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Cell phone use and smoking


Gary A

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Do you guys have a hard time with cell phone use during work hours? What is your policy on this? Also what is your policy for those who smoke? There are just too many things that are eating up time in the day......

I have one emp. who uses his cell multiple times during the day, or at least is looking at it. As it turns out sometimes a lot of his Hispanic customers prefer to contact him directly to make appt's. Though, I know, even if I can't understand what he is saying, that the call can be personal. I let him know that the cell phone is not welcome and I don't want it to interfere with business. It can really get annoying. Luckily I have no smokers, did once in the past. He could have a smoke brake at lunch, off the property. He was cool with it, and I don't like cigarettes, so we were all happy. :-)

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How do you have no smokers. I can hardly ever find a tech that doesn't smoke. I am the only non smoker among my employees.

My main guy has been with us for just over 20 years, no smoking or partying. Other guy (younger kid) been with us for just about 3 years, has only been out sick maybe 3 times, also clean. Just fortunate I guess.

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Those are the things I expect to hear. I have just had several employees in the past who even after a repeated number of times, insisted on using the cell phone even while working on the car. I guess thats one of the reasons they are no longer here.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think all businesses have problem with text messaging and cell phone use in general. Some businesses ban cell phone use while working and allow use during breaks and lunch. In my health care business, majority of our employees are mothers, so I let them keep their phones for school emergencies unless one abuses the privilege. You will be surprised about how many people, think it is a "right" to have their cell phones on and

carry on conversations while supposedly on the "clock." Of course most of these are younger people or "Y'genners"

 

In our shop, 3 of the guys are my partners (all under 30). The biggest offender is the appointed mgr. In a middle of a management meeting, he will take a text message and answer it while we are waiting. But he says it is about business. Maybe.

 

Smokers.... most of the smokers are older folks (50 and above) in the health care business. They take every break. One lady has developed emphysema, but won't admit it. Her lungs rattle with each breath. Lots of health care cost here. Some very large businesses (Forbes 500) have instituted a policy that they will pay for an anti-smoking program for a employee and give the employee 1 year to stop smoking then they fire them, if they don't achieve that goal. I only have 2 and both are older and better workers, so I will tolerate it.

 

I think every business needs a policy on cell phone usage and smoking. Just be sure that it is in a policy book and everyone signs off.

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Luckily, I only have a few employees that smoke, but I DO NOT allow smoking in the shop and they need to smoke durning breaks and lunch. Now, cell phones and texting, it's almost an extension of people's lives. It's a problem and a constant battle. I tell my people, I understand how the world is today, but if cell phone use affects productivity and quality, we have a problem. Last year, I let an employee go; one of reasons was for too much cell phone use during working hours. Cell phones are a distraction and can lead to mistakes.

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I think all businesses have problem with text messaging and cell phone use in general. Some businesses ban cell phone use while working and allow use during breaks and lunch. In my health care business, majority of our employees are mothers, so I let them keep their phones for school emergencies unless one abuses the privilege. You will be surprised about how many people, think it is a "right" to have their cell phones on and

carry on conversations while supposedly on the "clock." Of course most of these are younger people or "Y'genners"

 

 

What's your problem man, they're my minutes.

 

Cellphone use is not mandatory to survive. If an employee is on their cell-phone they aren't working for you, so I do not see any reason why cell-phone use or texting is necessary. Before it was cool, trendy or "normal" to have a cell-phone what did people do in an emergency? They called the business and asked for the employee. No employer worth any respect penalized an employee for the occasional urgent phone call so use of cell-phones at work is absolutely not necessary, for any reason and therefore will be minimally tolerated. The employee can text/talk to their hearts content, on their time I don't care, but not on my time.

 

 

Smokers.... most of the smokers are older folks (50 and above) in the health care business. They take every break. One lady has developed emphysema, but won't admit it. Her lungs rattle with each breath. Lots of health care cost here. Some very large businesses (Forbes 500) have instituted a policy that they will pay for an anti-smoking program for a employee and give the employee 1 year to stop smoking then they fire them, if they don't achieve that goal. I only have 2 and both are older and better workers, so I will tolerate it.

 

I am currently a one man shop so I don't have to worry about it. But when I hire a tech or a service writer there will still be NO smoking in the shop, the office or in customer's cars. If their habit is so bad that they can't wait and take a 5 minute break every couple hours and at lunch, then I don't need them in my shop. I've noticed at many, many jobs I've held both automotive and non-automotive that unless there was a specified break period, the smokers got to take "breaks" and the non-smokers were expected to keep working, not cool. And if the tech were paid any form that included hourly there would be an understanding that a break for smoking, cell-phone/texting etc. would not exceed 5 minutes, not to exceed once before and once after lunch, and then only if the work load permitted. And NEVER in a customer's car regardless if they're a smoker or not

 

Those are my rules, if you don't like it, OPEN YOUR OWN SHOP!!!

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  • 1 month later...

I had a run in with this some time ago and took the direct approach. I hold meetings every so often over a company supplied lunch and express my concerns about issues such as cell phone use. The fact of the matter is, a shop is a dangerous environment, and a distracted person in a shop is a hazard to himself and others. Im sure we all have seen the mechanic with one hand on a car and the other on his ear. I also further explain the loss of productivity and the effects of it on our small team. With a smaller team of guys like us, if one guy is not giving 100% he is the weakest link and hurting the rest of us. Ive worked hard to keep a collective team environment, and in this atmosphere, nobody including myself wants to be the one the lets the others down. While rare cell phone use still occurs, I make it a point to let the person know I see it, and to wrap it up, as there is never spare time here, and if someone believes there is spare time, I find a great use of it LOL.

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There are now analog people and digital people.Digital people are like tech zombies that must be in on all gossip and games. The goal of the digital people is to get rid of the analog people and the gray haired people so that they can continue gaming. It's hard to find a drug/addiction free,media violence/porn free and moral employee today. B)

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  • 1 month later...

We don't have a major problem with cell phone usage here. There is occasional use, but it is not been an issue. If it were an issue, the employee would have to be in a meeting with the boss to discuss it and if they didn't improve they would be terminated.

 

I am a smoker, but that doesn't mean any special breaks. We are all allowed a break in the morning and in the afternoon. We also have a lunch hour. There is a butt stand outside of the shop where butts must be discarded. There is no smoking in the building. Simple as that. Just because someone smokes doesn't mean they are lazy or are going to require more breaks.

 

I hate the rap that smokers get. You can take a break just like everyone else, but as soon as production goes down the first thing you hear is "Everyone is hanging around smoking cigarettes!". Somehow holding a burning piece of rolled up tobacco instantly is the cause of all production issues. I may smoke, but I can run circles around most nonsmokers when it comes to a hard days work. I will get down off my soap box, now.

 

The short of it is to make policies, make sure they are inforced and your employees will conform or be terminated.

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We don't have a major problem with cell phone usage here. There is occasional use, but it is not been an issue. If it were an issue, the employee would have to be in a meeting with the boss to discuss it and if they didn't improve they would be terminated.

 

I am a smoker, but that doesn't mean any special breaks. We are all allowed a break in the morning and in the afternoon. We also have a lunch hour. There is a butt stand outside of the shop where butts must be discarded. There is no smoking in the building. Simple as that. Just because someone smokes doesn't mean they are lazy or are going to require more breaks.

 

I hate the rap that smokers get. You can take a break just like everyone else, but as soon as production goes down the first thing you hear is "Everyone is hanging around smoking cigarettes!". Somehow holding a burning piece of rolled up tobacco instantly is the cause of all production issues. I may smoke, but I can run circles around most nonsmokers when it comes to a hard days work. I will get down off my soap box, now.

 

The short of it is to make policies, make sure they are inforced and your employees will conform or be terminated.

 

You make a very valid piont. Too much blame for low productivity is due to smoking. I am not a smoker but I have techs that smoke and they are great producers. I may not agree with the habit, but it's their choice, not mine. Again, great point.

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  • 2 years later...

Well, I've been a smoker, and am now a former smoker. As shop foreman, I figure it's incumbent

upon me to set an example. When I smoked, a stressful job or tough problem would send me out

back for a smoke to calm my nerves. NOT good for productivity.

Then we got anti-smoking legislation, which effectively put out every cigarette in any business.

Cell phones are a distraction, but in many cases are a necessary evil. Any tech who insists on

using their phone while working on a car, may only do so with a bluetooth ear-piece. No texting, no

facebook or other graphically-involving B.S. I don't want to have to deal with someone dropping an

expensive bit of car, because one of their hands was wrapped around their precious phone.

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We currently don't have any smokers but the ones we have had in the past were told that they could only take their required breaks to have their smoke break. I think it depends on the individual in terms of productivity and if smoking has a detrimental effect on it. I think shop owners definitely need to set the tone in terms of when techs can go on breaks or not to smoke though or it can lead to a problem down the road.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 weeks later...

This discussion is definitely two-sided. My thoughts on both these subjects is that as long as their productivity stays high and doesn't affect the shop in anyway, I don't care. If it ever does, then we have major problems!

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One customer came to get a key off her key ring and the office was busy so she went right to her car and caught the L1 tech SEXTING in her car.

 

 

I like the Phone on break or lunch rule.

 

 

Driving a car or Working on a car is the activity not sexting/texting/talking. Sure you don't see a problem in your shop until a wheel is left loose or a oil filter is left loose, etc

 

I don't want my Pilot arguing with his wife on the phone while we are trying to land!

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