I already made my first mistake and have only been “open” for business 1 day. The first contractor that I hired is turning out to be incompetent the same way as if I gave a compiler to an artist. I don’t mean this in a deragatory way but just in a factual way. He wasted an entire day of my lead programmer trying to connect to source control and learn how to use MSVC. Then he checked out every file in the project for exclusive access the 4th time in 12 hours (and leaving it that way), after being told not to 5 times between me and the lead programmer, not just in email but even on the phone. After this last time I had to take away his checkout permissions in source control so the other contractors can work. I don’t think my explanations are unclear or he is intentionally doing wrong. I think it’s just a matter of gross incompetence, lack of experience, and an unwilliness to admit it. It’s like if you hired a pilot to fly you around and the pilot you hired doesn’t even know how to drive, much less fly, yet really wants the job so just putters around the runway, very eagerly and enthusiastic perhaps, but not someone you’d want to risk your business on.
I feel that the failure of a worker is the failure of a manager to motivate and train properly. However, I’ve been honestly doing my best – very polite, patient, careful to explain clearly, trying to motivate. It’s not working and I’m privately frustated enough now to write about it here. I think with 6 months of training he might be made productive for junior tasks. However, my whole project is only 3 months long and it’s not like I have money to spare paying someone to learn how to program, starting with basic computer skills such as copying files.
I think the obvious resolution is the right one to take if he doesn’t shape up within a few days. I feel really bad about this though because he quit his job to work for me and is putting in a lot of hours to try to do right. You can’t blame someone who is trying right? But I can’t afford to pay someone who can’t accomplish any work and who takes up the time of those who are working.
This is my fault for not using effective screening techniques to begin with.