Okay, so this is a GOOD one today. And one that I’ve seen happen over and OVER and over again, and I still just can’t believe it all the way! It’s such a HUGE risk trying to hustle your own employer out of their clients, not to mention an easy way to lose your job – my word… (and I know I’m using the word “stealing” here, but I swear I’m not trying to sway your opinion – it’s just the easiest way for me to explain what I’m talking about ;))
Remember how our water heater broke last week? And we had that plumber come out and install a brand new one and all that? Well, after
talking bitching about it w/ some friends and family afterwards, one of them told me a story on what one of THEIR plumbers offered on the table last year when they had to get a new one installed. Are you ready for this?
They said they could come back later that night and install it *on the side*, without going through their employer! For a $500 break!
Wowww… she said she never went ahead with it, and it actually got weird when he came back the next day to install it legitly since the company just sent him right back there, but still – people are hustlers! And not in the way we blog about here every month, haha…
But it really piqued my interest… What would *I* have done if our plumber guy had served this up on a platter to us? $400 IS a nice chunk of change!! I’m pretty sure I would have said no, but I’d be lying if I didn’t at least *think* about it for a hot couple seconds or so… that’s a lot of money saved for the exact same thing you’d be getting, cuz it’s not like it would be a totally different product or even service for that matter – all warranties would still be intact.
The Mrs. was quick to bring up some good points though, which would have definitely swayed me at that point for sure:
- How much can you trust the guy? If he’s willing to rip off his own employer’s customers, how do you know he’s at all trustworthy? Even IF he does a killer job in the end?
- What happens if he got *hurt* on the job? There’s no more liability or insurance stuff since it’s all off the clock, so would we get screwed over in the end if God forbid something happened to him.
- It’s ripping off the employer. AKA small business which I, out of everyone, should understand (and backing up!) since I run my own here w/ my blog stuff and what not. And I can tell you I’d be SUPER pissed if any of my contractors were jackin’ me behind my back!
So def. all great points here for sure. And in the end I don’t think I could do it even if I wanted to. Not only for all those reasons just discussed, but also for the fact I’d feel BAD every time I walked by it in the morning knowing I helped rip someone off :( My conscience alone would be enough to drive me crazy, and I certainly don’t what THAT anytime soon, haha…
So my answer here would be a NO. But it also got me thinking about all those OTHER workers out there that also do similar things, and if that changes the game at all? For example:
- Government workers who switch to “consulting.” AKA the clients they had while working for the Gov’t ends up loving them, and wants to hire them on the side and cut the Gov’t out completely. Or if the Gov’t still has the contract for X number of years, then you quit completely only to get re-hired back by them now as a contractor instead of employee. Though technically you do the exact same thing. It Happens alllllll the time here in DC, and people don’t bat an eye…
- Mechanics who use their employer’s garages to do their own work. You drive your car in to get serviced, and the guy “hooks you up” and asks you to pay him directly in cash instead of going through the business. This isn’t as common as that first example above, but I still hear of it happening every now and then. And the same with other service workers like at food joints or electronic stores, etc. It’s pretty crazy…
Now obviously if there’s an agreement in place, and both parties know it’s happening (like the mechanic situation above, where the employer grants you free access to their stuff since you work there) then all is good in the world. There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of perks when everyone knows what’s going on. But here I’m really talking about the stuff that goes on *behind* the employers’ backs, which could get any grown man or woman fired if they were ever caught red-handed. Not to mention any legal stuff that could happen to YOU too by chance, for all I know?
So if YOU were presented with any of these kinds of offers we’re talkin’ about, what would you do? Especially if it meant you saving hundred and hundreds of dollars like that water heater example above? I’m super curious to know. And I swear I won’t judge! Feel free to even go anonymously below so you can keep it on the real. Cool? ;)
Just because I’m too chicken and a goody-goody, doesn’t mean the rest of the world is. So put it all out there, my friends! I’m crazy fascinated by this right now, and I wanna see just how common this is in your world or not… It takes all kinds, right?
PS: HAPPY WEEKEND!!!
(Photo by badlyricpolice)