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Firing an employee because a better option came along

wheelieking71

Diamond
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Location
Gilbert, AZ
Interesting observation

You mean "assumption".
He has never been in my shop, nor spoken to any people I have been above in a management position.
Which I have been in for well over 15 years now. The last 9 in my own shop.
God knows I'm far from perfect.
But, I am respectful and fair. And actually a pretty good boss, if I go by what I've been told by people that actually know me.

This:
the stupid things he always forgets to do, like check coolant level after lunch even though he's been told numerous times to do so. He has absolutely zero desire to learn anything, just wants his check and to go home.

Is what prompted the response I gave this guy. If Matt had not added that detail? My response (if I even had one) would have been very different.
Here is what I read in to this situation between the lines:
This guy doesn't "forget" to check the coolant. He just doesn't want to check the coolant. Why do I say that? Because Matt has told him numerous times.
So whether this kid subliminally forgets (because he just doesn't like dealing with it), or purposefully forgets (because he just doesn't like dealing with it),
doesn't matter. He has been told numerous times. Habits form very fast believe it or not. Good or bad.
And, "numerous times" is way too many.
 

standardparts

Diamond
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Get rid of the guy who has hinted he's leaving/looking and bring in a new body and see how it works out.

While your at it maybe time to assess your work flow and profits so something like a marginal employee does not dictate decision making so much.

If it all goes to shit, or turns out great being a manager usually only works out to something like 50% when it comes to making the right decision.
 

Mcgyver

Diamond
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Location
Toronto
Hire them both and get on the phone - bring in more business. Me, I'm sick and tired of being stuck in smalleville...I want to grow and need good people to do so that's what I'd do. Standing orders around here, if you spot a rock star, hire him!

The types might also be somewhat different. For example, the 9-5'r might be with you for 20 years, with little motivation to improve/advance. The bright hustler otoh might be looking elsewhere in 18 months if you can't keep challenging him. Cuts both ways....key is to find the best roll to get the most out of each type
 

nt1953

Hot Rolled
Joined
Sep 4, 2004
Location
Huntsville, Alabama
I used to tell coworkers that they should feel no obligation to the company, because the company felt no obligation to them. So if they could find a better job, then they should take it and leave with no regrets. In the end, people who leave mostly miss the other employees, not the company.

By the same token, given that the employee is free to leave at any time, the company should not feel bad if they opt for a better employee and can the one that is OK but no great shakes.
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
You mean "assumption".
He has never been in my shop, nor spoken to any people I have been above in a management position.
Which I have been in for well over 15 years now. The last 9 in my own shop.
God knows I'm far from perfect.
But, I am respectful and fair. And actually a pretty good boss, if I go by what I've been told by people that actually know me.

This:


Is what prompted the response I gave this guy. If Matt had not added that detail? My response (if I even had one) would have been very different.
Here is what I read in to this situation between the lines:
This guy doesn't "forget" to check the coolant. He just doesn't want to check the coolant. Why do I say that? Because Matt has told him numerous times.
So whether this kid subliminally forgets (because he just doesn't like dealing with it), or purposefully forgets (because he just doesn't like dealing with it),
doesn't matter. He has been told numerous times. Habits form very fast believe it or not. Good or bad.
And, "numerous times" is way too many.

I am thinking many of us have to high of expectations of todays employees, based on our experiences from years ago. I and several who were learning the trade years ago had it in our minds that if we got real good at as many "shop related" tasks that we would likely make more money and be less likely to be laid off for whatever reason. Many of us had chores we were expected to do around the house long before we ever had a job, we were actually expected to remember and do them along with our homework. It is much easier to give kids a cell phone, video game or even Ritalin than it is to parent. Friday the UPS man brought me a package, I looked at it, I thought about it, I got a little pissed off and set it back down on the bench and left. I ignored it yesterday and today I decided that it is simply how things are today, employers have to step up and do more to insure the quality of the products they send out, we cannot expect the employees to remember anything, we have to make things so simple most anyone can do it without any training as the training you do before lunch is erased by lunch and you have to train again after lunch or do things like this:
IMG_4008.jpgIMG_4009.jpg
 

CITIZEN F16

Titanium
Joined
May 2, 2021
Your right. I hate the general public. No way I could do that job.
I would be forced to deal with jack-ass know-it-alls such as yourself.
And I just couldn't do that.

Can I like this a hundred times? I am overly nice to people who have to put up with the general public, as I feel their pain. I worked only one job dealing with the general public working at a movie theater when I was 16, for a whole 4 months. I was shocked at the self importance some people had, like the sun rose and set in their backyard.
 

CITIZEN F16

Titanium
Joined
May 2, 2021
I am thinking many of us have to high of expectations of todays employees, based on our experiences from years ago. I and several who were learning the trade years ago had it in our minds that if we got real good at as many "shop related" tasks that we would likely make more money and be less likely to be laid off for whatever reason. Many of us had chores we were expected to do around the house long before we ever had a job, we were actually expected to remember and do them along with our homework. It is much easier to give kids a cell phone, video game or even Ritalin than it is to parent. Friday the UPS man brought me a package, I looked at it, I thought about it, I got a little pissed off and set it back down on the bench and left. I ignored it yesterday and today I decided that it is simply how things are today, employers have to step up and do more to insure the quality of the products they send out, we cannot expect the employees to remember anything, we have to make things so simple most anyone can do it without any training as the training you do before lunch is erased by lunch and you have to train again after lunch or do things like this:
View attachment 339608View attachment 339609

With the way the UPS rugby team handle packages I tape the whole bottom of the box and then some, I rarely ship UPS.
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
With the way the UPS rugby team handle packages I tape the whole bottom of the box and then some, I rarely ship UPS.

Do you pay extra to have the printing put on your boxes so your employees know the tape has to be stuck to both flaps so the stuff will stay in the box? Flabbergasted may be the word
 

CITIZEN F16

Titanium
Joined
May 2, 2021
Do you pay extra to have the printing put on your boxes so your employees know the tape has to be stuck to both flaps so the stuff will stay in the box? Flabbergasted may be the word

I no longer have employees, just down to an army of one, haven't even had a part timer for the last couple years.
I understand the point, it seems as we try to idiot proof things, a bigger idiot comes along. My favorite warning label is the one they put on those continuous loop cloth towels they had in bathrooms back in the day. "Do not put your head in the loop." You can thank all the ambulance chasing lawyers for all the warning labels, along with the average person that gets dumber by the day.
 

thermite

Diamond
Do you pay extra to have the printing put on your boxes so your employees know the tape has to be stuck to both flaps so the stuff will stay in the box? Flabbergasted may be the word

Fifty-two years ago.. Esterline Medical tapped me as a recent DoD contractor in my prior Day Job, to respond to the Veteran's Admnistration's annual tender for Hearing-aid support to the VA.

We'd been a wired-in supplier at that since shortly after the FIRST Word War.

The VA had PROUDLY paid.. and BRAGGED-ON .. $26,000 US dollars to have "industry experts" design and test a cleverly-machine-folded pasteboard carton meant to be re-usable, and to protect from shock the delicate hearing aids going back and forth for new issue or repairs.

Except it did NEITHER task even used ONCE!

Contract gets its usual rubber-stamp approval. Nary a word nor whimper.

I get a phone call from the VA Contracting Office about a month and a half later.

"Your people are in violation of a Federal contract! You are using your own special packaging, not the one we specified! And we are getting only original and ONE copy of the invoices, not the FIVE copies we specified!"

"Read your contract, Sir!
"I have HELD DoD Contracting Officer duty and done HUNDREDs of them."
"You had 26 specifications. Our submission took "exception" to all twenty SIX of them."
"OUR package DOES protect the goods. Your one did not.
"You know where to find a Xerox machine? Make as many copies as you like."
"You AWARDED that contract without counter-challenge, change, or negotiation."
"You have RUN with it that way for over 30 days."
"It is now on OUR terms for standard commercial practices!"

RED RAGE comes back over the wire!

"We will DEBAR you from Federal Contracts! "

From a lard-ass GSA-issue swivel-chair pilot JUST self-proven too g-damned lazy to have even READ our submission before award? ......to a still-a-reservist Combat Engineer?

Bad f**king move! "Plan B" detonated:


"PLEASE de-bar us, 'Sir'!"
"We didn't WANT to continue on damned-fool terms."
"It will be CHEAPER for the Veterans to buy directly!"

So they did. End of a drain on our time and money.

Vets then got their hearing aid repairs for $17.50 as COD out of the usual under-$20 "imprest fund". Saved $131 USD in paperwork, each go.

Thanks to a wise old retired War Two Army Warrant Officer at Walter Reed doing the actual math .. and sharing it with THIS then still-young 'Nam vet.

Year or so later, we are asked to bid our legendary-rugged transducers for Stinger missile launcher tracking indication. In a special Olive Drab colour.

Told DoD we were "de-barred". They could just go and buy our stock colours from retail dealers and paint the fool things. We weren't a rich enough company to be parasitized by any more Federal Contracts.

:)

You think human ability to f**k up an iron cannonball with a limp linguine-noodle is NEW to the "younger generation"?

F**k no!

Not by easily a hundred million years.. and counting. Universal Human thing:

"Ve gang too soon elt, und too late schmart"
 

thermite

Diamond
I read that in Robyn William's voice.

Fuck No! - Robin Williams - YouTube

LOL! I ain't even old enough to VIEW that one, according to looter-lie-bore-all Russian-run Google!

I've been known to TRY as close as I can muster to Major General Dayton Willis Eddy's voice!

Anybody as ever met Dayton would consider that an instrument of psychological warfare, Douglas MacArthur among them!

Got ME put under two weeks of 24 X 7 "in the field" observation, "Board Certified" experts.

Didn't get Court-Martialled after all.

Buggers rotated six other officers to me to try and train-up to duplicate it!

Go figure war ain't enough Hell already?
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
The old guy is reliable, does what he is told and doesn’t make scrap…
But you can find fault with him like not filling the coolant tank after lunch and not trying to do more than he is told.
The new guy seems to be full of enthusiasm so seems to be a guy who would fill that tank and do more than he is told.

Did the old guy's failing the tank cause any scrap? Or is failing the tank an expression of your liking/not liking him.

It can be good/best to have workers that you like, who can talk about the same sports teams you favor. Be looking for new concepts that you can buy to improve the company, be changing process to make the company more efficient…and likely expect you to keep up with him so to make the boring job of changing parts in a machine a pleasure so he does not walk on that day you are up to your elbows with hot work.
 
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ttrager

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 23, 2015
Don't know your business, your shop, or your customers, so I don't know a thing about your situation first hand.

Having said that, it seemed to me there was one more question I might have asked myself if I put myself in your shoes:

Assuming you hired the new guy without letting the old one go, is there a way to see a bump up in revenue over the next couple of years justifying the addition of a new employee instead of getting rid of one guy?
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
QT: [Sure, but if I included that the guy is moving away anyway,]
So you now state that you have to fill this spot.

The new guy, a guy who runs for public office, has perhaps little boring, dirty, hands-on job experience, What does he do now for income? How does what you will pay compare to what he makes now?

I would likely look for a guy who is currently out of work in near the same field who has a good work history.
 

BT Fabrication

Stainless
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
The best thing you can do is be fair. Which is very hard in a situation like this.

Let me stress this first, mind you this is solely my opinion: one of the worst things an employer can do is just up and fire someone who was never officially given a heads-up that something was amiss. Not even given a chance to do better. Barring, of course, extreme circumstances. And I know that HR jerkwads do it all the time. Doesn’t make it fair. And, if you have done that already with this guy - good on you, that makes the prospect of termination easier to stomach.

To me the fairest thing would be this: hire the new guy. Let him work thru his probation period if you do that, otherwise just make sure he does right for a couple months. Then let your slacker know what’s up. Tell him, professionally, where you need him to improve. Try to avoid comparing the two, to avoid any bad blood between them (or at least at this stage, it’s probably inevitable). If he gets upset and pissed off, walk him out at that point. But, some people don’t realize how poor they’re doing until it’s laid out there plain to them.

From a different viewpoint it seems stupid to not realize it, but you never know their upbringing or previous work history; they may not know. If you straight up tell him shape up or ship out, and how, and he doesn’t- it’s on him.

Anyway! The ideal situation is, within these two-three months that the new guy is doing his thing, perhaps you can find work for your slacker. If it’s cheesy production work or, if it’s sawing, staging, packaging, that kind of thing. Something that doesn’t take as much thought or care. Then you can keep both guys and you’re better for it, best case scenario.

This is the best scenario, you take a little $ to bring on a new guy to make more $ hopefully, and in turn the new guy stays because the increase in production. thus you keep the origiinal guy to do basic things that can't get screwed up. but be up front about it. bring in a huge meeting with everyone and tell them your ideal goals and where you need to be and the plan moving forward! that is the true spoken word of a leader.
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
If you feel it is okay to fire an employee so you can hire one who, you think, will be a better employee there is a cost. This means all employees, including the new ones, will feel their jobs are at risk and they should jump ship if any slightly better opportunity appears. If you have no loyalty to your employees why should they have any loyalty to the job?
In the 1970's and 80's the refrain was Japanese companies had great worker loyalty because the employees knew the company cared and would never lay them off unless the entire company went out of business. None of this pay cuts for the workers and bonus for the bosses. Same as a government job. They earn slightly below market rate but the job never disappears.
Bill D
 

JMG

Aluminum
Joined
Aug 9, 2010
The one thing I didn't see brought up yet is the possibility of an age discrimination lawsuit.
 

snowman

Diamond
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Location
Southeast Michigan
Thanks for all the replies guys. There's no way I can quote and reply to every one, so here's a generalized followup. This was meant more as a general question, but here are more details specific to my situation currently:

THE BOSS

First and foremost to the guys saying or implying I'm not doing my job to bring the current guy up to standards are absolutely correct. I'm no good with people in general. Lazy or stupid people are beyond help in my opinion and I don't care to help those who won't help themselves. I'm not going to change that about myself and I do not apologize for it, so the search for employees that fit in to my shop continues...

I'm not especially good with people either. But strangely I'm a decent manager because I care about people. I get to know my people. I learn their goals. I encourage their goals. I foster their growth by pointing out their deficiencies, but give them strategies to grow. I try to support them. I find their positive attributes and I focus on them when their quirks bother me...generally I stop noticing the quirks shortly after. Strangely, I find that most quit if they don't fit the environment we have, which is mostly positive. The people we have had to fire have essentially asked to be fired in such a way that we couldn't refuse.

You don't make people remember by reminding them, you make them remember by making them want to remember. And frankly, given how you speak of your employee, I'd have 10:1 odds on him specifically remembering that he should check his coolant after lunch, but ignoring it because it pisses you off and he's already said "fuck you".

I'd forget about the failed politician, let the old man go, and find someone new. Then not expect them to impress me, but maybe spend a bit longer getting to know the new one so you have some positive attributes to concentrate on when they open the door wrong.
 








 
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