Should they stay or should they go? Doug and Al Harvey are the top two employees at Dick Zimmerman Renovations. What should they do, now that Dick seems to be losing the plot? Do they stay or do they go? Brothers Doug and Al Harvey have often talked about starting up their own contracting business. But Dick Zimmerman has been a good boss for almost 10 years now. Doug is the site supervisor/project manager and Al is the lead carpenter. The three men have always operated as partners, if not in terms of dollars (Dick is the sole owner) then at least in terms of decision making. They even have a profitsharing plan. Yes, Dick has paid the brothers well. He’s given each of them a company truck, started matching their RRSP contributions, and has more or less let them run the business. Lately, however, much has changed. Dick seems to have lost a step. He doesn’t show up on sites as often. And he’s not chasing down new business, leaving the brothers out of work for a few weeks each year, particularly in the winter. Lately, they’ve heard Dick exchanging harsh words on the phone with his wife, Pat, who does the books. Are the Zimmermans having problems at home? The brothers really like Dick, but he’s in his mid 60s now and the Harvey boys worry that their future may be less secure than they thought. What should Doug and Al do now? See the options at right. LAST ISSUE’S WINNER – Fisticuffs on the jobsite In last issue’s contest, Howie and Brian, two of contractor Ian Dobson’s framing crew, were punching it out after Howie had made lewd comments about Brian’s wife. This was not the first time Howie had yanked Brian’s chain. He was just that kind of guy. Dobson arrived on the scene to find both men with blood on their faces yelling at each other. What should Dobson do now? We got a lot of responses, many of them emphasizing that employers have a moral and legal obligation to provide a safe work environment. That goes beyond physical safety to include verbal harassment. Dobson lacked any policies whatsoever to deal with either. As a result, he was caught off-guard and flat-footed. Many respondents suggested that Dobson should suspend the two combatants for a few days to cool off, take written statements from both of them... and possibly consider insisting they get some outside help. It’s a complicated and serious issue, and many excellent responses were received. In the final analysis, the panel felt that the best overall solution was submitted by Sharon Clarke from Bosch Services Inc., Burlington, ON. Congratulations, Sharon! You will receive a DeWalt FLEXVOLT® 60V MAX* 6-1/2” Track Saw and accessories with a retail value of $669. WHAT SHOULD DOUG AND AL DO? 1.Start making plans to launch their own business. 2.Leave Dick alone to solve whatever is bothering him and Pat, and carry on. 3.Talk to Dick and see if there’s a problem or ask if he wants to sell out. 4.Consider working for another contractor instead. 5.Something else. HOW TO ENTER Email your answer to John Bleasby (email@example.com) Your suggested solution can be any of the above ideas, a combination, or your own solution entirely. The best contractor-submitted answer, as judged by the editors, will WIN A DeWalt FLEXVOLT® 60V MAX* 2.5 Gallon Cordless Air Compressor (DCC2560), including one 6.0Ah FLEXVOLT® battery and a fast charger with a total retail value of $449. Deadline for entries is October 26.
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