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Growing pains

Started by RandyOnR3, February 02, 2012, 03:47:47 pm

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The best boss I ever had was a sales manager when I was a sales rep. His total focus was on how to help me meet and exceed my annual sales budget and stay within my annual expense budget. He said I could play golf 5 days a week as long as my sales goals were being met. He knew, as I did, that I could not meet my sales goals if I was playing golf 5 days a week.

He had 3 things that were a priority for him with his sales and customer service people:
1. What is expected of me?
2. How am I doing?
3. Money.

He was extremely good at taking people where they were and working with them from that point forward.

Randy, good luck with your employee. It sounds like you have a very talented and motivated worker.




Quote from: RandyOnR3 on February 04, 2012, 02:46:37 pm
    More times than I can count, he's brought up the idea of stocking rolls of fabric and remodeling the shop to handle the stock.. and each time, I say thats not the way we do things around here.. 
I've had mostly "helpers" over the years, but about 12 years ago, I did employ a full fledged skilled upholsterer.
He had the same bright idea about stocking fabric. After all, that's the way HE did things when he had his own business (which also failed coincidentally).
I said "Tell ya what. You can buy as many rolls as you want out of YOUR pocket. And I'll just take 10% off the top of any you sell".
Seemed like a good deal to me. All he had to do was "Put his money where his mouth was".............It ended right there.

I know the cost of living can vary greatly according to region (some school teachers here in Texas say they make less than a garbage man in California), but 35 bucks an hour and medical sounds pretty good for a guy who just has to show up, shut up,  and do what he's told.

The idea of your wife being the hardass could actually work. Sometimes a change of gender is all you need to create the separation necessary between boss/employee. Odds are, he'll be less likely to throw his vast knowledge in her face. He'll just accept her decisions as "the way it is".
Either that, or the whole thing blows up by the end of the week. ;)
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban


February 05, 2012, 11:23:52 pm #32 Last Edit: February 06, 2012, 12:11:32 am by bobbin
Degrees in business mean nothing in the big picture, Randy.  I know plenty of very successful business people who never bothered to finish their degrees, if they even went to college at all... you have only to look to the "high tech" sector" to prove my point!  Since business was one of my fields of study, too, you can skip that excuse with me, OK? ;)

As I clearly stated, it's your business and you may do with it whatever you choose.  If what you're doing now is working for you and the (clearly) very competent and skilled employer (well paid "piece of meat") is bringing in that much business and you feel so strongly about his "meddling" then you should can his ass and continue on as you did before... but have you "run the numbers"? you likely have or you wouldn't raise the issue of canning him!

What I see plainly in what you've written is really a quest for validation.  You really already know what you want to do, but you want others to tell you that you're perfectly justified.  You are! it's your business and you may conduct it any way you so choose.  Treating  your own situation as a "case study" (remember those?) and stepping back is really hard, but it's imperative if you're going to "grow your business" because those danged employees are always going to be pesky variables.  How much you pay them and what you offer for benefits has no place in the discussion.  The issue here is your business model and your business' protocols.  Using pay and benefits as leverage to avoid what seem to be clear gaps in your business plan is unfair and to an employee a "chain jerk".  

It's probably a good move to turn the day to day stuff over to your wife.  Your "attitude" comes across loud and clear to me, which is not to say that the guy in question isn't packing plenty of it, too!  


Quote from: bobbin on February 03, 2012, 12:57:02 am
Ask yourself this question:  "is this the hill I want to die on?"

Thank you Bobbin, I love that one.


Quote from: bobbin on February 03, 2012, 12:57:02 am
Ask yourself this question:  "is this the hill I want to die on?"

I completely understand having "your way" disrupted.  But is your way the only way? is the rearrangement an improvement from the other person's perspective?  see where I'm going with this? sometimes we get "territorial" for no good reason, other times there's a very good reason!

Bobbin brings something to this table that most of us cannot. She has worked in the production setting of shops and she currently works in a shop she does not own. Her insight I think can help many of us as she sees things from the other side of the fence.

I am sure she cannot wait for the day to tell her cheap boss to go stuff himself and go full time in her own operation. She will take with her years of knowledge and no doubt be successful.

If Bobbin worked for me I would be the boss that got out of her way, gave her all the tools she needed and then watch her make us all money. If I had a particular problem she would be the first I would go to for advice. Because I know her ideas would more then likely make me money. She has posted a number of times how time saving tools could speed her production up and make her job easier. Yet her boss is apparently close minded and only looks at costs and considers nothing but HIS way of doing things. being a cheapskate can actually cost you money not save you money.

The greatest asset any business owner will ever have is their employees. Giving them whatever they need to be more productive is the name of the game. The more productive they are the more money you make. It is a no brainer.

But you also have to have that mentality with your employees of " screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me. "



   After this past weekend, we've decided to let him go after we can find a replacement..
   We came in on saturday, after a sailboat race with the yacht club, he thought we'd be gone for the weekend..
    He Had his daughter, and his dad working on projects at my machines, and the good part..
    The projects were NOT from our shop...............


February 06, 2012, 06:33:35 pm #36 Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 11:47:22 pm by Mojo
OMG........ What the hell is the matter with people ?

He is probably doing projects and making money behind your back then.

Good riddance and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. Smart move on your part. :)
I am very big on trust and if I cannot trust some one I wont deal with them.



Holy cow... :o  I'm with Chris on this one.  That takes big brass ones and with what you've been paying him he has absolutely no right (even if you didn't pay him well) to do something like that without your knowledge or permission.  He's probably rationalized somehow in his mind that he deserves to be able to do work on the side, but that's just crazy.  ???

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

     W. C. Fields


I once had a guy working for me who wanted to use my shop for his moonlighting projects. I gave him 3 rules:
1) It had to be work that I would've turned down anyway (such as auto).
2) I get 10% off the top PLUS money for any supplies consumed.
3) NO AIR CONDITIONER OR HEATER unless he wanted to chip in with the electric bill

He found those parameters unacceptable. He was one of those guys that thought the whole world owed him a living.

Randy: You said that you went through 10-15 stitchers before you found this guy. You sure you want to "break in" another one?
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban


When I was in corporate management, one of the things we learned as "classic business" is that lack of money is a de-motivator, but at a certain point, more money is not a motivator.  If you are paying someone $90K a year and they hate their job, paying them $100K a year is not going to make them happy or a better worker.  I grew up in an area where there were tons of union jobs in the steel and auto industries.  Most of those workers were well paid with wages and benefits, but almost all hated their jobs.

Maslow's hierarchy, etc.

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison


Don't let the door hit you,
where the good Lord split you.



O_o  Some people...

Now that is the best benefit of where I work, the shop is at my disposal. I'm free to use it anytime, although for my own personal projects. I always tell my boss what I'm working on and it's never side jobs for cash or anything like that. Only for me or maybe family. And this is an arrangement my boss and I have made, everything is up front. I know exactly what would happen if I tried to sneak in a paying job after hours. One- in this small town it would get back to him by breakfast time and two- the door wouldn't hit my ass 'cause I'd be thrown through it.

People often try to get me to do side jobs and I say, "If you can't afford me on Monday, what makes you think you can afford me on Sunday?"
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Quote from: Peppy on February 07, 2012, 02:03:44 am
"If you can't afford me on Monday, what makes you think you can afford me on Sunday?"

Wow.....Deja Vu. I had an old girlfriend who used to say the same thing to me. Turns out
I couldn't afford her and sent her packing. :)



February 07, 2012, 07:27:40 pm #43 Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 07:32:12 pm by Mike
ill bet the guy wanted you Randy to stock thoose rolls so he dould us some of it for his jobs.  sounds like you dont need that crp at all goood thing hes gone
ps ice been doing canvas work for about 20 years and ive allway order material fabric as i need it  snaps zippers ect that a different thing



I'm sure your insurance company would just love it if your insured employee's old man or kid put a needle through their finger, or worse. 

I've worked in a number of shops over the years and I can assure you that I always asked if I could use shop machinery or tools for a project of my own.  And when I say, "my own", I mean just that.  I never presumed it would be OK to do work  for my own customer on my employer's equipment.  As a result, I've never worked for anyone who denied me access to something in the shop or ever failed to offer me materials at cost.  One hand washes the other in that circumstance. 

Hammer.'s comment about money not "being everything" is dead on, at least in my opinion.  There is so much more in the entire employment picture.  Professional courtesy and respect are paramount in my estimation.  Nothing  shuts me down faster than being spoken to as though I'm some "know nothin'" 18-19 yr. old and it's what fuels my desire to knuckle down and tend to the drearier aspects of getting my own shop fully up to speed.