Can I vent on you? So I finally get a day off, I’m going to “veg out” in front of my new 56” liquid plasma wide screen, watch a game or two, eat myself fat and toss off a few Coronas and bang! The phone rings and I get to drive 58 miles one way to start extracting a flooded hotel! Didn’t you ever get sick of being on call 24-7?
Ticked Off in Nebraska
Did I get tired of being on call 24-7? Absolutely! After several years of invariably missing my kid’s school plays/ ball games/ family picnics and far too many “date nights” with my wife- I finally did something about it! I suggest you do the same.
I finally discovered a fascinating concept called “employees”. I even learned that I could field a water damage call without ever getting my lazy butt up from the sofa! Yep, I could calm the homeowner down, get the essential information, dispatch a crew and all without missing more than three downs of the football game. Imagine that!
It is called “delegation” and yes, I realize the above process is a bit more complicated than I just described! But not really. Here is what I did:
- Develop a formal “on-call” program- We trained all our employees both technically and in the Emotional Dynamics of dealing with a traumatized property owner after a water loss. I paid employees who volunteered $50.00 per week (they worked rotating weeks) just to be a) available and b) sober!
- Then when a call comes in you just follow your “on-call” program, call the one assigned on it and say, “It’s your lucky day!” Then pay your on-call tech double time and a 50.00 trip bonus too. (After 10:00 PM and on weekends we paid triple time with a three hour minimum.)
- Work it into your billing. Everyone will be happy.
So some tough love here, Ticked. Suck it up, make the hard decisions about employees and stop being a slave to your business. Get to work! (Or if you just don’t want to “go big” see my note below.)
P.S. Remember your on-call employee (or in the worst case scenario- YOU) doesn’t have to DO the entire job on the Emergency Call-out. Do just enough “Damage Containment” to spike the loss and hit it with a big crew the next day. (When everyone is on normal pay instead of double or triple time!)
NOTE: If in your heart of hearts you want to be a Lone Wolf owner-operator forever (nothing wrong with that but you really need to implement my Lone Wolf Special Report) just develop some “Strategic Partnerships”- capable and honest competitors (if you have any!) that will cover for you and you for them.