We have been fortunate that most of our help has been good....only one dud in the lot 2 years ago. We hire local 4H or pony club teenagers that are horsecrazy/have a horse to pay board or expenses on. First 2 were awesome/had them for 2 years each before they graduated and moved on. Then The Dud that got fired........(dishonest on the old timecard...didn't think I would find it odd it took 5 hours a day to turn out feed/turnout 12 horses and pick the stalls when it takes me 2 max if I move slowly? I can see it would take her a little longer without my routine but FIVE?). Next girl was OK....did what was specifically asked but not a drop more. Did OK but less than self motivated. And now we have another winner...and she is only 15 so will be around for another 3 years yet!!
Good barn help is out there - I would love to find something PT (a couple of evenings & weekends around full-time job) and am exceptionally reliable with great trainer & breeder references.
But I am selective about where I will work (or rather - who I will work for). Many of the BO/BMs around here want full-out help at minimal wages...... and the attitude towards barn help in those barns is pathetic. I had one such BO approach me at a show about a job - she was going to do me a favor by letting me work for her (her words, not mine)..... I smiled, thanked her for her consideration but "no, thank you" and went about my business. Since she had just publicly berated and fired her groom/barn helper in front of me & many others, small wonder I wasn't tempted. I may be perpetually broke - but I do have my standards!!!
I'm lucky that the couple of barns where I've worked over past few years have been really good in management and wages.... unfortunately, neither is hiring for PT right now (and both have very responsible help) - but c'est la vie.
Originally Posted by SmartAlex
Give it up. Many of us CoTHers are trapped at a computer all day with no way out, and we hunt in packs. So far it as all been in good fun. You should be thankful for that.
I am 16 and work at my barn. I do all of the work (feeding, t/o, stalls, water, hay, sweeping, bringing in, feeding, etc.) every sunday. I also groom for my trainer, help get the lesson kids organized, and bring in and feed and other chores when i'm at the barn during the week after school. I do my best to keep everything clean and organized and everyone happy.
I ALWAYS am on time no matter what (the horses are hungry!!) and am obsessive about everything being clean and taken care of. The water buckets and tubs are always scrubbed and spotless, there is never a piece of hay or dust on the floor, and a missing shoe or a cut or someone not finishing their grain or anything else you can think of going wrong NEVER goes unnoticed.
I would never skip out on my responsibilites, for any reason, whether it was prom or not.
This is pretty much me. Accept I'm 17 and work all day Saturdays and Sundays and spend around 12 hours per week assisting the PE classes our barn offers. I get free lessons and pay 1/2 board. It is great for me though it does become a lot since I am still a full-time HS school student and a part time community college student. I have my own horse and then two projects ponies I am working on for other people. I often wonder how I do it all.
We've got good part time weekend help (finally). It can be really hard to find someone to work just part of a day. We've got a small farm and just don't need help for the full day. My best weekend workers have always been female. Don't know why. Maybe the guys either lose interest or can get other jobs or something. I've had success using Craigslist and our local paper when I need someone.
Our during the week help is also part time but we trade an apartment in exchange for am and pm feeding and chores. Works out very well but we have to be very, very selective when we are filling the apartment. It makes me cynical about humanity when I have to fill it as everyone and anyone calls wanting a free place to live but most are unqualified or have a shady history. I use the local paper to fill that job and then use my phone voicemail with a message describing the job/apartment to screen applicants.
I've also found that when barn help stops being reliable then it is time to fire them and get new barn help. My apartment folks are always reliable. It is easy since they live there. My weekend folks can be more of a problem. So now my policy is no show, no call....no way....you are fired. Even at that I have decided that once they start calling that they can't make it then it is time for me to move on and find new help.
I always say that stable help is unstable! They just come and go constantly.