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Old Fri May 13, 2016, 08:15am
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everyone probably has "this guy"

We have a small group (16) of umpires for which I serve as the assignor for our league games.

Most of our guys are very flexible in terms of their schedules and communicate well regarding high school schedules for softball, lacrosse, or volleyball. As long as I know their game schedules, I work around them to cover our league responsibilities. The HS schedules are primarily April/May in our area, then a week of playoffs.

I have one guy, however, who has declined to work 67% of our leagues and of the remaining ones always asks about game fees and then has an obvious preference for the games/league w/ the higher fees.

This all came to a head in the past few days. As I work on the next 2-week schedule of games, I ask all our officials for their availability or unavailability. This would be in addition to standing off days some guys give me which might include their golf league days, church band practice, or no games on Friday nights for whatever reason.

I got a response from "this guy" who claimed he was available on a certain date. Two days later, I published our umpires' schedule for the next couple of weeks. The day after I sent it out, "this guy" responds telling me he now has a conflict on the day he originally told me he was available. Now it seems, he has to work 2 lacrosse games at a school several towns away.

I told him I wasn't pleased that he was stiffing us, primarily due to the higher fees for the HS lacrosse games compared to the "mere pittance" of working three 2-umpire system games for significantly less $$$.

I reminded him of the first item in the Umpire's Code of Ethics:
Honor all contracts regardless of possible inconvenience or financial basis.

He was clearly unimpressed and un-moved. He said he would finish out this month's schedule and then I could remove him from my list of available umpires.

I know he'll be lobbying to work tournaments, but I don't schedule those. If it were up to me, he wouldn't be working very many ASA games the rest of the season.

I don't mind losing his selfish, greedy attitude, but the loss of a warm body, especially while trying to juggle the balance of HS schedules and our league schedules makes things tougher.

How have some other assignors dealt with this type of situation?
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Old Fri May 13, 2016, 08:43am
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You should take the advice of the wise Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr*.

"Drop it like it's hot."


* AKA Snoop Dogg. Youtube video purposely not included.
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Old Fri May 13, 2016, 09:38am
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I have run into plenty of guys like this...only in it for the $$$....There maybe a legit reason for that as that may be their primary source of income so they have to be concerned about it.

The way I see it, you have two options:

1. Keep him on your staff and know what you are dealing with
2. Let him go and rid yourself of the headache

You have to balance how not having him available as a "warm body" will make your job as an assignor more difficult...is that increased level of difficulty worth not having to worry about him flaking out on you?
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Old Fri May 13, 2016, 11:11am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
We have a small group (16) of umpires for which I serve as the assignor for our league games.

Most of our guys are very flexible in terms of their schedules and communicate well regarding high school schedules for softball, lacrosse, or volleyball. As long as I know their game schedules, I work around them to cover our league responsibilities. The HS schedules are primarily April/May in our area, then a week of playoffs.

I have one guy, however, who has declined to work 67% of our leagues and of the remaining ones always asks about game fees and then has an obvious preference for the games/league w/ the higher fees.

This all came to a head in the past few days. As I work on the next 2-week schedule of games, I ask all our officials for their availability or unavailability. This would be in addition to standing off days some guys give me which might include their golf league days, church band practice, or no games on Friday nights for whatever reason.

I got a response from "this guy" who claimed he was available on a certain date. Two days later, I published our umpires' schedule for the next couple of weeks. The day after I sent it out, "this guy" responds telling me he now has a conflict on the day he originally told me he was available. Now it seems, he has to work 2 lacrosse games at a school several towns away.

I told him I wasn't pleased that he was stiffing us, primarily due to the higher fees for the HS lacrosse games compared to the "mere pittance" of working three 2-umpire system games for significantly less $$$.

I reminded him of the first item in the Umpire's Code of Ethics:
Honor all contracts regardless of possible inconvenience or financial basis.

He was clearly unimpressed and un-moved. He said he would finish out this month's schedule and then I could remove him from my list of available umpires.

I know he'll be lobbying to work tournaments, but I don't schedule those. If it were up to me, he wouldn't be working very many ASA games the rest of the season.

I don't mind losing his selfish, greedy attitude, but the loss of a warm body, especially while trying to juggle the balance of HS schedules and our league schedules makes things tougher.

How have some other assignors dealt with this type of situation?
One thing you have to do is make sure you *never* use him again. I have a guy like this and I have been tempted once or twice, but remind myself I'd be better off in the long run simply not providing someone in a rare case than bring that drama back.
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Old Fri May 13, 2016, 01:28pm
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Constantly worried about game fees? Gives you turnbacks after specifically telling you he's available? Hmmm. I know this stereotype. May I make a few more assumptions?

Does he routinely show up late, or just in the nick of time?
Is his gear shabby or uniforms wrinkled?
Is he a 'not-that-good' official? Overly casual with coaches/players off the field, and over-officious on the field?

Yeah, I've worked with "that guy" several times across the country.
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Old Fri May 13, 2016, 05:14pm
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As the saying goes - been there/done that...

If you only have one PITA out of 15, hold your nose, count your blessings!

I've done assigning twice for one season - I swear it took me a year to recover after each time....
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Old Fri May 13, 2016, 11:30pm
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Posts: 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
We have a small group (16) of umpires for which I serve as the assignor for our league games.

Most of our guys are very flexible in terms of their schedules and communicate well regarding high school schedules for softball, lacrosse, or volleyball. As long as I know their game schedules, I work around them to cover our league responsibilities. The HS schedules are primarily April/May in our area, then a week of playoffs.

I have one guy, however, who has declined to work 67% of our leagues and of the remaining ones always asks about game fees and then has an obvious preference for the games/league w/ the higher fees.

This all came to a head in the past few days. As I work on the next 2-week schedule of games, I ask all our officials for their availability or unavailability. This would be in addition to standing off days some guys give me which might include their golf league days, church band practice, or no games on Friday nights for whatever reason.

I got a response from "this guy" who claimed he was available on a certain date. Two days later, I published our umpires' schedule for the next couple of weeks. The day after I sent it out, "this guy" responds telling me he now has a conflict on the day he originally told me he was available. Now it seems, he has to work 2 lacrosse games at a school several towns away.

I told him I wasn't pleased that he was stiffing us, primarily due to the higher fees for the HS lacrosse games compared to the "mere pittance" of working three 2-umpire system games for significantly less $$$.

I reminded him of the first item in the Umpire's Code of Ethics:
Honor all contracts regardless of possible inconvenience or financial basis.

He was clearly unimpressed and un-moved. He said he would finish out this month's schedule and then I could remove him from my list of available umpires.

I know he'll be lobbying to work tournaments, but I don't schedule those. If it were up to me, he wouldn't be working very many ASA games the rest of the season.

I don't mind losing his selfish, greedy attitude, but the loss of a warm body, especially while trying to juggle the balance of HS schedules and our league schedules makes things tougher.

How have some other assignors dealt with this type of situation?
I have dealt with a couple guys who were this guy. They are no longer assigned by me. I finished out the season with them, however they were dropped from my assigning list after the season. I could not remove them from the assignments even if I wanted to, because once assigned they have a "contract" between me, them, and the host school.

Only once have I pulled an official off a scheduled game mid-season. That was because of a conflict between him and the two coaches of the teams competing, at the request of the host AD. She no longer wanted him assigned at her school. I removed him from the assignment, and found a replacement assignment for him on a different date.
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Old Sat May 14, 2016, 07:10am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
Constantly worried about game fees? Gives you turnbacks after specifically telling you he's available? Hmmm. I know this stereotype. May I make a few more assumptions?

Does he routinely show up late, or just in the nick of time?
Is his gear shabby or uniforms wrinkled?
Is he a 'not-that-good' official? Overly casual with coaches/players off the field, and over-officious on the field?

Yeah, I've worked with "that guy" several times across the country.
I can't say all your assumptions are valid in this case. He officiates football (which he loves) and lately lacrosse. He's worked softball for maybe 5 or 6 years now and his skill level is appropriate with his experience there. I wouldn't say he's "overly casual" w/ coaches/players, but he knows many of them from his other sports connections. Not over-officious in softball, perhaps leans a bit too far in the opposite direction.

Overall, he's a competent official when he's there. But there are often times excuses why he can't work a lower paying game/league or a turn back of games so he can jump to something more lucrative. Definitely not a "loyal to our association" guy.
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Old Sat May 14, 2016, 02:11pm
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If it were me I would have evrryine sign a contract st the beginning of each season. The contr as ct would state thst assigner will assign 2 weeks out, those to be assigned are to provide available two weeks out when asked, then an official is given one turn back mulligan, then the first turnback there after is $5 bucks, then $10, then $20 ..... If money counts it would send a message ...
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Old Sat May 14, 2016, 10:26pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
I can't say all your assumptions are valid in this case. He officiates football (which he loves) and lately lacrosse. He's worked softball for maybe 5 or 6 years now and his skill level is appropriate with his experience there. I wouldn't say he's "overly casual" w/ coaches/players, but he knows many of them from his other sports connections. Not over-officious in softball, perhaps leans a bit too far in the opposite direction.

Overall, he's a competent official when he's there. But there are often times excuses why he can't work a lower paying game/league or a turn back of games so he can jump to something more lucrative. Definitely not a "loyal to our association" guy.
Guys like this normally manage to piss off the wrong person and realize their mistake within a few seasons. Normally it takes getting dropped from an officials list / assigner for them to realize the errors of their ways.

I worked with a guy who is on a lot of schools do not assign list. Prior to using an assigner in the sports he works, he would regularly pull the double book, then take the higher paying assignment crap. He would get a replacement for himself when possible. He got bit several times however because he could not a replacement for himself, which did not go over well.

One other thing that officials like this need to realize. Assigners talk, and AD's talk. If an assigner is having trouble with an official, word gets around.
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Old Sat May 14, 2016, 10:39pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chapmaja View Post
Guys like this normally manage to piss off the wrong person and realize their mistake within a few seasons. Normally it takes getting dropped from an officials list / assigner for them to realize the errors of their ways.

I worked with a guy who is on a lot of schools do not assign list. Prior to using an assigner in the sports he works, he would regularly pull the double book, then take the higher paying assignment crap. He would get a replacement for himself when possible. He got bit several times however because he could not a replacement for himself, which did not go over well.

One other thing that officials like this need to realize. Assigners talk, and AD's talk. If an assigner is having trouble with an official, word gets around.
I assign. When someone gets off a game and I get "the feeling", I email a bunch of the other local assigners and ask if they've assigned the person to a game. I've caught 2 or 3 out like that over the last 2 years.

But the best one was when a guy dumped one of my games (cause he had something important come up) and showed up on the news highlights working another game, which I caught while at the bar after working a game myself. That person hasn't worked a game for me since.
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Old Sat May 14, 2016, 10:52pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
I assign. When someone gets off a game and I get "the feeling", I email a bunch of the other local assigners and ask if they've assigned the person to a game. I've caught 2 or 3 out like that over the last 2 years.

But the best one was when a guy dumped one of my games (cause he had something important come up) and showed up on the news highlights working another game, which I caught while at the bar after working a game myself. That person hasn't worked a game for me since.
I had a swimming official (one of the sports I assign), who called me the day of a meet saying he had a family commitment come up and was unable to work his meet that evening (luckily I was able to cover it myself, as it was a rare day off). This guy was already going to be on my off list anyway due to complaints about and personal observations of his officiating. What he didn't tell me was that his commitment was going to the Red Wings game that night. After my game I went home and caught the second and third periods of the game. What a shock it was to see him (with his kids) shown on the TV screen when they showed fans in the stands. He was correct, it was a family commitment, it's just one I would not say is an excuse to get out of officiating.
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Old Sat May 14, 2016, 11:01pm
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One other thing about assigning. I think each decent assigner does have a policy along the lines of what I use.

In life you have multiple commitments officiating has it's spot in those commitments.

1) Your family comes first. If there is a serious family issue, that is more important than officiating. If an official is honest and lets me know they have a family issue, it is generally not a problem. (Now if you had grandma die for the fifth time in two seasons, I do question it).

2) Your primary job comes second. Sometimes there are issues that come up that just absolutely can not be avoided. Depending on the primary job, you may be required to work at the bosses discretion. If this happens, let me know. Most assigners are good about this happening once in awhile.

3) Officiating - This generally falls third in line. Officiating is a job, but it is not a primary job for most people. It is a commitment that you make however.

4) Friends - I don't want to hear you say I have something with my friends. It better be really important if I am getting you a replacement for something with a friend. I'm not saying I will never allow the friend reason to be used, but it is rare. (I have allowed it once. An official found out a friend from high school was coming back on leave from the military and would only be in town for a couple days. That was a legit reason in my opinion.)

999999) I got a better paying assignment elsewhere. There are almost a million better excuses than this one.
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Old Tue May 17, 2016, 12:11am
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Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
I can't say all your assumptions are valid in this case. He officiates football (which he loves) and lately lacrosse. He's worked softball for maybe 5 or 6 years now and his skill level is appropriate with his experience there. I wouldn't say he's "overly casual" w/ coaches/players, but he knows many of them from his other sports connections. Not over-officious in softball, perhaps leans a bit too far in the opposite direction.

Overall, he's a competent official when he's there. But there are often times excuses why he can't work a lower paying game/league or a turn back of games so he can jump to something more lucrative. Definitely not a "loyal to our association" guy.
In all honesty, I wasn't trying to pick on your "that guy". I was just filling out the stereotype of "those guys" that I've worked with. In this case, he simply seems loyal to the Almighty Dollar.
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Old Tue May 17, 2016, 01:46pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chapmaja View Post
One other thing about assigning. I think each decent assigner does have a policy along the lines of what I use.

In life you have multiple commitments officiating has it's spot in those commitments.

1) Your family comes first. If there is a serious family issue, that is more important than officiating. If an official is honest and lets me know they have a family issue, it is generally not a problem. (Now if you had grandma die for the fifth time in two seasons, I do question it).

2) Your primary job comes second. Sometimes there are issues that come up that just absolutely can not be avoided. Depending on the primary job, you may be required to work at the bosses discretion. If this happens, let me know. Most assigners are good about this happening once in awhile.

3) Officiating - This generally falls third in line. Officiating is a job, but it is not a primary job for most people. It is a commitment that you make however.

4) Friends - I don't want to hear you say I have something with my friends. It better be really important if I am getting you a replacement for something with a friend. I'm not saying I will never allow the friend reason to be used, but it is rare. (I have allowed it once. An official found out a friend from high school was coming back on leave from the military and would only be in town for a couple days. That was a legit reason in my opinion.)

999999) I got a better paying assignment elsewhere. There are almost a million better excuses than this one.
Regarding #999999: Our association has always had the policy of, if you can pick up a high school assignment on a day you have an assignment for ASA, for God's Sake take it! We have never stood in the way of someone able to get a $70/77/100 game, as opposed to a $40 game! (yeah, we get that much for school ball here )
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