Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Is this REALLY a moral dillema? Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is this REALLY a moral dillema?

    I got a call out of the blue from a contractor I came in contact with earlier this year who was doing work on a house I refaced. He offered to hire me and wants to do refacing jobs.

    I have a pretty good hunch that he is hooked up with one of the salesmen from my old company and they are probably planning to funnel jobs from his leads there. Neither of them know that I quit last week though.

    I feel a bit torn because I am such a goody-effin-two shoes that I still harbor some loyalty to the people I worked with. I wouldn't go so far as to narc out the salesman--in fact I pretty much figured out their relationship while I was still employed there and kept it to myself--but actually working with them while they are stealing leads from my old company feels a bit dirty.

    If I do one job or two jobs a month for them on the side, easily doable while working full time for my new job and still with time off now and then, I'd make another $15-25 grand a year.

    Is this really something I should be worried about getting involved in just because the salesman is breaking his agreement with my old company?

    To rationalize it I would add that the company is ruthless as hell, has a business model developed specifically to destroy smaller companies and treats their employees like tools to use and discard when necessary.

    What do y'all think?



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

  • #2
    Re: Is this REALLY a moral dillema?

    Eli...I don't know what to tell ya. Honestly, you could probably work with these guys and never have any problems. Might even work out well. How much justification do you have to do? Is it something where you'd feel bad doing every job for them? If that's the case, then your work will end up being sub-standard, and I know you don't want that. You and you alone know your own heart. In business, you want to use your mind, and leave the emotional side out of the equation as much as possible. If you feel comfortable doing the work, maybe you could do a couple jobs for them and see how it goes.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Is this REALLY a moral dillema?

      eli, do you have your own contractors license?

      you'll need one as a sub.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Is this REALLY a moral dillema?

        If you have not signed a noncompete agreement of any sort, then it's just business.

        You have severed ties and are independent of the ex company. Anybody in the ex business that does something you feel is ethically wrong is their problem.

        But, if I read right, you are completely independent of your old job and it would be fine if ALL of the former contractors called you for work.

        J.C.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Is this REALLY a moral dillema?

          Eli,

          You're the man with the talent and the skill and evidently some "following". You left your old company of your own free will and without any knowledge of any future opportunities for yourself in a competing business.

          So, if you haven't signed any non-compete agreements before, during, or after your employment with said company, then you are free to take on any jobs that you are qualified for and willing to do.

          If your past employer is as ruthless as you describe, then I'm surprised they haven't lost other employees and now find themselves now competing with them. So, just be careful that you haven't signed some sort of past agreement that could lock you out of becoming part of a competing entity.

          CWS

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Is this REALLY a moral dillema?

            I'm gonna take the opposite approach. If you know that they are stealing from your old company, then they are sleazy. Do you really want to work with sleazy people.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Is this REALLY a moral dillema?

              Originally posted by cpw View Post
              I'm gonna take the opposite approach. If you know that they are stealing from your old company, then they are sleazy. Do you really want to work with sleazy people.
              That is a good point. People that do this tend to always look for a way to gain an advantage with no loyalty. They find someone $10.00 cheaper and they'll drop you or beat you down on pricing.

              But that's a big IF when stating IF they are stealing. And what is a subcontractor to do? Perform investigations on all potential clients? Then report his/her findings back to the other company if things don't seem right?

              Maybe he should tell the contractor he would be glad to do any work as long is it is not a generated lead from his old company or their salespeople.

              J.C.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Is this REALLY a moral dillema?

                Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                That is a good point. People that do this tend to always look for a way to gain an advantage with no loyalty. They find someone $10.00 cheaper and they'll drop you or beat you down on pricing.

                But that's a big IF when stating IF they are stealing. And what is a subcontractor to do? Perform investigations on all potential clients? Then report his/her findings back to the other company if things don't seem right?

                Maybe he should tell the contractor he would be glad to do any work as long is it is not a generated lead from his old company or their salespeople.

                J.C.
                I understand that as a sub Eli wouldn't be liable for the GC, and am not suggesting that he investigates every client. However, in this case heknows or at least strongly suspects that the salesman has taken leads from his old companies database.

                That database belongs to the company. Even if the salesman generated those leads while working there, there is a good chance that the his employment agreement says the leads belong to the company not him. If he took those leads he is stealing. It wasn't clear if the salesman was a former employee or not. If he is a former employee, it is possible for him to do it right, but if he is a current employee then I don't see how it is OK.

                This isn't really Eli's problem, from a business perpective. However from the moral dillemma perspective; he just got out of working with a company whose business practices he didn't like. Does he really want to crawl back into bed with people who have questionable practices?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Is this REALLY a moral dillema?

                  Lets say that I rob a bank and you know it. Then I give you money to pay for your upcoming wedding reception. No one except you and me know that I gave you the money. Everyone at the wedding reception thinks the festivities have been paid for by you with proceeds which were gained ethically. How would you feel?

                  Don't get caught up in the swirling, sucking cesspool of underhanded, immoral, unethical business practices.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Is this REALLY a moral dillema?

                    Yes TomW, you're right, business ethics has gone to heck in favor of the almighty dollar. I guess in this case with the suspicion he has he should make sure everything is on the up and up if he wants to pursue this.

                    The fact that he feels uneasy about it answers his own ethics question.

                    J.C.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Is this REALLY a moral dillema?

                      If the contractor agreed to not funnel any work to Eli that was generated as a result of leads from his former employer, then the contractor would be admitting he had inside information about pricing, etc.

                      CPW-I am not so sure that from a business perspective Eli is OK. If Eil's former employeer finds out there is something fishy going on with regard to bidding he may sue the contractor who offered Eli the work. Any lawyer worth his salt will sue everyone involved in any way. While Eli, as a sub, may prevail based on his assertion of having no knowledge of the arrangement between the two companies - which of course he does - just the cost of defending against these lawsuits can be expensive. That reallocation of resources from business operating expenses to lawsuit defense may prove fatal to a start-up company.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Is this REALLY a moral dillema?

                        On reading through the posts, I can see where my initial interpretion might be flawed. There's a big difference between a salesman having "leads" that might be helpful to another another company or "orders" that are actually stolen.

                        For instance if a sale falls through because a customer can't afford company A's price, delivery, etc., then the "lead" could be given to company B. This can happen by an employee of company A, like the salesman. While Company A might not want that to happen, there's nothing illegal about that practice and in some areas there can be those kind of relationships between companies.

                        That "lead" being referred to Company B is not really unethical, unless Company A strickly forbids such practices by their employees (I would think that such gag order-type employee contracts are probably rare in the trades, but perhaps not). The ethical problem though would be if the salesman in question was actually doing that... or if he was in fact stealing the lead and company A never got the chance to act on it. If that is the case, then the effect is "theft" pure and simple, and ethically would be no different than if the Salesman pilfered from companies bank account.

                        Of course, Eli probably knows the basis or has suspicion of the nature of these leads and needs to do what he feels comfortable with. But as mentioned by other posters, if a lawsuit comes into play almost everyone involved is going to be effected.

                        I'd certainly stay away from anything that appears to be unethical or against my principles, regardless of the money involved.

                        CWS
                        Last edited by CWSmith; 07-25-2008, 01:34 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Is this REALLY a moral dillema?

                          From your first post. Bottom line here is that something "feels dirty" to you. You can spend hours rationalizing and wondering, but if your gut feeling is that it feels dirty, it probably is. Integrety should never be negotiable or for sale.
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Is this REALLY a moral dillema?

                            Yeah, I was pretty much decided the same thing you guys re-enforced.

                            I know for sure that the salesman is at least breaking his contract with my former employer when he passes ANY leads for side work or non refacing work on to his partner, but I can pretty much guess that if they want to get into refacing he will be using the actual refacing leads he gets through them. The sales people are sent on 2-3 in home appointments a day and it would be pretty easy, and has happened before, for one of them to offer a 20% discount to a customer if they want to do it on the side.

                            When I worked for them I never took side work, even if it was non-competing side work because I signed an agreement to pass all leads on to my company or their partners. We also were not allowed to make any referrals, even for work not available through us or the partners. I turned down side work on most jobs, but it didn't really matter to me because I was kept pretty busy and just felt like it wasn't worth it to my integrity or job security. I know most of the other guys took it though, and honestly I don't blame most of them because they were not kept in work the same way I was.

                            At this point, I have no non-compete agreement with them. If I did work for this contractor it would be as his part time employee, not as a sub-contractor, so legally speaking I don't think I'd be in danger. I know that when my former company's employees have been caught in the past doing these things they were just fired, so being sued is not the issue.

                            I guess I just wanted to see if the consensus here would be that I was being over worried with something that shouldn't be my concern. I tend to err on the side of caution in these matters and hold myself to too high a standard sometimes. I guess this is not one of those cases.

                            He also mentioned something about paying me to train him and his guys, but it opens the same can of worms. I'm not gonna lie, the money would be nice, but I haven't sold out in the past and I don't want to start now really. I am going to meet with him today though, just to see if my suspicions are true and make a more informed decision.

                            Now on to this--I didn't really feel like this idea was unethical, but I guess I might as well run it by you guys while were on the subject. I still have all the names, numbers and addresses of all of the customers I worked for thought the company. I was thinking I would call and send out cards to all of them letting them know I am on my own now and asking for referrals and if they needed work done. Many, many of them, especially when I turned down side jobs at the time I was employed, asked me to let them know when I was ever available on my own.

                            This isn't the same thing, right?


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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Is this REALLY a moral dillema?

                              only if you make it one

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X