Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In This Economy - Who Does This?

It may [or may not] be a well know fact that my husband works in the swimming pool industry. He has for over 30 years. He works for a company that cleans and repairs residential swimming pools.

In this economy one would venture to guess that this would not be the most stable of markets, correct? Swimming pools are a luxury - and what is one of the first things that is cut in a homeowner's budget when the economy sours? Their daily Starbucks? No....Their $700 Lexus payment? Nope. The childrens' monthly text messaging bill? Heaven forbid.

No...things like having your pool cleaned once a week by a professional is something that is cut in their cost saving measures because they figure it is something they can do themselves. Wonderful! I honestly respect that and have no problem with them cancelling their contracts.

As we come into Spring and the pools are being opened and the contracts signed we have all been collectively holding our breath to see if, in fact, the people in our area are going to pull their contracts. So far it looks good! [yay!] Pooldad actually sold two new contracts last week and a $3,000.00 repair on a pool - so the money is coming into the company and no one is being laid off.


Here is the point. Pooldad works alongside a woman named Bee. They are both equal management in the day to day operations of the Home Pool Maintenance Department [the faction of the company that does the weekly cleanings]. They split shift so as to not have to work 14 hour days like Pooldad and I used to at our old job. One works 7 am to 3 pm and the other will work 11 am to close. And they alternate days. Good? Good.

Their calendar year begins on April 1st. Since everyone's vacation and sick leave kicks into "new" status on this date Bee had 2 weeks of paid vacation fresh on the books. She decided that the first week would be last week.

Rule #1 in the POOL business: You do NOT take time off in the Springtime, for any reason - it is too busy opening the pools. We have scant weeks until Memorial day to have the pools opened and cleaned. April is a no-no.

Still, the bosses allowed her to go and Pooldad was no worse for it last week working 7 am to close to cover both shifts. He was able to straighten up a lot of stuff and get other things done without her there. [Sidenote: He is used to doing this job alone with double the amount of customers this company has - so this was easy peasy for him - except he has been spoiled by how good the company is with the schedule, etc.]

Bee arrived back from her weeklong vacaction yesterday and worked her 7 am to 3 pm shift while Pooldad worked the afternoon/closing shift.

Today Pooldad was "early guy" - No problem, right? Wrong. He receives a phonecall at 7:15 from Bee telling him that she had an appointment and would be a little late for work. He said "No worries. See you when you get here."

He just received a TEXT MESSAGE from Bee stating that she WILL NOT BE IN TODAY!

Bwahahahaha! Who does this? Who takes a week off of work in the middle of the busiest time of year to go on vacation and then takes their second day back to work off via TEXT MESSAGE. Let me say it again - she contacted her coworker [not her bosses] and TEXTED him to tell him this.

She has a history of abusing her sick leave/vacation time to the point of just taking off and not being paid, but has never pulled a stunt like this. So we are all pretty sure it isn't a dire emergency that is keeping her from work or I don't know? Actually PHONING the bosses?

Pooldad has no complaint covering. He is capable and he likes it, but seriously tadpoles? WHO DOES THIS? In this economy? Where does she think she is going to find another job?

Pooldad had to send a company wide email informing everyone that she would not be in. He received a terse phonecall from their boss asking "So she sent this via text?" When Pooldad answered "Yes" the boss replied "That is all I need to know." Click! and hung up.

This boss is the easiest, nicest guy I know. But....ah, I think he is a little perturbed, don't you?

Anyone have pool management experience?


Anonymous said...

I don't have the pool management experience but know this person is a goner..

Gail said...

I would say there will be longer shifts for your husband soon. Hope they find a good replacement for the no worker one.

RVVagabond said...

Smart customers understand that there's more to pool maintenance than just dumping some chemicals in (we have a friend who had his own pool business in Florida and he taught Denny some basics when we worked together at a campground). So they'll stick with the professionals to make sure they don't have a sick pool later.

Good for Pooldad for taking the high road through all this.

Yvo Sin said...

You do... you do... and if you have need... I know a job opening up just right for you... Haha I am just teasing. :)
Seriously who does that? I was so tempted to take off on Monday because I have been sicksickSICK but I just had all of last week off (planned). So. No. My coworkers can get the stomach bug I have.