• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

unpaid working trial ?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • unpaid working trial ?

    So I'm just trying to grasp how 'normal' this is...

    I am scheduled to do a working trial this week for a new job. It has been offered to me in such a way as, "We like you, but the last person sucked and we want to make sure we don't hire another like her, so can you do a trial ..." I am not in a position to miss an opportunity, so I said yes. It is a job I think I would really like a lot and do very well at.

    I have to travel 5+ hrs from my current location and be there for the week. (Unrelated to them, I happen to be flat ass broke), but it has not been offered as a paid trial, and I am not being provided food or money for food.

    I got a great impression from the people when I went to interview. All the horses looked great, the farm is nice, the housing for whoever fills the position is cute, the job seems perfect ... all in all, it seeeems good. But, how common is an unpaid trial in the horse world? I honestly don't know.

  • #2
    Sounds questionable to me. Most barn jobs I've worked (and hired other people for) require a trial period, but generally it is paid, sometimes a bit less than the standard salary if it's kind of a trial and training period, but something reasonable still. Granted, my experience isn't ridiculously huge or anything, but that's been what I've found. I'd wonder about someone who didn't want to pay for my labor on a trial period, like what else they'd get cheap on.

    edit: can you say what kind of position it is? I actually have heard of that for working student positions, but that's about it.
    exploring the relationship between horse and human

    Comment


    • #3
      Not normal at all, in my experience.

      Not normal even for a day, never mind a whole week.

      I'm imagining a scenario where they "hire" different people for a "trial week" without paying them, then always find a reason not to keep them after the free week is up.

      Call me a cynic.

      Comment


      • #4
        I understand the trial period; where either one of you gets to say "no thanks" but you are foolish to accept no pay for the week. What's the point of that? I would be very wary - only a real tightwad would do that - if you go ahead and do it, I would be interested to hear about the next phase - ok, they say, next you can have a three month paid trial at half pay or something?

        One thing you can insist on is that if they decide to hire you after than one week, they need to pay you for the week, and you will agee to working without pay for that one week only if once you are hired you are hired completely. Tell them you are not the person who blew them off - if they think enough of you to offer you the job, they need to follow through.

        Then, if they blow you off, for being that reasonable, I would say good riddance and figure it was some kind of scam - that you dodged the bullet on that one!!

        Good luck, I know its hard to need a job...
        Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

        Comment


        • #5
          As a business person who doesn't know alot about working student positions ... this is fine. Even good. Both sides can try each other on without having to commit - once everyone is ready to commit, they can do so in a more informed way.

          I realize this could be unusual in the horse world. But it's common in business to have people come on as contractors for some period of time, and only if both sides are ready to commit are they converted to employees. If either party decides this was not a good fit, there is no messy record of a termination or quit. And no one is sticking with it and miserable just to avoid that record.

          Employment on the basis of one or two interviews is almost like getting married to someone you have met twice. Only after both sides have some experience of the union do they realize what they got into. And it's often not easy to end without hanging issues and consequences.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MHM View Post
            Not normal at all, in my experience.

            Not normal even for a day, never mind a whole week.

            I'm imagining a scenario where they "hire" different people for a "trial week" without paying them, then always find a reason not to keep them after the free week is up.

            Call me a cynic.
            'twould be interesting to show up a day ahead of time just 'to say you're here, see you tomorrow' etc. and see if there is someone else there working for a free week.
            Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
              ...
              One thing you can insist on is that if they decide to hire you after than one week, they need to pay you for the week, ...
              They should pay for the week of work regardless. imo


              Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
              'twould be interesting to show up a day ahead of time just 'to say you're here, see you tomorrow' etc. and see if there is someone else there working for a free week.
              Good idea.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                'twould be interesting to show up a day ahead of time just 'to say you're here, see you tomorrow' etc. and see if there is someone else there working for a free week.
                Yes!

                Maybe they schedule the free weeks with a day in between as a buffer.

                Or maybe you would get there and find another person doing the same free week, and it's a contest to see who works harder to get the job. Then at the end of the week, both people go home without getting hired, but the barn looks fantastic!

                The possibilities are endless- in a bad way.

                Best of luck to the OP.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I know, MHM, I don't want to think negatively on a potentially great opportunity, but this makes me nervous. And, having known LOTS of sketchy folks in the horse world, I also immediately thought of that scenario.

                  AnotherRound, I only recently was told that it there was no food $ involved, and I was never offered pay (though they are housing me). So I would assume that they would say, "No we are not feeding you but we will pay you XX," if they were paying me.

                  I am certainly not in a position to turn anything down at this point. I am in final-round interviews with this place and two others and surely karma would say that if I turn this down than the other two places will fall through. And, certainly some places just run a little loosely. But, where a one-day unpaid trial would not be out of the question, I am spending $$ to drive my butt up there and work for a whole week without being fed or paid? It just makes me nervous ><

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post
                    I realize this could be unusual in the horse world. But it's common in business to have people come on as contractors for some period of time, and only if both sides are ready to commit are they converted to employees. If either party decides this was not a good fit, there is no messy record of a termination or quit. And no one is sticking with it and miserable just to avoid that record.
                    To come on as a contractor or temporary worker is fine. But, the worker is still paid.

                    When someone is hired as an unpaid intern (or working student), and there is no pay because it is an educational experience, that is one thing. Interns usually are set up to get college credit, for example.

                    To have someone come on for no pay entirely is not normal.
                    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by saaskya View Post
                      I know, MHM, I don't want to think negatively on a potentially great opportunity, but this makes me nervous. And, having known LOTS of sketchy folks in the horse world, I also immediately thought of that scenario.

                      AnotherRound, I only recently was told that it there was no food $ involved, and I was never offered pay (though they are housing me). So I would assume that they would say, "No we are not feeding you but we will pay you XX," if they were paying me.

                      I am certainly not in a position to turn anything down at this point. I am in final-round interviews with this place and two others and surely karma would say that if I turn this down than the other two places will fall through. And, certainly some places just run a little loosely. But, where a one-day unpaid trial would not be out of the question, I am spending $$ to drive my butt up there and work for a whole week without being fed or paid? It just makes me nervous ><
                      Can you just ask them for clarity? Have they said point blank that there's no pay? Can you say something like, "Just so we're completely clear, I'll be coming up on day X and leaving day Y and working 8 hours for each of those days. What rate will I be paid at for this trial, and if you decide to hire me, when you decide and when would I start?"
                      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've seen only one barn do this - several times - and it's shady as hell. The "interviewee" was put on the difficult horses, did some stall cleaning, taught some lessons and was dismissed after a few days as not right for the job.

                        I would be very suspicious.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If they truly don't plan to pay you, I expect over time you're going to have more problems with being paid for the work that you do. That's not to say you might not want to give it a shot given your current alternatives, but your spidey sense is probably already telling you there's something to worry about.

                          I think you can also quite reasonably respond, "I'm very excited about working for you and I can appreciate that you'd like to do a trial period, but I can't work for you at my own expense. I'm a great worker and at the very least I need..." and then decide what that is, even if it's just enough to cover your gas and your food.
                          If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by saaskya View Post
                            So I would assume that they would say, "No we are not feeding you but we will pay you XX," if they were paying me.... And, certainly some places just run a little loosely.
                            I would not assume anything.

                            Before I got in my car and drove one foot out of my driveway, I would call them back and ask how much I will be getting paid for the trial week.

                            If it's a place that's run a little loosely, their response should be, "Oh, sorry. Didn't we discuss that? It will be x per day, plus your housing for the week." Bonus points for: "Do we need to give you some gas money since you're driving 5 hours to get here?"

                            Any other response would not satisfy me. "Run loosely" and "run badly" are not always the same thing. "Run loosely" and "run well" are also not always the same thing.

                            "Run without thinking you have to pay your help"? Always a bad thing!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                              I think you can also quite reasonably respond, "I'm very excited about working for you and I can appreciate that you'd like to do a trial period, but I can't work for you at my own expense."
                              This part sounds good.

                              "I'm a great worker and at the very least I need..." and then decide what that is, even if it's just enough to cover your gas and your food.
                              This part sounds like if you get the job, you could get stuck negotiating your salary up from your food-and-gas pay rate, rather than starting at the normal rate for the job at hand.

                              Sorry, I just see a lot of potential land mines in this whole situation.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I might be willing to do a trial day unpaid if I *really* wanted the job and had heard good things about the employers.

                                But an entire week?? And I have to drive five hours for this stellar opportunity? HELL no. Your time is worth something, even if it's just minimum wage. And if you've got a reasonable amount of knowledge and experience in the horse industry, your time is worth more than minimum wage.

                                If they want to give you a trial to see whether you're a good fit, they can pay you for that time. It's called a probationary period, and quite a few businesses, including the one I work for, use them for new hires to make sure the person is going to work out. New hires get paid, but benefits don't kick in until after the probationary period ends.

                                Somehow I am not surprised they're having trouble with their barn help if they're that reluctant to actually pay them.
                                Full-time bargain hunter.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post
                                  As a business person who doesn't know alot about working student positions ... this is fine. Even good. Both sides can try each other on without having to commit - once everyone is ready to commit, they can do so in a more informed way.

                                  I realize this could be unusual in the horse world. But it's common in business to have people come on as contractors for some period of time, and only if both sides are ready to commit are they converted to employees. If either party decides this was not a good fit, there is no messy record of a termination or quit. And no one is sticking with it and miserable just to avoid that record.

                                  Employment on the basis of one or two interviews is almost like getting married to someone you have met twice. Only after both sides have some experience of the union do they realize what they got into. And it's often not easy to end without hanging issues and consequences.
                                  Are you serious? Do you actually know contractors who would work for a week for free? That's total B.S. I've worked as a contractor and as a direct hire and there is no effing way I would give them a week gratis. I'd rather collect unenjoyment than give a week of free work. I have never, ever in my working life heard of this.
                                  Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post
                                    As a business person who doesn't know alot about working student positions ... this is fine. Even good. Both sides can try each other on without having to commit - once everyone is ready to commit, they can do so in a more informed way.
                                    As another business person, this is absolutely not fine. In fact, this is ridiculous, regardless of industry. A trial period is fine. I am on a trial period for a new client, as a matter of fact, to see if we really suit each other. But I am paid for my time, my experience and my skills for the duration of that period. If we do not suit, I will not work for that client further. If we do, we will make the relationship permanent. Regardless, I am paid for any work I do for this client. That is what is normal in the business world, in any business world.

                                    In the situation described in the OP, the "trial" should include travel costs and lodging covered by potential employer and a regular salary, or at the very least, a stipend for the week, agreed in advance and spelled out in a contract.

                                    If the relationship proves unworkable in that week, fine; the OP is not hired on a permanent basis. But s/he absolutely should be paid for her time and effort. No skilled professional would work for free, trial period or not.
                                    Equinox Equine Massage

                                    In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                                    -Albert Camus

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I've heard of unpaid internships under very special circumstances. I've never heard of an unpaid trial period. Ignoring the morality of not paying you for work you do, I don't like your description at all from a liability and workers' comp perspective.

                                      Say that one of their horses puts you in the hospital. Or a horse breaks away while you're leading it in from the pasture, runs out into the road, and gets hit by a car. How are they going to handle the situation? If they aren't paying you, will they then deny that you are an employee and leave you stuck with the bills?

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        coloredhorse, I certainly feel this way and am starting to feel more justified about it. I have a lot of experience and am coming from a place where I worked my ass off taking care of 100 horses with one other girl part time, so I am a very hard worker with lots of attention to detail and good time management skills.

                                        Sooo I'm glad that I'm not completely off base in feeling like compensation should be offered in some form. I really don't even have the gas money to get there, though I am spending it because I do feel that this would be a great position if it worked out.

                                        I have e-mailed the guy, as I feel it is a little late to call him, with my questions and will certainly make phone contact before driving up there tomorrow. I don't want to be a cynic but this is the horse world and people, as we know, can be krazy.

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X