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Your Worst Employee, Ever

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by Paul Cascio, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've always believed that as a business owner, the worst mistakes we make usually relate to hiring and firing. We tend to regret hiring a particular person, not firing them sooner, etc.

    Without naming names, who was your worst employee ever?
     
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  2. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That would be myself. Always expect myself to work extra hours at the drop of a hat, do the jobs that are too complicated and tedious for others to complete successfully, work weekends/holidays and never get paid until the business doesn't owe anybody money. You wouldn't believe my reaction to myself if I ever need to call off sick. Suck it up buttercup, this ain't no government job. :(
     
  3. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Haha, never expected that answer.
     
  4. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    I was thinking the same thing.....me, not Jeff.
     
    shayla likes this.
  5. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I can hear your conversation with yourself when you need to take time to visit your audiologist now.

    Larry: I need to get my hearing aids fixed tomorrow

    Larry: Why bother, you don't listen to anything I tell you anyway
     
    Dave likes this.
  6. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    On a serious note, anyone with a cell phone. No phone will be allowed to be used inside of the store for any reason. This is from real experience of a few different people who have come around to help out and I just won't allow one to be in their possession during work hours. The store has a phone if somebody needs to get a hold of them.
     
  7. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    While I'm not calling them "bad employees" per se, I've had at least a couple with surprising flat spots that we couldn't work around. We had one who was at an absolute loss as to how to deal with fractions. I thought she was just a little rusty, but, no, despite my best efforts, she just could not fathom how the whole thing worked. We also had a lady that couldn't use the Fletcher 3000 because the numbers on the measuring gauge read right to left. If the board was supposed to be cut at, say, 12 1/4 she would cut it at 11 3/4.
     
  8. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Having had 50+ employees, we've managed to learn from our mistakes. As Jay Goltz says, "I used to spend most of my time putting out fires. Now I've learned it is much easier to get rid of the arsonists."

    My worst experiences had to do with trust issues and we had to fire employees over both situations.

    With multiple stores, it is impossible to be everywhere but technology has evolved to a level of affordability that solutions today are available and affordable. We had one employee that would sell things (we sold many photo frames $3-4K per month) and pocket the cash and destroy the sales receipts. We "busted" him by having a friend go in and make a purchase but the corresponding paperwork was nowhere to be found and the cash was never reported in the daily tally.

    We learned the "hard way" that we should have photocopied the cash our friend used to make the purchase as that is the only way we could have called the police to confirm he had the cash used in the transaction. It took a while for us to determine there was a "problem" so we really don't know how much we were out of pocket - and he rotated between stores so I am sure it was being done at all locations. Today with a POS system and video recording of the cash drawer area it would be much more difficult. Nonetheless, cash sales are "problematic" in many ways.

    The second situation was an "outside" sales rep that was supposed to let us know where she was going in the event we needed to reach her (before cell phones were commonplace.) We had a log that my outside reps were supposed to list their contacts and appointments in. We needed to reach a rep and called the number and contact she had written in but the person listed said they had no appointment scheduled. When confronted, the rep admitted she needed some "personal" time - but was not willing to ask for time off (she was compensated hourly + commission). She was listing false appointments. I didn't feel we could trust her after that and had to let her go - despite the fact that she was very successful and made a lot of $$.

    I do have a few more- we do a lot of work for defense contractors. Getting into their buildings requires surrendering cell phones, drivers licenses and also completing a form that asks for social security numbers. We took a "new" employee to a job unknowing that she would refuse to provide her social security number and therefore would not be admitted into the building.

    We also have to register with a credentialing agency called, Vendormate who monitors compliance with various medical facilities for "badging." One cannot work in the hospital or any facility that sees patients (even after hours) without a badge. To obtain a badge, there are a series of requirements that include a MMR (Measles Mumps and Rubella) vaccination, Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccination, a Tuberculosis (TB) Test, a Pertussis Vaccination and an Influenza vaccination.

    I have one employee who did not want to get a flu shot (even though we pay for all of the required tests.) Therefore, he would be of much less use to me because he cannot go into hospitals (which is a substantial part of our business.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
  9. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    After reading your post, Rob, I wonder if our worst employee was the one we never caught.

    One thing I've discovered is that the one who is stealing from you is not the stupid one; it's almost always your most intelligent employee.
     
  10. FramerCat

    FramerCat SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The drug addicted employee that was stealing from us was stupid enough to admit to taking money without permission (he didn't understand that that is the definition of stealing) in front of the judge.

    Ed
     
  11. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    I worked at a very high end gallery and frameshop in the late 80's until about 1994.
    We had 2 galleries in the Old Downtown Scottsdale art and gallery area.

    We represented some high profile artists at that time.
    The frameshop only framed artwork for sale in the gallery with almost no outside retail framing.

    We would receive limited editions and originals from a certain famous and now deceased Southwest artist.
    We would usually get about 6 to 10 of the limited edition lithos.
    We would frame one of the limited edition lithos for sale in the gallery and when it would sell, we would just frame another one.

    Many of the framed lithos would be shipped to Minnesota or Wisconsin or Canada or wherever the customer had their other home.
    Many of our customers had homes in other states and they also had a home in Scottsdale or Paradise Valley AZ as their "winter home".

    We also had our own shipping department and one day I discovered a $2000 litho in a sleeve hidden between masonite boards that we used to build crates.
    I had also discovered cut moulding pieces in the trash bin which were cut to make frames.

    We had a framer working in the shop who was cutting frames and putting them into the trash to be retrieved later and made into frames at his home.
    He was taking stolen $2000 limited edition lithos and framing them at home to sell to clients of the gallery at half price.

    I brought this up to the gallery manager and the framer, when confronted, disappeared.
    The police caught up with him and recovered stolen artwork and even went to the homes of the people he sold the stolen artwork to and recovered the stolen framed artwork.

    After he was arrested I discovered that he was cutting frames and joining them at home and selling them to other galleries in the area.
    We stored the moulding horizontally in the moulding boxes and I found that he would take a full stick out and cut a frame and then put the "stub" end of the moulding back in the box to make it look like there was a full stick in the box.
    You could walk down the street in the art gallery area in downtown Scottsdale and see some of the frames in the other gallery front windows made from the stolen moulding.

    He was not my employee. I was just another framer in the shop and I was fairly new to Arizona at the time.
    My employer gave me a generous bonus for discovering this theft at the time.

    Just a side note....
    We sold a lot of Native American artwork and sculpture.
    We had many customers who would buy artwork and sculpture for thousands of dollars.
    They would often ask for a discount from the gallery.

    The owner would not give them a discount but he would offer to sell them the thousands of dollars of artwork "tax-free".
    So the customer would buy a $5000. sculpture for their home in Arizona and the gallery (owner) would fake shipping it to their other home in Minnesota, so no sales tax.
    The artwork or sculpture would be delivered to their home in Arizona.
    Then the gallery would ship an empty tube or small box to Minnesota so that there was a record of shipment to their other home.

    So who was the biggest thief?o_O
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
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  12. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    In one of our previous companies.

    We hired a friend to be sales rep. Friend took our biggest customer as a start for friend's own company.
     
  13. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Some friend.
    :mad: Rick
     
  14. couture's gallery

    couture's gallery PFG, Picture Framing God

    We had an excellent framer who would take long breaks outside. One day I caught him smoking weed behind the storage building. he was very good at hiding it for a while, but once caught he was no longer employed. We had a zero tolerance drug program spelled out in our employee manual.
     
  15. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Couldn't you have just exiled him to the design counter? :)
     
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  16. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I guess I should tell the story of my own Worst Ever Employee, since I was the original poster.

    A woman who had been working for me as a lead framer for more than two year decided to start her own business. I’d have no problem with this except that she doing it with my customers—stealing them at my design counter—“Hey, I can do this for you for half the price…” Of course she can, because she was also using my materials, and my shop to do the work.

    I only caught her because I had to go in on a Sunday to pick up a computer disk that I needed. When I pulled into the parking lot, it appeared that someone left the lights on in the backroom. I entered the back room and discovered she was framing something.

    And it was with a much nicer frame than we typically sold!

    I also found the back door was open and her car was parked out back with the trunk open. Inside, were two nicely framed prints. Which of course, I removed (Screw her customer too, who had to know he/she was dealing with the devil.)

    I told her to pack up her **** and get out. Then, I called the police.

    The officer who arrived told me it’s difficult to prosecute employees theft because they will claim they “had permission.” However, I did manage to block her attempt to collect unemployment as a result of her “felonious conduct”.

    I’m at fault too. I had noticed that my orders for materials had been rising, and actually suspected that something was amiss, but it was at the time I was going through my divorce and I just didn’t want to deal with more issues. But when it hits you square in the face you simply have no choice.

    What really hurt was that I had given this woman 8 weeks of paid maternity leave when she had a child out of wedlock. And, No, I had nothing to do with it.

    If there’s a happy ending to this story, it’s that it served as a jolting wakeup call to focus on my business, which I did from that point on. In fact, it marked the start of what would be the most successful and productive period of my business life.
     
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  17. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Some people's punishment is just being themselves. I'm glad you found out when you did.
     
  18. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I had two very hard experiences.

    Hired one woman in her 40s. I mention the age because it's sort of relavent.
    I trained her and she was doing great for about 9 months. Really great. Then, I noticed small things like booking the mats on the wrong side or putting them on upside down. Using the wrong glass. I would point this stuff out and she would say, " oh, I forgot."
    I started watching her closely and would point out the "mistakes" and started to document them, because I couldn't afford for it to go on too long.
    It continued to get worse and I repeatedly asked if she was all right.
    Finally, she broke down and told me she had been diagnosed with early onset Alzhiemers (sp?). She resigned and I felt bad, but nothing I could really do.

    The other was a young college student. Did fine work. But often would come in with extreme body odor. I had trouble being in the work room with her.
    I tried to tactfully ask her about it and she said, "the well doesn't always work." (she lived out in the boonies.) I was trying to decide how to deal with it when she got a full time job offer and resigned. (phew) She now works for a local organization and comes in frequently with framing for them and is always VERY well groomed, so I'm glad it played out the way it did and not some ugly way.
     
  19. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Yup, end of the friendship for sure. We never expected that. One of our first friends when we moved to the US and we all hang out together. Went camping together, dinners, movies, theater. Always lot of fun.
     
  20. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Had one framer I had to fire for dealing drugs out of our back room and using our phones as a contact number.

    Another I fired for ringing up cash sales as a no sale and pocketing the money. This is when we had an old NCR register and no computer POS.

    Another manager and clerk at a satellite mall store I had to can for stealing Beanie Babies from our stock and selling them at swap meets.

    A shipping clerk got canned for destroying about $ 500.00 worth of Pantone and Letraset products in a fit of rage. I found the materials in the dumpster. This was one week after I had given him my Ampeg V4B Bass amp and Sunn 2000S cabinet for a new band he was starting up.

    Speaking of the dumpster... it pays to dumpster dive once in a while... I found inventory stashed in the trash and had to dismiss two different employees for using that method to steal. They'd take out the trash can to empty and come back later for items.

    I promoted one lady to manager of our fine writing instrument department where we sold Mont Blanc, Waterman, Dunhill, etc and found out later that she thought it was a sin that people spent that much money on pens. Should've fired myself over that one.

    I had to fire a relative who worked for me in our digital imaging department. I had stopped him from doing design work because we were an output service bureau and had designers as customers... I didn't want to compete with our targeted customer base. Found out later he was coming in very early in the morning, doing design work on our equipment and output with our supplies, billing under his own company and sending things out with our FedEx number. He complained constantly that we didn't have enough people in the department to get out all the work that needed to be done and I should hire more people... sigh.
     
  21. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    One I had decades ago got fired for stealing. I had a meeting one evening so I had left early. Next evening a woman comes in with 3 24x36 photos to be framed for the same price she had paid the previous evening. She said she wanted the while you wait service she got the evening before and brought plenty of cash so she would get the same 60% discount and no tax deal the other guy gave her.

    I explained that that employee had just lost his job for stealing and when he showed up for work handed him a check for the balance of his final pay with the promise of calling the police if I ever heard from him again.
     
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  22. justawhitemat

    justawhitemat CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Managing the last place I worked... Had an employee who began to scratch up almost every frame they built. No matter how many times I emphasized that they were NOT to slide the frame around face down on the fitting table *shudder*, they seemed to just not care one bit. I would without fail have to take every frame out of the plastic bags when I came in the day after they worked, check for scratches, de-fit, re-build, and remind said employee again (nicely, firmly, offering suggestions or help, nothing stuck). Fortunately mess ups were usually with length we had in stock so didn't make orders late, just meant we were making virtually no profit! Said employee also had at least 20 years experience more than me. Our boss didn't think it was that big of a problem to pay two diffferent people to do the same exact jobs twice:confused:. I didn't work there too much longer after realizing that.
     
  23. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Had one guy work forme for six months, I usually put new employees on the cmc as it is pretty easy to get the hang of, he still hadn't got it after the six months trial.

    I actually had one employee put a picture in a frame the wrong way round, the image was facing the back board not the glass, it was sealed up, strung and set with the rest of the order, now this was a $20k order so I checked it all over before it went out, not sure how anyone can be that sloppy.
     
  24. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Texting while framing?
    :confused: Rick
     
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  25. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Possibly, all I know is he was awful at his job, I took photos of some of the stuff he did and thought was acceptable to go out to customers, luckily I have a system where outgoing orders are checked by someone else before it is shipped, Gemma takes no prisoners, if anything comes out of the workshop sub standard then someone is going down!
     
  26. DTWDSM

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Years ago I decided to give someone a chance, a person who did some time because his wife was into drugs, home was raided, everyone went to jail...so the story went, even checked it out with his PO. Condition of employment was that he had to prove to me that he was doing what his PO told him to do, Pee Tests, Drug Counseling, ect. Was an average employee for a year or so then items started missing but I could not prove it was him, started coming to work and did not look good, eyes bloodshot, face red, ect but still was passing pee tests. All signs showed he was back on the drug train but I could not prove it, items, including customer merchandise were turning up missing, yet I could not prove it and he was the type that would have had a lawyer involved the next day if I fired him. I hid in the parking lot after work, came to work early and hid just to try and catch him and finally one night I caught him putting glass in his vehicle, it was scraps destined to be thrown away but it was mine so him taking it was stealing in my book. Fired him, next day was contacted by his lawyer, and 4 weeks later I was in a unemployment court hearing. Judge laughed at him and ruled on my side. 2 days later I had the sheriff in my store asking if I knew him, said yes why...showed me photos of him in 3 different businesses passing counterfeit $100 bills, wearing a Deck the Walls shirt! Few weeks later he was busted in a drug ring here in town and of course the photo in the newspaper covering the bust had him wearing the same shirt....

    Lessons learned...
    1.You got a record, you are not working for me (burned more than once on this)
    2. Nobody gets Deck the Walls clothing anymore
     
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  27. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Free advertising!
     
  28. RoboFramer

    RoboFramer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Our worst is a long story with not enough actual evidence to be able to put it in writing, but suffice to say that I still see him too often because he lives locally. There are just TWO people on this planet that I can say I truly HATE ...... and he is both of the bast@rds!

    The next worse one was an African American woman who (supposedly) at one time worked for a framer in Chicago. Totally BS'd me and I fell for it but if we wanted/could have afforded a designer-only, she might have stayed!

    First day she was half an hour late, she did phone me from the too-late train to say she was going to be half an hour late and in hindsight, I should have told her to get off at the next stop and go home.

    Instead we altered her hours (the earlier peak-time trains she required to get here by 9 am are faaar more expensive and totally rammed) and told her that, subject to the trial period going well, we would give her a car and from then, she could be here at 9.

    Then she had to vacate her home for some obscure reason (probably evicted, in hindsight) and was having difficulty finding another place. Our son, at the same time, who owned his own place not very far from where she lived, was off globetrotting and decided, instead of using an agent, to just rent it to her direct....... just until she (plus husband and toddler) found a more permanent place before he got back.

    She had it in her head that her charm with customers (she had one or two that could almost have been classed as stalkers!) was the be and end all, but it wasn't, I wanted, first and foremost, a good framer - and I wrongly assumed that in time she could be that - and it just took too much time to realise it really.

    In that time she stiffed our son for rent (in the end, knowing the tenants rights he was up against, he simply moved back in to his own house, with them - and they soon got p'd off!) and when it came to us giving her a car to use it was "Oh, gee, I can't drive stickshift" - she would have had to take lessons and pass a driving test. She chose not to tell us that to start with.

    When I fired her, or more like ended the over-extended, overpaid and over-sympathetic trial period, she accused me of being a racist bully - until I mentioned that she was entitled to pay-in-lieu-of-holiday and she could sue me for that, as well as the racism and bullying if she liked.

    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
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  29. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    My last bookkeeper of 10 years I told her at the beginning "please don't steal from me, I'd never know".

    ...I figured she'd know that sooner or later, so might as well play on her sympathies.
     
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  30. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Chris, that's pretty funny. I think someone who embezzles from her employer isn't going to be deterred by a sympathy ploy. What really sucks is that she had 10 years.
     
  31. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    As I read it, she didn't steal?
     
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  32. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    She did not steal. Her employment ended this year when she passed away from pancreatic cancer. Aside from her missing a number of taxes and bills in her last year that we had to sort out (i think the cancer may have made her foggy-minded) she did nothing intentionally bad.

    I had known her from her time working for a local giclee printer, and she had a key to my home when I would be away so she could feed my parrot, so I trusted her enough to joke that I'd never know. ...now my wife takes care of my books. She's darn good at it too. Comes from both her parents having had careers at the IRS.
     
  33. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    OMG, I'm sorry, I obviously misread your post.
     
  34. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    It could be read 2 ways, Paul, such is the problem of posting!

    Sorry to hear that Chris, seemed you had a great working relationship. Glad your wife took over!
     
  35. westman 2

    westman 2 Grumbler

    Everytime this type of topic comes up I think of my grandfather saying " if your help was as good as you thought they should be they would not mess around working for an a$$ like you "
     
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  36. Andrew Lenz Jr.

    Andrew Lenz Jr. MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Where do I start? We've been in business nearly 50 years.
    - Guy caught passing frames out the loading dock to his girlfriend
    - Long-time employee falsifying register paperwork to pocket cash (like $100 a pop)
    - Two bookkeepers with felonies—one stole over $40,000
    - Probably a dozen or more caught lying on their time cards (we have a time clock now)
    - The lead framer with anger issues that no one wanted to work with
    - The young clerk whom I thought was a complete moron but turned out he was coming to work stoned (probably still was a moron)
    - The guy with BO who basically propositioned a female customer at the counter
    - The framer who called in sick for a week (on paid sick leave) so he could get paid more working on his girlfriend's mom's kitchen remodel—he was caught when he bragged to another framer who had to work on her day off to fill in for him; she was very unhappy with him!

    I could go on for hours.

    But the one that really bugs me is the framer with the victim attitude. She came in and poisoned the morale of the entire shop with all of her "us versus management" talk. She kept saying we didn't care about our staff and were "using" them. It was all nonsense. After a few months, two framers quit as a result and she quit shortly after. I lost three framers in the span of a month. Talk about a damaging hire. Ouch.

    Andrew
     
  37. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    This thread brings to mind a couple of times when I've spoken to an employer about questionable behavior from an employee. The first was when an item in our shared building turned up missing from the back lobby and employees of the business asked if we'd seen it. We hadn't, and a bit later, I happened to be in a business down the hall when she came in to ask there. Both the owner and his secretary/bookkeeper said they hadn't seen it, and she left. Later in the day, they walked around the parking lot and spotted the vase in that bookeeper's car. One came and told me, and I thought it important that her boss should know. Not that she stole something, because although it was in her car, it's possible she hadn't intended to steal it. The place it was put doubled as a 'headed for the trash' area, and she might have thought it was meant for that. Upon hearing otherwise, it's possible she panicked and lied, but not wanting to be a thief, intended to sneak it back in.

    The way I saw it, though, no matter her intent with that, she had lied, and I thought her boss should know. I was on good terms with him and his wife, and that night, I called to tell him. When I got to, 'She lied,....', he broke in with a string of shouts and swears, telling me to stop doing that and how he hated that kind of thing. I hadn't meant her any ill, just thought he should know the truth, because if your bookkeeper will like about one thing, she might possibly do so about another. He shouted that she'd been a longtime friend who was like family to them, and he hated it when people said bad things about other people. When I started crying, he shouted at me not to cry. He's a good guy; he was just really upset and completely misread my intent. He said that we had to both hang up and never mention it again. That was really painful for me, as it meant that ever after, he'd think I was a drama person who had just tried to spread gossip. Hard to take that, when the opposite was true. I told myself, though, that his anger came in part from his deep sense of fairness, which is a good thing. It just made him vulnerable when he couldn't bear to hear a truth that conflicted with his view of someone. It also taught me that when you try to give someone a message, you might not get the chance to say the whole thing. There can be serious effects to that, as it can leave another with a partial or mistaken view of your intent. It really hurt knowing he thought I'd had bad intent, when I had just planned to tell him and then let him do whatever he wanted with it. I guess he did, just not in any way I'd imagined. He and I were still kind to each other after that, but I felt sad about it. His business closed a few years ago, and I hoped very much it wasn't due to any dishonesty on her part. Hopefully, the vase was just a one time thing.

    Boy, does it take me a long time to say something. The other time was when an acquaintance didn't charge me the forty dollars I owned for a gallon of frozen berries, two years in a row, at a local fruit stand. She said it was a gift and that she had an employee discount, but after the second time, I became suspicious. One time, I drew the owner aside and asked if he gave employee discounts. He said, 'No.....' It took a lot of courage for me to do this, because after the other episode, I knew that anything could happen. He might blow up, rant and rave, or think I had something against her. I told him what she'd done, and he said, 'In the industry, that's known as 'sweethearting'. I said that to me it seemed like stealing, and he said, 'That's what it is.' I offered to pay for the berries, and he said no, then we parted on good terms. He must have taken it in good faith and just kept an eye on her, because within a few weeks, she no longer worked there. Later, a mutual friend told me that, everywhere that woman worked, she'd bring this friend things from work, saying they were on her employee discount. It's sad that her dishonesty cost her this job, but the employer deserved more. In the years since, I've felt good when seeing him, because he knows I took a risk to tell him the truth.
     
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  38. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I'll bet those berries ended up in some very fine pies. Maybe you could just take him a pie sometime.
    :cool: Rick
     
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  39. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    no worries paul. :)
     
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  40. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I think most employees are "basically Honest", but we as owners need to put controls in place to make sure they stay honest. And monitor.

    My worst was with a client ("I will call him Al"), whose father had died while Al was in college, so Al had to leave college and go back and run the family business. "Al" asked his high school coach to help him. Coach became the father figure for Al. We came in about 15 years later to help fix the business. Our point person was "coach". After day one, we knew they had a massive theft problem. So everyday we would sit down with Coach and explained what we had investigated and where we were going next to identify how / who. After the 3rd day of this "Coach" admitted he was the thief.

    I would say probably 80%+ of our clients had some kind of theft going on before we arrived.

    Unfortunately, we were so busy fixing all of our client's businesses, we failed to look our for our own. Our accountant's husband called us on Sunday evening to say his wife just told him the "IRS" was coming in the next day to visit us because she had been stealing the tax withholding, instead of submitting them, and hoped if we got advance knowledge we would be less likely to file charges.
     
    shayla likes this.
  41. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Dang. Talk about the fox in the hen house. o_O
     
  42. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I've never had any employees. But a good mate of mine once had a gallery and used to employ people now and then. I went to see him one day and he was very exited about a new girl. She was very good with people. An ideal employee in fact - on the face of it. She had inveigled herself into the job by working for peanuts. And it was obvious that she wasn't exactly penniless judging by the way she dressed. Little rich girl looking for a a hobby job. Nothing too wrong with that. And this particular mate was, how shall I put it - a sucker for a pretty face. ;)

    A few weeks later she was gone. My friend had been tipped off that she was essentially a plant. She had a rich businessman father. Her job was to infiltrate small businesses and get the lowdown on their financial state. Then try her best to run the said business down to the point where it appeared that it was no longer viable. Her father would then swoop in with a timely offer to buy them out.

    Sneaky eh?
     
    shayla likes this.
  43. Andrew Lenz Jr.

    Andrew Lenz Jr. MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Shayla, don't feel bad. You did the right thing. If the man has the wrong impression of you, it's his fault. But I do feel your pain. I've had people erroneously assume the wrong thing about me as well. It happens.

    Prospero, wow. What a story.

    Andrew
     
    shayla likes this.
  44. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Russ... I agree, or at least would like to believe, that most people are honest. Locks are for honest people, but locks can be broken. If you don't have a lock people will think you don't really care and even someone who is mostly honest may take something.

    In business you have to have systems that function in the same way. Time clocks, maybe dual signature checks, POS software for pricing frame work orders, locked supply cabinets, receipts for expense re-imbursements, and mileage logs are just some of the systems necessary to keep the honest honest.

    Employees know when someone else is abusing their time cards, stealing from the register or using some other theft device. They also usually know if the owner is skimming somehow. Good employees are troubled and often leave when they feel someone else is abusing the system and getting away with it.

    I set up generous discounts for employees in my business. I also pay the same amount if I have something framed or buy something too. If an owner takes things employees see that and often feel entitled too. The discounts are only for themselves and occasional gifts.
     
    phatgamera likes this.
  45. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I never felt right making money off of my employees, but I also didn't want them to know exactly how much I paid for materials because they seem to think that is your only real cost of doing business.
     
  46. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    So true, Paul. I once conducted a year end employee meeting and during that meeting I asked an open question to the group of about 18 employees at the time...

    How much do you think the business makes in net profit, after all expenses on a $ 100.00 sale? One excellent employee who had been on board twelve years at the time and I thought was pretty savvy responded with $ 50.00 as the net profit. I repeated the question and spelled out the "after expenses" part by listing rents, wages and salaries, insurance, advertising, taxes, donations, cost-of-goods, supplies, utilities, etc. She still said $ 50.00. I was astounded.

    That year was not the best. We did have about $ 1.8 mil in sales but actually lost about 20K. When I pointed out that we actually lost just over a dollar for each hundred dollars we sold in the past year no one believed me.
     
    shayla and FramerInTraining like this.
  47. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I have done a similar thing, and it worked, but maybe because I laid out most of the actual costs, i.e. for every $100 sale, it costs $42 for materials, $18 for direct labor, $2.35 for WC insurance, $1.57 for electricity, etc.

    Just yesterday in our monthly meeting I laid out what our WC ins costs in an attempt to help them understand why it literally pays to be safe. Taking our highest and lowest experience modification numbers over the last 20 years, based on this year's base cost, there could be a range from highest to lowest of nearly $18,000. They were all astounded and I think it sank in that safety is not just about saving fingers.
     
  48. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I once had a young girl who was very good for the first 6 months. The day she decided that she knew more than I did and wouldn't ask about things she didn't know and just went ahead and did it her way, we started having issues. She would talk on her phone while she was working, which I told her not to, and because of it she once packed and shipped the wrong kit all the way to Australia. It cost us $180 to ship the right kit and return the mistake.

    I also brought her to the WCAF show once. When she forgot to give a credit card back to the customer, instead of asking me what she should do, she took it to the desk where they promptly called in to have it cancelled. It was the shop's business CC and they needed it to make purchases at the show. As you can imagine they were NOT happy to find out that their card had been canceled because my employee decided she knew best. Since I didn't have the customers cell phone number I would have said to hold it until the end of the day and called the shop to tell them that we had her card. The next show was when I started taking Paul with me and he has been going ever since.
     
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