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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all,

I am new to the site, have enjoyed reading the post. i now have a problem of my own & would like some advice from other buisness owners. I took over the const. co. from my dad 10 years ago after he retired we were a 2 man. after he retired i added more help & started doing larger commercial site prep. & water line jobs,up to 7-8 guys on the payroll. I have a friend of mine that went to work for me about 9 years ago, we went to school together & as u could say almost like brothers.everything has been fine up until last year when he started to bring his 14 y/o boy to the job sites & putting him on a machine, in which i stopped that instantly.Well that seem to offend him, every since that time after looking back i started to see where he was trying to cost me money just to get his time in. About 2 months ago i had to lay everbody off due to no work & raining every day. It has just been hit & miss on work, well i find out today that he has been using my equip. moonlighting jobs instead of telling me about them & running the work thru the buiss. he has supposedly put the money in his pocket. I also find out today that he has a clearing job & he calls another employee of mine who has a truck & trailor of his own & wants to know what he would charge him to move a dzr for this job he has. This has got me :furious:! BTW he is propably the best operator i have. Should i fire him or talk to him about the situation AFTER i cool down?
 

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Business is business, personal relationships are personal relationships. Will your friendship take a turn for the worse if you fire him? Most likely. If you don't fire him, will he cause you more headaches than not? If you can't trust your best employee I would say the decision has already been made. You have to fire him. Would you keep any other employee that has "taken" work from you and used your equipment without your knowledge? I doubt it.
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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My knee jerk reaction is pretty extreme, fire him, sue him for rental fees, prosecute him for something, bla bla bla...
Most people here will not criticize you for any of those as you have been done wrong, plain and simple.

The part that comes to light after the initial shock is the only question worth answering. Is your relationship with this guy worth salvaging or not?

The only way to keep him as a friend is to go find him and have a heart to heart. You need to listen to him as if you were in his shoes and find out where it is that he felt justified in doing what he did. From that spot is the only place that you can find room to forgive him and move forward towards something that resembles what you two used to have.

Here is the thing that really shines bright for me. You can not ever come close to replacing a friend that you have that much history with. No one else in your future will compare to the relationship you have described. You can not go back in time and start over with someone new. It just can not be done.

So, you have to decide if this is worth throwing away all you have with your good friend, your brother as you call him, over his betrayal with unauthorized equipment use.

I wouldn't toss him until the heart to heart fell apart. And I would fight for it like I would my marriage. But that is just me.
 

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My knee jerk reaction is pretty extreme, fire him, sue him for rental fees, prosecute him for something, bla bla bla...
Most people here will not criticize you for any of those as you have been done wrong, plain and simple.

The part that comes to light after the initial shock is the only question worth answering. Is your relationship with this guy worth salvaging or not?

The only way to keep him as a friend is to go find him and have a heart to heart. You need to listen to him as if you were in his shoes and find out where it is that he felt justified in doing what he did. From that spot is the only place that you can find room to forgive him and move forward towards something that resembles what you two used to have.

Here is the thing that really shines bright for me. You can not ever come close to replacing a friend that you have that much history with. No one else in your future will compare to the relationship you have described. You can not go back in time and start over with someone new. It just can not be done.

So, you have to decide if this is worth throwing away all you have with your good friend, your brother as you call him, over his betrayal with unauthorized equipment use.

I wouldn't toss him until the heart to heart fell apart. And I would fight for it like I would my marriage. But that is just me.
im gonna second this. money is money, sure he screwed you over but it's not a personal thing. im sure he'd do it to another guy he was working for so its not a personal vendetta against you. since i've bought a house and rented rooms out to a few friends i've quickly learned just because someone is a good friend doesnt mean they are a good businessman. learning that lesson has saved friendships.
 

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Sounds like you are letting yourself calm down and think about this first. Good thinking.
I have seen to many friendships hurt by an off the cuff statement that they later regretted.
"You cannot un-ring a bell"
 

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I don't think I would be able to keep him as a friend or an employee.

He is stealing from you, plain and simple. You admit that work has been hit or miss lately, but he seems to be able to find some nice work, probably can do it pretty cheap too seeing as he has no equipment rental/payments to make. Heck you might even be paying for the fuel on his jobs.

If he were a true friend, he would have come to you and stated that he had some work lined up, could he use the equipment, and cut you in for some rent if you wanted it. You sound like the type of guy that would have let him use the equipment for free if asked.

It's the behind the back nonsense that gets me. What if the equipment were stolen, or worse yet if something happened, injury/property damage. That is your stuff, you'll get sued.

Maybe after a period of time I could talk to him again, but how do you ever regain the level of trust that this guy has tossed away with his actions.


PS. Welcome to the site.
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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I hope the OP comes back to clarify some things. But I'll be willing to wager that his buddy was allowed to use the machinery in the past at his discretion. It kinda grew into this mess.

This guy felt justified to do this some how. I want to hear just how that came to be. There is more to this than what was in the opening post. We all know that.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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This guy felt justified to do this some how. I want to hear just how that came to be. There is more to this than what was in the opening post. We all know that.
Well yes, there's no way you can summarize a relationship lasting a decade or two in one paragraph on the internet. But taking the original post at face value, even allowing for "heat of the moment" and a few missing details, it's hard for me to imagine a set of circumstances under which I'd be willing to rob an employer or prime contractor, let alone a friend, like that.

I would be absolutely livid. At the very least, the situation calls for a private, very serious heart to heart talk, with all of the cards on the table.

People do change, and it's an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes those changes signal the permanent end of something that was a very good thing in its time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the comments, after cooling down & reading the comments i decided to try & talk to him about the situation, to try & find out why he thought that it would be ok for him to take the equip.Called several times & left a message, no call back as of yet. To clarify equipment usage i have let some (this empolyee included) use the equipment for there pers. use, maybe spread a load of dirt in there yard or dig up a stump.All i ask was for them to buy the fuel that they burn.I have always tried to be fair with them. The way i look at this is:When the employee was told about the work he should have told them to contact me & i would have went to look at the job, discussed what they wanted & what it would cost.Not go behind my back, I thought that was part of the bosses job.After a lot of thoughts about this situation i have come to conclussion that he was having fianc. trouble & wanted to see how far he could go with it or he might be wanting to do his own thing & wanting to use me for a starting block,if that be the case jump in & buy your equip, pay your own insurance,fuel & lisc.....Just my thinking! Still no phone call.............!
 

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The ball seems to be in his court.
Good job staying level headed. It's ALWAYS the best way, but not always easy to do.
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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Personally, I would go knock on his door. Not saying that would work out but I couldn't sleep until I had this thing talked about.

I hope you can see this through with out a bunch of drama.
 

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I don't think I would be able to keep him as a friend or an employee.

He is stealing from you, plain and simple. You admit that work has been hit or miss lately, but he seems to be able to find some nice work, probably can do it pretty cheap too seeing as he has no equipment rental/payments to make. Heck you might even be paying for the fuel on his jobs.

If he were a true friend, he would have come to you and stated that he had some work lined up, could he use the equipment, and cut you in for some rent if you wanted it. You sound like the type of guy that would have let him use the equipment for free if asked.

It's the behind the back nonsense that gets me. What if the equipment were stolen, or worse yet if something happened, injury/property damage. That is your stuff, you'll get sued.

Maybe after a period of time I could talk to him again, but how do you ever regain the level of trust that this guy has tossed away with his actions.


PS. Welcome to the site.
Best said....
 

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Let me get this straight.
Your employee gets pissed when you have to tell him that he can't bring his kid to work. Starts dragging a$$ around riding the clock.

Uses your equipment without permission and doesn't want to pay you rental or cut you in on the job.

And now is recruiting another one of your guys to help him move more equipment.

:blink:

Yeah, he sounds like a real good friend.
 

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I think your right to cool off before your talk. But I would never be able to trust him again. I would have to let him go.
 
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