Looking for owners/boss advice

Panda_climber

New Member
Location
Midwest
So I'm a climber of almost 10 years, I've been with the company for almost two years now. The owner is more of a friend at times than a boss, bends over to make everyone happy. He recently hired someone that has caused ripples through the company, me being easy going I took him on, knowing him being on my crew was temporary until we open up another crew. The past few months has only got worse, me trying to limp my crew through the near winter times until he's off my crew. I've tried handling this through the crew, didn't work, the guy didn't take the crew meetings serious. Went to the boss and he took him off my crew for two days and then put him back with me, because he can't get along with others. Today was the final straw and I'm holding a meeting with the owner telling him no more. I view myself as a big team player, do the crap jobs, storm jobs in the rain and work when asked. I've missed one day in almost two years, I was asked to get my class a got it, was asked to get my isa and I'm close to getting it. This guy has no DL, can't pass a drug test, shows up late all the time and can't trim without gaffs. I know my worth (trying not to sound cocky) but I can't work with my dysfunctional crew anymore because there's no consequences if you can't fall in line. I so bad want to tell him it's either him or me, that's not fair for my boss or his company because of what he envisions. As a owner how would you respond knowing this situation? I don't want to quit I love working for my boss but I work with these guys 9 hours a day, I interact with my boss at the minimum.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
I'd want to know. My guess is he already knows, but can't find another warm body to fill the spot. Sounds like nobody is better than what you've got. Let the boss know he is losing money because of this guy. Morale is down because of him = lost productivity now and long-term change in crew expectations.

You may not be able to fire the guy, but fair enough to refuse to have him on your crew.
 

Jonny

Well-Known Member
Location
Buffalo
If he’s got no drive to improve, go ahead and state your case to the boss. If your boss won’t make the right move, then you walk. You can have a new gig within an hour of quitting if the market is anything like here.
The guy doesn’t realize he’s already blessed with this job. A true rockstar of a climber will have a tough time getting hired here if he can’t drive.
 

cerviarborist

Very stable member
Location
Florida, USA
Perhaps suggest that the owner can focus one smaller crew on pruning, and keep the other crew larger for technical removals, as a way to get rid of what seems to be a cancer in your workplace, without having everything grind to a halt.
 
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MA Arborist

Active Member
Location
Cape Cod
So I'm a climber of almost 10 years, I've been with the company for almost two years now. The owner is more of a friend at times than a boss, bends over to make everyone happy. He recently hired someone that has caused ripples through the company, me being easy going I took him on, knowing him being on my crew was temporary until we open up another crew. The past few months has only got worse, me trying to limp my crew through the near winter times until he's off my crew. I've tried handling this through the crew, didn't work, the guy didn't take the crew meetings serious. Went to the boss and he took him off my crew for two days and then put him back with me, because he can't get along with others. Today was the final straw and I'm holding a meeting with the owner telling him no more. I view myself as a big team player, do the crap jobs, storm jobs in the rain and work when asked. I've missed one day in almost two years, I was asked to get my class a got it, was asked to get my isa and I'm close to getting it. This guy has no DL, can't pass a drug test, shows up late all the time and can't trim without gaffs. I know my worth (trying not to sound cocky) but I can't work with my dysfunctional crew anymore because there's no consequences if you can't fall in line. I so bad want to tell him it's either him or me, that's not fair for my boss or his company because of what he envisions. As a owner how would you respond knowing this situation? I don't want to quit I love working for my boss but I work with these guys 9 hours a day, I interact with my boss at the minimum.
If you are as good of an employee as you say you are then DO NOT hesitate to go to the boss about your gripes with this “bum.”

I would never risk losing an employee like you by keeping that “derelict” on your crew
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
As a company owner and employer for many years, I would want to know your thoughts on this guy. My employees know they can come to me at any time with issues or complaints about their fellow workers and I will always listen in confidence.

I would suggest not starting out with the “him or me” talk, as that comes across as a threat, and may backfire on you. My suggestion would be to talk to Mr. Boss and explain your problems with this “worker”. Explain what he is not doing, and how he is dragging down the crew. Maybe he legitimately does not know how bad this guy is, I’m certainly not perfect and I’ve missed the obvious before. Or maybe he has a reason this guy is still around, in which case I believe you have a right to an explanation.

If Mr. Boss won’t give you an explanation, or won’t do something, than maybe it’s time for the “him or me” talk. Just be prepared to pick up your gear bag and walk off, because that could happen. If it does, and you’re as good as you say, you will have no trouble finding a new job.
 

Panda_climber

New Member
Location
Midwest
Thanks for the feedback guys, I've never really dealt with a situation as bad as this because every other time it gets worked out before it blows up. Quitting is my last resort but I want to be taken seriously without him putting some chewed bubble gum on a hole of a sinking ship. I appreciate it.
 

Panda_climber

New Member
Location
Midwest
Perhaps suggest that the owner can focus one smaller crew on pruning, and keep the other crew larger for technical removals, as a way to get rid of what seems to be a cancer in your workplace, without having everything grind to a halt.
@cerviarborist
I've thought of this suggestion but I don't want to come off as trying to tell the boss how he should operate the day to day work. We do have the equipment for the 3rd crew but winter is coming and usually we slow down so idk if we'd have the workload for the 3rd crew. This is what makes the most sense to me
 

cerviarborist

Very stable member
Location
Florida, USA
@cerviarborist
I've thought of this suggestion but I don't want to come off as trying to tell the boss how he should operate the day to day work. We do have the equipment for the 3rd crew but winter is coming and usually we slow down so idk if we'd have the workload for the 3rd crew. This is what makes the most sense to me
In tree work, another perspective is always appreciated. The climber is always glad to hear about something important noticed from the ground and vice versa. I'm sure your boss will appreciate that you feel you have a vested interest in his business continuing to run smoothly and efficiently. Even if he doesn't take your suggestion, he'll appreciate that you care enough to observe and make a suggestion, not just complain.
 

DSMc

Well-Known Member
Location
Montana
... Today was the final straw... I don't want to quit I love working for my boss...
What was the "final straw"? Do not make threats or say things that are not actually what you meant in order to achieve your goals.

If you are the crew leader, document things as they happen and stop catering to bad or disruptive behaviors. Bosses are not clairvoyant, the accuracy of their decisions is dependent on what they know.
 

Winchman

Well-Known Member
If the guy can't drive and that's and important part of the job, maybe you could get the boss to arrange for driver training. That'll get him off your crew for a while, and the driver ed people will let your boss know if he's a screw-up there, too. If that happens, the boss will have a reason to let him go. Giving the guy a helping hand might improve his attitude and job performance.
 

Sfoppema

Well-Known Member
Location
Central MA
I know guys like the derelict. Personally, I wouldn't resort to using him even in a pinch. Any money you make from them on the good days will be lost in the pain in the ass that they cause not showing up, being driven about, pissing clients/other employee's off, breaking things, looking like a derelict on the job, etc..

I have one really clutch employee that I'd be in big trouble without. I would know without him even telling me that someone was junk. I'd get rid of that person before my clutch employee even had a chance to complain. If it's a small company, cohesion is extremely important.

If you are as valuable as you say to the company, tell your boss you won't work with the guy again. Sounds like he has goals he wants to reach that aren't reachable without resorting to hiring someone who is a pain to his loyal guys. That's bullshit. He's leaving you to see his goals fulfilled. I've seen this happen and it is not pretty.

Good guys are worth good money. You'll find something else, life is too short to be miserable at work. Leave him with the doucher and let him be the miserable one.
 

Panda_climber

New Member
Location
Midwest
So I ended up meeting with the owner before work. I laid it on the table with the problems, apologized that I couldn't handle this on my own and now that I've hit my breaking point. He offered me a two week vacation to take a breather (I freaking regret turning that down lol) and asked if I would be interested in shifting from trees to other jobs in the company like grinding stumps, picking up wood and fixing yards when needed. I turned that down explained it felt like he was trying to just get me away from the problem not solving it. After about an hour of talking, we came to the conclusion that if this doesn't get better in two weeks I'll leave. I explained it to my crew including the problem guy the situation and he apologized it was that bad and we shook hands and decided we'll give it a shot. If I do leave the boss said he'd give me some other reputable companies looking for a climber and would have the highest regard of being recommended. I felt like this worked out well for now. I hope, if not I'll be on here asking if anyone is looking for a climber
 

Panda_climber

New Member
Location
Midwest
Strange he would choose the other guy. Somewhere parts of the story are missing...
@ATH I didn't give him a chance to choose sides, a few guys private messaged me here and pretty much summed up that if I make him choose sides he could feel threatened and be prepared to pack up and leave. I am trying to make this work, my crew a week will usually bring in around 18-20k a week. That's pretty solid for our area, as a owner I wouldn't want that band broke up and restart I would guess. It's hard to tell the whole story without typing a Harry Potter book, long story short my boss was ready to fire 3 guys on my crew and hit the restart button for me. He doesn't want me to leave, idk if I can let him fire a whole crew on my behalf knowing that will put him way behind, now our work is really coming to a halt. I view this as if they say I'm the problem then ok this problem is leaving, the owner said I haven't heard a peep for two years come out of your corner, you're not the problem.
 
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DSMc

Well-Known Member
Location
Montana
@ATH ... long story short my boss was ready to fire 3 guys on my crew and hit the restart button for me... the owner said I haven't heard a peep for two years come out of your corner, you're not the problem.
The the story goes from one guy causing problems to three?

A boss that is more like a friend but has not been kept informed on disruptive behaviors?
 

Panda_climber

New Member
Location
Midwest
The climber and groundman is best friends. They met in rehab together, the groundman had an issue with me before the climber came over fed him a bunch of shit so this guy already had a chip on his shoulder with me before we even met. Everytime I tried talking about it he said he didn't want their friendship to be in jeopardy so that's why he never confronted me about the issues knowing I would fly off the deep end with the drama. Like I said, there was more to the story just didn't want to type it all out because I figured you wouldn't wanna hear about that drama stuff. The boss was informed on this two weeks prior but he said keep doing what I'm doing, it'll blow over. It indeed did not
 

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