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Re: Friendship First Versus Employee?


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 A month ago, a close friend and long-time tow owner and I had lunch talking about what’s and happenings going on? He mentioned that one of his drivers  (another long-time friend of mine) had three damages in the last quarterly reporting period. Two damages were carrier related suspension damages, and one was a backing incident where he backed an auction car into another auction car during auction. The suspension repair costs weren’t something to send to insurance and the auction car damages were a wash. The owner asked me for advice and I know he was struggling with the issue of firing the driver versus keeping him on?


For sure, that’s a hard choice. In my mind, when an experienced, long-time, skilled operator has back-to-back issues in a close period, I’m thinking there’s maybe something going-on that’s beyond the work environment, either in personal relationships, work, or life in-general? And, to address that, I recommended he take his driver to lunch or have an informal conversation that begins with something like, “You’ve worked for me for a long time and you’ve done a great job. I’m concerned about what’s happened recently. Is there something I can help you with?” THe owner expressed his concern about the damages, but made the converation more personal allowing the employee to share what happend. In this case, they went to lunch and it was determined that there was a relationship issue outside the workplace, but the relationship issue had been resolved. The driver was able to talk openly without going into the details too much. At the end of their conversation, the driver said he was sorry and he would do better. And, since that time, the driver appears to be back-on-track both in his personality and abilities.


As an owner, changing hats and open communitation are two giantic attributes to have. Some say that keeping relationships seperate is the way to go keeping in-mind that long-term, committed drivers are hard replace. I believe it's more than that. So, I'll ask ... "How do you owners handle issues or damages when they occur to best friend drivers?" Or, is there such a thing?     R.

Randall C. Resch

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Great discussion. 

First and foremost I value integrity beyond anything else. If you steal from me, and stealing fron a client id stealing from me, or lie to me, I have to be able to have faith in you as an associate, we are done. Life happens. People get sick, deaths in the family occur, divorces, as well as the other d's as Davd Ramsey calls them. (Death, divorce, debt, drugs, disease, depression, he had a whole list of thd bad things that happen that are of a negative impact and start with a D.)

I would have had the talk after the first incident. I think he handled it well. 

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