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red930

Had to let a new hire go after one week

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As many of you know I run my own private computer business out of my apartment after hours and on weekends. The business has treated me well; I have a great customer base and the money is good.

 

About a month ago I knew I was needing help with computer builds, repair work and network setups. I was barely making appointments on schedule and spending a lot of time playing catch-up repair work. So much that I usually missed one to four hours of sleep each night. Not good.

 

A three day ad was taken out in the Arcata and Eureka community papers looking for a technician. I explicitly specified it was part-time only work, they had to be knowledgeable in Windows NT, 2000, all versions of XP, all versions of Vista, server configuration pertaining to the implementation, networking, security configuration, basic troubleshooting procedures, willing to learn, and above all exhibit enormous amount of patience with customers. The starting wage was advertised at $14 per hour. After 90 days a review would be conducted. Depending upon the performance the wage would have been somewhere between $16 and $18 per hour.

 

On a side note...I have three folders I keep resumes in. One is labeled "Possible Candidates"; the second is labeled "Under Qualified"; and the third is labeled "Not a Chance in Hell". Unfortunately, I had to place the resume of a "well-endowed" brunette in the third folder. She was dumber than a animal on the freeway during rush hour.

 

After a week of conducting interviews I finally decided to hire a 26yo college student. He was A+ certified, answered all the questions posed intelligently and possessed and easy going - yet professional - attitude. Seemed like a good choice. Boy, was I wrong.

 

On the third night of his trial I had him start building one of the two tri-SLI systems due in a couple of weeks. While he was starting the open bench testing process I was catching up on paperwork and a couple of graphic projects.

 

After about 25 minutes I hear him yell ".!" from the work area. Microseconds after that my nostrils are accosted by the unmistakable smell of burnt carbon. WTH? confused.gif

 

I ran into the other room and immediately see the black wisps of smoke rising from the workbench. He had just switched off the PSU and was waving the noxious fumes from his face. I asked him what happened and he replied "I don't know, it started smoking as soon as I applied power." I said, "OK, let me take a look."

 

(Note: I smelled something else in the air but couldn't place it at the time. More on that later.)

 

Immediately I spotted something wrong. The retention tabs for the memory slots were at a 45 degree angle. He plugged the DDR2 memory modules in backwards. One toasted $250 motherboard and a set of $150 2 x 2GB modules up in smoke. There is no way in hell the manufacturers would accept an RMA for the damaged goods. ..

 

So, trying to make a bad situation into good I grabbed the motherboard and RAM from my new build (which were exactly the same as the customer had ordered) and we setup them on the bench - with everything correctly installed - and proceeded with the testing phase of the build. Good to go! Customer will be taken care of and I'll just purchase another board and memory for my build as I'm in no rush to get my new build done.

 

The 7th day of his trial started off well. He went out to a customer's site, fixed their software problem in good time and was quite courteous. That's where the pleasantries ended.

 

When he arrived back and we took care of the paper work, I had him start building a Core2Duo system which is due to be delivered to a law office this coming Wednesday night. While he was doing that I was in the living room building the 2nd tri-SLI system also due in ~2 weeks. No less than 10 minutes had passed when I heard distinctive popping sounds coming from the work room followed by multiple cursing.

 

I ran into the room to find him opening up the sliding glass door to let the smoke out. He had already shut the power off and unplugged the power cord from the PSU. I asked him if he was OK and he replied positively.

 

After surveying the situation I found he had put a brass standoff in a place where there was not a mounting hole which in turn shorted the motherboard and damaged it.

 

When I went to check on him to make sure he was alright, that's when I smelled the same odor from the previous incident. It was pot. This idiot had smoked pot between the time he had finished the service call to when he arrived back to do more work.

 

Completely unacceptable. And I let him know it.

 

He was given two choices: either wait for the police to arrive and be arrested for being under the influence of illegal drugs or accept the payment for the work he had done so far and never come back here. He was belligerent at first but finally gave in and chose the latter option. He left without further incident.

 

Now I sit here waiting for the custom auto-installation process (gotta love nLite) to complete on two machines before I delve into the next two projects which have to be completed by Saturday night.

 

Good help is so hard to find. frown.gif

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Boy that really sucks for you. It's already a bad sign when they fry 2 motherboards and a kit of RAM in less than a week, but doing drugs while on the clock really takes the cake (hell doing drugs in general does not show good character).

 

I hope you find someone who's in a better position to satisfy your needs.

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Guest SuppA-SnipA

while reading, i said to my self "wow, omfg" and so on ;)

I Never knew u ran a pc business, pretty cool

 

hmm if only you lived in Toronto, i'd apply to work, i worked at a co op placement in high school, obviously building pc's and repairs.

 

your helper was a complete retard, should have made him pay for the damaged parts

 

kind of weird that the guy was so professional on the interview, he decides to f&&k up while he's working with pot, makes me think about his logic

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Man if I lived near there I'd love a part time job like that, and you wouldn't even have to pay me. I built probably a dozen high end machines for my ex Navy buddies and had no issues at all. It's too bad you didn't get somebody that was an enthusiast and wanted to really do well.

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Ace, why not have the applicants do a drug test after you hire them or make it a requirement on the interview process. I wish I lived near you, I would not mind helping you out on the build process up to benching the stock build. But, dont despair, I'm sure there is someone out there thats drug free and have the skills to help you out.:)

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Man that sucks.....

 

I run across this all the time in the construction business...

 

Hire people and they can BS there way into a job and have the tools to do it but not actually know just how to use those tools...

 

If I hire someone and they come to work with Drugs or Alcohol on there breath/body I fire them immediately and doc their pay for the time they were on the job under the influence for putting others life in harms way....

 

When working with customers money you cant afford to take the chance given todays society where money is tight and profits are low....

 

More times than not I send them home 1st thing when they show up and doc a days pay...I'll even do this if they come to work Hung-over from the night before...why should I pay for non-productivity...?

 

maybe in your interview line up you could have and old rig (I use Socket A) for them to assemble and fire...and as you watch them if they do it wrong just stop them and tell them interview over....All rigs assemble the same way regardless of Socket but A being harder with the open core....

 

In any business then isnt very much margin for error if any at all...

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That sounds like a good idea, anybody can memorize text book stuff (well almost anybody...), but building a rig and configuring it is a whole different ballpark.

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What is really amazing is his previous employers gave him good marks. I'm still trying to figure out how someone could fry that much hardware in less than 24 hours on the job??? Mind numbing, to say the least.

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What is really amazing is his previous employers gave him good marks. ...

 

They do it so the previous employee doesn't sue them for defamation of character.

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Well, that just plain sucks. People are always on top of their game with interviews and first impressions, but to smoke pot while he is on your time, and fry two systems in one week is way too much. dr_bowtie had an excellent suggestion on watching them complete a build while you watch as part of the interview. On another note, my other half’s son, whom you met that day we had lunch together, graduated from College of the Redwoods, and last year from University of California Chico. He majored in computer science. He is currently the IT person for a place in Eureka. The name of the place escapes me. His only habit is playing games on his computer. No drinking, no drugs. In fact, his mother had to force him to get his drivers license so he could get himself to college. Anyway, I have no idea if he is interested in a part time job, but if you are interested, email me some more info on the hours and so on, and I’ll se if he is interested.

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