Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)

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Employee killin' me: All he wants to do is blog, talk on the cell and nap

 First, I want to state that King of the House, Inc is a smaller firm. There are basically two employees, me and I own it, and the hired hand who is of Italian descent, Mr. Topolino Stromboli. I have spent lots of money on training this employee. He is supposed to do office work and some inspection duties. He is fully trained as a "certified attic technician" acronym C.A.T. On top of that, he is certified as a rodent intervention specialist. And he is about two weeks away from being certified in quick books. The point is, I have spared no cost in training this individual and, generally, he is a good employee. However, this recent 90 degree weather seems to have totally wiped out his ambition. All he wants to do is blog at AR, talk to friends on the cell phone and nap. I am one frustrated small business owner -- trying to keep things rolling on my own while paying another who is a slacker. Reluctantly, I post the photos below which show just what frustration I am feeling as the "nice guy" employer who does not want to threaten this individual's livelihood. Frankly, if I let him go I am not sure he could find other gainful employment. To see where this all started, please visit: http://activerain.com/blogsview/91434/Say-goodbye-to-payroll

 

Bellingham home inspections

On the cell phone, between AR blogs -- Brother!

 

Stretching prior to more serious blogging

Steven L. Smith

If you enjoy nostalgia and music of yesteryear, click on Elvis' gold record to visit This Day In History. To explore The Stories Behind The Music blog posts click on the electric guitar. 

 

        

 

 

 

 

Comment balloon 35 commentsSteven L. Smith • July 11 2007 04:28PM

Comments

I am absolutely rolling on the floor. 

This is the funniest post I believe I've ever read on Active rain.  It's a "fiver" and I'm recommending it for a Gold Star.

We need some real honest laughter. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 12 years ago
let him go.  he is holding you back
Posted by Marcus Valdez (Berkshire Hathaway Rocky Mountain Realtors) about 12 years ago
In his defense sun bathing/napping is a necessity for his type.
Posted by delete account about 12 years ago
Being the humble "owner" of another small real estate firm, I also have two slackers of similar descent who believe they can come and go as they please, eat at will and dis anything said or attempted by me to remedy this remorseless attitude and behavior. I am considering an employee buyout..................
Posted by Dave Rosenmarkle, 32 years of providing fully satisfying service! (Highland Realty) about 12 years ago

You should have hired a dog...they would have screwed everything up, but would have REALLY TRIED to make you happy! That's all they live to do!

Posted by Lania DeMers, Broker, Rocky Mountain Realty Co. (Rocky Mountain Realty Co.) about 12 years ago
Steven -- I gave your post a five!  I highly recommend looking for a Digital, Organizational, Gopher to help solve your problem.  My D.O.G Thelma really is an asset to me.  She brings her sister Louise to the office with her though and this does cause some havoc.  Aloha
Posted by Bruce Bourgault, Vice President, Mpro (Central Pacific Homeloans) about 12 years ago
Thanks for the comments. I can tell, by the tone, that you understand what a pain it is to be paying out the bucks while the employee does NOTHING! I even have to pay the comcast fees and the cell phone bill.
Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago
LOL- he is too cute to fire- let him sun bathe and why not use the phone- he may attract business for you just on his goof looks LOL
Posted by MAUREEN STACCATO about 12 years ago

Actually, I used to have a dog and that was great too. She was a Samoyed, so this weather really wiped her out. About the only thing good about her long coat, in this weather, was that she was white and would have gotten hotter if she was dark. This silly cat is quite a case. His mother got sick when he was only a few days old. She was a feral cat in the neighborhood. The other kittens died and this one we found howling. He was, honestly, the size of a mouse. We fed him by bottle for weeks. When he started ripping the nipple off it, we decided he was weaned. The name Topolino is "little mouse" in Italian, a language my wife studies. The Stromboli comes from a volcanic island we visited in Italy. So we raised him like mom and dad cat and, due to that, he is more like a dog in some ways than a cat. Not as independent as the cats usually are but certainly some of that in him. He kind of reminds me of a dog, except the dog never looked you in the eye from seven feet above.

 

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago
You had me there.  I was feeling sorry for you!  What a hoot!  Good post-a definite 5
Posted by Sybil Holcomb (Ayres Realty) about 12 years ago
Yes, I wanted to write it seriously, so everyone would think I was one dumb boss till they saw the pictures.
Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Maureen,

 For some reason everyone says he looks goofy. I tend to agree.

Steve

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago
Steven-You must not let this persist or Mr. Stromboli will likely lose all respect for you.  Although, it does seem that Mr. Stromboli's has a pretty good system going here.  Perhaps you could consider closing your business and finding an employer who is as kind as you to work for and start emulating Mr. Stromboli.
Posted by Marlene Bridges, Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate (Village Real Estate Services, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Marlene,I like your work and Mr T Stromboli could learn from you.  If you will send me your address, I will send Mr Stromboli down to you "airmail". He would be able to help with the blogging and bookkeeping for a few weeks, but you will need to have an A/C unit to keep him productive. Being in SoCal that is probably something you have to offer him that I do not.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago
I do believe that you are wrong about who is the owner and who is the employee.  I have never known a cat who was not the owner of all he/she surveyed.  Obviously, Topolino owns everything about you.
Posted by David Helm, Bellingham, Wa. Licensed Home Insp (Helm Home Inspections) about 12 years ago

David,

Reading your comments I really want to be manly and righteously indignant. I want to drive to your house and set your straight. However, the cat has just about got the payroll checks done on quickbooks and he says I have to hang around to sign his check so he can pay his cell phone bill.

 

Steve

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago
Thanks for all the comments folks. This is one of my more popular blogs over the past couple weeks.
Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago
Glad you liked it. I would like to say that the cooler weather made him a better worker...not so far.
Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Thanks Deborah,

 

If the "rat boy" as he is affectionately known was worthy of a gold star it might make up for his poor work ethic. Otherwise I think I am going to have to send him down to Labor Ready to see if they can find some sucker who appreciates paying a sleeping employee.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Steven, what an adorable post. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face ((-:

Jo 

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith about 12 years ago

Jo-Anne,

Thanks for the comments. I am currently involved in yet more turmoil with this whelp. I may be posting a followup blog.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago

This is to all of you who, through AR and privately, gave me advice on dealing with this serious personnel issue that I shared with you.

I really appreciate all the suggestions and comments I got from various Active Rain members. As some wisely suggested, I had a long discussion with Mr. Topolino Stromboli about his role with this company, his future in it, our obligation to our clients and my expectations. I had thought that that formula had worked. For a few hours he was actually quite on the ball and tending to business. However, today while I was working on a project for Bellingham Technical College, I noticed that the office phone was ringing and it was not being answered. So I go out to see where the employee might be. The photos attached show that, despite my valiant efforts to save his job, I am the rube. I think he is playing me for the fool.

 

 Topolino reading fiction

Caught, in the act, lounging and reading pulp fiction

Topolino stromboli

Not threatening the boss -- plain and simple case of lazy employee yawning and sleeping on the job

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago
cats Steve...threaten him with this...Responsibilities put everyone on the straight and narrow
Posted by Joan Mirantz, Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire (Homequest Real Estate) about 12 years ago

Ahhh, Steven,.  You're cracking me up.  I LOVE those pics of him reading the book. My kind of cat. Perhaps he would like to come and work for me?

Jo 

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith about 12 years ago
Yeah, Actually that is one reason I took him in: Literate cat and all. Little did I know that all he liked was Grisham novels and spy thrillers. Obviously he is not the intellectual I had anticipated him to be.
Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Jo-anne,

Are the two in the photo your assistants? If so maybe we can organize an employers union to try to get some honest, productive work out of this feline pestilence. The assistant is here tonight, about to bat the mouse onto the floor. He also rips FAX's out of the FAX (seriously) the problem is he runs off with them and does not always give them to me. I find them with the corner chewed. He is more of a clown than a cat. If you accept COD shipping he is on the way Monday. By the way, I would never find a female cat that would marry him. He cannot even provide for himself.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Deborah,

You are another late night blogger. I have got to get some sleep. In answer to your question, I take my work seriously for myself and clients but like to have fun here at AR and, in general, in my private life.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago
I probably should have posted this link earlier. This was on topic and an article I did, several months back, where I was crowing about how clever I was -- getting around the tax laws, with my sole employee. Yeah, Topolino Stromboli was the subject. I am pretty red in the face about this previous article, in light of the personnel crisis that exists today.  However, reading this previous blog will give you some insight into the depths of my disappointment and despair. It is just so hard to find good workers today.
Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Yes,

 

I actually find it kind of relaxing to play on active rain after my primary work is done. Sometimes I am up too late though.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Deborah,

 When those of us who teach home inspection for BTC go out for dinner in Bellingham, that is what Charlie Buell wants to do--get the fish at Boss Tweed. We have some good seafood places here. I have been to the peninsula, but not to the lavender festival. I assume that is the scented plant you are admiring and not an event where everyone, including the crazy canucks who bust the border, dress in lavender and stroll about.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Steven, No, those aren't my assistants. I believe they are Joans.  Here is a pic of my two FORMER assistants.

 This literary Father/Daughter team had  excessive reading habits which forced me to fire them. They even took to guarding the bookshelf !!
Only Grisham and spy thrillers ? Hmm, I would say save your packaging costs and keep him there. If he isn't willing to scan agreements of purchase and sale for errors and omissions, then he is of no use to me.  I gave up on sending the profiles of my former assistants to the cat personals. One was a eunich and the other had terrible pms. Not something I would wish on any potential marriage partner. Perhaps we should switch back to dogs ? Seems there are many  AR members who have excellent dog assistants .

(((-:

Jo 

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith about 12 years ago

Jo-Anne,

 

I think I better keep him. I think his sloppy work would get you in trouble. Seriously, based on what I have described, do you want him scanning your agreements for E/O issues. They are likely to be one big error. He would like a blank page as well as a full one. Good chewing. Glad I Email reports.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Deborah,

Lots of the places that brag about seafood are not that good. That is typical of a waterfront town. Visitors expect great seafood so every Tom, Dick and Harry opens a marginal place. There are good places with seafood in the area, but you have to know them. Those bragging about it as their specialty might be among the poorest. Charlie is a fellow I teach with, and on AR but not too active. The post I made yesterday, of the creepy snake, is a Charlie picture.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 12 years ago
My sick sense of humor was telling me to call your phone to scare the cat! - LOL
Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) almost 12 years ago
Stephen, I used to have a cat who occupied a similar spot in my life and my house...
Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) almost 12 years ago

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