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Forum topic by , posted 02-02-2014 01:28 AM 3959 views 0 times favorited 78 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2387 posts in 3817 days

02-02-2014 01:28 AM

Let me first say the person who works for us is a great guy in a lot of ways. He has done a lot of good work for us. No person is perfect of course but for the most part he has the potential of doing some really great work when he wants to and when he is focused.

My issue is this. When we get projects completed, we tend to take pics. He takes them with his phone. I always figured he took them to show friends and family what he has built while working with us. After all, we do some amazing work and who would not be proud and want to show off our work. I figured he might even put them on his FB page and brag about what we have built in the past month or so at Top Quality Cabinets.

But no, this is actually what he has done with several of those pics he has taken over time with us. He made his own website Look at his site. On his front page he has one pic and a top banner pic, both of projects completed by our shop. His gallery page features 36 pictures, and 30 of them are of work completed by Top Quality Cabinets. The other 6 pictures are of projects he completed while at our shop but on his own on the side for some side cash. And 90% of the wording on his site comes right off of my website Those words were my own words as I am the author of 75% of what is written on my site.

I think about it and we (my wife and I, my 6 and 8 year old daughters) have had extreme sacrifice over the years to build the company we are proud of today. We are very proud of the work we have successfully completed. Our sacrifices included our small family of 4 being homeless, living the shop, not having hot water, not having a bathtub, missing Christmas altogether 2010 and 2009, late nights of self study, hard lessons learned from the school of hard knocks, many days and weeks running with an empty fridge, etc… It just seems that someone, who has not had to endure the sacrifice it has taken us to get to where we are at today, who steals credit for work we complete is demeaning to us and the great sacrifice we have made.

So I sent him a very tactful email outlining my concerns and wishes. I also CC this email to [email protected] I do hope this works out fine and he can remain working with us as deep down I like the guy. But there is a certain line that cannot be crossed.

Anyone have advice. I know there is a thread about pics being stolen from and folks are mad about that and I can understand that frustration, but I somehow feel my situation is very different.

By the way, this guy does not even own a shop, he wants to build a small shed where he can store some tools, but at this time he has no place to work if not for at our shop.

-- .

78 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile


7066 posts in 2869 days

#1 posted 02-02-2014 01:35 AM

Well, I do like the looks of your cabinets. Mighty fine work on them.

View love2cad's profile


39 posts in 2327 days

#2 posted 02-02-2014 01:39 AM

Hello Jerry, I too am in San Antonio (Boerne actually) and working hard to build my business. I completely understand you frustrations but I can’t understand why someone would pass others work off as their own. It seems like you have handled it the best you can up to this point. I would say stick with it and don’t let him take away what you have fought so hard to build!

-- Bobby

View richardwootton's profile


1701 posts in 2226 days

#3 posted 02-02-2014 01:40 AM

I would certainly feel betrayed if this happened to me. It shows a real lack of gratitude on his part.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 2946 days

#4 posted 02-02-2014 01:45 AM

sounds like you handled it very well.

I gotta tell you…his website really sucked. He really needs a pro to work on the wording. And the pictures were terrible! Frankly, compared to your website, I don’t know what you’re worried about.

He just wants to be like you. it’s almost flattering.

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile


418 posts in 1998 days

#5 posted 02-02-2014 01:50 AM

Does he have a shop and equipment where he can produce Cabinets?
If not, fire his azz and tell him good luck.
Also tell him you will sue him if he doesn’t remove your property from his site. (don’t really know if you can)
It’s obvious that he wants to start his own business. There is no need for you to continue training him when he is just going to leave. Sorry, but it’s time to get someone else. Quit wasting your time with him.

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3817 days

#6 posted 02-02-2014 01:50 AM

Good points Mark. I agree about the photography quality. His phone camera is not stellar. I guess I just get ticked off thinking about it. I have actually known about this site for the past couple of weeks and have not done or said anything while working with him but I finally decided I was not happy and sent him an email, but it was tactful.

-- .

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3312 days

#7 posted 02-02-2014 01:55 AM

I would drop that guy so fast he wouldn’t know what happened to him.
If he is willing to do this who knows what else he a has done.

Wish him the best of luck and send him packing.

It’s hard enough without someone taking stabs at you.
You certainly don’t deserve or need this kind of crap from anyone..

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3381 posts in 3380 days

#8 posted 02-02-2014 01:56 AM

Yes, you probably shouldn’t have, but for a different reason than you may be thinking. He’s stealing from you, and you’ve forewarned him. It’ll be tougher to exact legal results, probably. It appears to me that the lack of focus and ambivalent attitude come from his willingness to steal your goodwill and possibly your customers. I think he’s there to take advantage of you. You sound like a nice guy. It may take a legal remedy to stop his stealing. Are you prepared to go there? If he worked for me, he’d no longer be working for me. I’d’ve canned him on the spot when I saw that website (which I haven’t visited, btw).

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3817 days

#9 posted 02-02-2014 01:59 AM

Kevin, you also make some good points. It gets me upset thinking about all of the time and training I have put into him. He knows all or most all of my sources as far as where we get hardware and such. I have serious doubts that he can ever truly compete with us but I don’t want to find out.

It is sort of frustrating when you think about it. We have had quite a number of guys work with us over the past few years, one guy is way out there, another is lazy, another guy lacks focus, another guy is a break fanatic, another guy was likely really good in his younger years and finally we get a guy focused, decent intelligence, good problem solving skills and very capable and he suddenly is looking to open is own business.

-- .

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3654 days

#10 posted 02-02-2014 02:00 AM

I think he crossed the line in using pics of your cabinets to compete for your business and he would be gone. I work at a cabinet shop for someone else and I haven’t posted one thing on this site that we have made there. If I did, I would definitely not imply that I was the sole designer and builder. I only post things I make at home.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View DIYaholic's profile


19766 posts in 2946 days

#11 posted 02-02-2014 02:02 AM

A line has been crossed.
How many more crossed lines are to come?

He’s trying to steal your reputation….
Where will he stop?

Once a line has been crossed….
The next line to cross is that much easier!!!

That of course is just my opinion….

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2775 days

#12 posted 02-02-2014 02:06 AM

Why would we have to tell you this?
1. He is dishonest.
2. Fire him.
You make it seem he is your main employee and your business would fail without him.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3918 days

#13 posted 02-02-2014 02:06 AM

Address it like an adult. Ask the guy if he wants to be out
on his own. Maybe you can work out a deal – if he wants to
work overtime doing his own jobs he is going to need
a shop to use.

We both know (and many others who do this) that having
machining capacity is a significant thing. I broke my back
for years using machinery that many hobby woodworkers
would consider better than average. It was not enough.

I got called to fix a 1/6th done cabinet job where the guy
had said he had a shop, then set up a contractor saw
in the client’s garage and started working. After the neighbors
made a fuss, the guy disappeared, leaving the tools.
The client wondered if the guy had got caught on a warrant
but I reckon he crunched the numbers and realized
he’d lowballed the job so bad, he figure he’d split. The
client freaked out when I told him what it would cost
to finish it right, which is why I think the job was severely
underbid in the first place.

If the employee doesn’t have a substance abuse problem,
he may be a keeper. Many big shops in my area allow
employees to use the tools after hours on their own
jobs. Needless to say, cabinetmaking only has the potential
to pay well if you’re running your own jobs and working
as an employee in most cabinet shops is a ticket to the
lower middle class. It is not an awful job at all, but, well,
you know… it’s better to be the boss in the end.

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile


418 posts in 1998 days

#14 posted 02-02-2014 02:10 AM

Jerry, I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but it’s always going to be this way with employees. You can’t be their friend, no matter what. You have to treat them as an employee. Fire them when they mess up, give them raises when they deserve it. But keep in mind it’s always going to be a revolving door.
Being their friend, helping them through tough times, having them over to your house etc etc. just makes it harder to get rid of them when you HAVE to.
I’ve been through that.
Young employees: teach them, then they leave to start their own.
Experienced employees, Pay them a lot of money then they don’t work hard.
I could go on and on.
Employees will always be the hardest part to business.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30221 posts in 2609 days

#15 posted 02-02-2014 02:21 AM

I would be very upset. That’s very underhanded in my opinion. I hope you can work it out satisfactorily, but it would probably lead to termination for me.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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