There was an interesting development today. The shipyard is actually owned by a couple and his wife does all the accounting stuff. She paid us a visit this morning and told us she also warned him not to hire a house painter to do the work of a specialised yacht painter. She sided with us because she has the numbers on what this mistake is going to cost the company. Basically, he thought he was being smart by hiring a cheap house painter to varnish a yacht interior. He didn't tell his wife and made the decision by himself. She fully understands why we're p1ssed off. We put a lot of effort into this interior because the client only accepts absolute perfection. She asked us if we're willing to re-varnish the interior as a favour to her and she's going to throw in a small bonus. She also told us she's been in contact with a yacht painter who's going to do all the varnishing starting with the next interior. We all know this yacht painter because the yacht building business is a very small world in the north of The Netherlands and we know he delivers top quality.
This will not end well for either party. As the skilled labour, he needs you and presumably you need him
We don't need him. There's a high shortage of skilled shipwrights because this is not the kind of work most kids want to do nowadays. They want some cushy office job with a useless job title instead of working with their hands and creating something from scratch. I only have to make a few calls and I can start somewhere else within 3 days.
The owner is the king of his domain. And it is HIS domain, not yours. In my mind, the instant an employee gives me an ultimatum is the instant that employee is handed walking papers.
It's a simple case of supply and demand. The demand for skilled shipwrights is much higher than the supply. Good luck finding 4 shipwrights with our experience who are so tuned into each other. We're the reason the yard is doing so well and making a nice profit.
I hope you put it to the owner a little more diplomatically.
We're not very diplomatic
That's an interesting conjecture--what's it based on?
A shipwright who received a traditional training is also trained in varnishing. Over here it's more or less expected a shipwright delivers the same quality as a specialised yacht painter. There is one difference though. You can't catch everything the first time (maybe you missed some dried glue in a dark corner or some pencil lines) and you can correct the small things you missed as you come across them during varnishing. A yacht painter will just go over it because he/she doesn't look at an interior the same way as we do.
Is this your reaction to a single 'bad' day, or is it the culmination of longer brewing issues?
Is he cutting corners here due to business growth or decline?
He's made some dumb decisions before that ended up costing the company a lot of money. This was the last straw for us and also for his wife. He promised us that from now on he will listen to us. Time will tell if he's serious.