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VENT - WHY is it so hard to find good help?!?!?

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  • VENT - WHY is it so hard to find good help?!?!?

    So I have a friend who has a fulltime worker - five days a week, 8 hours a day. She very graciously offers to share him with me after I come out of the hospital and find that I am not able to do the things the doctors tell me I will. I'd go there, but that's a whole 'nother vent.

    Anyway, so I pay her groom/farmhand the same hourly rate she does, only for just two hours a day. His duties were to muck seven stalls, clean and refill the water buckets, and turn out the first set of horses. For this, he was to be paid $8.50 for two hours' work, five days a week.

    I should have known from the beginning it was going to be difficult. He started out by leaving 30 minutes early to go to his next job, and expecting to be paid for the full two hours. When it was explained to him that he needed to actually work to get paid, he pulled a bit of attitude, but complied. The barn looked good (not great - aisle was raked haphazardly, wash stall was still dirty when he left, stuff like that), and the horses seemed okay with the way he handled them. Things are cool, right?

    So he comes to me today and says he can't get the seven stalls done in two hours. This, as he's working on finishing his third stall and he's been there for a total of twenty minutes. Then he complains that I pay him less than the other woman who employs him. Well, yeah - he works eight hours a day for her, and two for me? So then he complains that his nephew, who works for me on Saturday and does a MARVELOUS job, gets paid more than he. I say no - the nephew works three hours a day, the barn is immaculate, and the horses are clean as well, and he gets paid for those three hours. He then asks how much I paid his brother, who was a much better worker than he, and I tell him that Pedro got less per hour than he's getting. I then inform him that if he can't get the work done in the two hours that I've been paying him for, he can go someplace else and I'll do the work and keep the money. He then informs me that he is the ONLY one in the area who will condescend to work anyplace for only two hours a day, and I'll not find anyone else. I tell him that's eminiently suitable, that he is cordially invited to go find another job that pays better, with shorter hours. Little creep picked the wrong girl to be rude to on a Monday morning, and I let his sorry ass go.

    My question is this - WHY is it so damned hard to keep good help, when you pay an honest wage and demand decent work in return? My horses are not rank nor hard to handle. My barn is not difficult to clean. and is safe and pleasant to work in. I keep plenty of good bedding on hand, so it's easy to keep the stalls clean. My property is nice, and my boarders are rarely around when he is, so what the f*&k? Am I to coddle every person who mucks stalls for me? Does everyone have this issue? Jeez.
    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
    A life lived by example, done too soon.
    www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/
  • Original Poster

    #2
    So I have a friend who has a fulltime worker - five days a week, 8 hours a day. She very graciously offers to share him with me after I come out of the hospital and find that I am not able to do the things the doctors tell me I will. I'd go there, but that's a whole 'nother vent.

    Anyway, so I pay her groom/farmhand the same hourly rate she does, only for just two hours a day. His duties were to muck seven stalls, clean and refill the water buckets, and turn out the first set of horses. For this, he was to be paid $8.50 for two hours' work, five days a week.

    I should have known from the beginning it was going to be difficult. He started out by leaving 30 minutes early to go to his next job, and expecting to be paid for the full two hours. When it was explained to him that he needed to actually work to get paid, he pulled a bit of attitude, but complied. The barn looked good (not great - aisle was raked haphazardly, wash stall was still dirty when he left, stuff like that), and the horses seemed okay with the way he handled them. Things are cool, right?

    So he comes to me today and says he can't get the seven stalls done in two hours. This, as he's working on finishing his third stall and he's been there for a total of twenty minutes. Then he complains that I pay him less than the other woman who employs him. Well, yeah - he works eight hours a day for her, and two for me? So then he complains that his nephew, who works for me on Saturday and does a MARVELOUS job, gets paid more than he. I say no - the nephew works three hours a day, the barn is immaculate, and the horses are clean as well, and he gets paid for those three hours. He then asks how much I paid his brother, who was a much better worker than he, and I tell him that Pedro got less per hour than he's getting. I then inform him that if he can't get the work done in the two hours that I've been paying him for, he can go someplace else and I'll do the work and keep the money. He then informs me that he is the ONLY one in the area who will condescend to work anyplace for only two hours a day, and I'll not find anyone else. I tell him that's eminiently suitable, that he is cordially invited to go find another job that pays better, with shorter hours. Little creep picked the wrong girl to be rude to on a Monday morning, and I let his sorry ass go.

    My question is this - WHY is it so damned hard to keep good help, when you pay an honest wage and demand decent work in return? My horses are not rank nor hard to handle. My barn is not difficult to clean. and is safe and pleasant to work in. I keep plenty of good bedding on hand, so it's easy to keep the stalls clean. My property is nice, and my boarders are rarely around when he is, so what the f*&k? Am I to coddle every person who mucks stalls for me? Does everyone have this issue? Jeez.
    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
    A life lived by example, done too soon.
    www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

    Comment


    • #3
      Umm, I wouldn't drive to a second job to do that much work for $8.50. Depending on the distance, that's barely gas money. Not even even back the bad ol days when I earned minimum wage, and raked in a grand total of $75 per week. It's just not enough to make it worthwhile. And I recently had a horse-feeding gig, and I could not get all the tasks you have listed plus feeding done in two hours for 3 horses, let alone 7, and I was getting paid $250/month (approx 12/day).

      Comment


      • #4
        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ESG:

        For this, he was to be paid $8.50 for two hours' work, five days a week.
        </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

        Um, please tell me that you meant $8.50 per hour for two hours work? Because if not, well, I'm not surprised that you can't get good help. That would be $4.25/hour, which isn't even federal minimum wage.
        My Photo Albums

        Comment


        • #5
          Even assuming $17 total... 7 stalls, water buckets, t/o horses?

          Obviously it sounds fair to you, but so far it sounds like not many potential workers agree.
          Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

          Comment


          • #6
            I pay people $10 an hour to do a whole lot less then you described. You want good help you pay for it just like anything else. You pay for poor help thats what ya get.
            Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

            Comment


            • #7
              For comparision, my trainer pays $2/stall for cleaning and that is JUST cleaning & rebedding the stall. If she wants them to do turnout, feeding, cleaning the aisles/common areas, that is all extra. And this is in an area with a ton of teenagers/college kids looking to earn a few extra dollars, a very high unemployment rate, and few minimum wage type jobs (ie, there's one McDonalds & one DQ within a 30 mile radius).
              My Photo Albums

              Comment


              • #8
                When I have done "petsitting" for horses, I charge a MINIMUM of $25 a day, even if there is only one horse and I only need to be there to clean the stall and feed in the evening. For that, I will feed and clean stalls for up to two horses, but only if I need to go there once a day. If I need to go there morning and evening, there are more than two horses or I need to do anything more than turnout or bring in, the price goes up. I do it more as a favor than for the money because with my own critters and a full-time job, it's more of a hassle than anything. Even when I have done it while unemployed, I have found that doing it for less isn't worth the gas and time.

                Have you thought about hiring a high-school kid instead?
                "If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." -Don Marquis
                **CEO of the TQ "Learn How To Ride or MOVE OVER!!" Clique**

                Comment


                • #9
                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DMK:
                  Even assuming $17 total... 7 stalls, water buckets, t/o horses?

                  Obviously it sounds fair to you, but so far it sounds like not many potential workers agree. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                  When my boarder comes out and does this routine-when the horses are in, for 7 stalls, buckets, t/o & feed (food prepared) it takes about 2 hours, and I allow for $20 credit. $10/hour. And, she comes to the barn anyway to ride (or should have it in her plans anyway ). When it is feed only, horses have been out, it takes about 30 minutes to do the routine, but I still allow $10.

                  I know it is Houston, and ostensibly less expensive, and also ostensibly you have tons of cheap, immigrant labor, but the only way I'd expect to find someone that cheap was if they were a LOCAL homeschooled kid, who didn't have fuel expenses.

                  Mel

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    $10 an hour is the low side of the going rate for barn help if you want somebody halfway decent.
                    That's what the buger joints and grocery stores start the 16 year olds at around here-and they have some benefits like discounts.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'd have to agree with the others on this post. It's not enough money to make anyone interested.

                      When I have people come help me (and unfortunately it's not often enough) I pay a minimum of $30.00 a day for 2 horses and now that it's 3 horses, 40 a day. The last time it was only the evening chores that were done and I paid 40 dollars.

                      But, I do agree it's hard to find people who want to work, but by the same tolken you've got to pay a wage that will motivate someone.
                      Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think that the amount of work is okay for the time allowed but I pay $10.00 per hour. It takes approx. 1 hour to do feed my horses - most out on pasture. 1 hour to do stalls. So I pay $30.00 a day.

                        I think if they have to drive there that since the price of gas is so much, I would pay more.

                        Nancy!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by county:
                          I pay people $10 an hour to do a whole lot less then you described. You want good help you pay for it just like anything else. You pay for poor help thats what ya get. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
                          Yep, you get what you pay for.

                          I don't know anyone who'd drive out of his way to do two hours' worth of work. Even if $8.50 is the going rate for the area, if I were in your situation, I'd have offered signficantly more.

                          You do need the extra help.
                          It's only temporary.
                          You won't find someone to work only 2 hours per day.

                          If you have boarders, maybe they would like the opportunity to work off some board. But for $17 for all that work, I doubt it. (Round it up to an even $20, woman! )
                          **charter member Alligator Arms Clique**

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            sorry, but, I gotta agree with the others.. that's alot of work to get done in 2 hrs, plus not enough compensation.
                            When I go out of town, I pay a friend $10-15.00. to do 1 feeding, turnout, and clean stall once.( 1 trip to barn she was making anyway) If I need help for a day and a half, I give her 20.00-25.00. (I rarely take a full 2 days away from my horse! ) I have been taken advantage of waaay too much, so I always try to compensate enough so everybody is happy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Going rate around here is $10/hour. Also really hard to find someone for 2 hours a day.
                              Chronicles of the $700 Pony
                              The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony
                              www.blithetraveler.com <-- My Blog

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Oh my Goodness!

                                I see most everybody lives in high dollar areas...around my neck of the woods, 8.50 an hour is GREAT money especialy for unskilled labor!

                                It ain't like the specifics haven't been set upfront, sorry, you agree to work two hours a day for set money, you better d*mn well do your job! I worked a lot harder for a lot less money, and it was my only job - I was just lucky I didn't have to live off of it!

                                And last, *If you never work for more than what you are payed for you will never be payed more than what you worked!* Old German Proverb!

                                As I understand, it was supposed to be a temporary situation...not permanent...even if the money isn't great, how about being a Gentleman and suck it up!

                                I tell you honey, what you need is a fresh Mexican, one who will still work for a buck fifty and sleep in the barn and loffing every second of it!

                                Me thinks the dude though he had you over the barrel! Blackmail for more dough! Don't let the door hitya where the Good Lord split ya!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  "A Fresh Mexican?" My, oh my....
                                  "If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." -Don Marquis
                                  **CEO of the TQ "Learn How To Ride or MOVE OVER!!" Clique**

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    One easy way to settle this type of problem is to pay by the job. Have a set rate, say $20 a day (assuming you think it should take 2 hours). Also, you need to have strict instructions as to what is expected, even going so far as writing it down so they can't "forget" anything. If he gets all the work done in 30 minutes, he gets $20. If it takes him 3 hours, he still gets $20. You'd be amazed how quickly people can work if they are getting paid by the job. I have done this for years with my horses and have never been unhappy.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Well THAT was lovely and P.C.
                                      I pay my crackhead, clinically insane, drive-her-both-ways-because-she-hasn't-owned-a valid- driver's lic.-since-birth, barngirl.. $15.00 an hour.
                                      http://community.webshots.com/user/racetb

                                      *Save The Prairie Dog*
                                      \"Jean Louise, stand up. Your father\'s passing.\"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by 3fatponies:
                                        "A Fresh Mexican?" My, oh my.... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                        Oh get over it!

                                        If I had said *hungry* it would have not sounded any better, you know hungry for the American dream, actually earn the money you get...

                                        Like a German sheep farmer put it: All Turkish people ought be to send back after a year and new one brought in* Sounds really bad, but it was ment with a because the *Newbies* would buy his old rams and ewes (which hardly anybody else wants) while those folks who have been in the country for a longer time have discovered the more delicate taste of lamb as well as everybody else...

                                        Sooooo, my point before the PC police went the OP needs to find somebody who thinks that 5.50$ is great money. And lets face it, mucking seven stalls is not that heavy a job!

                                        Too bad the commute would kill me, I'd come to work for you in heartbeat!

                                        Comment

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