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Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional

 
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:21 PM   #1
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Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


I am a gc. and I use a lot of subs like plumbers, electricians roofers and so on. Some of the subs are friends or could be in-laws that have sheetrock or roofing businesses. I have noticed on quite a few occasions they use foul language and I know the customer hears it. Sometimes they will smoke while they work (outside) and I do not want the customers to see them smoking a cigarette. I just dont think it looks good at the job site. I am afraid to say anything to them because I dont want them to think I am trying to be a jerk. Does anyone have any advice.
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:42 PM   #2
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


You're the only one that can alter the behavior - The subs are not going to police themselves.

In a few regards , ya you're being a dick, as that's pretty standard behavior. At least to them.

It's your Job, your "presence" and your customers.... you have to set the expectations and follow through when not met.... It's up to you.

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Old 02-06-2014, 03:53 PM   #3
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


Options

1. Tell them a few customers have mentioned it over the years, more so recently and you want to end it on your jobsites as referrals and reputation is the biggest part of your business opportunity and it is bad for the kind of business you want to be known for.

2. Fuggedaboudit

3. Tell them it bothers you when the customer is within earshot and eyesight because you do not know whether the customers are ok with it and don't want to upset your relationship.

4. Lay down the law. This is how it needs to be going forward. You can give a reason or not give a reason.

I can't imagine anyone not understanding due care when a customer is around. If so, you have to question their judgement

You can try the gentle approach first and if that doesn't work you can always escalate your intensity towards it.

Good luck with it
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:17 PM   #4
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


I dont allow smoking, cussing, shirts off, neck tats ect. I tell them the first time we meet, and one warning. I dont scream and yell I just explain theres hacks and then the level of work I do. I have got tons of work and comments about how clean I am ,that and quality work will keep you busy. Its your business how do you want it to look? I have had a few gripe when told to go pick up a cg butt outta the yard and I dont care its my name on the job when its over and it will be my way, good subs understand the diff. if you have to keep saying something maybe time to look for a new sub..
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:32 PM   #5
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


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Originally Posted by bob hutson View Post
I dont allow smoking, cussing, shirts off, neck tats ect. I tell them the first time we meet, and one warning. I dont scream and yell I just explain theres hacks and then the level of work I do. I have got tons of work and comments about how clean I am ,that and quality work will keep you busy. Its your business how do you want it to look? I have had a few gripe when told to go pick up a cg butt outta the yard and I dont care its my name on the job when its over and it will be my way, good subs understand the diff. if you have to keep saying something maybe time to look for a new sub..
Looks aren't important, behaviour is, my best tech had tattoo sleeves and smoked but he didn't swear or throw butts in the yard.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:39 PM   #6
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


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Looks aren't important, behaviour is, my best tech had tattoo sleeves and smoked but he didn't swear or throw butts in the yard.


Having or not having tattoos doesn't make you good or bad at your job, but when working in a nice middle or upper class home it can make homeowners feel uncomfortable. Tattoos don't bother me, but if you have them on your neck or face then yeah I am judging you and your life decisions.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:47 PM   #7
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


I have tattoos, they are covered on the job I work for alot of older folks that would be freaking out with a guy that looks like jesse james. and like it or not first impressions still count.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:58 PM   #8
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


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Originally Posted by mrcharles View Post

Having or not having tattoos doesn't make you good or bad at your job, but when working in a nice middle or upper class home it can make homeowners feel uncomfortable. Tattoos don't bother me, but if you have them on your neck or face then yeah I am judging you and your life decisions.
Judging people based on tattoos isn't restricted to middle or upper class, manners, attitude abd charisma trump tats.
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:14 PM   #9
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


Tell them to grow a good beard.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:06 PM   #10
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


If a "GC" told me I couldn't smoke I'd tell them to F off. I don't need their work anyways and they're lucky I even work for them in the first place. I'm not even much of a tobacco smoker anyways but, still won't be telling me what to do. They don't own me as much as they think they do. I do exactly what I want when I want. Simple.

Besides I smoke in the back of my cube van. Not like I'm gonna light up in the house and flick butts on the floor. I have some class.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:34 AM   #11
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


im not a smoker, but I don't think smoking outside the house is a big deal....you may be going overboard on this one.......im sure some customers may be offended by it, but those are the customers who are offended by anyone

I wouldn't allow the swearing.....make it a new policy and put signs up in a few places on the jobsite......many of my customers have little kids around, so I would never consider swearing around them.....
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:04 AM   #12
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


For smoking common sense rules such as no smoking where it will blow in the house, hold on to your butt, etc., for swearing, not tolerated as it reflects poorly on your company and is crass to do in front of children and women (some women), for tats, there's tats and then there's tats.

I must say the biggest problems I've had with people have oftentimes been in direct correlation to the number of tattoos they've festooned their body with and as a result I'm uneasy being around someone who's sporting a lot of them; I've known some really nice people with them and some of the biggest aholes that have ever walked, more of the latter than the former. You have a heavily tatted crew member, that reflects on your company and I'll guarantee you will make a lot of your customers very uncomfortable. To the statement that always surfaces, 'it doesn't matter!' if it didn't matter why did you do it? If you have a sub you like and trust who's heavily tattooed they should have the courtesy to keep 'em covered up. If they can't or won't I'd be looking for another sub and be ready for a fight when the subject is raised.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:18 AM   #13
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


You're the GC. You set the tone and the parameters for behavior. You're not their friend (at work). You're their boss. If you want certain behaviors from them, or for certain behaviors to cease, you act like the boss and make that happen. If you don't feel comfortable doing that, then perhaps being in charge of a jobsite isn't a comfortable role for you. Just being a competent lead trade isn't enough to be a successful GC. You've got to move to the next level. And that involves being the bad guy sometimes. More than "sometimes".
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:30 AM   #14
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcharles View Post
Having or not having tattoos doesn't make you good or bad at your job, but when working in a nice middle or upper class home it can make homeowners feel uncomfortable. Tattoos don't bother me, but if you have them on your neck or face then yeah I am judging you and your life decisions.
Very well said.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:34 AM   #15
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


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Originally Posted by Rio View Post
For smoking common sense rules such as no smoking where it will blow in the house, hold on to your butt, etc., for swearing, not tolerated as it reflects poorly on your company and is crass to do in front of children and women (some women), for tats, there's tats and then there's tats.

I must say the biggest problems I've had with people have oftentimes been in direct correlation to the number of tattoos they've festooned their body with and as a result I'm uneasy being around someone who's sporting a lot of them; I've known some really nice people with them and some of the biggest aholes that have ever walked, more of the latter than the former. You have a heavily tatted crew member, that reflects on your company and I'll guarantee you will make a lot of your customers very uncomfortable. To the statement that always surfaces, 'it doesn't matter!' if it didn't matter why did you do it? If you have a sub you like and trust who's heavily tattooed they should have the courtesy to keep 'em covered up. If they can't or won't I'd be looking for another sub and be ready for a fight when the subject is raised.
Very well said- especially the second paragraph.
Stephen.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:54 AM   #16
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


You set the precedent day 1 with every sub and every hand, and so do they. My MEPs are very professional, prompt and do what they say they are going to do. I dont need to explain any rules to them, they already do those things in their own business. We work together, and they set that precedent with me by doing the above. I answer questions, take care of carpentry they need done or make sure one of my carpenters is there. Thats about it.

Drywall, paint, tile not so much. I sub about 90% of our paint and drywall, just have one painter on payroll. The drywall sub is very good, but his crew needs some enforcement at times. Had one dude roll up with a shirt about jacked up trucks and tatooed bitches. He got sent to the house to get a new shirt. Had several other instances like this with various trades. I dont care who it is, its my project, my rules and I am not shy about that. I fired my best friend who had worked for me for sometime without much hesitation.

The work, its quality and professionalism is the most important thing to me. Seems to work, we stay busy with good paying work.

Tattoos aren't a big deal to me, as long as they arent offensive. Ive only told one sub to cover his arms, and he did. One of my best hands has two tats that show, a Texas tat on his calf and a cross on his arm. I havent heard any complaints.

Cigarettes? I put a can with sand in it. Thats shere they smoke. I find butts I find who smokes the brand and they clean the jobsite to my satisfaction or they kick rocks, sub or hand. It doesnt happen. My leads are as big a dick as I am about it because thats their job. Just have some class and feild strip or put it in the can.

Alcohol or signs of alcohol or drugs on the job, immediate termination.

No dogs.

Clean up after yourself.

Never spit tobacco on my deck or slab.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:57 AM   #17
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


I will say this about tattoos. As a worker, I don't believe it matters but as a salesmen, yes.

One of my workers who will be with me at the homeshow next week has full sleeves on his arm. I told him he will need to wear a long sleeve shirt under his company polo.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:08 PM   #18
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


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I will say this about tattoos. As a worker, I don't believe it matters but as a salesmen, yes.

One of my workers who will be with me at the homeshow next week has full sleeves on his arm. I told him he will need to wear a long sleeve shirt under his company polo.
Depends on the tat. Sleeves I can see your point.

My buddy has a Eagle, Globe and Anchor tat on his arm with USMC right above it. That would definitely SELL some jobs down here.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:14 PM   #19
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Re: Sub-Contractors Not Acting Professional


I have a few basic rules if you're working for me, spelled out on the first day.

Smokers - Smoke away from the house and DO NOT throw butts on the ground. Every time I catch you flicking a butt it's costing you $20. I smoke and I got into a habit many years ago of putting the butts in my left pants pocket. My wife gets pissed when I forget to take them out and she does laundry .

Language - No swearing (unless you hit yourself with a hammer) or racially insensitive talk. I had to fire an excellent installer once because he wouldn't quit talking about 'Them damn Mexicans' around a HO.

Tats - I don't have a problem with them unless they're on your face/neck/knuckles or if they're vulgar. I've used guys with full sleeves who were very good at their trade and a pleasure to deal with - Thoughtful, considerate, well spoken. I've also used guys who were 100% opposite, so that's an ongoing dilemma for me. FWIW I don't have any tats.

My job, my rules, however I try not to be a dick about it.
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:08 PM   #20
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I have a few basic rules if you're working for me, spelled out on the first day.

Smokers - Smoke away from the house and DO NOT throw butts on the ground. Every time I catch you flicking a butt it's costing you $20. I smoke and I got into a habit many years ago of putting the butts in my left pants pocket. My wife gets pissed when I forget to take them out and she does laundry .

Language - No swearing (unless you hit yourself with a hammer) or racially insensitive talk. I had to fire an excellent installer once because he wouldn't quit talking about 'Them damn Mexicans' around a HO.

Tats - I don't have a problem with them unless they're on your face/neck/knuckles or if they're vulgar. I've used guys with full sleeves who were very good at their trade and a pleasure to deal with - Thoughtful, considerate, well spoken. I've also used guys who were 100% opposite, so that's an ongoing dilemma for me. FWIW I don't have any tats.

My job, my rules, however I try not to be a dick about it.
Well said, except the cussing.

Do you mean you try and restrict cussing on an unoccupied site? No homeowner's? I definitely break that rule.

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