On The Boss’ Time

Adrian’s Blog

On The Boss’ Time

One shop I worked for in Montana had four men that had worked for the owner for years.  He had trained them from the start.  Each man had a company vehicle that he drove for the shop.  They had their boss figured out well.


The first guy I went with stopped and paid his monthly bills at four or five places before we got to the job.  It would be noon before we arrived at the job.


The next day I was sent with another man.  The job was out of town about 30 miles.  (Thirty miles wasn’t a great deal of time in Montana when the speed limit was not generally enforced.)  This guy never ate breakfast at home, so we would stop at a little café before we left town and I would wait while he ate breakfast.  By the time we arrived at the job site it was time for the morning coffee break.


A few days later I was sent with man number 3.  He was better – usually arriving at the job site only about an hour and a half late.  I don’t remember his ritual for wasting time.


The first time I was sent out with the fourth guy it was a cold one, and we were doing work on street lighting.  For a time we drove around the streets looking at the job.  Then we stopped in a small shop for coffee break and to warm up.  Right then, in walked The Boss.  Boy was that fellow nervous when The Boss walked in.


The Boss contributed to this general air of lack of accountability in time use.  Every morning he would call us all together and each man would go over what he had done the day before.  In detail.  In GREAT detail.  – Ex:  “Well, I got to the job site and I nailed on two boxes.  Then I ran some #12 to one box.  Then I ran some #12 to the other box.  Then I went to get some devices…..”   The Boss would then outline that man’s job for the day.  – Ex: “When you get there I want you to nail on two boxes.  Then run some #12 to one box.  Then run some #12 to the other box.  Then go get your devices…..”  When everyone was done he would dismiss us to go to work.


One day I was sent to go on a job all by myself.  I was determined that I would not waste any time.  I asked the Boss which truck I should use, grabbed the keys and a roll of wire along with a 40 foot extension ladder.  I was gone while he was still talking to the other men.


I drove the few blocks to the job site, walked into the back yard, and looked over the job.  (It took about 5 minutes.)  I got the ladder and put it up to the building and was half way up when the Boss walked around the corner.


I looked down at him and said; “I hope I have the right place.”


He never said a word, just turned around and left.  I guess the new guy couldn’t be trusted.


Because I was the last one hired, I was the first one fired when the slow time hit the company.


That seemed to be a general policy among shop owners.