

                              Then I have two crews that only clean drains and gives estimates.
                              That is 2 plumbers and one helper
                              Total 7 plumbers and 6 helpers = 13.
                              I have about 17 more employees.
                              Two work full time on out our buildings.
                              The total is 15 more. We have 8 employees who deliver flyers full time to your house and two supervisors to watch the 8 employees.
                              We're up to 25
                              My stepdaughter works in the office part time. That is 25-1/4.
                              We try to rotate our flyer deliverers so they work a four day week, but they always seem to get 5 days. We do water water damage restoration and we dry flooded structures with heat and dehumidifiers. This is big money that plumbers are walking away from. Plumbers are making the other restoration companies rich by referring the restoration companies. In our first year, we did not know what we were doing and we grossed $750,000 with only one crew. We always have three to five employees cleaning up flooded homes. Then I have to pay City Girl and my son manages a lot of business from Denver.

                              We turn away several calls and I am always looking for a plumber to give the excess calls to. This can be beneficial to the plumber and myself. Even though I charge only $49 to clean a drain and $65 for a sewer, I am willing to give another the entire $49 and $65, plus, since the price is low, I will pay another $10 out of my pocket. The plumber must have his own tools, use his own truck, and perform the work and represent only my company.

                              The company can keep all the money for any additional sales up to $300. Anything over $300, this company should pay Bestline a small percent of 20%. This is not a bad deal because you are not paying for the advertising.

                              I read minds! You want to know what the catch is. Read my post about why we charge $49 and you have to go the the link and look at the all the pictures that were taken by only one crew in only one day.

                              The catch is, this company needs to do represent Bestline as stated in the post. You need to look clean. No uniform necessary. You need to clean the drain and charge the customer only the advertisied price. You need to check the home, in a non-salesman, non-pushy, and non-aggressive way. When you see a necessary repair you need to call me and I will give you 5% to 7% of the sale.

                              I'm getting this mind-reading headache again! You are wondering if we are going to rip the customer off. This is the greatest of the benefits for you. You can stay on the job with us and we will show you how to close sales without ripping the customer. For the average sale you would earn about another $280 to $450 and many times around $750. Get your calculator out and tell me how much we are charging. I love the way members write posts with their calculations

                              This does not have to be a full time job. Some days or weeks we may not give away one call and on some days we may give away 10 or more calls.

                              We have a TV commercial that started two weeks ago and it runs 75 times. a week. As usual, in business, most things I do fail the first few times. The second I saw the commercial it was all wrong and I had already committed to running it. It only mentioned my drain cleaning price one time and it is not clear. I made a new commercial today and it only mentions the $49 throughout the entire commercial.

                              Next problem is, I listened to the expert and ran on cable TV. That is not our target market. I am moving to the regular stations in at the end of July.

                              Point is, I may need some more good plumbers.

                              I'm joking about reading minds. It is my poor sense of humor that I get from defending against bashers ad I laugh to myself as I walk on glass, nails, and eggshells, in an attempt to clarify before a fire breaks out.

                              I enjoy a good constructive argument and for the past few days I am satisfied. I make tons of mistakes and I stirred things up a little. It may have some good side effects.

                              Thank you for asking.