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Thread: For those of you in charge...

  1. #1
    Mke
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    Default For those of you in charge...

    I'm in a situation where I would like to bounce some ideas off of people in similar situations in the same field as I am in. I'm a lead tech who is in charge of a whopping....1 locator. We are in a wierd situation where we are a bit of both "one-call" locators and "Private" locators.

    They guy i'm in charge of has quite a bit of years locating on me (about 6), and he could probably locate rings around most of the contract locators in the area. He, however, is lacking in some of the other skills that are needed and specifically spelled out in the Job description. Since i'm the only other locator in the company, I see most of these issues first hand and have found some issues with his locating as well. I've came to sites after he's located and found things that weren't marked, or more frequently things that were marked but wern't actually there. These things have only bit him in the arse a couple of times.

    There has only been one incident that has came realllllly close to costing him his job. Over his 5 year span he has regularly occouring instances of poor judgement or lack of ability. Unbenounced to him, he is the butt of quite a few jokes around the office. Mostly dealing with his lack of commiting to a job being "Finished". He is always still working on it, so if there is a line that wasn't marked he could say "I told you I wasn't finished locating yet". I have personally seen him take a 30 minute cigerette brake, then imediately play the " I havn't gotten my OSHA regulated 15 minute morning break".

    I think now its coming to a head, and upper management's patience is running thin. I know that my patience is just as thin. I can't give him certian jobs because of the quality of his output. Do you try your hardest to help save his job, or do you watch him flap in the breeze and eventually leave? Do you risk getting a crappier locator that you might be able to train?

    I've personally tried to cultivate him, unfortunately some people don't take advice because "they know better" or they have soooooo much experience, that it will pull them through. Some, like the guy I work with does it all.


    I did want to emphasize that we have extremely high standards here, but we are backed fully by our company. Equipment, authority, training, etc.. Its difficult to maintain this high standard with someone who has a CYA mentality coupled with a lack in initiative or interest in what they do for a living.

    Thanks

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    Senior Member 6feetunder's Avatar
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    Default Re: For those of you in charge...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post
    I'm in a situation where I would like to bounce some ideas off of people in similar situations in the same field as I am in. I'm a lead tech who is in charge of a whopping....1 locator. We are in a wierd situation where we are a bit of both "one-call" locators and "Private" locators.

    They guy i'm in charge of has quite a bit of years locating on me (about 6), and he could probably locate rings around most of the contract locators in the area. He, however, is lacking in some of the other skills that are needed and specifically spelled out in the Job description. Since i'm the only other locator in the company, I see most of these issues first hand and have found some issues with his locating as well. I've came to sites after he's located and found things that weren't marked, or more frequently things that were marked but wern't actually there. These things have only bit him in the arse a couple of times.

    There has only been one incident that has came realllllly close to costing him his job. Over his 5 year span he has regularly occouring instances of poor judgement or lack of ability. Unbenounced to him, he is the butt of quite a few jokes around the office. Mostly dealing with his lack of commiting to a job being "Finished". He is always still working on it, so if there is a line that wasn't marked he could say "I told you I wasn't finished locating yet". I have personally seen him take a 30 minute cigerette brake, then imediately play the " I havn't gotten my OSHA regulated 15 minute morning break".

    I think now its coming to a head, and upper management's patience is running thin. I know that my patience is just as thin. I can't give him certian jobs because of the quality of his output. Do you try your hardest to help save his job, or do you watch him flap in the breeze and eventually leave? Do you risk getting a crappier locator that you might be able to train?

    I've personally tried to cultivate him, unfortunately some people don't take advice because "they know better" or they have soooooo much experience, that it will pull them through. Some, like the guy I work with does it all.


    I did want to emphasize that we have extremely high standards here, but we are backed fully by our company. Equipment, authority, training, etc.. Its difficult to maintain this high standard with someone who has a CYA mentality coupled with a lack in initiative or interest in what they do for a living.

    Thanks

    I would address the issues with him and let him know that these things , left uncorrected may cost him his job. Let him know you are willing to help and work with him and are not simply attacking his work ethic / habits. Let him know these are issues that have been brought to your attention by your superiors and they need correction. This way you can let him go with a guilt free if he doesn't correct the issues, also you gave him the proper chance to correct himself. If he doesn't change his habits once he knows his job is on the line then it is his own fault but if he doesn't completely understand the magnitude of things he may just continue on as he always has. There's my 2 cents.
    Life's a garden, dig it! - Joe Dirt

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    Senior Member locator00566's Avatar
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    Default Re: For those of you in charge...

    Send him to USIC. They would welcome this type employee

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    Senior Member ctdon1952's Avatar
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    Default Re: For those of you in charge...

    point blank. that is the way to approach this. Tell him what is going on and that you are willing to help him straighten out. That if he does not get his act together, he WILL be let go. That way you have done what you can to help and if he does not take your advise, it is all on his head. Just dont do the work for him. you can help him with advise but let him do the work.

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    Conservative Meanie ifinditunderground's Avatar
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    Default Re: For those of you in charge...

    Quote Originally Posted by ctdon1952 View Post
    point blank. that is the way to approach this. Tell him what is going on and that you are willing to help him straighten out. That if he does not get his act together, he WILL be let go. That way you have done what you can to help and if he does not take your advise, it is all on his head. Just dont do the work for him. you can help him with advise but let him do the work.
    I think Don Hit it on the head here.
    There is a fine line between "Hobby" and "Mental Illness."
    "America isn't free, in America you are free to follow the rules." -Anthony Cumia


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    Default Re: For those of you in charge...

    Great topic, I appreciate you bringing this up. I just read "Entre-leadership" by Dave Ramsey. Theres a section in there about sanctioning mediocrity. I think I've been doing this in my crew, I've got one Staker who continually asks for help on locates, then spends way too much time on the phone dragging down those around him. You've got to consider the impact your problem tech has on your organization and how that reflects back on what you do.
    Best of luck, if your like me you've probably spent way to much time picking at the problem when ripping the band-aid right off would have been quicker.

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: For those of you in charge...

    Think of it from this perspective. You have one person working under you and you can't even manage him. How does that make you look? Okay, that sounded harsh but it wasn't meant to be. I believe you care and are doing your best, but, when it comes time to promote, are they going to promote you or someone who can motivate their employees?
    Do you try your hardest to help save his job, or do you watch him flap in the breeze and eventually leave? Do you risk getting a crappier locator that you might be able to train?
    Are you trying harder to save his job than he is trying to save his own? Don't put more time into someone than they are willing to put into themselves.

    It was said earlier. Have a sit down and be straight with him. Let him know that he can no longer leave a job unfinished. A break is a break whether you are smoking or not. etc.

    Also, it sounds to me like you might be a little afraid of offending the guy. If that is the case then he knows it. Stand up to him and let him know what the rules are. People like this are aware of how far you are willing to push him. He knows where the boundaries are and it sounds to me like HE SET THE BOUNDARIES.

    That is just my impression.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Mke
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    Default Re: For those of you in charge...

    Boy oh Boy. Maybe I should of given more back ground, and then it wouldn't of looked like I though my hands up in the air at the first sign of trouble. I may have only been given the Lead role not even two months ago, but I have been acting as lead since my hire date. Being a lead is nothing new to me, nor is dealing with difficult workers. I honestly didn't mean to come on here and look like a douche.

    Again, We are with a public company that has to follow these long drawn out processes in order to release anyone of their duties. We are about 2 years into the process. (Yes it takes that long) The company I work for wants to "Mentor" and "cultivate" troubled employees. Nice for slackers, not so nice for guys who bust ass.

    I was wondering if it made sense to you guys if I continued trying to "Help" this guy. Teaching him and such, knowing well that he will in time fall to his own demise. Or should I just say "F" it and not helping him at all. I will treat him how I want to be treated. So, I continue to attempt to show him how to do things he should already know how to. But i'm really hoping one of you guys on here have some rare sage advise that makes total sense and then I can raise my hands and watch him flap in the breeze. I'm still his lead, unfortunately with the company I'm at, it is not so much a lord and overseer, but more like a Scheduler. It is on my shoulders to get all the work done at all costs. I have no direct power to fire anyone. I can't check his hours or what he's billing. nothing.

    So as for you who think i'm being too soft.... what can i say.... I've only been his lead for 2months out of the 3+years... I appologize for being soft in my 2 month tenure (Please not underlying sarcasm)

    Don, I totally agree with you, I've learned not to do the work for him. But at the same time, I can't trust him to do High Profile jobs, Inside Jobs, Secured site jobs, or Night work. Can't give him anything that needs to be understood to the Nth degree either.

    Not sure what I was looking for when I posted this, but i'm still glad to get the advise.

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    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: For those of you in charge...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post
    We are with a public company that has to follow these long drawn out processes in order to release anyone of their duties. We are about 2 years into the process. The company I work for wants to "Mentor" and "cultivate" troubled employees. Nice for slackers. Not so nice for guys who bust ass.

    [Does] it make sense to "Help" this guy? Or should I just say, "F" it?

    I've learned not to do the work for him. I can't trust him to do High Profile jobs, Inside Jobs, Secured site jobs, or Night work. Can't give him anything that needs to be understood to the Nth degree.
    Hey Mke - Your "troubled employee" sounds just like my cousin Tony. I Luv the guy, but man, what a slacker. Years of drug use has made him that way, but I digress.

    I remember your post a long time ago about your SWEET set-up. A locator's wet dream come true! Your underling quit a long time ago. Do both of you guys a favor and cut him loose or have him bid into another job.

    p.s. Where do I send my application?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by Wingfoot; December 10th, 2011 at 05:00 AM.

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: For those of you in charge...

    Where do I send my application?
    Wing makes a good point. Maybe someone out there who needs a job will do the job better. I say cut the dead weight and give the work to someone who can do it.

    Times are tough and people are out of work. I'm sure someone with a family would really appreciate it.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Mke
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    Default Re: For those of you in charge...

    I think thats the worst part of it. I know most locators would give up their first born for a position like this. Yeah we locate some horrible areas, but we get paid real well and if there is a piece of equipment out their, all we have to do is justify it to our boss and its ours. I won't tell you guys i'm sitting on about 160hrs of vacation as well as about 80 hours of personal time. =) However, my OCD doesn't let me take time off untill I get someone I can trust to do things correctly. Go figure.

    Mke

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Re: For those of you in charge...

    Mke,

    You sound like a man I would want on my team or to just work for. You sound like the person with excellent work ethics and moral job values. My hat is off to you.

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    Senior Member Paint'n & Flag'n's Avatar
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    Default Re: For those of you in charge...

    I would first look at the authority your role has then decide how to approach the situation. You say you are no more than just a scheduler so your role sounds just like a lead tech/head craft at USIC. This being said I would at least inform the other locator of the issues as suggested and let him decide what to do with it.

    As to the work load and you not giving him certain jobs...I would inform him that this was going to stop and that he is going to have to do better in making sure that all cables are marked or risk being fired. Your job is to insure that all the tickets get done but its not your job to do them all by yourself. You have a senior tech and he needs to carry his own weight. This is one thing that I believe in is everyone pulling their weight. If you continue to baby him then he will continue doing how he is. Since there is only the two of you then you both should be doing equal the work...in quantity and difficulty.

    Even though your position has no real authority still make decisions like a boss and not a friend. I see too many techs and/or sups make decisions or treat there crews like they are best friends instead of like a boss.

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    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: For those of you in charge...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCableVine View Post
    Wing makes a good point. Maybe someone out there who needs a job will do the job better. I say cut the dead weight and give the work to someone who can do it.

    Times are tough and people are out of work. I'm sure someone with a family would really appreciate it.
    I happen to know 3 or 4 ex USIC employees with families who would probably wash your truck for a year if they could get a crack at that job. One of whom is easily the best locator I have ever met in this business.

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    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: For those of you in charge...

    Quote Originally Posted by ifinditunderground View Post
    I think Don Hit it on the head here.
    I am in complete agreement here, and I can't think of anything to add, other than take care of this pronto. Good luck to you!

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