24 July 2010

Loyal Employees

Today, I had to let go of one of my most trusted employees. For two years, he worked as a purchaser in one of my previous companies. When that company was bought out by a capitalist, me and my 4 partners decided to take it up upon ourselves to take care of him in spite of the lack of a formal entity to assign him to. We each shared in his salary by covering a week's worth of wages, and for that week, he was yours to command. That went on for about a year. If you needed him longer, then by all means take him if no one else needed him. At least we got him to do a lot of things we would otherwise have loathed doing ourselves, and he was able to put food on his family's table.

For the past year or so, I hired him full time to do liaison and logistics for my consultancy, food importation and cold storage businesses. Really not much for him to do, since work mostly comes in spurts during the week. Mostly, his job is to try to balance inventory, monitor my cold storage infrastructure, do some infrequent deliveries and bill/collect from my clients. Most of the time, however, he sits idly, waiting for me to bark up some orders. Apart from him, we've also got a helper who does the cleaning of my office and warehouse, so workload is really light. Time is never much of a problem for him. He wakes when it is convenient, except when they need to do their market puchases at around 7AM once a week. The rest of the time, he can wake up to his heart's desire. Occasionally, it would be nice for him to be around when I need him at around 4:30PM -- but oftentimes, he's next door playing basketball. He takes his day-off Saturday afternoons, insisting he needs to leave for Manila just after lunch so he can get home at a decent time, and then he usually skips reporting for work on Mondays. If by some stroke of luck he does appear on a Monday, or Tuesday, he arrives at night, claiming the whole day as official work and that his salary must be in tact. Of course, he never gets away with that, but that's not the point.

So, after a few more recent events such as making and selling ice from my freezers, never finding the time to organize our goods, inaccurate inventory reports and a refusal to act as part-time merchandiser in the department store we finally got accredited to sell our vegetarian products, we figured it was time to let go.

He was sent back to Manila today.

To think that he was paid more than the proper minimum wages, given transportation and food allowances, and he chose to be arrogant in spite of it all.

As a messenger and as a man-Friday, he was great. In everything else, he would mope around in doing it, or just didn't want to do it.

I hate asking employees to leave, but for whatever reason they lose my trust and confidence, it always is difficult to let them go.

Laziness and arrogance, I can probably take. Dishonesty is something I cannot tolerate. Well, good luck to him, and I do hope he learns from this lesson.

Now, as many times in my life, I've invested so much time and effort, trying to impart knowledge and skills to my personnel -- not just common staff members, but high-value corporate managers as well. Coaching them, spending time with them, doing favors for them, helping them solve problems, helping them reach their goals --- being their mentors. In the end, you're a no one to them. They've gotten what they needed, they don't need you anymore. In their minds, "I have everything I need now". Good Riddance to them, too. I hope they look back at their lives at some point in the future and remember that they couldn't have done it all by themselves.


FilMasons NSW said...

Welcome back Kuyang... I think I saw this post or a gist of it on FB.

I never want to create enemies myself... never want to burn my bridges... what was that quote: the butt you're kicking today might be the same butt you're gonna have to kiss tomorrow. Your guy might need to rethink his future... this world is a bit small for his own good...


Ang Kuwago said...

Nice to be blogging more often again, Kuyang.

Yes, I agree. Unfortunately, many people are near-sighted and can't see much farther than their own nose. I just try to leave it up to God, and bear what I can. After all, no sense in being the protagonist.