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Barn Job Problems- advice?

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  • Barn Job Problems- advice?

    I recently started working part time (three days a week) at a local barn. I love it. The problem is, the BM has one of the other staff syping on everyone.

    For example, last night, I was haying the horses. The other employee came into the hay room and took note of exactly how much hay I gave every horse. Now, that might not sound so bad, but this employee also took note of how long it took me to muck out, sweep the barn... pretty much everything I did. (He does it to all of the employees, not just me. There' a girl been there for five years and she gets checked up on like this too.)

    The other employee said that the BM had told him to do this. It's getting to the point where there's a real atmosphere about this person, and one girl is thinking about leaving. Sorry for the long post. I'm just not sure how to deal with this. I've been trying to ignore it, but it's getting to the point where I'm worrying about everything that I do.

    What would you do in my place?

  • #2
    Chances are, the behavior comes from the top down, and is unlikely to change. If you are uncomfortable with the situation, I would look around for another position elsewhere where the atmosphere is different. JMO.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

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    Comment


    • #3
      Perhaps the BM as most folks these days, is attempting to monitor their costs in time and supplies to see if there is any wastage or ways they can improve. Maybe an employee has given the BM a reason to keep an eye out and is watching everyone? You could talk to the BM and tell her your feeling bad about this and don't understand why and perhaps she will explain it and you may be content with her reasoning. If not, either put up with it or look for another job.

      Comment


      • #4
        Talk to the BM or whoever hired you and explain that you love your new job and you just wanted to be sure they were happy with your work as this person seems to be constantly following you around and how it is making you feel.
        You must communicate in these situations. You may find that the BM never asked this person to do this at all. When we our farm was bigger we had at any time 6 or more employees and people were always coming to me with something another employee told them and half of it wasn't true. I had one poor guy who had been told he was going to be fired. He had been with us 4 years and the person who told him had been there 6 months ....needless to say that person was let go. I don't tolerate pot stirring. Talk to your BM and get to the bottom of it. If you are being monitored you have a right to know and to know why.
        "A little less chit-chat a little more pitter-pat"

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          The problem is that there's a BM and a BO. BM is very friendly with this guy, and won't listen to any critisim of him at all. Just won't accept it.

          Another thing I just thought about- this man calls people names behind their backs. One of the stall muckers is a little overweight, and this man call her 'Fatty'. I've also heard him calling the clients there.

          Comment


          • #6
            You sound young.

            Look. There's always going to be something about every job that just GETS to you. Only you can figure out what you're able to tolerate and what is a dealbreaker. You sound pretty unhappy, so I believe you know what you have to do.

            Only thing I can add is, if you're doing everything you're supposed to, to the best of your ability, you have nothing to feel 'nervous' about.

            Do you?

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Sansena View Post
              You sound young.
              I'm not that young. I'm in my mid twenties.

              Look. There's always going to be something about every job that just GETS to you. Only you can figure out what you're able to tolerate and what is a dealbreaker. You sound pretty unhappy, so I believe you know what you have to do.
              I don't want to leave this job. Apart from him, I love it. I didn't realise how much that I missed the horses.

              Only thing I can add is, if you're doing everything you're supposed to, to the best of your ability, you have nothing to feel 'nervous' about.

              Do you?
              I do that. Just having someone watch everything that I do and write it down is... creepy, for lack of a better word.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just do your job the best you can and don't get mixed up in the personal matters.
                Keep a pesonal notebook of what you do at your job each day so if there is any conflict on your performance you have someting you can review as to the possibility of why.

                I worked in manufacturing for years and evey day I was watched for my quota for turn out on pieces produced. It was a normal aspect of the job. And I was also asked to keep my own records of production and any ways that I discovered that would improve and save on time.
                Good honest workers usually don't have anything to worry about.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sounds to me like someone has a control issue

                  If things are like this now, they will not ever change. There are good and bad things about most places of employment. If you love the job enough you learn to deal with it, if not...NEXT!

                  Personally, I've never been able to work in an atmosphere like the one you describe. I tend to get a little "overly charming" and "too eager" to the point where they happily send me on my way with a wonderful recomendation because they cant say anything bad about someone who kills them with kindness and I get the last laugh
                  I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                  Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hear_my_echo View Post
                    - this man calls people names behind their backs. One of the stall muckers is a little overweight, and this man call her 'Fatty'. I've also heard him calling the clients there.
                    Don't care if OP is young or not, that is unacceptable in any employee in a service business. Or any business, really. Not a good sign.

                    If the BM thinks this guy walks on water...it is not going to change. Best to just stay quiet if you want to stay there.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you don't already, it's a very good idea to keep a work journal and record everything you do at the end of each day, along with the hours you worked.

                      That way if there is ever any questions, you will have a written record to support your position.

                      As for the guy who is writing everything down.... remember that your abilities and your attitude will ultimately be what your employer will judge you by in most of the barns where you may ever work.

                      You will put yourself into a far better position by ignoring anything that is just annoying (but I don't mean anything the violates your rights), and putting every ounce of effort you can muster up into learning everything you can about providing excellent horse care, improving your riding abilities, and working very hard.

                      It may turn out that you will eventually prefer to move on to a different job, but if or when that happens, it will be in your own best interest, if everyone in your current barn does not want you to leave.

                      Try not to ever burn bridges when you're building you're career, work on building your bridges.

                      You never know who you will meet, and when you do meet them, you want to impress them with your professionalism and your abilities.

                      That is how you get noticed, that is how one day you may find yourself doing the job of your dreams.

                      Good Luck.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hear_my_echo View Post
                        I'm not that young. I'm in my mid twenties.
                        You're young, darlin'! Remember, many of us are old enough to be your mother, or even your grandmother! So to us, you're a mere pup! Don't take offense. When you've got another 20 years of work under your belt, you'll have a different view. That's just life.

                        Originally posted by Hear_my_echo View Post
                        I don't want to leave this job. Apart from him, I love it. I didn't realise how much that I missed the horses. ... Just having someone watch everything that I do and write it down is... creepy, for lack of a better word.
                        I can understand that. In my 20s, I felt the same way in a similar environment. Mid-40s? Quite a different reaction. I assume that you are, in fact, confident of your ability to do this job well and in line with instructions from your boss. Since you like this job, when "The Overseer" is, well, overseeing, just mentally remind yourself of this, smile at him, exchange pleasantries and toodle along your way. As others have already said, most jobs will have some annoying factors and you have to decide for yourself what irritations you can learn to live with and which are dealbreakers.

                        Now maybe the BO or the BM have some reason -- legitimate, or at least legit in their minds -- to have this worker closely oversee time and material use. It will not hurt at all for you to discuss with either or both. In fact, approached the right way, you can enhance your professionalism in their eyes and add more points in the "very valued employee" column of their mental checklist (and yes, every boss has one of these ).

                        And if this is a case of one employee feeling self-important and assuming these duties ... well, how sad and small his life must be if he 1) has time and energy to direct toward worrying about what other workers are doing or 2) he feels such a need to do so in order to have a sense of self-worth. Again, smile at him, exchange pleasantries, and continue doing your best work on a daily basis.
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                        In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                        -Albert Camus

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I agree with much of what others have said.

                          Bottom line is, are the issues you outline here unacceptable vs working with the horses again? At the end of the day, you can't change others, only your way of dealing with them. And the answer might just be that you don't. Better it be your decision than that of a power hungry co-worker.

                          I'm not saying your situation doesn't suck. I'm just saying you need to be sure you do what's best for YOU. Best of luck to you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I get spied on all the time at work via electronic means. My productivity is tracked with one type of device and my location is tracked with another. This is recent and some of my co-workers are highly upset, and offended, but it is pretty much impersonal. They really want me to use the one, it is actually meant for inventory control but also records who is handling it, but have no system in place to punish or reward us for compliance. The Union has seen to that. The other is OSHA required to keep unauthorized persons from using potentially dangerous equipment.

                            The biggest issue I would have here is not that the guy is creepy, but if he is following you around then what the H is he doing all day? 'Cause he sure isn't cleaning stalls or doing productive horse care related work. And I am sure being my charmng self that I'd have handed him a pitchfork long time ago and told him where to put it.

                            On the other hand, if he is performing a task set upon him by the BM, then I'd just ignore him and continue with my job - we have data collection people on the floor all the time conducting random checks. Your BM may have decided a long time ago that employees were not to be trusted, and left to their own devices they would do incomplete work, commit breakage and wastage if not outright theft, and paying this employee to track everybody was actually a cost savings.

                            Pretty sad really. Just do your job, ignore him, be polite and thorough.
                            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                            Incredible Invisible

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sounds like the guys job is to supervise you. If you are doing a good job, who cares that he checks up on you? As a boarder I'd be really glad to know that someone is making sure that the staff is doing things correctly, feeding my horse the right things and feeding the correct amount.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by fourmares View Post
                                Sounds like the guys job is to supervise you. If you are doing a good job, who cares that he checks up on you? As a boarder I'd be really glad to know that someone is making sure that the staff is doing things correctly, feeding my horse the right things and feeding the correct amount.
                                Nope. His job is the same as the rest of us, to look after the horses and barn.

                                We had a bit of a bust up today. I'd gone in to feed and help set up the indoor for a jump lesson tomorrow. We have an old pony there- he's in his thirties. I noticed that he eats more of his supper if it's wetter (He gets beet pulp on his pellets). He's a bit of a hard keeper, so I've been wetting his feed more.

                                I was in the feed room making up the feeds and the guy comes in. He snaps at me because I've wet the pony's feed. I responded calmly, and repeated what I said above here. I also mentioned that I'd spoken to pony's owner about it, and she had no problem with pony getting a soaked feed. Guy tells me that I had no right to speak to the owner, that was his job, and pony didn't need his feed soaking. Then he told me to throw the feed away and start again. I told him no, and he stormed out of the feed room.

                                I'm trying so hard not to let this get to me. He is no better than me- in fact, everyone else is carrying him while he creeps around watching people.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Have a talk with the BM/BO-but if he is doing this openly and for so long and taking notes on someone who has been there for 5 yrs-it is probably acceptable in that company/barn. So you might be ignored or your BO might have a talk with him and he becomes meaner to you and nothing changes. It is hard changing dynamics of a group if the top sees nothing wrong. There are other barns that are much friendlier. before you have a chat, just make sure you have other options lined up-bcause apparantely you are not the only employee under this microscope-which might just mean this is their way of doing things..

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Hear_my_echo View Post
                                    Nope. His job is the same as the rest of us, to look after the horses and barn.

                                    We had a bit of a bust up today. I'd gone in to feed and help set up the indoor for a jump lesson tomorrow. We have an old pony there- he's in his thirties. I noticed that he eats more of his supper if it's wetter (He gets beet pulp on his pellets). He's a bit of a hard keeper, so I've been wetting his feed more.

                                    I was in the feed room making up the feeds and the guy comes in. He snaps at me because I've wet the pony's feed. I responded calmly, and repeated what I said above here. I also mentioned that I'd spoken to pony's owner about it, and she had no problem with pony getting a soaked feed. Guy tells me that I had no right to speak to the owner, that was his job, and pony didn't need his feed soaking. Then he told me to throw the feed away and start again. I told him no, and he stormed out of the feed room.

                                    I'm trying so hard not to let this get to me. He is no better than me- in fact, everyone else is carrying him while he creeps around watching people.
                                    Honestly, you have no way of knowing for sure if this guy has other job responsibilities, unless you are the employer of said guy. And you said you recently started working there so he has been there longer than you - and you are part time whereas he may be full time (I don't know). Maybe his circumstances give him seniority even if his "title" doesn't.

                                    Most work is monitored by someone, especially hourly work. I know when I managed a large barn we always had issues with hourly workers who took much longer than they should have to get the job done in order to earn more. Not saying that you are doing that by any means, but the BM has probably been burned by some workers taking advantage of the hourly work without much supervision.

                                    If you are having issues with the guy, I would start keeping a journal and go talk to the BM.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      When I started my new barn job, I made a point of telling the owner if there was anything she preferred I do differently, or something I'm over looking please tell me.

                                      If no one has said anything to you, then I would probably assume you are doing everything the right way.

                                      You may want to approach the BO/BM and ask them if everything is up to par. Don't let this guy drive you out of a job that you enjoy...

                                      Communication is the key. Go to the BO/BM.
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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Hear_my_echo View Post
                                        I noticed that he eats more of his supper if it's wetter (He gets beet pulp on his pellets). He's a bit of a hard keeper, so I've been wetting his feed more.

                                        I was in the feed room making up the feeds and the guy comes in. He snaps at me because I've wet the pony's feed. I responded calmly, and repeated what I said above here. I also mentioned that I'd spoken to pony's owner about it, and she had no problem with pony getting a soaked feed. Guy tells me that I had no right to speak to the owner, that was his job, and pony didn't need his feed soaking. Then he told me to throw the feed away and start again. I told him no, and he stormed out of the feed room.
                                        May not like this but...in most barns, the BM or full time worker handles what horse gets what feed and how it is prepared. Know you mean well but going around the usual channels of communicating between owner and barn manger and barn manager and barn help and doing something different with the feed from what the barn has been doing? And that only the 3 days you are there?
                                        Going to get you crosswise with the other help and, possibly with the barn manager.

                                        Taking it upon yourself to change the feed procedure and go directly to the owner while not informing the barn manger is frowned upon in most big barns. if you do want a change, suggest it to the BM...who may tell you the barn does not accomodate that type request.

                                        You may be dealing with somebody that is a little challenged as well but is good at following rules-that actually may explain the observation deal too. Maybe you don't know exactly what there is to know about him, he may be special needs, needing a specific framework of routine that you disrupted. He may well have been taught that wet feed is bad feed and not be able to reason any variation in that.

                                        Just, please, go to the Barn Manger if you want to do anything different with an exsisting feed procedure. Let her tell the guy, and the owner, about the change.
                                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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