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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

While we were in Utah I talked to my sister. She and my brother both work for the business my Dad started after he retired, my brother doing sales and my sister doing accounting. It's a bathroom and kitchen refinishing business, and they get a lot of business in big housing developments in the Phoenix area.

My Dad had hired my sister's middle son after he had quit his job at Home Depot because the management there are "jerks." Everyone he's ever worked for are such jerks that he's had to quit. My nephew did really good work at first. He was enthusiastic and the other guys got along well with him. My father decided that he was going to take a leap of faith and make my nephew a supervisor. The guys who work for my father work strictly on commission. For each job they do, they get certain amount of money, which means that they knock themselves out to do a lot of work well and quickly (if they get called back to a job because it's done wrong, they work for free on the callback). My nephew went salary, meaning that regardless of how many jobs he worked or for how long, he got paid the same, although he was also getting sick time, holidays and insurance.

My sister the genius started complaining that her boy was being paid less than all the commission guys were being paid and was being forced to work his little fingers to the bone. She was working the whole network - my younger sister, my mother, my stepmother's parents, me, everyone - trying to convince us that my father's the villain in this little drama because he's making my nephew work for poverty wages and forcing him to live in squalor. And she enticed my nephew into quitting, claiming that my father's a jerk. She's looking for a new job herself, not because my father has treated her badly, but because of the imagined horrible treatment he's giving her son.

Well, it comes out that during the few weeks that my nephew was a supervisor, he had been lying the whole time about the amount of time he'd been working. He'd tell my sister that he'd been on a job for four hours and that there was another four hours' worth of work to be done, and another guy would go out to complete it and find that he hadn't even been there. My father and brother confronted him, and he quit in a huff, telling them that they didn't know what they were talking about, that they were taking the word of the other employees over his word.

My nephew agreed to stay and work for commission, but the hideous irony is that for this week, jobs are down and he's making even less. He's bitter, and again, it's my father's fault. My poor father feels stuck between a rock and a hard place, protecting his business at the cost of ill will on the part of his own family.

The worst part is that my sister has long been the cornerstone of the Olympic grudge-holding team. For both weight AND distance.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 3rd, 2005 05:53 pm (UTC)
*grumble* That sucks large rotten dinosaur eggs.
Feb. 3rd, 2005 06:42 pm (UTC)
First immutable law of business: never hire extended family.

Feb. 3rd, 2005 07:16 pm (UTC)
Bummer and I def. agree with Cliff. If I was them I would just be glad that Dad is in a position to own a business that could employ them to begin with, most people don't have that option and then they have to work for people who don't care when you're sick or need to take a day off etc (i.e. it could be a LOT worse).

Feb. 3rd, 2005 08:45 pm (UTC)
What ungrateful little shits.
Feb. 3rd, 2005 09:12 pm (UTC)
Well, we know how your nephew was spoiled, don't we.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )