General Question

chyna's avatar

How do I go about firing someone that works for me in a nice manner?

Asked by chyna (45071points) July 19th, 2009

I have a guy that mows my grass and has for the past 3 years. Last year, he started slacking, mowing only every couple of weeks or even every 3 weeks. He told me he was going through a divorce and was having a bad time of it, so I let it slide. This mowing season started out pretty good, but now, I haven’t seen him for over 2 weeks. I called him, he had another sad story of losing 12 customers, etc. and would be over the next day. 5 days later, I still haven’t seen him. I am done with him, so how do I tell him?

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30 Answers

J0E's avatar

The only nice way to fire someone is to not fire them. But, since that is not an option just be direct and honest. I know that is what I would want.

Steven0512's avatar

Email, then move and change your name.

whatthefluther's avatar

@chyna…If he just lost 12 customers, he knows more are coming. You gave him a chance, but he didn’t keep his word. Just tell him you’re sorry he’s having problems, but you need to have your lawn mowed. Maybe he stretched himself too thin or even got another job and is just trying to squeeze in side jobs. Whatever the reason, your lawn is not getting done. So I think you just have to “discontinue his service due to a lack of proper attention.” That’s a nice way to tell him he is fired. Good luck….wtf

Dog's avatar

Actually @whatthefluther has a point here. He just lost 12 customers.

So should he not have the time to properly care for the remaining ones?
By not showing up he likely expects you will fire him.

richardhenry's avatar

He lost 12 customers? Then why the hell isn’t he fighting for work? He’s either lost his motivation, or he’s not being honest with you about his availability.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

He’s not your friend, he’s someone you contracted to do a job who isn’t doing a satisfactory job anymore.

ShanEnri's avatar

Just tell it like it is! You need someone you can rely on! Or tell him if he can’t be there when expected you will just have to let him go!

chyna's avatar

@richardhenry I think you hit it, he has lost his motivation, which isn’t my concern. My concern is getting my lawn mowed immediately.

richardhenry's avatar

@chyna If you do consider this guy to be a bit of a friend, call him and tell him that unless he gets his act together, things aren’t going to work out. Then if he doesn’t show up pronto and try and make things better, fire him.

chyna's avatar

@richardhenry I actually do consider him a bit of a friend, but not really a close friend. I have someone coming tomorrow to look at my yard and give me an estimate. Probably, no matter what the guy charges, I will have to go with him as I need my yard mowed and that is what makes me really mad. I’m going to probably pay some guy 75.00 to mow my yard and can’t really afford it. I have an acre of land.

richardhenry's avatar

@chyna You guys consider an acre of land a “yard”? ;)

chyna's avatar

Yes, don’t you?

Dog's avatar

@chyna Here in Southern CA an acre is like a farm. For us a yard is maybe 20’ x 60’;) Must be nice not to be breathing down your neighbor’s neck.

chyna's avatar

@Dog It really is nice that people aren’t that close to me. I’m “out” but within 5 minutes of getting onto the interstate.

Zendo's avatar

If they work for you in a nice manner, why fire them?

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Just tell him that you needed your grass cut 5 days ago, so sorry you had to get someone else.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

It sounds like if you just stopped calling him, you’d never see him again! He just wouldn’t show up!

richardhenry's avatar

@La_chica_gomela Or you wake up one morning five months from now and he’s riding around on a mower.

richardhenry's avatar

@Zendo Working for someone in a nice manner doesn’t generally entail not showing up, right?

Disc2021's avatar

I would just approach him directly about it. Just say something like -

“Hey, I know you’re going through rough times and all but you’re not doing what I’m paying you for here. You’ve been doing this for years and up until now you’ve been doing a great job – is there something that I’m doing that you feel is unfair? Is there something I could do that would help you?.. If what you’re expressing is that this is the best you could do for me at the time I’m going to have to let you go – this is a responsibility that I’m spending money for you to assume liability of.”

Nice? Honest? To the point? I recommend phrasing it in such a way that says you dont want to lose him – you’d much rather he just do his job as he always has. I know you’re angry about his negligent behavior but perhaps all he needs is a kick in the rear.

If worse comes to worst and it’s at that point of no return (he shows no evidence of changing or motivation to try) – let him go.

skfinkel's avatar

What I think I would do in this situation is tell him that regardless of his problems, he has a job with me if he wants it. But it is this: mowing the yard asap and regularly weekly or whatever afterward. If for some reason he can’t do it, and doesn’t have a substitute, then I will be forced to find another person to do it. And because he hasn’t followed through before, I won’t be able to have any exceptions to the schedule we set up.

SirBailey's avatar

Knowing the kind of person you seem to be, all he has to say is “He was sick for the past 5 days” or he “had a death in the family” (neither of which is a reason for not calling you). If those excuses would bother you, call him and give him one more chance. I would not.

At this point I would simply get someone else. I hope you don’t have a relationship where he could come tomorrow without calling you. If that’s the case, put up a sign telling him not to do the lawn. If he does, don’t pay him.

He did a “no show” for 5 days. You have NOTHING to feel sorry about. There’s a reason 12 customers dumped him.

Jeruba's avatar

“I’m sorry, but I need someone I can rely on to do the work, and I can’t rely on you any more. I’m going to have to find someone else.”

chyna's avatar

UPDATE: Funny how these things work themselves out. When I got up this morning there was a flyer (ad) from an individual that does lawns in my newspaper box. I called the number, he said he had noticed my yard needed mowed and left his ad with me to see if I needed him. He gave me a price, it was reasonable and he mowed it. I called my other lawn guy and his phone said “this number is not accepting calls at this time.” That, to me, was my answer. He is avoiding his customers. I emailed him and said “due to lack of proper attention, I have to discontinue your lawn services and have hired another lawn service.” Thank you for a good sentence WTF. Thank you all for your advice.

Dog's avatar

Awesome! I am glad all was resolved.

whatthefluther's avatar

@chyna…. You’re welcome. I’m glad it worked out nicely & quickly for you. See ya…..wtf

richardhenry's avatar

I still read that abbreviated username as WHAT THE FUCK? – no matter how hard I try to read it as “what the fluther”.

richardhenry's avatar

You’re welcome. I’m glad it worked out nicely & quickly for you. See ya…..WHAT THE FUCK?

whatthefluther's avatar

@richardhenry….as always, your opinion is appreciated…wtf

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