Canadian Contractor

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A new young gunslinger throws his opinions around, and it's disruptive

February 21, 2019
By John Bleasby

Dennis Sherwood has new responsibilities. He’s been elevated to supervisor of the framing and carpentry crew after a veteran of the firm retired. The promotion should be good news but it’s not working out. To keep team numbers steady, the company owner brought in Jerry, an apprentice fresh out of college. Jerry is giving Dennis trouble — he thinks he knows everything and is not shy about it. “That’s not the way we learned it in school,” he often says to Dennis, while the other guys shake their heads and smile to themselves. Dennis is worried that Jerry’s constant push-back will begin to erode his newly-minted authority – he’s supposed to be in charge now, not taking lessons from some kid. Dennis has asked his boss for advice but he didn’t like the answer. “The kid might have some good points,” his boss told Dennis. “Maybe you should listen and pick up some new ideas.” Dennis is finding the situation increasingly uncomfortable.

What should Dennis do?

  1. Speak firmly to the apprentice, in private, and ask him to show some respect.
  2. Ask the boss to transfer the apprentice to another crew.
  3. Do what the boss suggests: Maybe Dennis can learn from the kid.
  4. Something else. Please explain in 300 words or less


Email your answer to John Bleasby
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The best contractor-submitted entry, as judged by our panel, will win a DEWALT 20V MAX Tool Connect All-Purpose Light (retail value $319).
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Entries close Friday May 2, 2019.
The winner will be announced May 7, 2019 on our website.

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