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Thread: Don't hire relatives

  1. #1
    Resident optimist OldRightHander's Avatar
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    Don't hire relatives

    I've always heard people say not to hire relatives, and I guess I've learned that lesson. My brother used to drive for us and he came off the road about 3 years ago because the truck was having problems and we put him in dispatching. For the most part, that was working out ok, until we started growing and had to hire more dispatch people to keep up with the larger number of trucks. He resented that because he fancied himself the head of dispatch or some such and I had to set him straight about his role as one dispatcher, not the head of them.

    We got past that disagreement and continued to be productive, with a new guy I had hired and my wife doing dispatch along with my brother, and each person having his own group of trucks to handle, until a few weeks ago I started seeing way too many careless mistakes being made, the kind of mistakes that can be costly. We were getting charged back on too many loads from our factoring company and getting stiffed on other invoices. I also had drivers calling me to complain that they were sitting in good freight areas and seeing other trucks moving in and out while they weren't getting load offers.

    I got a few excuses from him about the volume of loads posted and how it's easy to miss one here and there, so I did a bit of digging into email accounts. It turns out that one of his buddies from when he was on the road had started up on his own and he was working with that guy behind my back, and using our business contacts to book loads for the other guy's trucks. It also turns out that the bad freight he had booked that I didn't get paid on or got charged back was most likely not careless mistakes but a concerted effort to screw me up financially because of a grudge he had from when my wife quit her job to help me with the company. He had notions that he was running things when in reality my wife is half owner and makes a lot of the decisions.

    So in short, his actions cost me about $20k in a period of a couple weeks, which put me behind on paying some drivers and carriers who have hauled loads for us. The drivers in turn decided to back off and not haul as much freight (who can blame them?) and that resulted in a pretty good drop in revenue. We went from a nice surplus in the bank to owing upwards of $50000 so fast your head would spin.

    Needless to say, he's fired and it's back to Carren and me running things, but now having to put back anything the company makes right back into the company. I haven't kept any personal income for a couple months and Carren is going back to her old line of work just to try to pay the bills. It's amazing how fast things can change, and more disconcerting when it's your own family member who does it to you. I've been looking into options for business financing, but a lot of people don't want to touch me at the moment because the history over the last couple months has been bad and they don't like the trend, but the truth of the matter is that I'll be able to streamline things, get some trucks rolling again, and maybe we can start digging out of the hole. Someone else suggested gofundme, but I've never used that before, so maybe my next step is to type something up on there and see what happens.

    Ok, since typing the last paragraph, I went on there and created a profile and typed up something for starters. It looks like you just get it out there on social media and hope enough folks click and donate? Anyway, if anyone has any better suggestions for coming up with about $100k to pay off the debts and build the reserve back up, I'm all ears.
    Last edited by OldRightHander; 05-04-2015 at 12:56 PM.
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  3. #2
    Member kpresidente's Avatar
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    Re: Don't hire relatives

    Ouch. I would never speak to my brother again if he did that to me.

    I've had family work for me, my father works for me now. It's worked out pretty well, so it's not universal. It's just like anything, I guess, make sure they're a good person. Doesn't sound like your brother is.

  4. #3
    Daffy Duck RedTeamGo!'s Avatar
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    Re: Don't hire relatives

    Can you sue your brother? Man, sorry that went down, what a terrible situation.

  5. #4
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Don't hire relatives

    Quote Originally Posted by RedTeamGo! View Post
    Can you sue your brother? Man, sorry that went down, what a terrible situation.
    He's probably more likely to get money by talking to a lawyer to see if he can sue the other company. I suppose it depends on the texts of the emails and how blatant they are. My guess is that his brother is "judgement proof," i.e. doesn't have any money.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  6. #5
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Don't hire relatives

    ORH, sounds like you're being kind to say that your brother cost you $20K. From the sound of it, the figure was really much higher. The whole story sucks on so many levels. I've enjoyed your updates on how you've built this built business from nothing to opening your own office to where you were before this latest setback. I don't get this whole social media bit and how people will send strangers money but you got nothing to lose by trying it. I'm equally concerned for your family dynamics. This kinda costs you a relationship with your brother. I lost my brother to cancer a decade ago. I value those relationships.

    I do think this will merely turn out to be a bump in the road and you'll be back to where you were but I know that doesn't mean much now.

  7. #6
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    Re: Don't hire relatives

    Sounds like I shouldn't hire your relatives.

    Seriously, this sucks. I opened this thread thinking it was about some worthless in-law or ne'er-do-well nephew. Own brother, ouch. Little brother? (Asks the oldest).
    Last edited by Rojo; 05-05-2015 at 03:55 PM.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

  8. #7
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    Re: Don't hire relatives

    Since he's your brother, I suppose having him killed is out of the question?

  9. #8
    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Re: Don't hire relatives

    This is a lesson in hiring, regardless of bloodline.

    Now you know where you are vulnerable, whoever holds this job in the future, you need some sort of auditing in place.

  10. #9
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Don't hire relatives

    Sorry about this, it's the suck.

    I worked with Pedro and my father for a decade, can't say this ever happened (or anything close) so it's really a broad statement to say don't work with family, but in many cases it is true.

    My credo is don't work with friends and don't loan them money. Saves me a lot of heartache and headaches

  11. #10
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Don't hire relatives

    My brother worked for me for about 8 years. We were both young, in our 20's. There were times when I was too hard on him. He was an average worker, and I expected him to work as hard as I did and I owned the company. That was a mistake on my part, not his. He was just happy to have a job, as he was a musician at heart who had a young family to feed and couldn't make enough playing in local bands.

    As I've grown older, I go out of my way to let him win every argument now. He's gone on to have a really nice career, in the business I taught him. I still feel guilty for expecting more from him than the other guys who worked for me.

    He was prone to goof off at times, though. If he didn't have an assignment, he wasn't about to look for one. One day he jokingly told me "I'm going on strike!!!!" I replied "how will I know?"

    We have a great relationship now, and really always did then too. But the dynamic is difficult at best, and if you can pull it off without lasting repurcussions to your relationship, it's a real blessing.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

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  13. #11
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Re: Don't hire relatives

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    My brother worked for me for about 8 years. We were both young, in our 20's. There were times when I was too hard on him. He was an average worker, and I expected him to work as hard as I did and I owned the company. That was a mistake on my part, not his. He was just happy to have a job, as he was a musician at heart who had a young family to feed and couldn't make enough playing in local bands.

    As I've grown older, I go out of my way to let him win every argument now. He's gone on to have a really nice career, in the business I taught him. I still feel guilty for expecting more from him than the other guys who worked for me.

    He was prone to goof off at times, though. If he didn't have an assignment, he wasn't about to look for one. One day he jokingly told me "I'm going on strike!!!!" I replied "how will I know?"

    We have a great relationship now, and really always did then too. But the dynamic is difficult at best, and if you can pull it off without lasting repurcussions to your relationship, it's a real blessing.
    My biggest problem with your brother is he isn't a baseball fan
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

  14. #12
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Don't hire relatives

    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    My biggest problem with your brother is he isn't a baseball fan

    Yeah, Mom dropped him when he was little.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Don't hire relatives

    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Red View Post
    Since he's your brother, I suppose having him killed is out of the question?
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  18. #14
    Daffy Duck RedTeamGo!'s Avatar
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    Re: Don't hire relatives

    Quote Originally Posted by OldRightHander View Post
    Someone else suggested gofundme, but I've never used that before, so maybe my next step is to type something up on there and see what happens.

    Ok, since typing the last paragraph, I went on there and created a profile and typed up something for starters. It looks like you just get it out there on social media and hope enough folks click and donate? Anyway, if anyone has any better suggestions for coming up with about $100k to pay off the debts and build the reserve back up, I'm all ears.
    I have a suggestion to go along with the gofundme idea:

    Do you have a reddit account? Do you know what reddit is?

    reddit is a platform where (mostly) anonymous users gather and discuss just about any topic known to man. It is not uncommon for a person to go on reddit and post something terrible that happened to them and to link to their gofundme account. I would recommend posting the story first, and if it begins to gain traction to edit your original post and link to the gofundme page. I know this sounds extremely weird, but you would be absolutely shocked how often this works and helps people in bad situations.

    I would recommend posting on the "business" subreddit, aka /r/business

    If you have any questions or need help, please feel free to ask. I would not do a PM, because I am sure there are other redditors on this site that may know more than me.

  19. #15
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    Re: Don't hire relatives

    Seems a bit like online panhandling. Do the donors get anything in return?


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