Glenn worked for the company far longer than most would have liked. I thought he did a good job, at least from my perspective. My perspective was what really mattered.
I wanted someone that would show up to work, keep fuel in machines, keep the oil changed and the machines greased. He did those things as well as anyone who ever worked for me.
I seldom saw him, much less talked to him.
Glenn had 2 major flaws. He talked too much and he lied about everything. Figuring there are trade offs with everything, I didn’t see the talking was too bad. It wasn’t me listening. The lying part. I never saw where lying was impacting his job. His was just a teller of tall tells.
Something that completely escapes me now caused him to get fired. My son Mike was his direct supervisor, so most likely was the one that dismissed him. Glenn came to me and I made some calls. We worked it out him to keep his job. The story is told that in his rejoicing about me saving his job, he with tears in his eyes came and gave me a big bear hug. I’m doubtful that really happened, but since it’s part of the company folklore I’ll just say it happened.
Back when diesel made a tremendous jump in price in 2007, we started a project where the machines were consuming much more fuel than ever before in the history of the company. All the costs overruns were coming out of my pocket because the jobs were bid when the price was cheap. It was costing thousands of dollars a month more than anticipated.
Seeing this we started a process of tracking fuel usage. This was unbeknownst to Glenn.
Because we were doing this one humongous project with many more machines we added another fuel truck and driver. This was to give Glenn help to keep from running him crazy.
After tracking the diesel for a few days we could see something wasn’t adding up with Glenn’s reports. We started secretly checking the meter readings on the pumps compared to the log sheets that were turned in daily. Nothing was computing. We decided a lot of diesel must be missing. Then we started to secretly have someone watch the meter on the truck and at end of the day we would see what he put on on his log sheet. Guy in the woods with binoculars kind of stuff.
A machine that had barely even ran may take 100 gallons or more. Everything on his log sheet was showing he was pumping a 1000 or more gallons a day more than he should have.
There was only one thing that could be happening. Glenn was taking a load of fuel and dumping it off to another contractor or somewhere every day at a discounted price and pocketing the money. What else could it be?
We secretly equipped his truck with a GPS unit. One of the mechanics and I took turns tailing him. It was important to catch him in the act. Glenn was an ex-county deputy so we wanted to do this right. No stones left unturned.
For several days we watched him. We could never see him do anything wrong. The logs sheets continued to be inflated but fuel was never dropped off.
The history of his lies, as reported by various employees:
Some of the things he would tell the guys were stuff like he and I were cousins. We grew up together. He had a huge bunker built under his house made from 1 1/2″ armor plate steel. His new wife, he’d divorced recently and remarried, was an attorney. My dad, Cecil had taught him to fish at his fishing camp when he was 8 or 10 years
I didn’t know him. If I was his cousin, it wasn’t known to me. I had never seen or heard of him before he came to work for us.
Really a bunker ????
Some of the guys knew his wife worked in the school lunch room.
My dad never had a fishing camp until Glenn would have been grown.
It was all just Glenn talking.
Now back to the story of the missing fuel:
When more than a week had passed and we never saw him dump off fuel, I decided to grab him in the yard one afternoon and have a talk with him.
In the yard, with my tape recorder running, I got him in the truck with me. The interrogation started. Why had he lied about our being related? He gave me several aunts names that told him we were kinfolks. I’d never heard of any of them.
I didn’t even discuss the bunker. He was living in a mobile home.
He told the guys his wife was an attorney because that sounded much more respectable than her working at the school lunchroom. I explained to him I knew several attorneys and several lunchroom workers and for me I’ll trust the lunchroom lady any day.
He just couldn’t figure out why I didn’t remember us fishing together at Cec’s Fishing Camp when we were kids. He was stuptified when I explained there was no fishing camp until we both would have been grown.
With all that out of the way I told him I needed only truthful answers from here on. Why was he screwing with the numbers on the reports?
With tears in his eyes he explained that when we brought the new guy on he was afraid if he didn’t show that he was pumping more diesel that his job may be in jeopardy. So bumping the numbers up made it appear that he was doing a much better job than the other guy.
He asked what he could do to save his job. He would work for less. He would work harder. Anything.
With all the facts in I laid it all out to Glenn. He had to promise me he would go home, tell his new wife every lie he had been telling me. He had to tell her the she was an attorney, everything. Next he had to promise to never lie to me again. Finally, he was sent home for a week to sit and think about the trouble he’d caused and the money he had cost the company by doing surveillance and other things it would take to straighten out the mess he had caused.
He agreed to all the terms. I have no way to know whether he told his wife. I know he never told me another lie, because I don’t think I ever had another conversation with him. He managed to be invisible if I was around.
A couple of years later when I retired and stepped aside, Glenn was still keeping everything serviced. But with me gone the decision was made and Glenn wasn’t around after just a few weeks.
Oh, the part about him having to takeoff a week. He did that. I had them go ahead and pay him to sit at home. I figured he still had bills to pay.