Idiot kid gets a good job, then quits after a week, without even having the decency to give a little heads up—leaving the other employee to cover for all the work he was scheduled the next few weeks. I need to vent Oppo.
Most of you know I run a window washing company in the Seattle area. It’s about 95% residential, with a handful of businesses. You know what else is about 95%? The percentage of very wealthy homeowners who hire out to get clean windows. What I’m trying to say is I always have a lot of work year round. That said, from May to September is the “summer season”, with the remaining months making up the slow season.
For the past 4 years I’ve had two full time guys working 30-40 hours a week during the slow season and 40-50 a week during the summer season. In addition, I’ve taken on an additional two college kids every summer, also working full-time.
This year one of my year round guys moved to Asia, so I’ve been filling in for him to keep the schedule from backing up, and to keep my remaining year rounder from having to work solo all for months on end. It’s worked out pretty well, but with a new found desire to get back in school, I decided to look for another employee in addition to my two returning summer guys.
I found someone. We’ll call him Dick. Dick’s parents know me through yoga class, and seeing as his parents are both successful, incredibly hard working people I told them that “yes, I’d be happy to give Dick a try at the company.” Dick is a sophomore at WSU, and as soon as he came back home, I took him to a few easy homes for on the job training.
Everything went great, and he seemed like a nice kid. He was excited to work, and happy to get a job with good pay and a bit of excitement. So I had him fill out some paperwork and in no time at all he was a part of the team.
Fast forward to last Tuesday. I scheduled Dick (wow, poor fictional name choice) and my year round guy to work a super easy schedule. They went slow, as is expected for a new guy, but there were no problems. I actually got a call from a client telling me that she loved my new employee.
Wednesday through Friday went great as well. My year round guy thought that dick would be a good fit for the company, and said they got along well. Dick drove a modded wrangler, so he wasn’t cramping our “cool car style” either. Sunday night I called Dick to tell him I’ll bump up his pay after another week, to which he responded, “wait, I get raises?!” so yeah. He seemed pretty pumped to say the least.
Monday. Of course. It’s always a Monday. Dick and James (we’ll call year round employee James) were working together all day, with one small home and one large home on the schedule. They finish everything up slightly ahead of schedule and bring the work truck back to base. I chat with them for a few minutes, then send them home. Another easy day, and Dick is starting to get the swing of things.
Now allow me to add one quick piece of info. As of that Monday, I was booked three weeks in advance, for two guys working together. Okay, back to the story.
Monday night at around 9pm I get a call from Dick. Long story short, he says he doesn’t want the job because he’s afraid of heights. Now, let me mention once more that I know of Dick because I see his parents at yoga every week. The one thing they always mentioned about Dick? His love for free soloing. If you don’t know, free soloing is rock climbing, with no ropes, or gear of any kind. Most free soloists climb hundreds of feet high, my business sticks to homes three stories and below.
In addition to the info I had from his parents, I’d seem him handle a ladder and it was apparent that he was totally comfortable two stories up. Surprisingly so for week work if I’m being honest.
So I knew Dick was bullshitting me. But whatever. I tell him we can work around his fear of heights. I say that he can do the interiors of homes, and the lowers outside. He responds with “that wouldn’t be fair to you or the guy I’m working with.”
So I ask him to stay two weeks while while look for a new guy. His response? “no, sorry” and hangs up.
You know what’s not fair, Dick? Quitting the night before you’re scheduled to work a long day, and not even having the decency to give me a straight up answer as to why. So Tuesday—today—my year round guy had almost double the work he should have had. Ended up working 14 hours straight, manual labor, with two small driving brakes where I hope to God he managed to at least eat a bit. And you know what? I’m booked for weeks. All these people are expecting windows washed when I said they would be.
So I can reschedule the next three weeks, and potentially screw up the wonderful reputation I’ve worked hard to get. Not to mention lose clients who decide they can’t wait 4+ weeks to have their windows washed.
I can leave it as is, and have my year round guy work ridiculous hours until my part time summer guys come back to help out. I don’t want to do this, because it’s in no way fair to James, who is a fantastic employee, but also a student who needs more than 8 hours outside work every day.
So yeah. I’m pissed. I’m pissed that this kid lied to me about why he quit, I’m pissed that he couldn’t even act like a responsible young adult and put in two weeks notice, and I’m pissed that he makes me, a 22 year old, feel like an old person reprimanding the “lazy, good-for-nothing youths” when in reality he’s only a couple years younger than I am.
Wow. Sorry Oppo, I did not expect to get that much down. But damn, it feels good. I’m going to go make a drink. Cheers