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training mexicans

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by apluslawn, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. apluslawn

    apluslawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    I finally found myself a worker he is a mexican 18 yrs old and very eager to work he hadd never used atrimmer before he did alright for the first time but the reason why I got a worker is to cut time bu it took me 10 min longer on every job cause id have to stop and untangle string and make sure that he edge properly I am paying him 11.00 an hour what is the going rate How do you guys teach someone that cant speak english Should I drop him and find another worker or hold out and see if he gets better It is hard to communicate with him little english.;)
  2. GTLC

    GTLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 700

    hmmm.....good question, I hear that mexicans work their arses off so I would just keep him and learn to speak Spanish like me....although there are very few minorities up here in Vermont.
  3. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 989

    How did you communicate with him to hire in the first place?
    Additionally, being 16, how is it that you have had 4 years in business?
    I'm not trying to be rude, however odd notes aside, hispanic culture does not typically allow for a very young patron and equally young worker.
    Should the problems continue, dump the bambino and find a guy considerably older than yourself.
  4. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,544

    he's not at the $11.00 level. (Mexican or not)

    $11.00 should buy someone that knows your route, can sharpen blades, re-string weedeaters, can talk to customers, troubleshoot, etc.

    Mexican or not, someone should be able to untangle string, you don't have curse at the weedeater in English, you can curse at it in Spanish and it won't know the difference. You just untangle it and go back to work.

  5. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Posts: 587

    $11.00 per hour is definitely too much for zero or little experience.
  6. pcnservices

    pcnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 614

    I agree. Pay him a lower wage but offer him an incentive to work for. A bonus, promotion, wage increases after x number of months if he achieved certian goals, etc.
    However you have a golden opportunity to train a willing and eager worker to your hand. He can be a valuable asset to your operations team in the near future.
  7. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 916

    we are further up north and we start out our guys at $7.50 with little experiance. And por hablo espanol you have to learn if you want them to work for you and communicate ok. We pay our lawn care crew leader 10 an hour and he speakes spanish and english well. He is also 25.
  8. gunputt

    gunputt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    If you do not take the time to properly train someone, how can you be upset if he does not do things right.

    Also, if you are paying him 11 an hour, then tell him he's going down to 8 or 9, you will have to find someone else anyway.
  9. Tony Clifton

    Tony Clifton LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 865

    I would probably hang onto him, if he is eager and energetic then he will learn quickly its not rocket science that you are teaching him. One way to tell how good he will be is to look at how fast he walks, usually if a person takes their time walking from point A to point B they will not be that great of a worker, however if they walk fast they will be a hard worker. (I am not talking about while they are working but after work etc) 11/hr is definately too much and does not give him any room for advancement. I start most people out at 8-9/hr and give them .25 - .50 raises so that they can see that they are being rewarded for their hard work, if you start them out at the top they wont have anything to work towards. The language barrier should be no big deal, it seems like most of the good hispanic workers are practically mind readers.
  10. z_clark

    z_clark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    I worked for a big landscaping firm, and came to my boss w/ this same problem. He said "you are only as good as some one you can train". I took thought about it, and he is right.

    I pick up day labor until I find some one that is enthusiastic and ready to learn. I start by paying 7.50, if they work out for long term, I can afford to pay better. If your guy has a good attitude, stick with him. It is easier to train some one w/ no experience b/c there are no bad habits to break IMO.

    If you read the "solo worker daily earnings" thread, most try to bring home 300+ a day. With a worker you can bring home another 300 - their wage (in theory).

    Oh, and tiempo para aprenden espanol


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