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Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:33 PM

Read this story and see if you can figure out why this friend of mine was fired

I know why he was fired.

His boss had him and another carpenter take a company truck to an out of state job to do. The boss told them before they left that this was a two-week job. Well my friend and his co-worker finished that job in 4 days.

On the ride home these two guy were congratulating themselves on how good of a job they did so quickly. They were telling each other they were going to get a whole basket of attaboys from the boss when they got back here.

They both got out of the truck with big smiles on their face when they went in to tell the boss the good news.

Well, they didn't get any attaboys. Without any explanation their boss fired them them both right on the spot. Told them both not to ever darken his door looking for a job again. And that was the end of that job for these two now unemployed carpenters.

Anyone else know what happened here?

Don

53 replies, 4164 views

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Reply Read this story and see if you can figure out why this friend of mine was fired (Original post)
NNN0LHI Jun 2012 OP
datasuspect Jun 2012 #1
teddy51 Jun 2012 #10
Octafish Jun 2012 #2
NNN0LHI Jun 2012 #21
Woody Woodpecker Jun 2012 #3
Raven Jun 2012 #4
proud2BlibKansan Jun 2012 #5
NNN0LHI Jun 2012 #9
datasuspect Jun 2012 #12
NNN0LHI Jun 2012 #14
Seedersandleechers Jun 2012 #6
magical thyme Jun 2012 #7
freshwest Jun 2012 #8
rufus dog Jun 2012 #11
jp11 Jun 2012 #13
dkf Jun 2012 #15
datasuspect Jun 2012 #18
warrior1 Jun 2012 #16
NNN0LHI Jun 2012 #19
abelenkpe Jun 2012 #17
NNN0LHI Jun 2012 #20
Drunken Irishman Jun 2012 #23
NNN0LHI Jun 2012 #26
GeorgeGist Jun 2012 #24
dionysus Jun 2012 #48
abelenkpe Jun 2012 #29
TBF Jun 2012 #32
lapislzi Jun 2012 #39
Flashmann Jun 2012 #22
The Wielding Truth Jun 2012 #27
Ganja Ninja Jun 2012 #25
former9thward Jun 2012 #28
Egalitarian Thug Jun 2012 #41
former9thward Jun 2012 #43
Egalitarian Thug Jun 2012 #45
Occulus Jun 2012 #46
former9thward Jun 2012 #52
wandy Jun 2012 #30
dionysus Jun 2012 #50
Brother Buzz Jun 2012 #31
On the Road Jun 2012 #33
EC Jun 2012 #34
haele Jun 2012 #35
Tommy_Carcetti Jun 2012 #36
Aerows Jun 2012 #37
Capt. Obvious Jun 2012 #38
Brother Buzz Jun 2012 #40
spanone Jun 2012 #42
hunter Jun 2012 #44
Occulus Jun 2012 #47
MrSlayer Jun 2012 #49
Zanzoobar Jun 2012 #51
nadinbrzezinski Jun 2012 #53

Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:34 PM

1. maybe they cost their employer money

 

the contract might have time built in as a cost.

who knows?

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:41 PM

10. If that were the case, the boss should have made that crystal clear to the men. Do not

 

rush the job, make it take two weeks.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:35 PM

2. Did they come back too soon?

The boss said the job required six more days of billable hours.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:05 PM

21. Yes

They were supposed to be working 7 days a week so it was more than 6 days of billable hours.

Don

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:35 PM

3. too few hours to charge to the client?

 

just guessing, don

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:35 PM

4. The boss was to get paid by the hour,

not by the job.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:35 PM

5. It has to be about money

Did the boss's take on the job get reduced because they finished it in less time that he had told the client?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:38 PM

9. Boss was making $10-$15 dollars an hour for each hour these guys put in

These two guys cost that owner lots of money.

Don

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Response to NNN0LHI (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:42 PM

12. try closer to 60 or 70 per hour

 

depends on the job and the estimation, but there is tremendous markup with labor.

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #12)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:43 PM

14. You could very well be right

I was just guesstimating.

That could have cost that company thousands of dollars.

Don

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:36 PM

6. I'm going to guess the boss got paid

for the time these two guys would take to do the job. The boss lost money because the job was completed too soon?

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:36 PM

7. they didn't fluff the job up to the full 2 weeks

so only brought home a little less than half the bacon, and made the boss look like he didn't know what he was doing when he quoted the job?

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:37 PM

8. Boss hired them out for 2 weeks and expected to be paid, then pay them. They undercut his bid.

The guy he sent them to work for reneged on the 2 week payment.

Or else the guy from out of state said they did not finish the job and paid nothing.

So much for the work ethic and doing your job well.

Any of the above?

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:41 PM

11. Could be any of the responses above

That being said, why the hell didn't your friend call the boss before driving back?

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:42 PM

13. Boss wanted to screw the client/whomever by going over the deadline

but his employees did it too fast and screwed up his plan. Instead of screwing over whomever he wanted to hurt his people ended up saving the day.

If not that then it was probably some government job where the boss would've made a killing on billing for 2 weeks and they screwed that up for him probably ruining his chance at future jobs.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:45 PM

15. In addition to answers above they blew away the estimate to the client showing the contractor had

 

Padded the job.

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Response to dkf (Reply #15)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:50 PM

18. the residual effect of shit like that can be devastating

 

small circles in contractor world and word spreads fast.

it's hard to find good help.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:45 PM

16. can you say what company this is?

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Response to warrior1 (Reply #16)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:51 PM

19. I don't know the name of it but I bet they are all alike

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:47 PM

17. Boss is a lousy leader

for not letting them know that they needed to take the entire two weeks to perform the job.

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #17)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:54 PM

20. No one ever had to explain stuff like that to me

If my boss told me I was on a two-week job that last bolt when in during the last hour of the fourteenth day.

This is common sense.

Don

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Response to NNN0LHI (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:08 PM

23. Well obviously neither knew this...

Or they wouldn't have returned home from the gig so early. How long have they been in this line of work? You'd think between the two of them, one could figure this out.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #23)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:13 PM

26. My friend is in his early 30's

Not sure about the other fellow.

My guess is they were too busy patting each other on the back for a "job well done", that they were about to be fired for to figure this out.

I actually had a hard time explaining this to my friend after he got fired. He didn't want to believe me.

Don

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Response to NNN0LHI (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:09 PM

24. Common sense among ...

con men. Your true colors are flying high, Don.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #24)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 10:17 PM

48. bless your little heart.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:27 PM

29. I dunno

With all the discussion about productivity and efficiency maybe this is a lost knowledge?

When I first started I remember thinking that my boss would be happy if I finished early. Luckily I sat next to a more seasoned worker who explained that was definitely not the case.

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #29)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:04 PM

32. This doesn't just happen in construction -

although it is rampant there. Anywhere something is billed by the hour - litigation cases in law firms for example ... Although the firms make it easier to understand. When you are given bonuses for the amount of hours you bill, you know straight up what your objective is no matter what else they say.

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #17)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 04:43 PM

39. No. Boss is a lousy contractor

for trying to bilk the client.

I understand fuck-up time. I build it into my schedules all the time. My approach to the client is always, "we could get lucky and this may take 4 weeks. Or, it could go badly and take 6. If I were you, I would budget for 6 and hope for the best. Then everybody wins. If not, at least you know the worst."

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:07 PM

22. My experiences,

From 35 years in construction,lead me to suppose that the out of state job was contracted as "time and material"...In my scenario,the 2 workers "screwed" the boss out of 6 days of built in profit,by finishing in 4 days,rather than the 10 contracted for....

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Response to Flashmann (Reply #22)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:14 PM

27. So the cost of material was probably being weighed in with the labor cost for 2 weeks? Oh..

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:13 PM

25. If I had to guess I'd say they didn't get the whole thing done.

They missed something(s) or got hit on an inspection and weren't there to fix whatever it was. Then the boss had to dispatch 2 other guys before they got back because they didn't call before they left.

Either that or the Boss was behind on truck payments and the Repo Man was waiting for the truck when they got home.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:24 PM

28. There is something being left out of this OP.

No company is going to fire two good workers over a one time mistake in how long a job took. It is not rational.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #28)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 08:23 PM

41. Just how long have you lived in Amercia? Efficient quality are nothing but buzzwords used

 

to sell the job/product. Actually delivering it hurts profits. The job was bid at 2 * 8 * 10 (160) * company rate, They came back with 2 * 8 * 4 (64) * company rate. From his perspective, they cost him 96 * company rate.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #41)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 08:30 PM

43. Which proves you have not lived in America very long at all.

No business is going to fire two good workers over a one-time error.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #43)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 09:57 PM

45. LOL! Good luck with that.

 


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Response to former9thward (Reply #43)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 10:10 PM

46. You cannot possibly honestly believe that to be true

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Response to Occulus (Reply #46)

Thu Jun 21, 2012, 12:25 PM

52. Yes I do because I have actually worked in the dreaded private sector.

I know that makes me an enemy of the people in your eyes but I know how business operates. It takes a lot of money to find and train a good employee. A business is not going to spend that amount of money over the supposed lost of some income for a week. That is not the real world but a world you may live in.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:53 PM

30. Most times when planning a project one 'pads'.......

This is not dishonesty, it is a safety mesure....
If a project calls for 10 man days it is not unreasonable for the project to take 11 man days or 9 man days.
Coming in a touch earlier/less expensive is a good thing.

However when you tell a customer to prepair to be billed for 10 man days and the project comes in at 4 man days, you look like you were preparing to rip the customer off.
At the least you look like a total idiot.

So....

The boss was setting up to rip the customer off and was caught out by good workers, and does not want that to happen again.
or
The Boss is a total idiot.

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Response to wandy (Reply #30)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 10:23 PM

50. we used to quote time and materials not to exceed X number of hours (programming).

so if we quoted it it 10 in got it done in 8 , the client was happy we only billed them for 8, we look like heroes. if we run into problems and it takes 12 hours, the client only pays for 10 and we eat some costs.

but then there's clients who want to bilk you, demanding extra work be done (for free) after the product is delivered. it goes both ways

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:00 PM

31. They drove to the wrong state?

I got nothing, Don.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:43 PM

33. Well, Since they Were Fired,

they could have just gone to the client out of spite and told them how they were being screwed.

A smart boss would have congratulated them and told them to go back out and complete the two weeks. The company retains two efficient employees, keeps the client, and eliminates the basis for a lawsuit based on wrongful termination. Everybody wins.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:48 PM

34. If a job is quoted for 14 days labor

they should take that amount of time. The job was already in the budget at 14 days.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:49 PM

35. The boss probably got the customer to pay half up front to cover the expenses of sending the crew.

Incremental payments are common with contracts, especially to cover the up-front costs.
There are a lot of things built into a contract that may be perfectly reasonable with a job bid to cover a prospective "2 weeks" worth of out of state work that would not normally be bid for in town work.
I've worked jobs where the customer paid 1/3 up front, 1/3rd at the 75% completed mark, and the final third at completion. Companies to this to ensure that they will get paid in a timely fashion and can purchase the materials needed for the job without risking too much.

The facts I can see in this scenario are:
the customer and business owner contracted for 2 weeks (up to 14 billable days to include travel days and "the weekend" if no OT was billed) out of state carpentry/construction work;
The guys sent out probably only stayed out 6 billable days if a day for travel is included, and;
The guys were fired on the spot when they returned.

My conjecture is that the owner was probably paid up front for half the job to cover lodging, travel, and other time-specific expenses while the guys were on the road. If they got back that early, the owner would have to take the time and trouble to re-negotiate the refund he owed the customer into a "hey, how about a early finish" bonus, changing a potential negative into a positive.

The only other issue I can see that would warrant such a dramatic reaction to an early finish is there was another project depending on the "pad" on this project to cover overage costs.

Or the owner was a libertarian asshole that saw his business as his personal ATM and believed it's perfectly okay to scam a customer and short your employees if it gives you a profit.


Haele

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:51 PM

36. The glory that is at-will employment.

Common practice in 49 states. Unfortunately.

I'll take a stab. Your friend's private employer had a contract with the government, and the employer wanted to bill the government for two weeks. When they finished in 4 days, they cost the employer its con job at the taxpayer's expense.

If this is indeed the case, google the words "False Claims Act". Might be something to keep in mind.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:52 PM

37. Benefitted the client

by building it sooner, but cost the boss profit on billable hours.

Unless they did something else on the job that they didn't tell you about.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 04:12 PM

38. They did the wrong job

Went to wrong site and that's why it took only 4 days. And they were drunk.

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #38)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 08:09 PM

40. You can't prove we were drunk so STOP saying that

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 08:28 PM

42. 2 weeks labor vs. 4 days labor. no telling what he's charging for these guys.

plus accommodations, per diems, whatever.

if the guy was that bad at estimating time and costs, he probably did your friend a favor.

on the other hand, he could have been screwing the client...either way, the contractor's a dumbass.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 09:15 PM

44. Never do anything that makes your boss look bad.

It's not easy if your boss *is* bad.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 10:16 PM

47. Ya know, Don, from reading this thread,

the boss sounds like he's engaging in an illegal business practice.

My advice to the two fired employees would be to get angry and get even. This sounds a lot like contract fraud of some sort.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 10:23 PM

49. They fucked themselves and the owner.

 

You can't charge for two men at a hundred and sixty hours and then have the job done in sixty four. You just crushed both your and the owner's pocket and severely undermined his credibility.

Speed in construction is overrated.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 10:23 PM

51. I know exactly why

 

Because they're giving 1/15 of the true story and you're relating what you remember, which together amounts to a hill of beans. Hence, we got two saints fired by a devil. Black. White.

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Response to NNN0LHI (Original post)

Thu Jun 21, 2012, 12:27 PM

53. They came back too soon

and the boss had a nice job with a rich \wealthy employer, even probably state job... and since they came home early....

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