Thread: Weird stringer
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:57 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by zapvor

Haha sorry. Here on Talk Tennis its pretty much comedy for me. You know this betetr than us as you see the crazy posts everywhere. And I contriibute to it myself, no doub.t but in real life I am pretty professional. Or I try to be anyways. I definitely dont say 'so yea' and that kind of thing. But yes you are right. Thanks for reminding me.

Understood -- I am just giving you the 'hard knock' advice from experience. If you take anything away from that recommendation, it's to reflect upon yourself regularly and evaluate yourself honestly.

I honestly think the age discrimnation is strictly from the stringer only. The more I think about it the more I think he feels threatened by me. He realizes I am actually doing a good job,etc. Its funny. Let me tell you some things thats happened:

1-tuesday night I stay until 11pm to catch up on rackets. I leave 2 rackets in que, with natural gut. Wednes we were both out. Come today, thursday, the guy wants his 2 rackets but they are not done. Now remember he comes in the morning, I come in afternoon. So when he came this morning, those 2 shouldve been first to do. But instead he skips them and leaves them for me in the afternoon.

Flash back-my first week on the job he leaves me 2 rackets with natrual gut. He calls me on phone and says to me “i just want to see if you know how to string gut”. so....i wonder if he's scared to string gut??

2-members are already requesting me to string their racket. One even said the other stringer messed up his reel. And hes been there about 10months longer than me. I am barely on my first month here.

His actions are not stressing me. Its just that hes going to management about it, and they in turn veto my idea thanks to him. But yet at the same time when he talks to me on the phone he keeps saying “oh this is between you and me noone else” and he always acts scared when I say stuff like 'let me talk to [boss] about this” I am not sure I need to go on....

It still sounds like you're viewing this in a very adversarial tone. I understand if it feels like you're being treated unfairly, but IMO direct communication is the way to go here. If he leaves gut jobs for you, ask him if you should be expecting to do most of the gut jobs. If it's simply a risk/pain in the butt for him to work with gut due to the delicate nature, he might just prefer to let you deal with the liability, especially if you're on the hook for a ruined set. You're the low guy on the totem pole, this is normal It's similar to giving the intern the job that needs to get done but no one wants to do. Don't worry about this one too much.

Ask/tell him quite frankly that you'd like to improve communication between you two, and if there's any issues to please contact you first so you can improve the teamwork aspect. Get him to take ownership of the relationship, ask him to guide you as he's been there longer. Even if there's no technical skills you can learn, he's probably got a FEW protips that he can help you with. Build a relationship here, don't burn bridges. If there's anything that he discusses with you that is NOT shop policy, you have every right to go to management. This, OR you can discuss that you're willing to support it and keep things between you two, but you'd be more comfortable if there was a policy in place so you have something to fall back on if anything goes wrong. This provides safety for everyone, INCLUDING him. You can "back each other up" here. Back to the bumper guard example: He doesn't do replacements, so he tells customers that the shop wont' offer that service. Someone comes to talk to you, and you say "sure!" You undermine his authority here, and it's no surprise that he's giving you a cold shoulder. This is like a cunning kid asking Mom for ice cream for dinner, getting a no, and going straight for the sucker-dad. You need to work together, and if he's still giving you a hard no, find a way to get him on board, even if it's switching the subject to "I think these services would increase our revenue. I remember you telling me you wanted to make a ton of money, and I think this is an easy way for us to do that without having to pay anything out of pocket." It's just people management/strategy. If NOTHING else, and you continue to find this guy adversarial, you can practice your people skills on him

and to be sure, i am not trying to undermine him. all i have been saying is 'hey i think this customer needs this done so how can i go about doing it without using my own money" and instead of supporting me hes made sure customers are not getting what they need.

imagine you going to a auto shop with flat tire and the guy says 'oh you dont need a new tire, but lets see why dont you buy a new paintjob'. hes basically picking what he wants to do, and makes sure i dont get to help customers myself as well so he doesnt look bad? its just absurd.

Actions speak louder than words, see above. Get on a team-perspective first, THEN try to correct things. Like we've already determined, you're not going to do it all in one shot, so be patient and do things one step at a time. Don't build a house of cards all at once, it'll topple.

or even worse. say one day you go into teh office and your boss says "oh DD you can NO longer use [essential tool] to do your job because your co worker says its not necessary and hes doesnt want to use that tool so he doesnt have to do the job that the tool relates to"
here is whats happening. if it wasnt for the stringer, all the suggestions i made to mangaement would have already come to pass. they are very open and helpful, but every time something comes up they say something like 'oh but the other stringer says its no big deal it's not needed. so yea, the problem lies there.
Example? Sounds pretty dramatic. Ask him to talk to you first about it, so you're on the same page. Tell him you're willing to listen and make necessary changes, and would prefer for the news to be less of a surprise in the future. If he's unwilling to accommodate you, you can always provide counter examples to the management, although starting a firefight isn't wise if you need to continue working with the guy. As far as 'no big deal/it's not needed,' that might actually be true from a different perspective than yours. Don't assume you're right. It all comes back to having a policy/charter to fall back on. If nothing's official, it comes down to his word against yours. It's simple for the management to side with him- he's been here longer. This isn't nice, but it's real life. If you get him on board and create a charter to improve services, you can always fall back on "we've told management that we are looking to offer a professional level of services. This falls under this category as we agreed upon." It's a simple life hack/parenting hack/people 'manipulation' hack: It's hard to blame YOU when it's not YOU saying no. Protect yourself by implementing policy!

Get this guy on your side even if it means that you get on his side at first. Figure out what's going on in his head, what you have to do to get him to see eye to eye, and realize you're not always right. Once you've opened up a candid channel of discussion, figure out what you can mutually agree upon to improve, and make it a contract between you two. This is much more successful if everyone has a reason to make it succeed (stakeholding). Implement policy, be tough, change hurts. Fall back on policy if you need to defend your position.
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