Fire everyone at work! (Any small business owners out there?)

Okay, I'm not sure if this should go here or in the "water cooler" section, but here goes.  It's not even really an "atheist" topic, but it is "community" I guess.  I just have to vent somewhere and I trust the Nexus more than gossipy facebook.  (And even though I live in New York, I don't think any of my work friends are on this network.)

Here it is.  I run a small company and work my ass off during this recession.  I'm the top biller and I'm here almost every weekend.  Of course I'm the boss/owner so I believe I SHOULD be working harder, but here's the bottom line.  I recently had to come in on my daughters' birthday, (one of the ONLY personal days I take), because I found out half the fucking staff wasn't in on time to take care of a very important client.  

I'm sooooooo fucking mad.  I'm generally a nice boss, but I feel like firing every one. (15 employees).  It's really hard to explain this feeling to people who haven't run their own companies.  I know a lot of bosses suck, and are greedy lazy egomaniacs.  But I give my employees good benefits, free fucking lunch, parties for people's baby showers and birthdays and shit.  And this is how they fucking repay me!!!  I take one day off and more that 50% of them show up almost an hour late!!!

Jesus.  (Sorry, the lord's name in vain just works for me.  Even if he isn't the lord of anything.)  But what do I have to do?  In a capitalist system do bosses just have to be assholes?  Do I have to curse at everyone and threaten them all the mother fucking time?  Don't they know how lucky they are to have a fucking job these days!!  Jesus fucking H. Christ.  (There he is again!  I guess he IS all powerful!)  

Seriously, any other Bosses out there ready to vent?  I'd love to hear other stories.  Or if anyone knows a "bosses" forum somewhere.  Let me know.



PS - I don't mind hearing views of NON-bosses too.  Despite the bile above, I actually like to see the other sides' viewpoint.  I really want to scream at everyone Monday morning even though it's not everyone's fault.  In the past I'm always afraid of "lowering morale".  But it's about time they give a shit about MY morale.  You know?  I'd really love to hear everyone's thoughts.

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Hey sort of a boss...well a supervisor anyways...and I think if half of my shift were late I would totally be screwed...Our company has policies which prevent that many people from just being off because we are here to service our clients. I definitely would say that they your employees took advantage of you. I have to work weekends every other month and I hate it, but its my job, its my livelihood. I do my job. I wouldn't say go fire everyone but if it is a matter of that they had to come in on a weekend...I might be scheduling everyone to come in on weekends for a while until they realized that it was nicer the way it was before...just my opinion.

You know I would probably bring them all in on Monday and tell them that you were extremely disappointed in their behavior. Since it is obvious that they have become accustomed to weekends off and the company has some customers who need to see us on weekends...then I will be scheduling certain employees to be here on weekends to care of those customers, the employees working weekends will rotate. The lack of company loyalty has nearly cost a valued client and if anyone feels this is unfair there is the door...something along those lines...

sorry if it sounds like I am rambling...

Do you have any people under you? Like managers that help you manage those 15 people? Because I would also be looking at them for some answers as to why half my people were late for an important client...
I remember that Jack Whatisname, who used to run GE, said a smart manager would fire the worst performing 10% of his employees every year. Of course, you can't do that with hourly workers without good documentation or they'll sue you untill your butthole bleeds! Management, however, is a different story and anybody in the worst 10% group NEEDS to be fired so they'll wake up to the fact that their job performance is a serious threat to their economic security. At the same time the remaining 90% will be motivated to pick up their performance because 12 months down the line another 10% are getting the ax. This program also brings in new blood on a regular basis and keeps the management team from growing stale.
I was in that situation at school. I didn't participate in "senior skip day" because I didn't have a car and I'd just be sitting around at home, and most of my friends were not seniors anyway.
What do you do to hold them accountable for these sorts of actions? Southwest Airlines, for example (my father works for them, so I know the details), docks points if you're late or don't show up, which can lead to firing if enough points accumulate. If you call ahead of time that you'll be late, you're only docked half a point. Every three months, the employees receive four buddy passes so friends can fly free. If they've lost more than x amount of points, they don't receive them for those three months. This is just an example, but it punishes the employees without causing any real damage. Those passes are a form of compensation, as they are often traded for other services. You cannot sell them, but you can buy with them from local businesses.

Do you have someone else supervising when you're not there to make sure people clock in on time and actually start working, rather than just clock in and run off for Starbucks? Or is it entirely on an honor system? Because it sounds like the honoring part seems to be missing. >.X
Thanks for all your help guys. Just to be clear, the point wasn't JUST the being late. It's more like they've all convinced me in the past that they love my place and love the work. (We're in TV post production.) I know it's hard to get a job out there, and like that stupid show about bosses under cover I'm probably not thinking about the fact that some of them don't get paid all that much. (It's not Duane Reade! I'm paying everyone more than minimum wage.) Plus it's the kind of industry where if you want to build a career, you simply have to bust your butt and impress the CLIENTS. NOT me!

There're basically two career paths in my industry. Editor, (not like a book editor, it's film editing, and it's both a technical AND creative position), or producer. And EVERYONE at my place has said they want to move up. Well, YOU CAN'T MOVE UP IF YOU DON'T SHOW UP! (I just came up with that, huh? Not bad, eh?). In other words they should WANT to get there early, wether I'm there or not.

Okay, more later. But thanks guys. Different viewpoints. And each one thought out! What are you all, a bunch of independent thinkers or something? (I'm really loving this Atheist Nexus!) ;)

I was freelance for a few years. I know EXACTLY how you feel. I was my own bookeeper too! But seriously, I'm NOT the kind of boss who minds if you take a break in the middle of the day and check your Facebook (or Atheist Network!) And I'm flexible with the vacation schedules and days off. So in other words I DO sort of treat them like I would myself as a freelancer. I guess that's why I'm so pissed. I may be a nice boss but I'm not gonna' let people take advantage of me. You know?

I've run a number of teams over the years, and have also run my own company. I know exactly how annoying it can feel when you are working your ass off to keep a company or a project afloat, and other team members seem to just be cruising along. You feel like slapping the lot of them.

However, loosing it with them is most likely not going to work. I know it may be tempting to fire the lot of them, but then what? You've just lost your whole work force. How are you going to respond to your customers now? Your world has just got a lot worse.

From the sounds of it, you only have a small team (you say 15). If I was you I'd get them all together and calmly tell them a) what happened and b) how you, as the owner, feel about it. Don't loose it but tell them straight how you feel. Then be prepared to listen to what they have to say in response (not defense). There could be stuff going on that you, as the owner are not aware of, or that the staff feel that they are unable to talk to you about. One or two staff not turning up on time I can sort of understand - there are always some who will take advantage. But the whole team not turning up - that sounds like there is something a bit more complicated going on. Ask them straight, "whats going on?".

At the very least it might clear the air. It would show to you staff that you are annoyed but prepared to listen. Explain the situation - for instance, do your staff fully understand that this client is really important?

Just don't let your obvious annoyance with them let you do something that you may later regret - like not having any workforce at all.
Good advice overall Max. It wasn't everyone not showing up. Hope I didn't portray it that way. It was about half the staff, (but most of the editorial staff, which is the most important). I must admit I've been thinking about really letting loose on everyone 'en masse. I wouldn't fire them all. Not at the same time.

Anyway, thanks for the advice!
The question that first popped into my mind was, did they know the importance of showing up on time this specific day? I don't know if this was a weekend day or a regular week day but in my experience some people come in late because they work late on a regular basis and fee justified taking a little longer to get in. For example, I have had people working under me that frequently worked 1 or 2 hours a day past 5 and from time to time would come in late but not nearly to the extent o how often they stayed late. If you had a project going that was consuming a lot of time and had people working overtime this could be one of those cases where the team pulled a late night'er and all agreed to sleep in a little late the next day. That is where my question comes into play, were they aware you needed them in on time? If this was a weekend day than that goes double. People who come in on their off days are giving more than you are paying them even if they come in late. I for one hate to work weekends, I feel that everyone needs to take that time off to unwind and freshen up for the next work week. I can see a Saturday once in a while and did that myself as a manager but frequent requests to give up family time can really start to affect moral and cause disgruntled workers. As well, do they come in on weekends frequently? If so then showing up late from time to time is a little way to reap the benefits of giving that extra. In some cases where employers ask employees to come in on weekends and work late the employee can feel like THEY are being taken advantage of. I don't know your case specifically but if you are there every weekend as the owner you are getting something out of it much greater than your employees, you are getting a successful company that you can call your own. They are getting experience and a paycheck....nothing more. Everyone needs to work hard to further their career but not at the expense of family and down time. If there is a light at the end of the tunnel (as you have) then it makes it much easier to sacrifice now, if there is no end in sight then even with free lunches, it can be a drain.

I agree with Max on the way to approach this. Let them know your concern and see what concerns that your staff might have. You never know, you might learn something.
I am self-employed, and my wife "works" for me. I put "works" in quotes not because she doesn't work, but because I can't really think of it as a boss/employee situation. Tried that. Not pretty!

I can't count the number of times we have disappointed one another by not following through on something. The book that helped me the most with this is The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

The habit that was most immediately helpful is "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." Simple, but very powerful.

It IS hard to believe that your employees should care so little about their jobs that they would show up late. Perhaps there is an assumption you're making somewhere in this chain of thought. In other words, does showing up late really mean they don't care or does it mean something else? As Scott pointed out above, perhaps they were simply not aware of the situation, or each was depending on the others to be there.

Before reaming them out, you might just ask for an account from them of what happened and why. Once they know that you really understand the situation, they'll be more receptive to whatever you have to say about it. Also, they may come up with a solution on their own, given the chance. Surely they'll agree that the situation with the important client was not desirable for anyone in the company, and they'll want to prevent such a thing from happening again as much as you do.

Good luck!
I have taken two pay cuts in the past several months - actually, the first one came well over a year ago and the second one is coming up on a year. I happen to have a job with a fluxing work load. I work to deadlines - ads, events, presentations, etc. Sometimes, that means my load is relatively light - but I know for a fact that I'm the only one here with a bedroll in my office. So when my boss (who I used to respect) sends out the global 'just because I cut your pay doesn't mean you can cut your effort because I could have just thrown you to the wolves' emails I really get pissed.

I had a true ma and pa for five years (until my wife got pregnant) and we both worked the equivalent of two full time jobs each to make it work. For me, it's always about the task at hand. Whoever was responsible for that important client - or whoever let them down - should have at the very least been put on notice.

That said, be sure you understand and show appreciation - in front of others - for those who go the extra mile. And do not come down in a global way. My boss claims that he does it to appear more even-handed - not singling anyone out. Well - he can single people out for a negative comment in private - rather than piss off the people who commit themselves to the work.

Fortune 500 (or some other such magazine - I can't remember) published a study of the top ten investments that a company can make in an attempt to curtail turn over. Cost effectiveness was not what was measured - simply effectiveness. Nevertheless, the top two turned out to be what was termed 'zero cost investments' (meaning no dollars were spent.) They were (and they have to be meant): "Thank you." and "What do you think?"
The storm blew over, but thanks. Very good words or wisdom.




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