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Author Topic: Need employee advise  (Read 2389 times)

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Offline Dewey

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Need employee advise
« on: November 07, 2019, 04:09:27 PM »
I have 2 employees,one saw with mill and the other sets up n runs planer.. 
The later a 21 yrs old had a serious car accident a year ago... not his fault,but caused a death in his vehicle. The 9 yrs old that died was his girlfriend's little brother. 
I gave him a paid week off n told him to work as much or as little as he wanted... He has had a tough last year dealing with it. He has  been working close to 40 hrs a week lately 40 hrs  .
I guess his gf has been having a hard tim to she is 18 ish. I know she texts him allot n there has been numerous times he has left because shes having a bad day. She quit school. A week ago sheroad to work with him n sat in the truck all day, I told him as long as she let him work its ok.
Well next thing I know he is at truck constantly... finally told him that's not gonna work.. He just texted me again and begged to let her have another chance n come to work n sit in his truck .
My first thought I'd no..... I need him focused as can be to run equipment.. n of course I'm paying him by the hour..
As I type this l am sitting in a deer stand hunting lol, so I haven't reread or corrected anything  sorry..
What's your thoughs

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2019, 04:18:28 PM »
Find something productive for her to do.   Doesnt have to be sawmill related but something to keep her busy and away from him. Sounds like she needs something to build some sort of routine. 
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Offline Bandmill Bandit

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 04:49:52 PM »
What Ted said times 10 or so. It may be the best thing you can do for her/them.

Heres question to ponder; in your estimation do the 2 of them fit together well and have a future together? 

If you think they have a future as a couple, try to find something that they can work at together helping each other to do the assigned task each day. Not all the time but enough that they can experience the bond that working together to do something either of them could not do alone with out some help will do a lot to soften the scars of healing that are forming and will help the 2 of them bond and learn more about each other as they heal together. 

Sorta like regular stretching of sore muscles and ligaments that have tightened up from abuse OR old age.     
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Online thecfarm

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 06:00:55 PM »
Well first off he's coming to work each day? Better than most at the store I work at. ::) Yes,give them another chance. And yes on the working part too.
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 06:23:51 PM »
That's just weird.  She just sits in the truck for 8 hrs??!  Doesn't she have other stuff to do?  Why isn't she working or in school?  Is she depressed?  It was a year ago, time to either move on with life or get some counseling so she can.  Romances that young almost never last either.  Anyway, You're trying to run/build a business.  It's not your responsibility.  I'd think you have enough on your plate.  You also don't want the liability either.  Be careful.  I'd say no.  This is work and either you're here to work or I'll find someone else who can put their big boy pants on.  I don't have time to fiddle around with this kind of stuff if I'm trying to make a living and taking risks in business already.  I don't run such business, but if I did....   There is a definite line between work and personal, and you're allowing it to be crossed.  No one I've ever worked for would put up with that at all.  Just my opinion.
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2019, 08:22:24 PM »
I can't imagine the pain either of them is carrying and trying to deal with. Both of them need the help of a counselor, a good one. This work situation is not a good one. A badly as you feel for them, you need to run your business. What has the overall impact been on your output? It's hard to find folks who show up everyday and you want to work with those who do, but you do have a business.
 He needs to understand he is on the line here. I think cutting them slack while maintaining output is OK, but if they don't get counselling they are never going to heal and things will get worse, probably pretty soon.
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Offline blderman

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2019, 11:15:17 PM »
I just switched from using sub-contractors to employees last year and have found out very quickly that they are EXPENSIVE. I try really hard to be a flexible employer and give people more than one second chance but at the end of the day I have a business to run/family to feed and unfortunately that comes first in my opinion.   

Offline donbj

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2019, 11:48:38 PM »
You have to separate personal from business or it can take you down in ways you don't realize. Your heart is good wanting to help but you can't let an outside situation come inside yours in this regard. Help outside of business hours, offer some helpful suggestions for her. If they don't want or regard your offers or help, it's out of your control.

You have to help as a caring human but you also have to draw a line.
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Offline Southside

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2019, 12:46:08 AM »
You will do them no good if your business fails, so lay down rules and stick by them. If they don't want to help themselves then you can't help them. Bad things happen to good people, it's in how you overcome those things that determine who you are. 

I would not allow the whole truck thing, what good does it serve? If you continue to set soft lines they will continue to push them further back. 
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Offline taylorsmissbeehaven

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2019, 07:28:18 AM »
I have to agree with the others here. I run  a small construction company that has employed lots of folks over the last 20 years. I like to help people and try to find good in all their situations but they will eventually wear you out. Its a real shame but all anyone seems to want anymore is more, anywhere they can get it. its tough and I wish you the best. You have to do what is best for you. Brian 
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Offline Roxie

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2019, 07:35:04 AM »
Valuable lessons were learned back in my days as the CFO of a manufacturing plant. We had 150 employees and the President of the company was such a kindhearted guy, he publicly used me to play good copbad cop. Privately all final decisions were his and I think he enjoyed reminding me This is not a democracy. 

My eyes were opened to just how human we all are and running a business with a heart is a beautiful thing to see. Youve gotten some good ideas so far, but ultimately you have to wake up with yourself. I lean toward letting them be together for now and finding something useful for her to do. At least hes not going to be preoccupied while he is working if he knows where she is and she wont be texting him away from his job.
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Online Bruno of NH

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2019, 07:59:13 AM »
I'm a chance giver,
Have been know to give to many.
I would find her something to do if you can and lay out some ground rules.
I'm finding most available to work now a days in NH have some kind of issue.If it's not drugs I'm willing to give a chance.
I'm done with the drug folks they never work out.
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Online Magicman

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2019, 08:47:39 AM »
Distractions cause lost production and safety issues.  Cell phones need to be left in the truck during work time.  They can talk/text during their lunch time. 
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Online Hilltop366

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2019, 09:22:26 AM »
I would guess she has PTSD / anxiety / panic attacks which can also cause depression and can cause other physical health problems, it's a slippery slope. She may have already been an anxious type of person and the accident along with all the other pressures have really pushed her too far. He probably is the thing that keeps her going, someone that calms her down and it is hard on everyone.

If you agree to let her come back to sit in the truck or do some work I would suggest to have a meeting with the three of you when the operation is not running and give her a complete tour of what is going on there and demonstrate everything, show them the dangers of the gear and how much people need to pay attention and how distraction will increase the dangers of a injury.

It is tough to watch someone suffer and not do anything. He sounds like a good guy and he wants to work. I would be inclined to try and help, if it doesn't work out at least I could say I tried.

Offline TKehl

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2019, 11:21:35 AM »
If he has a good history, I wouldnt let him go over this. 
 
My wife has gone through some serious depressive episodes to the point where she wanted to be around people at all times to avoid suicide.  Often with friends, but in her van in the parking lot outside my work at times to.  This was even with counseling  Not saying it is or isnt, but sure could be.  I would encourage her to get counseling, but am also of the opinion that time and work can help heal to.  If you can find her something to do, even lawn work, it may help.  Maybe it even works into a paid job.  (A good reference even if you arent the one hiring her.)  Will likely reduce the texting a bit to
 
At the same time, I would lay down the law that work time is work time not stand at truck time.  Occasional extenuating circumstances are different, but he should be hitting the same production #s as he has been.  Otherwise, consider moving to production based pay...
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2019, 11:40:19 AM »
   What does your insurance cover? I'm very sympathetic but unless you have work for her and she is interested in working and able to do the work I am afraid she is a liability. Is she able and interested in working? If so does she distract the other employee? If she is taking your other employee away from his work or distracting him she should go IMHO. Good luck and I respect you for your concern but are your actions helping or delaying the final outcome here?
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Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2019, 11:56:09 AM »
Sorry but work is work, He is hired to do a job period, show up on time, put cell phones up in office etc.  Girl friends, wives, children, dogs, stay at home.  If he can't handle it let him go into politics.
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Offline Dewey

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2019, 12:20:33 PM »
Wow Thanks for all the advice......    A little more info....  it has been a long year for all of us.... I've had more discussions with him about attendance and cell phones than I can count...  he will be good a few days then its the same .  Yes she would sit in truck 8+ hours a day, I think she has always been high maintanence, and in my opinion immature. I really don't think she would have much interest in working.
   Him not showing up puts a huge strain on output, I have two jobs scheduled to go out this week that didn't ,and a even bigger job that was supposed to go next week that won't. All summer long I have called customers to reschedule deliveries .
  I think I am going to have a talk with him ( Again ) letting him know what the impacts are and suggest again therapy. But I think I have reached the point that I need to send him send him home for a week .
Any job I ever had would let me get away with this....
Sad part he is a good kid and the best he has been ,were the few weeks that he broke up with her this summer.

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Offline BradMarks

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2019, 12:27:03 PM »
I'll jump in and hopefully not offend.  Just my view on things. I run a family business, even my non related employee is treated like family.  To me that means compassion for someone when they need it.  I get it that this young lady is severely depressed, it takes time to heal, and some people never do. I have a sister in law who really has not recovered in the 4 years since my brother died. I agree with others that said try to find her something to occupy her time productively, but it's tricky. Right now she's a distraction. She's not an employee, she would have to become one.  Is that going to happen?  Probably not, so conversation with and guidance to your employee is the best answer I have.  "The highway or my way" would not be my solution.  Counseling and a warm heart can do more than tough love on occasion.

Offline Bandmill Bandit

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2019, 12:30:58 PM »
Lots of good thoughts on here so far and to denigrate any of them would be a grave travesty.

Loss of this magnitude and grief/PTSD etc. are some of the toughest things we as humans deal with and we don't all deal with them the same. 

A year ago My wife and I enrolled in a grief recovery seminar sponsored by the local ministerial association, banks, and Health Link. I fought my family on it for about a month and then one weekend a high school friend I hadn't seen in 25 years showed up in town for a relatives funeral. 

We had coffee and then spent the evening in our back yard for barbecue and visit with his wife and the kids that had come as well as my family. My kids had gone to university with his kids and I didn't even know it. The 4 of us had gone through high school together. 

His wife was telling my wife about the grief recovery course they had just completed and she was saying how much it had helped them learn to deal with their recent loss as the result of an aviation accident that took her parents and her dad's business partner and family. It was very hard for them as her dad was the pilot and the Transport Canada investigation determined that the accident was pilot error combined with low visibility. That would be tough to take especially when you were supposed to be on the same flight with the rest of them.

I had been listening to the story and my wife told her that they wanted me to enrol in the course but that I wouldn't. Shirley looked at me and said the following;

Remember the first time we took the St Johns Ambulance First Aid course? How many times have you 2 taken it since to keep up your certificate and to stay up to date with the new methods and equipment? I said I guess about every 5 years. 

She said so have I and that is like 9 or 10 times since that first time when we were 15 years old. We have stayed current with physical first aid but we have NEVER even thought of mental and emotional first aid till we got to be in our 60s. Then she said to our whole family; You all should go take the course. You will never regret it but you will regret it if you don't do it. 

It is one of the best things we did in the last 2 years. I am sure the course is available in your local area and I can get info for you if you want from the local chapter admin lady. Its what these kids and their family's need to help them move through this. 

It is not some thing you EVER get over. The only way is through it and the proper support is critical.           

I have a feeling you have a bit more skin in the game with these 2 kids than just employee/employer. 

DONT "abandon" them! That word abandon is one of the roots of what we as humans often feel/experience in the aftermath of tragic event like you have mentioned. Being the employer is secondary to the personal human value and future of these 2 kids and by extension all the relatives and friends.

You can send me a PM and with location etc and I will do what I can to get you in touch with a local person that can help out.      
If you ain't livin on the edge you are takin up way to much room. Of course at my age if I get too close to that edge any more theres a good chance I may fall off.
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Offline BradMarks

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2019, 12:36:20 PM »
Dewey:  I see your new post and obviously you have been compassionate about trying to help. You want to help but keep coming up empty. Bottom line is they are still kids, not everyone matures as fast as they age. And yes, missed work is the number one two reason for termination. Dishonesty would be number one in my book. Tough situation to be put in.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2019, 01:10:24 PM »
   I think with the new information I'd tell him to get counseling and leave the lady at home or fire him. You can tell him he is still welcome to come visit and remain friends but he can't be an employee. If your business fails because of him its not fair to you or your other employee.
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Offline Southside

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2019, 01:19:13 PM »
It sounds like he is enabling her in his desire to help her. I have seen this movie in person, been the guy, and it's not a good ending. With what you described I agree with WV. Yes it is a tough spot for you, but your customers and  creditors are  not going to be so sympathetic.
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Offline TKehl

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2019, 01:30:23 PM »
Some schedule deviations I can live with.  Having to reschedule shipments is an issue.  My compassion diminishes as my business is affected!

You did tell him he could pretty much set his own schedule though from the first post...  Time to have a talk about expectations and set weekly goals/targets that need to be hit.  

You may have to move on.  Tough call, especially as tough as it is to find good help.  
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Offline Bandmill Bandit

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2019, 01:47:27 PM »
I am putting this out here for the entire Forum because we have all and will continue to experience loss and trauma!

There is not a single individual that walks this earth that couldn't benefit from the course. 

The Grief Recovery Method 

https://www.griefrecoverymethod.com/about-us

 
If you ain't livin on the edge you are takin up way to much room. Of course at my age if I get too close to that edge any more theres a good chance I may fall off.
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Offline Dewey

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2019, 02:51:44 PM »
Yes I did say he could work his schedule  a year ago ..  Earlier this spring when I give raises I told him that I would give him a good raise if he could start working an honest 40 hrs....  he did that , I gave him a Pretty substantial raise ,he was great for a bit . He got back with her and its gone downhill from there..

My thought is she is depressed and needs help, that she apparently wont go for...  I think she is really playing the guilt card on him to keep him around...

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2019, 03:43:01 PM »
My thought is she is depressed and needs help, that she apparently wont go for... I think she is really playing the guilt card on him to keep him around...

I just read this entire thread.  Lots of great comments and ideas.  I had this thought from your original post.  I know he must be full of guilt for the incident and maybe he just can't figure out how to distance himself from her IF he no longer has feelings for her anymore.
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Offline Dewey

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2019, 09:01:19 AM »
Liljohn Saw  That's exactly the problem....   he told me that yesterday...

She doesn't want to be alone and has been talking suicide if he goes to work..

Offline Southside

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2019, 09:41:50 AM »
Then it's time for medical professionals to intervene. 
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Offline mart

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2019, 01:40:21 PM »
Then it's time for medical professionals to intervene.
Absolutely it's time for professional intervention and do not wait. She may be playing that card as a way to manipulate him but she may actually be suicidal. Let the professionals deal with it.
I was young and dumb once. I got over being young a long time ago.

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Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2019, 02:29:45 PM »
There comes a time when professional help must be summoned.Our good will and sympathy can only be of so much help.Dewey,I commend you for trying as hard as you have to help this young man but sometimes the baggage that people carry around is more than we are capable of supporting and lines have to be drawn.I wish you well,the young man and woman also.
Mick
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2019, 10:14:04 AM »
Yes, call police, hospital etc and then you're out of it.  You are not responsible after that.  People are responsible for themselves.  Happiness is a choice, and depression is a choice.  You cannot make those choices for people.  Call professionals, sit your employee down and explain how the world works, and then he has his choices to make.  You're out of it from there. Move on with your life and be happy and guilt free.
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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2019, 07:01:12 PM »
 Dewey. I'm of the belief that a compassionate man, is much richer than a man with a pocket full of money. Yes you have to keep your business a float and your family taken care of. The question only you can answer is can you do both and to what extent. It might be possible to work in professional counseling   as a requirement for continued employment, and truck sitting. Which will most likely lead to a calmer separation of the two. You can likely explain to him, that the best way to help her. Is to lead her to help by example. Who knows? Not any of us, or them without trying. Hopefully with out stirring up a hornets nest. Please don't let anyone convince you that depression is a choice. You might make a life long difference in these two young peoples lives.  Dennis    

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2019, 08:31:49 PM »
    Why not send them to counseling and see what the professional says about her being on site? If he advises it can you accommodate it? Does your insurance cover it? 

    Remember - you did not cause this situation. You can offer to help but you are not responsible for fixing it. Do you have the training, time and ability to help? The fact you are asking makes me think you're in over your head.
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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2019, 07:21:27 AM »
Theres much more to this situation that has come out than the original post included.

They are young, they may not know how to get professional help.  They need someone to guide them to that help.  If they have refused counseling previously, they may not have had an incentive.

When I meet my Maker, Id want to know I did my best for these kids.  Id offer to pay for the first couple of sessions and expect mandatory attendance as a condition for continued employment.  Id rather pay to get them started than know I could have helped prevent a suicide and didnt.  

It maybe a church, the health department or social service department can arrange free counseling.  Even a call to a suicide prevention service could help you figure out who to send them to.  Somebody needs to help them get the help they need.  Their families are grieving too. At least you will know you tried.

Your other conditions for continued employment need to be put in writing - leaving her at home, on time, work hours, breaks, cell phone use etc.  

Firming up expectations in conjunction with the assistance with counseling is tough love.  Sounds like they need it. 

If he cant abide by the conditions, fire him.  Hes had chances and second chances. Firing him may be the incentive he needs to change his situation.
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Offline Tom the Sawyer

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2019, 12:10:21 PM »
That "depression is a choice" seems rather callous.  Over the years I dealt with many people suffering from depression, or the behaviors associated with that condition.  Sometimes it was too late and I had to wait for the coroner and notify the family.  

Even the very young can have mental instabilities, or brain chemical imbalances.  They can't just choose to stop being depressed.  Adults, especially older adults among us, may be taking medications that interfere with their thoughts of well-being.  If you must take a medication to survive, and one of the side effects is depression, that's not much of a "choice".  It is now required by Medicare, for all adults at their first wellness visit with their doctor, that they be interviewed for symptoms of depression.  
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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #36 on: November 11, 2019, 01:54:23 PM »
 There are a bunch of guys today [veterans day] that wish depression was "a choice".
The First 60 years of childhood is always the hardest.

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #37 on: November 11, 2019, 02:52:55 PM »
I had someone on here email me chastising me for saying that  depression and happiness are a choice.  I can see a few others here are taking umbrage as well.  Well....I speak from experience.  And it was the epiphany that ultimately it was a choice, that I was able to overcome.  When you're deep down in that dark hole, spiraling down feels good, or comforting in a twisted way.  That's why people tend to wallow in it.  Brain chemistry is certainly a factor.  But understanding that the chemistry is playing such a factor, and realizing that you have the power...the power to reject the bad feelings, the power to choose to be happy.  I know It sounds like a bunch of hooey.  Something I wouldn't normally subscribe to until I discovered it for myself, that I had the power.  I had the power to choose and affect my mood, my attitude, my outlook.  That, and some medication for a short time,  along with some techniques to help release endorphins help keep you up...I didn't like the medication so I quit after a couple months. It was a short while after that, that I chose.

No one, I mean no one gets out from under depression, or addiction, or just changing anything in your life, without choosing to do so.  You have to want to make a change, and choose to in order for any change to occur.  It may seem obvious, but it is in realizing that you have the power and strength to do so, and wanting to,  that can set you free. I know what I've experienced, so please don't try tell me it's not valid.  Take what you will from what people say.  I try not to judge them.  The Op appears to be dealing with guilt and dependency, which are not healthy for him.  Hopefully he'll do what's best for him.  ...and sometimes that is the best thing for everybody.
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Offline curved-wood

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #38 on: November 11, 2019, 06:19:06 PM »
I could agree that choice being a main factor in happiness. Depression that is another story. Bradd_bb ,I think you had a couple more steps to hit the bottom. The bottom is suicide. The step before is when you have no hope and I mean no hope at all. Just like your car battery is dead, even if you turn the key harder and want as much as you could the car does not start. It takes a minimum of energy to start the car and recharge the battery and sometime a boost from others. I went in the space of the ultimate last step  and I could tell you that choices has no place there. I was suicidal to the point that in the morning I did know if I would make the day, telling me : Ok let's try to get to midday. My suicidal plan was ready. I got out with the help of brothers and sisters, friends, medicine and a good psychologist. Sorry to contradict you but in no way I could had get through with any kind of ''choice'' or willingness. Just as if I was drowning I needed help. Thanks to the Universe, today ( and for many of the past years ) my life is very happy .
Let's go back to the sawmill employee. There is some very good advices already given here. I insist on consulting a therapist. I dont think a young adult is equipped to help a girl friend to get out. 
Your help: just be conscious at what level you are welling to help. There is no point to drown with the employee.    A friend gave my his life formula and how he manages his energy : 1/3 for now, 1/3 for the tomorrow and the future, and 1/3 for the others. Sometimes in my life I had zero for the others, and sometimes I went way too high. It is good to choose consciously at what level are you are welling to help. Also the help could take may form : it could be paying the therapist bill even if he is not working for you anymore, it could be just talking on the work time, etc.  Helping, whatever we could, is how we built a better world.

Offline donbj

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2019, 12:52:07 AM »
"I had someone on here email me chastising me for saying that  depression and happiness are a choice.  I can see a few others here are taking umbrage as well.  Well....I speak from experience."

It's too bad that chastising took place but totally understandable. This type of issue is where discussion is far more important than judgement or chastisement. Everybody has a different capacity and journey through difficulty. At certain depths of depression choice isn't an option for many. With help, thinking rationally and for one's self becomes more of a reality. There is no blanket solution for all.
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Offline Roxie

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2019, 06:35:25 AM »
Well said donbj.
Save a farm today or starve tomorrow.

Offline Dewey

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #41 on: November 19, 2019, 03:29:06 PM »
Well...  After a week off and assurances the she is back in school and seeking help....  He lasted a day..
He left mid morning after getting 38 phone calls in a hour of suicidal threats..
I did make offers of helping with therapy and what ever else I can do ... twas like talking to a wall...

Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #42 on: November 19, 2019, 03:32:03 PM »
You did what you could and it's beyond your reach.
The First 60 years of childhood is always the hardest.

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Re: Need employee advise
« Reply #43 on: November 22, 2019, 08:59:13 PM »
 Whether he excepted your help or not. You taught a young person the right way to do it. They will be in my prayers. Be proud of the effort you made. Yes it cost some money ( in production) to do the right thing. Don't be surprised if some day he thanks you for your effort, and that good feeling in your heart will be reward enough for your efforts.  Dennis     


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