General Question

stevenb's avatar

Ok, big dilemma. Do I keep working for a contractor even though I no longer like working for them?

Asked by stevenb (3816points) January 5th, 2010

I have worked for a contractor for several years doing interior trim. When I started it was great. Good scheduling, supplies on time, I got paid for extra work, got paid on time, and they were only concerned with getting a good final product.

I know things have slowed down, but now things have changed a lot. Now we never get a schedule, we just get a phone call syaing we need to be there the next morning or we are fired. We dont get paid for any extra work it takes to make the house look better, and in fact dont get paid for what it takes to really finish the house at all, having to do a lot for free. The quality of what they want us to install is now terrible, and they still want it in because “The homeowners are accepting it”. It it terrible plastic junk.

They used to have a reputation as having beautiful trim in their homes, and stellar quallity, but now that is gone. We still do as nice of work as we can, but the product it awefull. As my cousin used to say, “You can’t pollish a turd”. It is very stressfull working with them, and they gave a large portion of our work away to “a buddy”. It is hard to get paid on time anymore, and now they want us to do work on one of the company owners big new houses for half price and maybe less, even though it is a lot more work.

I still work for other people, and can make a living without them, though, so is it really worth putting up with them? I have tried talking to them repeatedly about the quality, and all they do is say “people accept it”.

I feel like I should just walk away, but it is still money. I still want to, though, and I am curious if I should just call him up and say I am busy for the foreseeable future, or just walk away. If they some day got back to where building a good house for people mattered to them, I would like to work for them again. I just dont know if that will ever happen.

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12 Answers

nicobanks's avatar

I think if you can make a living without them, you should walk away. Continuing to work for them could affect your reputation, considering the crap job they’re doing. They say the customer accepts it but shitty quality only goes so long before it’s discovered. Not to mention, it’s not good for your karma to do bad work. Walk away. Think of ways to make up the money somehow or reduce your expenses, but walk away.

wonderingwhy's avatar

some of the best advice I’ve ever been given, paraphrased, “if you wake up in the morning and can’t face another day at work, go mow the lawn.” IOW if you don’t like what you’re doing go do something else. and I fully second what @nicobanks said “if you can make a living without them, walk away”. There’s no sense in compromising your standards just because someone else wants to make a buck, you’re worth more than that and you know it or you wouldn’t care. Hell, start your own business, there’s always $ to be had for quality work.

FlipFlap's avatar

When you said, “We just get a phone call saying we need to be there the next morning or we are fired,” you summed it up with that one phrase. This is not a company I personally would work for. Of course you need to do the usual… Line up another job before leaving your current position.

When companies no longer pretend conscientious employees matter even in small ways, it’s time to show them how incorrect they are.

YARNLADY's avatar

If you have another source of income, drop them.

stevenb's avatar

Thanks to all of you! You help a lot.

Rarebear's avatar

It’s a job in a tough economy.

stevenb's avatar

It is a job, but I am a subcontractor for them, not an employee. I have other work and can do a lot of other things. I haven’t done any work at all for them in a month and a half.

spiritual's avatar

I think if you are questioning what they are doing morally, and you are not happy with it then you should give it up. You obviously have pride in your work which is great, and having morals that you stick to is more important than a bit of extra cash.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

At first I thought your question was about a personal falling out between you and an employer / primary contractor, and you were wondering if you should continue working for him despite the fact that you no longer like the person on a personal level. And I would have thought that you were insane to be asking; of course we work for people we don’t like personally!

But as I read the details of your question—now I still think you’re crazy to be asking… and to still be working for a schlocky, badly managed, uncaring and worse, slow-paying employer. If you have other work, then I’d drop these losers like a hot potato. The signals I’m seeing from your description suggest that one day they are not going to pay you.

LeopardGecko's avatar

I’m pretty sure what they are doing is illegal.

itmustbeken's avatar

I’m self employed for nearly 15 years. In all that time I have never regretted firing a client who was a pain or didn’t care about quality. If you can afford leave them, do it now and you’ll be amazed at how good it feels.

Now the real question is if you want to say something to them or just fade away. Unfortunately it sounds like they have been treating you like crap for awhile. It may not matter to them if you do move on. So, do something nice for yourself and open room in your schedule for new, better client that is coming.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

If you drop them, you will have more capacity to pick up better or different work for someone else. I would let them know why. File this under integrity and respect for the customers you work for, who deserve good materials and workmanship.

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