How's this for stupidity?

Things that really p*ss you off as an owner.

My manager (aged 46) fell 12 foot down a seaside cliff last week and broke his left wrist and tore ligaments in his right knee. He will now be off work for 8 - 12 weeks.

Everybody is probably saying “poor guy”… except me and my wife !!!

He was walking along the edge of a limestone cliff area which is fenced off and has signs saying “dangerous cliffs, keep out”. Not only did he disregard the signs, he was on the edge walking in rubber thongs (an Aussie unique piece of footwear - rubber sandals type) and caught the end of them on a sharp bit of rock and over he went, luckily landing on the sand and not the rocks.

He acted in a stupid, reckless and irresponsible manner. Sure it was in his own time but he has put his income and our business in jeopardy by his actions.

Point is that now I am covering his shifts plus my own and now look at the prospect of doing 8 -12 weeks straight, 7 days per week at around 90 hours per week (plus doing the books).

His sick leave is now up and he has 3 weeks annual leave accumulated to live on for the time he is off.

I have called on the services of some of the casuals to take up extra hours and take his place, which I am extremely grateful for their assistance, but I am still somewhat up sh*tcreek without a paddle.

The big question I have had to face is do I keep his position open, or go out and replace him? He is a nice guy, works really hard, totally honest and trustworthy and is only too willing to help out. He is somewhat hyper-active and does rush around in an almost frantic mode at times to get things done when he could just slow down a bit and do it almost as quick. Apparently he has been like this ever since his wife has known him (30 years). Problem is he also enjoys a drink or two, but doesn’t bring the “problem” to work, but I feel this is part cause of the accident he had.

My feeling is to go out and get and train someone to replace him and then re-evaluate our business - opening for lunches from Wed - Sat which we don’t do as yet, and then ease him back in doing the lunch shifts and split shifts for the busy evenings plus getting my days off again.

In the end of the day I just can’t be without his time for so long so I have to get someone in and hope they can get up to his standards real quick, but with the robust economy in Australia and the even more robust one in Western Australia where job vacancies are at an all time low and staff is extremely hard to get, especially the hospitality industry, I feel like I will be pushing sh*t uphill with a stick.

Any thoughts on how you would go about it would be appreciated. Am I right or wrong in my way of addressing it.

Sorry about the ramblings but I am really peeved at the moment and would rather just cut the ties here and now with him, but I know he is at an age where job prospects are going to be tough especially coming back from a long time off with injuries (this is despite the shortage of workers as age is still a barrier to a lot of employers plus they don’t want to take on someone with a injury problem due to future workers compensation claims if the injuries return).

Thanks
Dave

Bring someone in at a slightly different level and start training them. TONS of benefits:
a) You won’t find yourself so up a creek again
b) You may find ways to use both of them

You should always be training someone to replace someone who’s irreplaceable. (You can quote me on that).

Would you be mad if he was crossing the street and got hit by a car? So what if he was on a cliff or skydiving or mountain biking or tripped on the stairs? He had an accident and that is why it is called an accident. If you dont want him around or think you can do better then cut him loose. If he is an asset to your buisness then suck it up and wait for him to come back. I am sure I am not the only one that has had to work extra hours to make up for sick, hurt etc employees, its part of owning the business. maybe you could learn from this and have more people that could fill in for his position if something were to happen again. Would he work extra if something happend to you? I bet he would be there in a second, and if not then maybe that tells you if he should stay or go.

I have come to realize myself that it is always better to have someone in the sidelines ready, willing, able and trained to step up to the plate when the “main” manager is not available. They are called shift leaders or assistants.
I have kicked myself the last few months for not having someone ready to go because just like you I find myself needing someone and needing them now. I will say this will be the last time I get in my comfy zone and think everything is ok and why bother paying someone the extra to be a glorified cook.

I am seeking a assistant and I know in time there will be one, I know not to jump into making decisions because I am in a bind. I will be patient, work my tail off until I find someone worth training.

My suggestion to you is see who in your list of employees steps up and covers the next 8 weeks. See if they want a promotion. And be thankful YOU will be there to start their training until your manager comes back. I think you will be amazed how much better your mangager will be when he comes back and realizes there is someone in the sidelines wanting his job.

He was walking along the edge of a limestone cliff area which is fenced off and has signs saying “dangerous cliffs, keep out”. Not only did he disregard the signs, he was on the edge walking in rubber thongs (an Aussie unique piece of footwear - rubber sandals type) and caught the end of them on a sharp bit of rock and over he went, luckily landing on the sand and not the rocks

Yup, he’s a dufus. That’s like swimming in the water when the signs say, “No swimming, sharks”. -j_r0kk

I understand how you feel, but you are right about it being his time and he can do what he wants. You just have to do the best you can between now and then, and hopefully you run across someone that is capable and can really help you out now, and maybe latter can be a right hand man for him. It sounds like he is a pretty good employee so you really don’t want to loose him, but it sure sounds like you need to have someone that can step in to take over if this guy is sick or ever gets hurt again. I hope he mends up fast so your life can get back to normal. Good luck!

He’s still a dufus

That’s a tough situation and I had the same experience. My guy rolled doing 100 miles an hour and was revived at the scene. He was a walking miracle when returning three months later. However, after all the tests he had, they discovered he had a brain tumor in the process so he was off again but not for long.

My husband and I just stood on our feet and cross trained with aggression. We worked our store 12/7 even after he came back. It was strange but I couldn’t get out of the program after that.

I sold in September and recently completed my 8 week agreement to stay on and train and I am hankering for those 12/7 hours, believe it or not. I guess it will be just an adjustment period. If I were close by, I’d certainly give you a hand! However, just bite the bullet and do what you have to do. It can be done with enough drive, determination, organization and team work. If the books slip a little, you can catch up. Food quality, freshness and customer service can’t catch up once you let it go.

Good Luck!

That got a laugh out of me.
This is one of my worst fears as well.Like if someone calls in or something,beinga smaller pizzeria with one inside employee on slower days means you are left with zero.
Derek

Always have a succession plan in mind if not on paper.

frankly, you strike me as more stupid than your employee that took the spill -

  • you put yourself in a position where you will be left high and dry if ONE employee is removed from action and then complain when it happens.

  • you blame him because he has accrued 3 weeks of annual leave to live on yet fail to mention that he now has to spend that leave recupperating.

  • you state that “He is a nice guy, works really hard, totally honest and trustworthy and is only too willing to help out.” and in the same breath discuss cutting ties with him with him, i.e. punishing him, because you as a business owner were not prepared for such situations.

it’s employers like yourself that give unions footholds, that make them attractive to employees and it’s emploers like you that unions exist in the first place. i have been a business owner/employer for 11 years and understand the frustration and aggravation that often comes with the territory - but blaming employees for faults of my own is something i do not and will not do. unfortunately for you it may take a lawyer, retained by your employee after you discharge him, for you to learn this as well.

no sympathy here.

He is for sure a Dufus, but it sounds like he isn’t so bad of a Dufus to not keep him around for a bit longer.

Not looking for any. Was just letting off some frustration and looking at options.

In the end of the day I know I was underprepared for this situation, but MY GREAT STAFF have stepped up to the plate to assist. Two in particular have talken on extra hours and different roles and I have in turn responded by INCREASING their hourly rate by 20%.

whoop whoop!!! Looks like we’ve got a debate!

Thanks for the input. Sorry but we are a few too many thousand miles apart to have you help out, but thanks for the thoughts anyway. :slight_smile:

In the end of the day I know I was underprepared for this situation, but MY GREAT STAFF have stepped up to the plate to assist. Two in particular have talken on extra hours and different roles and I have in turn responded by INCREASING their hourly rate by 20%.
We have discussed with one of these guys, a great 17 year old, about taking on a trainee manager position. We understood that he was interested in another trade until talking with him the other day where he said he loves the industry.

As a small single store independent doing about $8K per week finding the time and funds to train people up are hard to do, especially as we have spent the best part of the first 11 months in the store doing it up, installing a work culture that was not there from the previous owner and then weeding out unwanted staff and replacing them with ones who wanted to work for the right reasons.

The first year has been torrid with massive increases in fuel prices, mortgage rates increase, both which have affected consumer spending, plus all the headaches that went with refitting the shop etc.

We were just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel but unfortunately this time it was the light on the loco coming full speed at us.

Time to brush ourselves off and get up and do what we do best. And as you said “just bite the bullet and do what we ahve to do”.

Thanks for you input.

She’ll be right mate, just hang in there, a hundred years from now it won’t matter.

I may be “more stupid than my employee” but I have the guts to put my name to my correspondence and not hide behind ANNONYMOUS.

are you asking for my name and address? you say you have guts, i would like to see if this is true. print out your original post and show it to your injured employee and his wife - also explain to them that you posted it to a public internet forum.

No, I haven’t blamed him at all for accruing 3 weeks leave. I STATED that he is on SICK LEAVE and he has 3 weeks annual leave - in Australia you earn 4 weeks leave per year and he has used one and has three left which he will have use (if he wishes to do this) to live on once his sick leave is finished.

what you stated was that his sick leave is up but that he has accumulated 3 weeks leave which he can live on. it is very clear why you mentioned this.

and, further, not once in your original post did you express concern about your employees injuries other than how they might effect you. again, no sympathy here.

i have been a business owner/employer for 11 years and understand the frustration and aggravation that often comes with the territory - but blaming employees for faults of my own is something i do not and will not do.

Please explain to me how or why wadave was at fault for the incident…

My manager (aged 46) fell 12 foot down a seaside cliff last week and broke his left wrist and tore ligaments in his right knee. He will now be off work for 8 - 12 weeks.

Now, as a business owner/employer for 11 years I’m sure you understand that single store operators do not have a large pool of people to draw from. They can actually deem themselves lucky to have one good solid manager that they can lean on from time to time.

I’ve also noticed in your two posts you not once offered any kind of helpful advice or even tried to get wadave to see things from a different perspective. Reading what you’ve had to say, it actually looks like you don’t really have anything positive to add to the entire forum and you only bring negativity.

To sum this post, sir, I would tell you something my father always told me: “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all”. -J_r0kk

j_r0kk

Thanks for the support mate.

At least someone understands the frustrations of being a single store operator, especially someone like you with your corporate background.

Plus you added some fun dimensions to it – “dufus” :smiley:

Good conversing with you.

Thanks for the support.

Dave