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Just sacked gardener, feel awful

(55 Posts)
sunnyrosegarden Mon 15-Sep-14 15:07:14

I'm so rubbish at any type of confrontation. Basically, we inherited a gardener when we bought the house. Never had one before and we were a bit uncertain, but he was a nice guy.

Started ok, but gradually he slipped, didn't come when he said he would, did pretty much what he wanted, rather than what we asked. Cut stuff that I'd asked him to leave.

He hasnt been round now for weeks and weeks (july, I think) and not a word. Dh and I had just had enough - decided to manage ourselves and invest in a decent lawnmover instead.

So, I sent a polite text...

Got a rant back. He's lost a family member to cancer. He's furious and hurt at me. How dare I etc etc.

I'm feeling really crap today anyway (chest infection) and now I feel really guilty. What do I do? Leave it? AIBU???

Nancy66 Mon 15-Sep-14 15:09:55

you've nothing to feel crap about. he didn't turn up to work for 2 months and didn't have the courtesy to let you know.

Cancer story may well not even be true.

Leave it and don't reply

Nancy66 Mon 15-Sep-14 15:10:35

...although have to say sacking him by text wasn't the best move but it's done now.

Bogeyface Mon 15-Sep-14 15:12:16

Just leave it.

He cant just not turn up for weeks on end and still expect to have a job at the end of it.

However, I would say that I think YABU to do it via text, an email or letter would have been better and more professional. And YABU to not have dealt with it sooner tbh, but now you have I suggest that you leave it.

NorwaySpruce Mon 15-Sep-14 15:12:18

Leave it of course.

Unless for some unfathomable reason, you want the non-gardening gardener back confused

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Sep-14 15:13:19

Yeah the text was a bit bad, you should at least have phoned.

But other than that, you've done nothing wrong. He chose not to turn up for work and not to contact you to tell you why.

You haven't even sacked him anyway, you've just stopped using his services and that's your entitlement.

5Foot5 Mon 15-Sep-14 15:13:26

Sorry you feel ill but you shouldn't feel guilty. You didn't have to keep the gardener on and you are well within your rights to decide to do without.

If he wanted you to keep the job open while he couldn't come he should have let you know the situation and explain why he wasn't around. I think it is quite reaosnable that you thought he had buggered off and wasn't coming back.

And even without the disappearing act he sounds like he wasn't very satisfactory so I think you have done the right thing and will be glad in the end that you hacve done it. The only difficulty I can foresee is if in the future you decide you do need another gardener and have the awkwardness of advertising for one and risking him re-applying!

badtime Mon 15-Sep-14 15:14:22

Although that must be very sad for him, he should at the very least have let you know that he wouldn't be coming round and, and possibly given you some idea of when he would be available. That way, there would have been no misunderstanding.

The reason he was so angry and ranty is almost certainly because he knows it was his responsibility to do this.

(Less charitably, the 'relative' could be of the same sort of the dog who ate tha homework, or the cheque that is in the post).

Takingthemickey Mon 15-Sep-14 15:16:29

I think sacking him by text was entirely appropriate. He did not even give you the courtesy of a text to explain his 2-month disappearance; why should you have to call him?

Bogeyface Mon 15-Sep-14 15:19:00

bad its often only when someone gets pulled up on, or loses out because of, poor behaviour that the "relative has cancer" gets mentioned isnt it? I am totally cynical now after falling for this at work once and giving someone far more chances than their work or general behaviour warranted. Needless to say the terminally ill relative was anything but, a fact that came to light when she turned up in our local having recently moved here to be near the DD that had been telling everyone she was dead.

rumbleinthrjungle Mon 15-Sep-14 15:19:56

He's passing his guilt at doing a lousy job back on you rather than admit to himself he deserved it. You don't have to be nice and hold it for him just because it would make him feel better.

If it makes you feel any better, I learned this in the heat of the moment some years ago , when some total lunatic came to install an electric bed, threw a huge tantrum on the stairs and then refused to leave when I told him he was scaring me and I didn't want him in the house, tried to drag the frame forcibly through the stairwell, scraping off the paint and gouging bits on the wall, the ceiling and the bannister rail despite my protests and I just caught the tv before he sent that flying, whereupon he had another tantrum because he had to dismantle the frame to get it upstairs and reassemble it....when he finally got the bed upstairs and assembled I pointed out the damage he'd done and that I was going to have to report it to the firm because I couldn't afford to re decorate, I got a whole sob story about he'd lose his job because he was on his last warning anyway. (I bet he was!)

I didn't report him. I must have been out of my tiny mind. Where was MN in those days! grin

It's his problem, block the texts, relax and wine and good luck with finding a better gardener!

Gen35 Mon 15-Sep-14 15:20:09

I agree with takingthemickey, I wouldn't lose sleep over this. I don't believe it re the relative, it's not credible to tell this info months later when being sacked. Just ignore it and move on.

lordnoobson Mon 15-Sep-14 15:21:45


Vitalstatistix Mon 15-Sep-14 15:24:30

I agree, there's nothing to be gained in responding. He began to play silly buggers before disappearing. Is he claiming all his behaviour is due to this?

If it is true, then it is very sad, but probably not the reason that he cut things you had told him not to, and pleased himself what he did and when. Even if it is why he just stopped showing up.

I would just delete his number, block him if you can, and forget about him.

Terrierterror Mon 15-Sep-14 15:25:12

No contact from him for at least six weeks, covering the whole of August when most people are out in their gardens a lot and the grass is growing fast and needs mowing every week? He effectively quit. Don't feel guilty.

DHandhisgrossfoot Mon 15-Sep-14 15:25:37

He didn't show up for 2 months and he's upset he's been sacked? The LOON! grin

Takingthemickey Mon 15-Sep-14 15:27:00

Gen35 I love you. Someone finally agrees with me.

GiveTwoSheets Mon 15-Sep-14 15:28:28

No dont feel bad end of day he was paid to do a job, he went AWOL for 2months, He's lucky as most people would of told him to jog on long before.

Hope you get better soon

OneSkinnyChip Mon 15-Sep-14 15:28:54

Don't feel even slightly guilty. He didn't turn up to work for nearly two months and didn't even bother texting you to let you know why. Ignore the text, it's done, he's fired. Or if you're feeling kind tell him that you are sorry to hear of his bereavement and that you wish him and his family well but that his professional services are no longer required.

WiseGuysHighRise Mon 15-Sep-14 16:07:41

Wouldn't arse me at all. I think sending a text was generous behaviour to someone who hasn't bothered contacting you for 2 months.

Ok so a relative has cancer. I have every sympathy. But a salaried employee wouldn't just not go into work for 2 months, without a word, and expect to still have a job.

sunnyrosegarden Mon 15-Sep-14 16:16:37

Thank you. I showed a friend the text and she agreed - think I'm just feeling a bit low and wobbly.

I sent a text because that is how has always communicated in the past. He is not great to speak to on the phone as english is not his first language and we have lots of misunderstandings. I don't have an email for him.

I assumed he'd been away, but he'd not even sent one of his other boys round (he has a gang of at least three) so I thought he'd given up on us. I just couldn't see the point in nagging him as we'd already has a few weeks of that earlier in the year.

I actually believe the cancer bit, but it was just such an emotional text.

He does next door too, assuming he actually turns up.

BoomBoomsCousin Mon 15-Sep-14 16:20:31

To be honest I'd be wondering about the truthfullness of his claim. It may be true, but the number of tradesmen who have relatives with serious health problems (normally shortly after they've been hit with a run of bad luck with their vehicle breaking down) is quite astounding. Obviously some of them will have sick relatives and a blow like that if you're not very good at customer communication (and many tradesmen aren't) would be likely to cause problems with turning up. But it doesn't make you cut things you've been asked not to etc. so I would actually be a bit cynical about his claim.

Not that it makes much difference. Stay polite if you need to contact him, be sympathetic to his loss, but don't rehire him.

cathpip Mon 15-Sep-14 16:25:51

Put it this way, if you failed to turn up to work for 2 months and did not let your boss know why, would you still have a job?.......I know I wouldn't!

EBearhug Mon 15-Sep-14 16:30:44

It may be true - but even if it is, not letting you know there are problems and just not turning up nor making alternative arrangements isn't acceptable, whatever is going on, expecially not over the summer, when there are lots of gardening jobs to be done.

I wouldn't normally do such a thing by text, but if he did always communicate that way, it's fair enough, I think.

WooWooOwl Mon 15-Sep-14 16:32:47

I think it's fine for you to have done it over text, whether or not it was your normal method of communication. Lots of people only use gardeners in the summer, so of him not to contact you throughout the whole of the time you are likely to need him most is just rude.

Whether or not the cancer thing is true or not is irrelevant, and it probably isn't true anyway. I lost someone very close to me recently, I still managed to phone work on the day they died to let them know I wouldn't be in. I'd have expected to be disciplined if I hadn't, bereavement or not.

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