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#2212259 01/10/14 04:36 PM
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Let's suppose you had someone call you for service. You did the job and got paid. Then they had many more jobs for you. As you worked you let them watch and answered their questions. After a while they tried their hand at doing some repairs for themselves on their stuff. They would call and ask you questions and even pay you to fix their messes when they got in over their heads.

Now suddenly today you get a call from them, asking what they should charge someone to do a certain job. Except it's what you do for a living, and while you didn't mind them trying their hand on their own stuff, you feel like it's a slap in your face for them to take knowledge they gained from you and suddenly compete with you.

Kind of like giving someone a gun as a gift then they shoot you with it...


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Ken, did they apply for a business license and the requisite insurance?


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No, they didn't. He is just operating out of his basement.

I know everyone has a right to be in business if they want, but dang, this just feels wrong.

Funny thing is, he STILL needs my help because there are things about electronics that I do not feel he has the mental horsepower to learn. He can only do what he has seen done, period.

Last edited by Ken Knapp; 01/10/14 05:16 PM.

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You can say that it could be illegal price-setting.

It sounds like this is someone who may have to hire you to repair his mistakes.


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I have experienced this in my own business.

This can be played in two ways;

Once the fellow is accepting jobs from the general public it is his responsibility to research and train himself. (The mention of intellect or comprehension of the job; Ken are you being too magnanimous here and not telling us the fellow is mentally disabled? If this is a person living with disabilities then possibly he will always be dependent upon instruction or instructors…..)

The second way to play this is to inform him that he does what he knows and contracts the rest to you or some such arrangement.
Boundary setting Ken. It isn’t always easy…. And toughest on people you know.

I would not worry too much about the licencing part. There are lots of unregistered businesspeople flying under the radar. It is not your job or mine to inform on them. We pay plenty in taxes for the government to hire G-men to do that job.

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The free help and advice stops immediately, especially when it comes to money. Let him figure it out the hard way, just like you did.

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Originally Posted by Ken Knapp
Let's suppose you had someone call you for service. You did the job and got paid. Then they had many more jobs for you. As you worked you let them watch and answered their questions. After a while they tried their hand at doing some repairs for themselves on their stuff. They would call and ask you questions and even pay you to fix their messes when they got in over their heads.

Now suddenly today you get a call from them, asking what they should charge someone to do a certain job. Except it's what you do for a living, and while you didn't mind them trying their hand on their own stuff, you feel like it's a slap in your face for them to take knowledge they gained from you and suddenly compete with you.

Kind of like giving someone a gun as a gift then they shoot you with it...


Ken,

Those... do not compete with you. At the opposite, they will prove that it is much much better to hire a pro-tech. More simply, you forgot (or did'n want) to put your teachings at the bottom of your bill, but that's a different question.
.


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I'd wonder if they were also using your name as a reference, "I was trained by and have worked with Ken". Is this an isolated incident, or the start of a new service offering for them?

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This fellow has bought and sold organs, thus why all the business from him. I am pretty sure if I lean on one of his organs he is saying I checked it out. So I believe he has and will tell others I have trained him.

As far as the mental horsepower goes, he isn't stupid, but there are techs out there who can grasp concepts and troubleshoot, and there are techs that are helpless if they run into a problem they have never seen before. He is that way.

Perhaps another thing that is also getting under my skin is that I have done things to help him out financially when he has been strapped.. Such as pay him to help me with things, and when he has had parts and organs he can't sell I've taken them off his hands for much more than I should have paid.

If the roles were reversed, I would have said, "I can't do the job but I have a friend who can" -or- "Hey Ken, I have a guy who needs this work done. Can I have him bring it here and we can both work on it?"

Maybe I am letting this get to me more than it should.


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I would tell him exactly what you just wrote.


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Originally Posted by accordeur
I would tell him exactly what you just wrote.


Have him read this thread.

Originally Posted by Ken Knapp

Maybe I am letting this get to me more than it should.

The financial assistance and the purchase of things for more than you should have; perhaps what is aggravating is the fact that you may have had an expectation that he sees the world as you do and expected him to respond in the way that you would have.

This part here;

Originally Posted by Ken Knapp

If the roles were reversed, I would have said, "I can't do the job but I have a friend who can" -or- "Hey Ken, I have a guy who needs this work done. Can I have him bring it here and we can both work on it?"


And now you have learned something more about him as he is not doing that. Opportunists reveal themselves by overstepping the boundaries if the boundaries are not set in place. Remember he might not know much about protocol such as the things you have mentioned in the quoted part.

This is a tough one as I mentioned previously especially if the fellow is bringing instruments and clients to you on a regular basis.

For this one I would stop the training and tell him that he repairs what he knows and the rest will have to be done by someone else like yourself until such time as he can do the repairs on his own.

Let him carry on with training if he wants to pursue the trade more indepth.

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File this under, "No good deed goes unpunished."

If I was in your shoes, I'd be inclined to have a friendly chat about business ethics, sprinkled with a healthy dose of morality, as far as showing you some consideration for what you've freely shared with him.

Depending on how open he was to those concepts, I might also be inclined to put him on notice that your knowledge was no longer free for the giving, and that he ought to be careful about how much he uses you as a reference. Fraud and slander can be so ugly...





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Try to keep the peace if you can. The alternative tends to disrupt progress. Best wishes.

Last edited by bkw58; 01/10/14 08:39 PM. Reason: clarity

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Let’s look at the other side for a moment;

This fellow has poor diagnostic skills which for any trade come with time. It is important to note that he is smart enough to realize this, although that smartness may be because he has fallen into a situation where someone will have to pull him out of the fire…..

He is most likely thrilled to have someone like yourself helping him to learn that trade and could be talking his head off about what a great guy you are and how your repairs are the best……

He is also finding and bringing work to your door without you looking for it…….he may see this as a trade-off for being a pain in the butt sometimes…. You might see it that way too….

He may not know much about business in general, and especially about being self-employed and the protocol that goes along with that…… You have an opportunity to teach him a lot more than just the repair of instruments…..

He looks up to you for guidance in this trade; this means you have an advantage over him as he would be highly suggestible of anything you might say, suggest or urge him to do. This means you could manipulate him in certain ways and you will have to remain mindful of that.

He might be dropping your name a bit, and if this has the potential to cause some problems down the road then this needs to be curtailed… part of the business acumen conversation……

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Hi Ken,

This is really a shame and I hate it that you are having to experience this kind of thing from someone you took under your wing and offered assistance. You deserve better… much better.

I doubt it if is any consolation to you, but it seems to happen in many trades/businesses. I work in the HVACR field as a technical college instructor, and many of the HVACR companies that hire our students run in to the same/similar scenario from time to time. The apprentice tech starts applying his training and honing his skill level and soon decides they want to do work on the side and often with the company’s vehicle, tools, equipment and customers.

I tell my students that if they work for an HVACR company, it is unethical and dishonest to moonlight as a competitor with the company. When the tech/employee is ready to venture out on their own, it is time to part ways with the employer… on good terms, hopefully.

As someone else mentioned, I doubt if they guy is actually much competition to you regarding the big picture… when his customers start complaining about shoddy work, they will call you. smile

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Would this be the same as a piano teacher having a student who got to a certain level, then started teaching themselves. But would go back to you if he/she had problems they couldn't work out.

From what you've said about this person he still needs your help to learn. Maybe he is just competent enough.

Or what about hiring him to work for you to do the basics.

Your assessment of his skill level should determine your course of action. If he can be an asset to you offer him something to work under you. If it's not up to par, let him go on his own, offer no help and see if his business can survive.

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Originally Posted by OperaTenor
File this under, "No good deed goes unpunished."


'Exactly! Being a nice guy can have some unpleasant downsides.


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Originally Posted by The Wind
Would this be the same as a piano teacher having a student who got to a certain level, then started teaching themselves. But would go back to you if he/she had problems they couldn't work out.

This is a little different than teaching a student to play. The object is to get the student to play better and they pay for that instruction.

The difference is that Ken was on a service call(s). He was not being paid for teaching.


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I would ask him to define what his business plan is to you as a courtesy for your past help. After analyzing it, I would ask him the pertinent questions about all the if's, and's, or but's that come to you.

The point about trading on your name is a very serious one.


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I appreciate everyone's thoughts. You have each raised issues I had not considered.

All the work this person has brought me has been his own organs, preparing them for sale. Whenever possible, he will try to get them functioning without involving me. All his learning efforts have seemed to be to try to be self-sufficient so he can buy organs and get them out the door without paying a tech. That's been somewhat ok with me because he messes things up and then HAS to pay me to fix it.I've seen him scrap perfectly good organs because a problem has been beyond his understanding yet I could have saved it easily and he could have made a decent profit on it. I honestly think he will never be able to be much of a tech.. There are people who can troubleshoot, there are people who can learn to troubleshoot, and there are people doomed to pay others to troubleshoot for them.

The job he is talking about doing for someone else is removing foam from the manuals on an organ. Hammond decided to cost cut by using foam instead of felt to keep dust off the key contacts. Trouble is, the foam deteriorates and destroys the internal wiring, causing missing notes. Removing the foam is a matter of disassembly and cleaning up. But missing notes is a whole 'nother ballgame. There is a way to repair these notes and I am one of a few people in the world willing to do this. And I get paid accordingly - it is either that or scrap the organ. This is one of my specialties.

Sure anyone could use their head and figure out how to do it. But few people will go to the trouble. I did. And this is where he will get himself into trouble, because he doesn't understand even the basics of the concept. And I've seen him sell things that are not right, figuring that "they will never notice".

Oh, and the person is not in any way affiliated with the business in my tagline. The business in my tagline does care about getting things done right.. That's why he uses me!! LOL!! laugh

Sorry for venting, I would have to write a book to relate all the nuances of this whole deal.. And i don't want to bore you!!


Ken

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