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Thread: gross insubordination - what to do ?

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    Thumbs up gross insubordination - what to do ?

    pheeew second time asking for input here in the forums in one day - tis a blue monday indeed !

    well here's what happened :

    my most expereinced chap ( happens to be factory manager as well ) was doing a job that we had to have complete on friday morning for installation at the clients home ( 26/10/12 ) , he knew this , when the day ended he whent home instead of putting in overtime to complete the job , the factory was working late on various other projects so there was a overtime shift in place already . he then sent a message with a fellow worker on friday morning saying he couldnt come in as he had personal business to attend to , i phoned the worker and reminded him that the client has now been put out and could he please come to work on saturday ( 27/10/12 ) so we could finish off - he said he that is in order he will be there , i spoke with the client and apologized and said we would be there on saturday no problems - he was happy with that . worker in on saturday and when i had a look at the end product it was shocking in quality and done incorrectly and would not be able to even fit into the clients application , i told him that , he got upset and downed tools and walked out , i had to speak again with the client on saturday who by now is past the point of irate with me and my business seens we arent coming to finish the job once again . today the worker is not here to fix the job and after i phoned him he told me that he was not happy with my attitude when i spoke to him about the job in question , he will only be back in tomorrow again to discuss this with me .

    now if there is a labour lawyer in the house or somebody with expereince in such matters may i ask if i can have this chap up for gross insubordination ?

    now i know i was very harsh in my criticism of his workmanship and for staying out on the day we were supposed to have completed the job but after having to kiss the clients behind to keep him happy and then having to do more butt kissing again and making myself look like a a-hole as well i feel as the employer i have the right to say something to my workers when they drop me like this with a important client .

    a) do i have the right to disclipine this chap ?
    b) can i skip giving a verbal warning and go straight to a final written warning for such gross insubordination ?

    hey many thanks for anybody taking the time to read this long post and having any answers .

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Gross insubordination is a dismissable offence. The guy can get for fired or should at least receive a warning. Get a labour consultant in if you can not deal with it yourself.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    thanks blurock - as a outsider looking at this scenario would this qualify as gross insubordination in your opinion ? im just trying to get a outsiders view point before i go all guns blazing into this situation .

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    I do not want to be the judge on sketchy information as there is always two sides to a story. Insubordination is refusing an instruction and is punishable.. You did mention that the guy had personal problems. It may be worth your while to find out what this was about. It must have been serious if it affected his work so badly.

    By showing some compassion you may get more out of the guy in future. If you fire the guy, you need to recruit and train a new worker who may even be worse. It all depends on your relationship with the worker and whether that relationship can be healed.

    Do you want revenge for botching a job or do you want to solve a problem?
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    yeah i see what your saying mate , unfortunately this fella is a repeat offender when it comes to this time of the year and when i spoke to him on saturday he smelled strongly of alcahol as well . im guesing maybe he needed a day off on friday to spend all his overtime money he received , all work and no play makes jack a dull boy if i recall the saying ? i think ill just suspend him for a week , should give him enough time to spend all his lolly and need some more then ...

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Based on the OP, I was leaning towards "insubordination - written warning (with perhaps a suspension)".

    It sounded like there are points in mitigation of doing anything too drastic... until I read the bit about "smells of alcohol".
    Now that is serious
    And frankly, probably the problem you should be paying most attention to.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by radeonman View Post
    yeah i see what your saying mate , unfortunately this fella is a repeat offender when it comes to this time of the year and when i spoke to him on saturday he smelled strongly of alcahol as well . im guesing maybe he needed a day off on friday to spend all his overtime money he received , all work and no play makes jack a dull boy if i recall the saying ? i think ill just suspend him for a week , should give him enough time to spend all his lolly and need some more then ...
    In a workplace one should try to build a team. In that context I would not want a repeat offender on my team as it breaks down morale and team spirit.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Platinum Member Mike C's Avatar
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    "smells of alcohol".
    Be careful here. "Smells of alcohol" does not stand up as proof of anything at the CCMA or a hearing. Even finding them with alcohol on the premises means nothing. One has to prove that they had actually imbibed ... and the only way to do that is to have a test taken. One can buy breathalysers for the workplace. Even if it is argued that it is not accurate, it "proves" that the person had imbibed. And when working with heavy equipment or power tools, he or she then becomes a danger to themselves and others - which is very serious.
    An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. - Anatole France

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    thanks folks for the input im going with suspension and maybe going to try for a dismissal as well , got to a point where my work isnt going out the door and my bills are piling up due to one rotten apple - i think nipping it in the bud is the best medicine .

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Like Blurock says, there are always 2 sides to a story. Employees also become difficult when an employer is abusive. (I am not saying you are - I am just saying that attitude and tone of voice makes a hell of a difference in the workplace). I can think of a number of instances where I was a total harda$$ because an employer was disrespectful or rude. As an employer one has to be careful to try and have your cake and eat it. You can't expect an employee to put in extra time and effort if you verbally abuse him.

    I get the feeling that you have been gunning for him for a while.


    now i know i was very harsh in my criticism of his workmanship and for staying out on the day we were supposed to have completed the job but after having to kiss the clients behind to keep him happy and then having to do more butt kissing again and making myself look like a a-hole as well i feel as the employer i have the right to say something to my workers when they drop me like this with a important client .
    I get the feeling that you are not a very pleasant person given your manner of speech and I get the feeling that you are more pi$$ed about "looking like a a-hole" more than anything else.

    If I were the employee I would carry a tape recorder with me at all times.

    Remember, any relationship is a two way street.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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