Canadian Contractor

John Bleasby   

We have a “Dilemma Contest” Winner!

Canadian Contractor

John Bergeron of Oshawa ON, wins two great prizes from DeWalt

Should Roulstone ‘go legal’, complain, quit, or just get on with it?
Phil Wilmer closed his custom staircase and railing business on short notice and without compensating Pat Roulstone, his long-time millworker. It took Roulstone a month to find a new job, and for that he has to drive to another town. Only a few weeks later, Roulstone learned that Wilmer has been hired as his floor supervisor, who appears almost jovial about working together again. “Hey Patty! Just like old times, eh?” he says with a slap on the back. Roulstone is angry, but what should he do?

Once again, we received several well-considered analyses along with suggestions for Roulstone to consider. While Roulstone should be annoyed about not receiving severance and then having to work under Wilmer again, most recognized that he needs this job to support his family. Our panel of experts also agreed with the selected winner, John Bergeron of Sign-Up-Signs Services, Oshawa ON that pursuing Wilmer legally in an attempt to get any severance owed under labour laws could negatively impact his relationship with his new employer. Take the long view and prove your worth, Bergeron suggested. “Recommit to his personal sense of excellence without any display of animosity or reluctance to please, and demonstrate to the new employer that Phil’s role as a Supervisor is redundant.”

Congratulations John! You will receive two prizes from DeWalt; a Express Folding Workbench (retail $129) and a DeWalt 60V Max FlexVolt Blower (retail $369)



Here are some of the other excellent comments made by entries we received from coast-to-coast

Should Pat have asked Wilmer more about the business over those 17 years together? Was a buy-out possible? What was the level of communication between these two men? Excellent analysis and reasoning came forward from respondents to this dilemma. The bottom line, however, was…. What should Pat do now?

Some felt the legal route should be pursued…..

“Go online and see what the local labour laws are…. Then talk to the former employer, and with diplomacy, discuss the expectation of receiving the “required” severance…. The current employer for both, should be advised if the matter cannot be settled among gentlemen.” (FH; Calgary, AB)

“It would be best for Pat to approach the Labour Board with their opinion on this fact and find out what Phil’s responsibilities are.” (NC; Sudbury, ON)

 Others felt the new employer should be made aware….

It would be worth if for Pat to speak to the new employer and explain the situation in an analytical (not emotional or personal) way and see if they can move him under another supervisor.” (JB; Prince George, BC)

 “His new boss needs the know what he has in his new supervisor, ie. if that is how Phil treats a loyal employee of 17 years, what might he do in his new role as supervisor?” (LC; Charlottetown, PEI)

“Pat should have a friendly and frank conversation with Phil… Phil may have a genuine reason for having to close his business and himself seek employment.  If Phil seems genuine to Pat, then Pat should let it go.  If it’s obvious Phil is giving him a snow job then Pat should talk to his employer and  seek options, as it would be difficult to work under a scammer.” (MS; Strathroy, ON)

Let bygones be bygones and be patient
“It is most definitely necessary to defuse the  emotional content of this unfortunate situation… The company’s goal is to have a good working atmosphere, for everyone, not just Phil and Pat…It would be best served to bring to the surface all aspects of the past transition and resolve all the issues between these men. The goal is to let bygone become respectful bygones with equality, so both men can move forward in harmony, having rewarding lives, providing skilled work, serving their new employer as a team.” (GI; Atikokan, ON)

 “Both parties need to swallow their pride and their anger and find a way to work together at least for the short term as, to be blunt, a job in the hand is worth two in the bush and pride won’t buy groceries.”
(MB; Minden, ON)

“If Pat just smiles and does his best until Mr. Wilmer bows out, who will be in line for his job?… Wilmer isn’t a wall, he’s a door.  Just gotta wait.  Smile and wait.” (DS)

Thanks to everyone who entered!
Stay tuned!

There will be a new Contractor Dilemma Contest announced on-line soon!


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