bad news for me...

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Ghost, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. Ghost

    Ghost Guest

    Well, my best tech is quitting- Friday will be his last day. He is
    leaving the field- not enough money for his growing family.

    He has applied to other shops all arond, and nobody around here is hiring-
    and if they were, nobody pays well enough.

    So, he is leaving the field- going into real estate surveying.

    I finally got him up to a level where I can trust him to not only do the
    job without supervision, but also to make autonomous decisions when I am
    not there. I was depending on him being there in October so I can take a
    leisurely vacation- my first leisurely vacation ever!

    My other tech is not good enough to be left alone or run things when I am
    not there- nor will he ever be good enough for that. But, I know what his
    capabilities are and he does what I ask of him- for the most part.

    So far, I cannot even get anyone to apply! I have been advertising the
    position- even via the State Unemployment- not even a bite yet- and that
    is without any salary even being listed.

    So, that leaves me to do all the tech work, all the paperwork, and all the
    other crap that comes with running a growing business.

    Damn, this is going to suck in a big way!!!
    Ghost, Jul 28, 2003
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  2. Ghost

    Gary Kendall Guest

    What State is this job in?

    Gary Kendall, Jul 28, 2003
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  3. Ghost

    RussS Guest

    Damn - bad news there Ghost.

    If I wasn't so many miles away I might have offered my services so you can
    have a holiday. Not sure your wage rate would cover my air fares though
    RussS, Jul 29, 2003
  4. Ghost

    Ghost Guest

    MY HERO!!! lol
    Ghost, Jul 29, 2003
  5. Ghost

    Ghost Guest

    Where in NY???

    I was born and raised there, and was just back there for school last
    month... and NY is part of my vacation plans for October!!!
    Ghost, Jul 29, 2003
  6. Ghost

    Pikoro Guest

    Why don't you publish the salary?
    Everybody will know what to expect...
    Pikoro, Jul 29, 2003
  7. Ghost

    MF Guest

    Can you explain why wages are so bad in your area? I mentioned a
    previous post of yours , where you talked about 8 an hour starting and
    15 an hour experienced tech wages, to a friend of mine who is a
    location scout (deals with only small businesses). He goes to florida
    three or four times a year for a week to three months at a time and
    has been all over the state. He couldn't understand high-end burger
    flipping wages for computer techs - I said it was the tampa bay area,
    and he said that made even less sense.

    Are you in an intensely rural area? What's the story?

    MF, Jul 29, 2003
  8. Ghost

    Ghost Guest

    We are about an hour north of Tampa.. pretty rural (more suburban)... not
    much industry here...

    btw- I do not trust recruiters any more than I trust the type
    boards or employment surveys. They are always skewed to make it appear
    oh-so-much better than it really is!
    Ghost, Jul 29, 2003
  9. Ghost

    RussS Guest

    Glen, I won't comment on Ghosts business as I don't know his details.
    However, I will comment on business in general and in particular staff and
    other costs.

    First off we have rent, rates utilities, building insurance, workers
    insurance, public liability insurance, vehicle insurance (did I say vehicle
    overheads?), possibly business continuity insurance.
    Then we have wages (including needing to have some aside for holiday pay
    etc.). Now I would hazard a guess that a tech in a smaller place would
    maybe charge out 6 hours a day allowing for answering phones and other techs
    questions etc. (someone will correct me) - but would usually be paid for 8
    Next would be the cost of showroom stock and replacement parts. Add
    advertising and other miscellaneous costs and things start to add up.
    Owning a small business and employing staff is not a simple proposition and
    I know a lot of people who refuse to grow their business because they do not
    want the responsibility of taking on staff.

    Now in the industry I was just in I was expected to generate around $200 per
    hour just to make the place beat the red ink so I guess a $75 hr charge out
    is not unreasonable.
    RussS, Jul 29, 2003
  10. Ghost

    Guest Guest

    Good analysis Russ!
    Guest, Jul 29, 2003
  11. Ghost

    Lee P. Guest

    Not unreasonable, but the question (I think) was why the techs aren't
    paid better (and therefore more likely to stay). Out of the costs you
    mention, what are the priorities?
    Lee P., Jul 29, 2003
  12. Ghost

    RussS Guest

    Glad to see you didn't have a wasted youth Glen.

    As far as wage rates go one also has to take into account what is also being
    paid locally. If the other shops pay the same rate then you are far better
    off looking after your staff in other ways rather than just cash - from a
    business owners perspective of course. Sometimes if you pay a premuim in
    wages it starts a cycle of wage hikes at competitiors and often leading your
    staff to look to regain their advantage over others. Kind of like when a
    business starts to discount its services and the competitors do the same.
    In the past I have seen business selling services at cost price or less just
    hoping to outlast the competition.

    Over the years I have worked for many different people in very diverse areas
    and I can honestly say the one I enjoyed working for the most paid me a lot
    less than others in that field, but my conditions and perks were exactly
    what I wanted at that time in my life.
    RussS, Jul 29, 2003
  13. Ghost

    Ghost Guest

    Oh, thats what I need, business advice from an SB fan... lol

    Actually, I *DO* charge $75 an hour for residential service calls. I do
    not do residential service calls. That is why my price is that high. I
    do not want to do residential service calls.

    But, I will give you a lesson in business economics...

    Here in this area, $50 an hour for in-shop repairs is about average- and
    that is what I charge.

    Now, out of that 50 bucks, lets see how much I get to keep...

    Lemme see.. to start off with there is rent, electric, phones, yellow
    pages, broadband fees, and other monthly non-recoverable fees. These are
    fixed amounts. Well, they say they are fixed amounts because they have to
    be paid whether I am at the office or not, whether I turn on the lights or
    make a phone call or not. But, since they seem to go up every year, I
    dont really see how they are fixed! My yellow pages ad went up 35 dollars
    a month- for the very same ad as last year. Dont get me started on those
    bloodsucking bastards.. lol

    Then, there is the cost of parts. Then the shipping charges for those
    parts coming in, as well as stuff going out. Sure there is a markup on
    the parts- but not much. Not when Dell, Compaq, Gateway, eMachines, and
    everyone else is selling complete systems for $400.00. But remember, it
    is *MY* money being used to buy those parts- and until those parts are
    sold, I am out that money!

    Lets us not forget your precious payroll. You know those dollars you get
    every hour? Well, I have to pay more than you get. You know how you lose
    so much each month for FICA and other taxes? Well, you probably get those
    back at the end of year. I have to match what you pay each paycheck, but
    I dont get it back. So, if ou lose 50 bucks per paycheck to taxes, I also
    have to pay another 50 bucks out of my money (in addition to your 50
    bucks) to the government for taxes. But wait, I also have to pay other
    taxes- like state AND federal unemployment taxes (you dont pay those, I

    Oh, and then there is sales taxes.

    Hmmm.. can we say insurance?

    But wait, who's equipment would you be using when you are working? My
    bench? My computers? My tools? My routers, switches, servers? My
    chairs, desks, telephones, copiers, fax machines? Just who has to pay for
    that? Yes, that all comes out of that very same $50 per hour.

    Oops, let us not forget training. Who pays for you to go to the Intel and
    Microsot seminars we are required to go to? While most of them are free
    admission (not all of them), you still want to get paid for the day
    right? You want to get paid for the travel, for the free food you will
    eat while there, for the naps you will take during the boring lectures.
    And you still want to get paid for all the free giveaways they give out
    all the time, right? And if the thing is over by 3pm, you want to go home
    early and get paid, right?

    Oh, and lets not forget all the professinal fees- like bookkeepers,
    accountants, etc.

    How about all the association fees- Better Business Bureau, Chambers of
    Commerce, CompTIA, etc...

    I am quite sure there are other things I am forgetting about since I just
    got home from this extreme money making opportunity we bosses call work
    and I am oh-so-tired from pushing that wheel barrow full of cash all the
    way to the bank! Employees always think we make a small fortune, and all
    on your backs. That may be true in some companies like Enron, but not in
    small businesses like mine.

    In fact, I *HIGHLY* resent the implication I am somehow making my fortune
    on the backs of my employees, while at the same time mistreating them
    somehow. Since you do not know me, or how I work, I will not get on your
    case too bad.. lol

    In fact, since this area cannot support high salaries, I do as much as I
    can for my techs. One of them just had a baby- well, his wife did. He
    got a week off with pay to bond. If they have an appt to take the baby to
    a doctor, or the car breaks down, or whatever, they get the time off with
    pay. If one of them is late, or has to leave early, they still get paid
    for the day. When one tech needed time off to go see his son get an
    award, he got the time off, and full pay!

    When times get slow- as they have been since March- nobody gets sent
    home. They still get paid for a full day of work-- even if they are
    sitting around playing solitaire.

    There is always free sodas and snacks in the break area for the employees.

    I do not micromanage my employees. The assumption is they are mature
    adults and have a good work ethic- with the technicals skills to complete
    the job. as such, until they prove otherwise, they are treated as those
    same mature adults.

    Want to get fired from my shop? Well, it is actually pretty easy- but you
    have to really want to get fired. And, nobody gets fired by surprise.
    You know full and well it is coming because you are deliberately doing
    things to get you fired. Steal from me, or deliberately damage things, or
    something along those lines will do it- with extreme prejudice. But other
    than that, it is otherwise pretty hard to get fired.

    In my four+ years of business, I had one guy abandon his job (he was a
    drunk and would rather drink than work), one guy quit (after 3 days)
    because he knew it was way over his head and would not be able to do the
    work, and one guy got fired- and boy did he deserve it. One guy is
    leaving Friday because he is leaving the field. Oh, and by the way, he
    didnt know it, but I was going to buy him an inexpensive car next month
    since his was dying real bad.

    So, while I cannot afford to pay exhorbitant salaries (my salary is pretty
    low too by the way), I do treat my guys very, very well!

    So, just how much of that $50 do you think I get to keep?

    btw- the first week of June was time to pay my end of month billing, my
    quarterly taxes, and payroll- all at the same time. I shelled out- in one
    day- over $20,000 for all! No big deal to us money grubbing evil
    employers, right?

    All employees, or ppl that someday hope to become employees, should be
    made aware of certain things before they draw conclusions about just how
    much money a small business owner makes!
    Ghost, Jul 30, 2003
  14. Ghost

    Ghost Guest

    Oh, and we want to take credit cards, don't we? Who pays for all those
    monthly and percentage fees that have to be paid? Who buys the credit
    card terminal? I have to replace the printer on my terminal right now-
    thats $100 bucks!

    This list can go on and on- and if you choose to consider them "Excuses"
    then you might consider going back to college and learning about business
    again- because it did not take!

    Whyt can't techs get paid more? Well, lets consider business economics
    again. First, you might have heard of such a thing as "Law of supply and
    demand". There is an over abundance (an absolute glut) of certified tech
    with and without experience. Couple that with a softened economy, and
    asking that question out loud belies other things about yourself, and your
    level of understanding of business.

    Let me tell you a bit of my area- predminantly suburban to rural, with a
    median age of perhaps 60 or so. I can build themn a brand new box for
    1,000 and they will whine over a $15 NIC card- "Do I really need it?"
    Ghost, Jul 30, 2003
  15. Ghost

    Ghost Guest

    Kewl... enough said on that matter than!

    I agree... tier one and tier two systems basicaly byte the big one!

    I normally teach consumers by this analogy... A Yugo and a Buick are both
    cars. They both have hengines and a steering wheel. But that is about
    where the similarity ends. And wouldnt you really rather drive a Buick?

    Now this has twop impacts. First, it really is a good analogy for people
    to begin to understand.

    Second, especially for my older customers- there used to be a very well
    known slogan used on all their TV advertising and print advertising-
    "Wouldn't you really rather drive a Buick?"

    I can go on and on about the crappy systems here, but I really have to go
    to work... lol

    Florida really sucks. I would leave in a heartbeat if I were able to.
    Ghost, Jul 31, 2003
  16. Ghost

    techshare Guest

    Again, nothing personal but ...

    My God man! Do you ever stop whining? I haven't checked this group in weeks
    .... and here you are again. Give IT up already! If you have SO much business
    that you actually need to hire a technician ... we shouldn't be hearing so
    much as ONE complaint.

    I am beginning to think you post these messages just to piss off every
    qualified technician or business owner that reads this group. Not sure why
    you are happy to get all these replies from supposedly "qualified"
    technicians desperate to work for $8/hour. This topic must be the biggest
    non-topic this board has ever seen.

    Why don't you just change the subject to "Ghost's b*tch thread about running
    his business"?! I am a technician and a computer service business owner. On
    top of that, I work part time as a software development contractor. Right
    now, I couldn't imagine having enough pc service work to hire a full time
    technician. Not in this "business". However, if I do get that kind of
    workload ... I'll do what any other business owner would do. I'll hire a
    qualified technician for the best price/value that I can find.

    So, for the 20th time (as others have told you)... If you really feel the
    need to post about your open position ... then just post it like a REAL
    employer. This includes job description, hours, and pay rate/range. If you
    decide to be a goof and leave out pay rate ... of course you must expect at
    least a few nitwits will apply. If you post it significantly lower than a
    good wage (i.e. 8/hour) ... of course you must expect that only nitwits will
    apply. Why is this so hard for you to understand? Save your nonsense about
    pay in your area. Your excuses are your own. If you aren't getting the kind
    of people you want ... then you aren't paying enough. For crying out loud,
    you best tech just told you that ... and left your company!!!

    By the way ... what's all this about not wanting to do residential work? You
    need to make as much profit as possible. I don't see your point. Also, if
    you are a big guy with employees ... why not have them do the residential
    calls you don't want to do?!
    techshare, Nov 3, 2003
  17. Ghost

    techshare Guest

    Oh nevermind this post. Somehow this showed up in my reader ... but it
    appears I responded to this long back. At any rate ... my point is still the
    same :)
    techshare, Nov 3, 2003
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