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Would you help your office competition?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Emmettology 101, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    I work for our family business. In the office it is just myself, my father and a lady that has worked for my father for about 21 years. With the coming year, I will have worked here steadily for 11 years.

    Recently things have gotten a little unravelled here and the true colors of some have come out. The lady that works here seems to be working against me and trying to get me out the door. She feels she is entitled to the company since my father is talking about semi-retiring. During a recent conversation with my father about things with the company and this lady, he commented that he knows she feels this way and has discussed it with other people. Judging my fathers reaction, he feels a little inclined to go her way since she's been here for so long and has worked hard for our company.

    What my main concern is right now and with this thread... We have a small network here as you can see in another post. Right now I am the only with internet access on a computer and the only one who knows how to operate it. Our business doesn't do a whole lot with the internet other than a remote access with a company we deal with for billing and paperwork purposes and once in a while we'll get a few e-mails.

    I have handled this fine since we have had an internet connection. When I am out of the office, everyone can get by without it and there are ways they can deal with these things and not be on the internet. Well the lady that works here seems to be pushing my father for her own internet connection so she can also be doign these things. And this is a way semmes to threaten my position even more.. I can do all of her work if she left tomorrow and she coudl do all of mine except for our internet work and dealing with the network. So bascially, the internet work is one of the main things I have over her.

    Once she gets an internet connection of her own, he wants me to teach her how to do all of the things that I do on the internet for work. In my eyes it seems that I will be giving up one of my main leverages over her and equiping my competition....

    However if I dont do this, I am sure it wont go over well with my father....

    So what would you do?
     
  2. semper-k-five

    semper-k-five 1/2 ton status

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    That's quite a predicament you're in...Obviously you can't build issues and tension between you and your father...With that, you are pretty much at the mercy of helping as much as you can, even though you know the business may end up in her lap one day...Besides, if she's been there 21 years, i'm sure it's safe to assume she won't be too far behind your father as far as retiring.
    Hell, it may turn out that this gal aint to computer savy! In which case your pa may be inclined to reconsider who he chooses to appoint HMFIC!!!!!!
     
  3. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Well, she's a lot younger than he is and is in her late 40's, so she oculd be here a while.

    And she is not even close to being computer savy and that one of my main concerns. I have a hard time trusting her just accessing the files on the "server" without screwing something up.... During our conversations, I have voiced to him my concerns with her having internet access and what ramification her actions could have on our systems. His reply is always just, this is what we need to do. *shaking head*
     
  4. semper-k-five

    semper-k-five 1/2 ton status

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    So much for the age factor w/ this gal!
    I guess you'll just have to do what you can and wait for her to hang herself by screwing something up...
     
  5. nvrenuf

    nvrenuf NONE shall pass! Premium Member

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    I would think you need to have a real heart to heart with your father. Express your thoughts and concerns about your future (of course, without bashing the woman in anyway). If, in the end, you will be S.O.L. on the company I would think you need to be securing your own furture even if it means leaving (without screwing your father).

    If she doesn't want you there now, she surely wont later.
     
  6. JK5

    JK5 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Since you do work for a family bussiness...I think You are obligated to help her.
    Sure...there may be some friction...but by teaching her...it may smooth things out between you two. She may gain some respect for you...too!!!
    Besides...what happens if there is a accident...where you won't be able to work??? There should be a back-up plan.

    Plus...if she doesn't get-it...
    Your value goes up!!!! :thumb: :thumb:

    As you know...I too work for the family...it can be difficult here too...
    But You HAVE to be as much help as you can...there is rarely a payback. :eek:
     
  7. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    I dont mind helping and have alot in the past since I have brought the business into the mainstream with computers. But with recent events and my job becoming threatened, I guess it brings the worst out in ya(me)....

    And it's getting to where she'll tell me that there is nothing going on but turn aroudn and tell my Father that I am not doing much. We've both seen this happening alot lately.
     
  8. ben427

    ben427 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I had a similar problem when working for my father. I ended up finding another job and dropped him a letter of resignation, effective immediatley, and started at the new job the next day. Him and the others never realized how much i actually did till i was gone. Working with family sucks. I suggest you get outta there.
     
  9. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    My take on this is that there is a major philosphical argument to be had rather than just business decisions. I don't think it has that much to do with only the company, but more with how your Dad thinks of you and your potential. He may have a conflict in his feelings towards his son, vs. a company he's put a lot of his life into. I'm sure he wants both to succeed. That is his legacy.

    Having said that, I think you need to prove to him that you are capable of making him proud, and keeping the company successfull. The ideal is to be able to do both. But, his quandry is believing that you can do it. I'm sure he wants you to be successfull but he may be hesitant to bank his company on your business savvy. I'm sure this lady is constantly persuading Dad that what is best for the company is for her to take it over. It sounds to me like she has a bit of a competitive streak in her, and maybe some deviousness too if she is scheming to get you out of the picture early. That is something that you can bring up to Dad if you want. You can tell him that you wonder about her integrity if she is conniving to force the son of the owner out of the company already to better her position. You can plant the seed that if she has questionable integrity, sooner or later the company reputation will reflect her dishonesty, which will reflect on him. Of course that could backfire if Dad finds her scheming a positive rather than a negative. He could view her as cunning and therefor a good business person. Or, he could recognize that there is some inherent dishonesty in screwing his flesh and blood to better her own position. You may keep in mind that Dad is probably watching how you handle this whole thing to see what you are made of. If you throw in the towel easy, then he probably wouldn't want you running the business. If you over react, same impression. You need to stand up for yourself, prove your abilities, but do it in a way that is honorable.

    I have a similar situation brewing with my Dad who is getting on in years and has been talking about leaving his estate to some charitable organizations instead of his kids. It is going to potentially get ugly but my opinion is that family is family. When the dust settles in life, there is nothing more important than taking care of your family. Everybody else comes second.
     
  10. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Sounds pretty cruddy...
    I would hook her up. Put the competition aside for now and get the tools set up to get the job done the best way it can be done.

    On flat, minimum info, my opinion is that even though she's been there for so long, and since you've been there for a singificant time also, you are more entitled to inherit the reins through the simple fact that you're the owner's son. Obviously, that doesn't sound fair at all, but in my opinion, a family-run business is a family-run business until the family is done with it, which it seems your family (you) wouldn't be yet. Hard to really verbalize how I feel, but did she sign-on or even hang on for 21 years to inherit the place, or because she needed a job? I would guess many family members working for a family business do so because they have a bigger stake in the place, and will have a larger stake in it in the future. I'd think it's common sense for any other employee to expect that, no matter how much self-sacrifice they've put in for the good of the company.
    Nepotism in a corporate environment is troubling to me, but on a small-business or family-run business level, it's fine, I don't see anything wrong with it at all. As much as I sometimes can't stand my parents/siblings

    BTW, I don't mean totally screw over the 21-year lady, I just mean she shouldn't have expectations or feelings of large entitlement just for doing her job for a long time.


    Anyway, I would help her.
     
  11. JK5

    JK5 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Ouch!!! That sounds like backstabbing to me...
    I left my father's shop because of a backstabber.

    Have you tried having a heart to heart with her???

    It seems like she's on a mision...to get you on your way. :eek:
     
  12. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    Mike,

    You've always appeared to be level headed (funny to say that to a person I've never met in person but you can tell a lot about people by how they react and respond over time, even on the internet :cool1: ), so I'd say it is time to talk man to man with your Dad and find out where you stand in the company's future. Your female co worker can be an ally or an enemy, all depends on how you and your father approach this upcoming transition to his retirement.
     
  13. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    new yorkin - Ya, this is pretty cruddy... As far as I know she has worked here because it is a job. I've never heard her voice anything that would make us think that she feels entitled to the place. Although my father talked to a guy we deal with weekly who we're close to and he thoguht she felt that she deserves the business.

    But I agree that most family members work for a place for a higher stake. Any family run businesses I have sen in our area and who we know are all the same way..

    JK5 - ya, tell me about it.. Even my father has seen some of the stuff that I have brought to him. And she's done a few underhanded things that he's foudn out about but as far as I know, not brought to her attention. Plus he's not fond of how she goes about things and executes things, yet this crosses his mind.. Haven't had a heart to heart with her. I am goign to wait a little while on that one to see how something pan out.

    Burbin - Thank man! :thumb: My father and I have had quite a few discussions lately about this situation and the retirement situation. He basically knows where I stand and how I feel... But if this situation plays out as things have in the past, I better start looking for a new job.
     
  14. bigyellowjimmy

    bigyellowjimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Ugh....I was in business with my father once. I finally bought him out. Is this an option???
     
  15. SkulzNBonz

    SkulzNBonz 1/2 ton status

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    Wow, this is deep. The few times I have went into business w/ friends or family, it has never worked out. It seems that there are unspoken expectations that sometimes aren't really there (because no one ever spoke about them). It was all made on assumptions because we were friends/related. Business can be ruthless, and ruthlessness has no place in personal relationships. I wish you the best of luck. Oh yeah, for what it's worth, I wouldn't help her a bit, because it doesn't seem she would do the same for you, just the opposite, in fact.

    John
     
  16. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    With things here, there isn't really much that I would need help on... BUt she is trying to drive a wedge between my father and I at least here at work... When I came in this mornign and tried to find out what was going on, I kept getting brushed off.. This went on for about 45 mins. Then when she finally gave me a load sheet, I tried to find out who she had and hadn't called. More sluffing off. So I pulled my father aside and told him about the situation... Later on when I was off doing something he talked to her and she starting saying things about how I am not working and she was just better off doing it herself. Mind you, anythign she gives me to do(when I am not already busy), I do it right away or within a reasonable time period. But thats not her story.

    Over the past month or so, it is increasingly getting worse.. :mad:
     

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