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hypothetical Q- want your opinion

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  • #41
    Here's what usually happens (and yes I've seen it many times with other boarders and with myself as the innocent boarder):

    Employee is angry because of factors either at the barn or elsewhere (including domestic issues). Employee then takes her anger out on the first thing who crosses her path, animal or person. Boarder then becomes the target of employee's anger. It's called displacement. Employee cannot be pacified because employee now blames innocent boarder for everything that is wrong in employee's world. Employee will retaliate against boarder and against boarder's horse.

    Employees get angry because they don't like being told to work,they feel they deserve more pay, etc. etc. They also resent boarders who are at the barn often and who buy their horses expensive items. It does not matter that the boarder works 60 hour weeks or is pleasant at the barn. What matters is that the boarder has things that employee does not have. Personality disorders surface and cannot be handled.

    I don't know how many times I've heard barn workers complaining about boarders wanting things done, things that the boarder is paying BO for. Employee wants that money for herself. Employee cannot confront the BO because she will be fired. So she transfers her anger to the boarder who is in the way or at the barn or whom she envies. It's simple psychology 101.

    Only solution is for BO to dismiss employee.

    Comment


    • #42
      Have you had situations like this before with the employee? Perhaps it was a bad day/week for the employee? Everybody makes mistakes if there was no former issues with this employee I think firing her for this blip would be a bit drastic.
      Talking to some people is like folding a fitted sheet.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #43
        Originally posted by RaeHughes View Post
        In my day-to-day job that supports my ponies, dogs and farm, I run our company's HSE. So, I have a different opinion to most of you to some extent.

        Yes: the rider was oblivious to the needs of the employee (while they were acting as an employee). Yes, the employee should have said something at the time along the lines of "Hi, just need to get through here, Thanks " but didnt. and people often find it difficult to separate their "board" from their "work" time as in this case.

        But the employee was correct in that the boarder should be aware of the employee's safety - they are at "work" and they do have the right to a safe work place. And, if you are a barn cleaner, your job description may not cover handling the horses as well. Even if the employee is well capable of handling the horses either in her personal life or as part of her role, but she is not working with that horse and we all know how reactive they are! EG she could have been wheeling a full wheelbarrow past the rear end of the horse with the owner/handler not there (like getting tack from a tack room) and the horse was stamping around at the noise?? We all know how quick one of those hind feet can come out.
        So are you suggesting the boarder not be allowed to tack up horse b/c Employee is working? as stated before, Horse is very well behaved and Employee had no contact with horse.

        Comment


        • #44
          Originally posted by tidy wabbit View Post
          Here's what usually happens (and yes I've seen it many times with other boarders and with myself as the innocent boarder):

          Employee is angry because of factors either at the barn or elsewhere (including domestic issues). Employee then takes her anger out on the first thing who crosses her path, animal or person. Boarder then becomes the target of employee's anger. It's called displacement. Employee cannot be pacified because employee now blames innocent boarder for everything that is wrong in employee's world. Employee will retaliate against boarder and against boarder's horse.

          Employees get angry because they don't like being told to work,they feel they deserve more pay, etc. etc. They also resent boarders who are at the barn often and who buy their horses expensive items. It does not matter that the boarder works 60 hour weeks or is pleasant at the barn. What matters is that the boarder has things that employee does not have. Personality disorders surface and cannot be handled.

          I don't know how many times I've heard barn workers complaining about boarders wanting things done, things that the boarder is paying BO for. Employee wants that money for herself. Employee cannot confront the BO because she will be fired. So she transfers her anger to the boarder who is in the way or at the barn or whom she envies. It's simple psychology 101.

          Only solution is for BO to dismiss employee.
          Wow. You live in a harsh world.

          Comment


          • #45
            Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
            To answer a few q's-Farm is a trail barn. max 19 horses. Employee is in her early 30's and also works a full time job outside the farm. her spring/summer equals 6 stalls in use, while other horses are on pasture board but still must be fed outside. Employee is a very hard worker and gets the job done right. is also a boarder, so has contact with other boarders to ride along when invited.

            Boarder found out thru another boarder who happened to hear Employee complaining.
            1) Employee, even though a boarder, should be mature enough not to complain to other boarders about another paying boarder. She needs a talking-to about priorities. This is extremely unprofessional and creates unnecessary discord in a barn and place of business. Very unacceptable, to me 2) How is a horse in crossties in the way of anything? As stated in the OP, "well behaved horse" is likely just standing in crossties while the employee wheels around standing horse. What exactly is the problem? 3) Good boarder is paying to put her horse on crossties, saddle up and ride. Unless the Barn Owner "blacks out" specific hours, paying customers can show up anytime they want as per their contract. 4) I'd be slightly interested that my employee responds to an apology by a paying boarder with a rag about employee safety (OP says horse is well behaved so I don't see the "employee safety angle") rather than service to customers. I'd take the employee aside and explain the customer service aspect of the job, suggesting that if she cannot accommodate paying customers, perhaps she should not work there or just go back to being a straight boarder. I understand that great employees are hard to come by, but in my experience employees like this can be a slippery slope to driving away good customers or making unilateral decisions about horse care/barn management that they are not in the position to make. If that is the time the boarder can ride her horse, she'll go elsewhere if she feels unwelcome by the gossiping staff and other boarders who know "her business". Hmmmmm, good employee is not being so good...
            Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

            Comment


            • #46
              Sounds like the employee was a Little PMSY.
              I used to clean stalls at a barn I boarded at as well. I cleaned at 7 30 am.. was done by the time the first boarder got there. Even if they came early could care less. We did not use a spreader, just wheel barrow. and it was pretty darn easy to slip under a cross tie. Sheesh!

              Comment


              • #47
                Employee was WAY out of line.

                At the barn where I board, they have to use a spreader to clean stalls (multiple barns). When I get there on the weekend, they are usually either in the barn my horse is in or about to get there. My horse does not qualify for group turnout anymore due to his, ah, agressive nature with other horses, so he is always is in his stall until around 11 am, which is why I like to get there around 9 and ride, so he spends less time in his stall - usually, when I am all done, it is time to turn him out for the rest of the day. This is the way I plan it on purpose.

                I have zero problem with the barn employees nor they with me - I just put my horse on crossties to groom/tack up in the spot that is most convenient for them (we have crossties everywhere in the aisle.) I may even have to move him once. No biggy. Once again, some of the stories on this bb makes me SO glad I board where I do!
                What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

                Comment


                • #48
                  I admittedly did not read all of the responses, but in my opinion the boarder had the right of way, so to speak. I have been both a barn employee before and a boarder. While I understand the employee was annoyed and wanted to get a job done, I don't think actual anger is warranted here. If the employee couldn't complete that particular job right at that moment, he/ she should have gone and done something else and come back to it when the boarder was done. I don't think the boarder was being oblivious at all or should have been expected to "give way" to the employee. The boarder is very likely paying a good chunk of money to board at and use the facility. Employee would do well to remember where his/ her paycheck is coming from.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Employee did a lot of things wrong here. First, her job is understood to interact or work around boarders, so she needs to be prepared to always work around them and be flexible. Boarders eventually move along to another spot in the barn. Second, Any proplems she has should only ever be addressed with her boss. Third, its up to the employee to manage her time. If she is inflexible about working around boarders, she needs to figure out when she can do work in boarder areas when they aren't there.

                    Its a no brainer.
                    My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Sheesh.

                      "Hi Boarder. Do you think you can move your horse to a stall or another set of cross ties for a few minutes while I clean this part of the aisle?"

                      "Sure no problem"

                      "Great, thanks"




                      Sometimes I think people work in the horse industry because they could not function in the "civilian" world....

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
                        ...Employee never asks boarder if she can get out of the way or move when needed. Boarder is unaware Employee is angry, proceeds with her business and goes out on a ride.

                        Boarder finds out later that employee was upset...

                        ... What do you think abut this situation?
                        This is the problem...how did boarder find out employee was angry at her (for coming out to ride HER horse)? Did employee "share" with other employees or other boarders???? In what other business would the employee of a service provider speak behind a client of that service providers back or e mail them directly about being aware of "staff considerations"?????????

                        Is there no manager here? Who gets the checks from the clients and pays the staff???? That person needs to step in. That person also needs to be available to both staff and clients when questions such as this arise and not tolerate an employee complaining about a client to other employees or clients and personally e mailing a paying client and telling them how they will behave.

                        Kind of with several others in the observation that 9:30 is kind of late to muck a boarding barn if one wants to do it undisturbed by paying clients too. And she does only 6 stalls?

                        My opinion is this staff person would not last long at any of the many boarding barns I have been in and the manager needs to get involved with overall procedures including hours of operation when clients can freely use the facility and a little "coaching" to help employees understand their pay comes from boarders.

                        I don't know that anybody needs to be fired here. I think OP needs to talk to the barn manager and the manager needs to...manage.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Aha, Mozart, you are totally right. There are so many anti-social people in the horse world. Actually more than in my profession, where I deal with people who have issues relating to other people.

                          If you are perceptive, and have good hearing, you can pick up many things being said at a barn by workers, other boarders, and the BO. When I read on Coth how some people are so lonely on off topic days, and have no friends, I just think back to the anti-social people at the barns I've boarded at and realize that they are all over the USA. When you log onto Coth on off topic days and read how people are suicidal and lonely and have no family or friends to turn to for help, it's because they are the anti-social people like the employee that OP has encountered here. When we pay to board our horses, and we try to be polite and treat the employees with respect, we don't deserve to be treated as OP was here.

                          One employee at one barn where I boarded actually said that she had chosen a field in college because she didn't want to have contact with people. OK, so I guess in accounting she'll have clients send her their work.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Unless the boarding contract states specific times for cleaning that boarders are not allowed to use the facilities, the employee needs to have a serious talking-to.

                            Having been a boarder, I always try to be courteous of employees and their chores, but expect the same respect in return.
                            Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              How big is the barn?

                              I'm going to assume the Employee was already in the barn and had started on the stalls. No one else there. Boarder arrives. Gets her stuff out. Gets her horse and puts him in the aisle in cross-ties.

                              In a small barn with a fairly narrow center aisle, or in a larger barn with the six stalls in use clustered at one end, does the Employee now have to continuously duck around the horse? Did the horse being brought in and placed in the aisle, in that spot ,make it difficult for her to do the job she had started? In that case I can see where the Employee would be flummoxed about what to say. 'This is a client! But, she has just put the horse in the aisle where I'm working! I can't be rude. I can't tell her to wait. Doesn't she see I'm trying to get done here?! Fine. Okay. I'll just have to keep ducking around him and hope I don't get kicked. Dang!'

                              At the end of her first post the OP notes that any other employee of the farm would have simply asked nicely that the horse be moved and that the Boarder would have complied. That indicates that there was a place for the horse out of the way of the worker. But, if that is true-why wasn't the horse there in the first place? If the Employee at this point says, "Could you, please move your horse over there? I really do need to finish these stalls." Can the Boarder then move the horse and her tack and grooming kit somewhere else without it being a big "thing"?

                              Several people have noted that getting the stalls done before the boarders arrive would keep this from happening. It works for many other barns.

                              The whole email thing. The Boarder may have meant well,; but you can not send an employee of a firm you patronize a personal email based on a private conversation they were having with someone else that was overheard by yet another person and then reported back to you. Never. Period. She's an employee. She can't respond honestly and anything she does say may get her in trouble with the boss. Which it did.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Yeahbut...I am inclined to excuse the boarder for an inappropriate e mail to employee apologizing for using the facility when employee was not done with her 6 stalls at 9:30. Not so much the e mail from employee back to boarder clearly outlining ways said boarder needed to behave while at the barn.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  This whole conversation is getting a little surreal. I think the employee was probably a bitch who creates drama, and the boarder was a more or less innocent party who got sucked in. But all the talk about how workers must NEVER crack the professional facade is insane. I doubt employee is making a professional wage as a barn worker, so how can people seriously expect her to maintain a professional front at all times? Yes, you should have an honest work ethic and no, I don't think being rude/bitchy is right, but seriously, anyone with a job has a bad day. Sometimes, the only thing that keeps you from cracking and behaving poorly with some hapless customer who has the misfortune to be The Last *%($@(%$(@) Straw is visions of your dental plan. No dental, no extra mile of gritted teeth. That's just reality.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
                                    So are you suggesting the boarder not be allowed to tack up horse b/c Employee is working? as stated before, Horse is very well behaved and Employee had no contact with horse.
                                    OP, my apologies for my late response. I have been out and about enjoying the start to my weekend .

                                    PLEASE note that the analysis of these sort of situations are my bread and butter. You asked a hypothetical question - I made the assumption (my bad) that you actually wanted an answer and not a "oh dear, bad employee! FIRE THEM!". Yes, I do have a different perspective than you - because I have been trained to look under the gloss of the poor communication here (and, phew!, it is poor!) to see what can be learnt.

                                    The barn employee was in contact wth the horse - she needed to pass it. It is merely fortunate that the horse involved is a well behaved soul - that saint of a horse should be thanked for giving the people a chance to learn. We all know how quick one (or both) of those back feet can come flying out ... and often for the silliest of reasons .

                                    There was a lot of poor communication here - the barn worker could have asked the boarder to move their horse; the barn owner doesnt want to deal with the issue so is turning a blind eye to a potentially dangerous situation; the boarder for being a little "holier than thou" and playing the innocence card.

                                    My day-to-day job involves breaking down work processes into the nuts and bolts. The bit I dont like (but do regularly ) is when I have to break down what happened in an incident - and, yes, I have been involved in investigating serious harm incidents. The cause can often be tied back - through asking questions, studying processes, visiting sites etc - to something as simple as a hazard not being clearly identified and "dealt with".

                                    What you described in your original post was a "close call" - to be frank, these are the best. But to do any growth, you need to separate the employee part from the boarder part of the employee. That person is entitled to a safe work environment. The boarders are entitled to a safe boarding environment.

                                    Instead of ranting at me for not understanding your question: Have you just asked some simple questions? Did the employee need to go through that aisle to complete the task she was working on or had it become a convenience (as they can so easily do)? Did the employee have communication issues with the other boarder (whether correctly or not)? Should the barn require that certain tasks are completed by a certain time (say 9am) and that boarders should not come to the barn before say 9.30 - in other words, the barn worker was being a little lazy and hadnt got their chores completed?

                                    Please take a step back - everyone - and look at it from your legal position. I have checked and US Federal Law requires that all employees are entitled to a safe working environment.

                                    I will not check this thread again as, to be frank, I see that most posters agree that the boarder was the innocent one here. I dont - I think she was oblivious to what was going on around her. Yes, the employee has a lot to learn in communication skills (does she what!) and she could have handled this a lot better, as could the BO, but to call for the employee to be fired is simply not on.

                                    Yes, I enjoy riding, walking the dogs etc - including getting out of bed in the morning. Just since I have been in my present role, I do look at situations in a different light. I sure always wear my riding helmet now .
                                    Still Working_on_it - one day I will get it!

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Interesting question. Did the OP say the boarder had six stalls to clean or six stalls of her own horses? If she had 6 horses and was working off some of the board, she may still be bringing in more money to the BO than the one boarder.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        I helped in some stables, BNTs barns also, where it was considered a conflict of interest for those working there to own, train and board horses there, it just was not done.
                                        Some barns get around that by leasing some stalls or barns to a trainer, that then manages them as a separate entity.

                                        Why?

                                        There is a fine line with your working hours being completely dedicated to your work or some of it for your personal affairs.
                                        Many people just are not careful enough, especially the longer they are in one place, to keep to that line.

                                        I think maybe this boarder/barn worker is not sure what her position there is, as a boarder at times, an employee others and the line blurs and that one boarder she butted heads with is where she took her frustration out?

                                        Maybe the other boarder has at some time stepped on her toes and the working boarder is resentful.
                                        Maybe just happen to be a bad day and that one boarder set the worker off.
                                        Maybe the boarder did indeed was rude about standing in the way of the work to be done?
                                        Too much we just don't know.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by J-Lu View Post
                                          1) Employee, even though a boarder, should be mature enough not to complain to other boarders about another paying boarder. She needs a talking-to about priorities. This is extremely unprofessional and creates unnecessary discord in a barn and place of business. Very unacceptable, to me 2) How is a horse in crossties in the way of anything? As stated in the OP, "well behaved horse" is likely just standing in crossties while the employee wheels around standing horse. What exactly is the problem? 3) Good boarder is paying to put her horse on crossties, saddle up and ride. Unless the Barn Owner "blacks out" specific hours, paying customers can show up anytime they want as per their contract. 4) I'd be slightly interested that my employee responds to an apology by a paying boarder with a rag about employee safety (OP says horse is well behaved so I don't see the "employee safety angle") rather than service to customers. I'd take the employee aside and explain the customer service aspect of the job, suggesting that if she cannot accommodate paying customers, perhaps she should not work there or just go back to being a straight boarder. I understand that great employees are hard to come by, but in my experience employees like this can be a slippery slope to driving away good customers or making unilateral decisions about horse care/barn management that they are not in the position to make. If that is the time the boarder can ride her horse, she'll go elsewhere if she feels unwelcome by the gossiping staff and other boarders who know "her business". Hmmmmm, good employee is not being so good...
                                          Absolutely! Good customer service is what it's all about in any business. As they say, ask me how I know. The customer is not always right, but they ALWAYS come first!

                                          How many of you have gone into a business and been treated like you were bothering the employee or treated like the enemy? Did you hurry back there?

                                          Good relationships at a boarding barn are of up most importance because the owners are dependent on the grooms for the day-to-day care of their animals. You don't want to plant the seed in the owners head that the groom might take any dislike out on the horse.

                                          If the owner was treating the employee like a minion or slave I could see some resentment on the part of the employee but it sounds like she just wanted to ride her horse.
                                          Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

                                          Comment

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