Help! What would you do?

I need a little collective from all the business owners who have employees.

Today we got a call from a customer. One of my employees had gone to do a job which was an hour away. My employee charged her $200 for her gutter cleaning. He told her that he had come a long way so here is the deal I can make for you. “Why don’t you cut the company a check for $200 and for me how about $50 cash.” Then he paused a minute or two, tells her “well I need to make some money as well you know.” Then he asked her to keep this information to herself.

She ended up giving him $45 cash tip, but felt uncomfortable about him asking for it.

When I found out about this, I was very angry. I’m wondering now how many other customers he has solicited tips from.

Is this something that I should fire him immediately for? We still have jobs on the calendar with no immediate prospects of how we can get them all done, if I fire him immediately.

What would you do?

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I’d fire him. You don’t lean on customers. But also might want to reconsider pricing because $200 doesn’t seem like much when you’ve got two hours worth of drive.

Oh and I’d be calling my customers that he serviced and following up with a “how did we do?” call to fish out others.


I would say Fire, thats bad!

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I would fire him. Been in that position many times and usually opted to not
fire and regretted it. Of course it’s a bitch being short handed…

Let him go now.

Yeah but you can explain to customers that you’re short handed, you can’t explain extortion.


i have experienced similar.
he needs to be fired RIGHT NOW.
alternatively you could fire him RIGHT NOW or better yet
fire him


if you do not fire him right you are telling him and everyone else that it is ok to steal from you and yes that was stealing from you.
he has done it before and wil do it again.
if you talk to him he will assure you it will never happen again but it will.
it doesn’t matter how much you will lose be not having the help for a bit he will steal more if you let him stay.

ps one employee of mine from the old photo finishing days stole at least 14k from me in less than a year.
another basically drove one of my stores to close and i figured out later that put another business out of business before mine and when i warned his next employer she said she had things running so tight he could possibly steal. 3 years later she found my card in drawer she was cleaning out and called to let me know he had stolen a ton from her and had to be fired.


Fired immediately.

Definitely. Gone like Elvis.

That is a huge service area, by the way.

[quote=“dave222, post:9, topic:41235, full:true”]Gone like Elvis.

Elvis isn’t gone. He’s still alive and pumping gas in Shiprock. The natives call him Glomp’izz’iz.

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If you do, it is 100% justified.
However, I understand your position when it comes to completing scheduled work, regardless of employee indiscretion.

Please do not take this as a boast, because it’s not. But I’ve managed a string of restaurants with hundreds of employees before turning to window cleaning. Believe me when I tell you: I’ve seen it all when it comes to employee indiscretion.

I’m going against the grain here with my response, but, so be it. There are plenty of successful businessmen on this forum and you may take their advice with no fear of reprisal.

What I will advise you is this: SOMETIMES the employee you catch red-handed can become your best. I had an experience similar to yours with an employee who ripped off a customer. I gave him a chance to confess, and he did. Recompense was made at his expense, and he is still employed at the establishment to the best of my knowledge. He was one of the hardest workers. And one of the most reliable. Following said incident, he was THE hardest worker, and THE most reliable. He cared about his job, but he got stupid.

You can toss your guy like a sack of trash, but just be careful not to shoot yourself in the foot. It sounds like you are up against the wall when it comes to completing your scheduled work. If there is ANY hope of rehab, I suggest you at least make the attempt. Give him a chance to come clean (if he is as yet unaware of your conversation with the customer) and mandate that he personally refund the cash to your client, with a verbal apology in your presence. If he is unwilling to perform this act, then can him.

If you believe it will be a simpler matter to replace rather than rehabilitate this individual, then can him.

You may opt to wait until you are through the heavy season, restrict this employee’s autonomy, train a new staff member, and then let the perpetrator go his own way.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility as proprietor to do what YOU believe is best for the business. And no one can fault you for that, regardless of your decision.

My $.02

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Whatever you do, DOCUMENT IT!


We would hope that goes without saying. But, apparently, it does not.

No slight to you.

Well, I confronted him, and he admitted he had done what the customer said he did. I decided to fire him. I knew I wouldn’t be able to trust him again.

Thank you for all your collective wisdom!


Starting fresh is a good feeling. Every time I tried to trust employees that were con men they continued to be con men. I probably had too much confidence in my ability to reverse many years of bad behaviors and bad influences.


Give him a raise.

Just wondering what he’s done on other jobs. Has he tarnished your company’s reputation. Sometimes sleezy employees put businesses out of business and the owner never knows what was going on. Most customers don’t speak up like that nice lady, they just quietly move on and tell their friends and neighbors not to use your company. I’ve seen it happen. Letting him go sounds good to me.

It’s a business not a church

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My subordinates always worshipped me


I had a similar situation when i was working for my uncle many moons ago.Myself and another employee caught his nephew outright stealing tips at christmas time which would have been split between all of us.He had been doing it for years,all year round too not just christmas.I informed my uncle and he basically called to a customers house after he had been paid and the lady told him how much he had given him and after he realised he left him short €50 of what the lady had mentioned he got his marching orders on the spot.There was no telling how much money he had stolen over the years.

Fire your guy immediately or he will continue to make a mug of you in the future.

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Hes probably skimming from the top also, i wouldnt trust him, he knows what hes doin is wrong