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Psychology help needed (for helper)!

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  • Psychology help needed (for helper)!

    I’ve got a rush job for a good customer, a townhouse needs drywall repairs and painting. Lots of holes in the walls, replacing metal with bullnoze, etc (and touch up before painting). Most of it is smoothwall.

    Helper is your typical non-professional drywaller making a living doing drywall. He’s an old fart like me so he won’t take abuse. He doesn’t know any of the jargon. When I give him 5% of the **** I was given as a 16 y.o. apprentice, he gets upset ( I would too, being an old fart). I’m stuck with him for the job ( I won’t get into why). My wife says I should be more diplomatic. The problem is, if I’m diplomatic he doesn’t get the hint and keeps playing with his mud and working like an old scrub woman. Today I caught him pounding in proud nails with pliars and mud on his plastic 49 cent knife in the other hand. I grabbed my camera but he noticed me and ran. I tell him to act like a professional and use the right tools. I’ve given him a 500 watt lamp to exaggerate the flaws in the wall, but he said he prefers to work in a normal (dark) room. When I try to show him how to run metal or a butt he leaves the room huffing “Don’t give me S*IT”.

    He is pretty good at masking and going out for coffee.

  • #2
    Re: Psychology help needed (for helper)!

    Fire him even if he is your wife's brother.
    Then, never ever hire someone you can't fire again.
    If you don't get rid of him, you'll be going back to fix it anyway, so you might as well do it yourself now.
    I don't know about you, but I feel better already.


    • #3
      Re: Psychology help needed (for helper)!

      Go downtown and hire a Latino off the streets - tell him you'll train him and give him more money as he learns - you'll be better off.


      • #4
        Re: Psychology help needed (for helper)!

        Yes, they usually are eager to work and work hard.

        He showed up for work saturday before the playoffs. I told him "don't make a career out of that wall." His rejoiner, "I may be slower than you but I do better work." I put my 500 watt lamp parallel to the wall and pointed out all the flaws (he was working in dim lite again). He quit on the spot - my wife wasn't exactly happy, but she accepted the situation.

        --Thanks all - I just need a pep talk

        PS. Chad wrote
        >>If you don't get rid of him, you'll be going back to fix it anyway,

        Sheet, he was doing touch up with hot mud. I had to sand with a palm sander and prime it with BinZ


        • #5
          Re: Psychology help needed (for helper)!


          I always do touch up with hot mud. Of course there is very little if any sanding needed.

          He probably was untrainable, but one way to try, would be to say, this is the way we do it, and do it right next to him. Turn on the light and do half of his wall.

          Finally when forced to work with less than adaquate people, I know just have them apply mud and I follow and trowel off. This way I don't have to carry a loaded pan and my arm appreciates it. Of course, better to have good help.