Thursday, March 01, 2007

Time for a change

It's time for a change.
I'm tired of that same ol same.

"Boats to Build" Jimmy Buffett

It is indeed time for a change. I have changes to make. Not the typical personal changes, this is about the biz and the guys that work for me. I've hit the wall with problems. As I've said here before I'm tired of having to come up with desperate last minute solution to problems caused by other people. A fine quote from an old Segal movie that serves me well.

If you saw the FuckYou! Friday post you have a clue as to what I'm talking about, if not you can read it or just follow along... you'll catch on.

I've been working two jobs for about 10 months now. I have a full time sales job and I've also started a company whos initial purpose was to install the products I sold through my full time job. I started the company cuz I just couldn't find a decent subcontractor to install the stuff. Lo and behold here come a couple of guys I knew looking for work and MYcompany was born. We now install all the stuff that I was selling.

Soon that wasn't enough to keep these guys busy so I started selling other products through the company I had formed. I had the contacts, I had the knowledge, it was a natural progression. Now the guys are busy all the time and I'm working 14 hours a day; yeah, I know, I've whined about that before...

So, anyways. These guys worked well for the first few months and to keep them around I may have coddled them a bit. I paid them a salary, they got 8 hours a day even when they worked 6, I loaned them money, I bought them food, I took care of them pretty damned well. I was under the impression that good help was hard to find, hell I had a hard time finding bad help for a while. Now I'm not so sure.

In the past few months I've paid out the ass to correct problems that they've caused. I've pretty much lost my mind a few times. The biz plan for the company included me starting to get a check about this time and being able to renegotiate my terms of employment so that I could focus more on the biz. Now that's not gonna happen for a while and it pisses me off, royally.

It's becoming more and more obvious that at least one of the original guys is simply out for himself. He's having a real hard time with the new man I put on this week, he's figuring out that I'm gonna insert this guy between him and me and start holding him accountable for what he does. It would make sense just to fire him, it would probably be the best thing all the way around. Biggest problem here is that I've loaned this guy money and haven't gotten it all back yet, he owes me about $1700. I loaned him a grand to pay for the attorney for his divorce, I loaned him a hundred for I forget why and when we moved from me paying them cash to a payroll service I loaned them their regular check amount so they wouldn't starve to death cuz there was a week lag in the service taking effect and them getting their checks.

I've been soft, some of you know that. I've been called sweet and nice and many other derogatory words and I have a fit cuz it detracts from my Pirate image but, ya know, it's the damned truth. And now it's put me in a position I'd rather not be in. The lead guy, who owes me the most, is the guy that put his truck into a pole, that story is here. I felt bad for him then, now, not so much. I don't want to help him any more, he's a taker. period. He had the company pickup while he was waiting to get a new truck, he was never without transport. I should have been able to use that truck when Sweetpea had mine cuz her car was broke. No, he had that one, she had mine and I rode the motorcycle. Granted it wasn't that bad but fuck, a couple of days it was 40 degrees - that's cold on a damned bike.

Now what it comes down to is I just want him gone. Out of here. The new guy I hired the other day, while older and costing me more money is already leaps and bounds ahead of the original guy. BUT, if I fire him I may as well toss the money he owes me into the ocean and I'd bet even money that if I toss him the guy that started with him is gonna go as well. More money gone.

I like these guys, I do. I thought that I could help them while they helped me. Kinda lift them up a little, raise them out of the low level existence that they've been living. Thinking now that no matter what I do, they're never gonna change, especially the guy that owes me the most. He doesn't need to be kissing my ass,but you'd think he'd be a little humble about how he has been - he doesn't see any problem here.

The plan is this. Monday I call them all in in the morning and have a company meeting. I've established some guidelines for what I expect from them and what they can expect from me and I'm giving everybody a copy for their very own. I am going to be very clear about what I expect and that things are going to operate very differently from how they have been. If they don't this operation won't be around much longer and nobody's gonna have a fucking job. I know that guys 1 and 2 are not gonna take it very well and anticipate a ton of bitching. I'm not gonna listen to it.

I've been way too nice to these guys, and it's cost me, severely. Question to you good people is this: Should I just cut my losses and let at least the main problem go, I can kiss nearly 2 grand goodbye if I do. Or, do I give these guys an opportunity to make things better. Y'all know I'm too good to folks, it's just the way I am, Pirate rep be damned. One other thing I'm starting Monday is mandatory payroll deductions for those who owe me money. I know that they can't afford to miss any pay but that's the only shot I have at getting any of this cash back.

The floor is now open to discussion. Tell me what you think, and no, don't ask me for a job. The old Billy is out the damned door. The new Billy's pretty much gonna be an asshole. Not too tough for me to pull off when I'm sick and cranky.

**The next day... As I go to post this I have had conversations this morning with a few different folks. What I've come to learn is I have been helping the wrong people and it has cost me dearly. When I sent the main man out this morning I made clear my expectations for the day, I clearly spelled out what I wanted to happen and what he had to do to make it happen. All I got was a look of contempt. So, as of now my mind is made up, he's gone, along with one other and I'll rebuild. This biz is what is to be my main line of support and I can no longer tolerate people in the organization that don't share my vision and work to make it a success. I'll say seeya to what he owes me to cut my losses; I'm not gonna kill myself to make this work when other people in the organization do not. It's been standard procedure my entire life that lessons learned cost about 2 grand a pop - it's only seems to be then that I actually learn from them.

Comments, ideas, etc?

7 Comments:

Blogger April said...

okay, sugar...

my first reaction to this was i loves ya.

my second...i would have a serious sit down with all the men and lay out what you said...what is expected, salary deductions, etc. if they had a problem with those things, then they obviously don't care about the company. and...it, to me, really comes down to you. what do you want? do you want to continue to work with someone that has taken advantage of your kindness and willingness to give them a chance?

but when i read your addition about the man looking at you with contempt for just laying out what you expected him to do?

cut him & the other guy loose...he, at least, obviously doesn't give a shit about how nice you've been to him.

good luck, sweetie...you know i'm behind you and rooting for you all the way!

told ya i'd come back today!

*big kiss*

11:27 AM  
Blogger MG said...

A few things stand out to me...

#1, yeah, you are WAYY TO NICE OF A GUY, but hell, you cant change who you are... just gotta not let those that take advantage of it... take advantage of it!(tally in the get rid of him side)

#2, you said it over and over... It's YOUR business... gotta remember that.

#3, THIS I had to come to terms with myself recently, concerning the 2,000... it's just money. Now, keep in mind, I dont say that as someone who has plenty of it, I say it as someone who's had to choose to pay someone off (loose money I should be holding onto for myself) in order to relieve a HUGE stress. I fought against it for months ("but, I NEED that money)... finally it hit me and I havent regretted it... taking that stress away was the RIGHT decision.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/73641414@N00/350366941/in/set-72157594454387087/

Hope you're feeling better...
now I'm going to look at your HNT some more, and cheer myself up.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Green Eyes said...

Awwww, Billy, this is similar to the situation I'm in at my new job. The employee resents me because I came in as her boss and have had to take things over from her that were being done incorrectly. I had to give her a verbal warning, laying down CLEAR EXPECTATIONS and a timeline for improvement.

Sweet Pirate (yes you can be BOTH), this is your business and I hate that they're taking advantage of your generous self. Let me kick their asses please??? In any event, $2k is nothing compared to what your new hire may be able to help build you up to. You'll recover that money and improve your business tenfold. Those two don't know how good they have it, and they're going to regret how they've conducted themselves and their work.

You're going to make this work, I believe in you and so do a lot of other people that know you. Sending you big hugs! Luv ya!

9:34 PM  
Blogger Still Searching... said...

Sir Pirate, I have to say, that from what I've learned about you, you ARE a nice guy. That's really not a bad thing. That being said, yeah, I'd cut 'em loose.

My Dad has done the very same thing many times over the years. He seems to find the down and outers (they gravitate toward him actually), he puts a lot of trust in them, gives them a shot. Lends them money when they need it, groceries, helps them personally cosigning loans, you name it. Most of them didn't live up to the chances he gave them (over and over), but the ones that do make up for it all. THAT being said...yeah, sometimes you just gotta cut your losses. Dad's never felt good about doing that but eventually he just had to come to the conclusion that there are some people that you just can't help.

Anyway, sucky situation, I hope it all works out for you hon. (I know it will.) :-)

4:17 AM  
Blogger DH said...

Hey Billy...no one's said it yet and maybe you've figured it out...but beyond the risk of not getting paid back...you need to be VERY cautious about lending money to employees.

The main reason is...if you lend money to one employee, you're technically required to grant other requests for loans because you're otherwise offering preferential treatment or better benefits to some employees than you are to others. I'm pretty sure you don't want to expose yourself to that additional risk.

And yes...you should cut the guy (and your associated losses)...because the reality is he'll probably cost you more than that $2K if you keep him on board.

Good luck, Billy!

9:57 AM  
Blogger KB said...

Your health is the most important thing Billy!

Tell those guys to shape up or ship out. And don't let them use your pirate ship either!

:) Love ya.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

I am curious as to how it all turned out...

8:54 PM  

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