I can hire guys all day long for $75/day in an obama economy

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by CITY PARK CUTTER, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I never said anything about under paying them. You sure do assume a lot. Employees typically stay with our company for 5-10 years. I have 5 guys who have been here over 9 years now! That's because I treat them well, pay them a respectable wage, and don't take advantage of them. Our office manager has been here almost 2 years now and has had 2 raises since she started. She has benefits and is happy with her position.

    The irrigation tech. I was referring to is making almost $20 an hour, plus benefits. And he gets 5-15 hours of overtime every week, if he wants it. He also gets time off when he requests it. Like yesterday he requested half the day off. The only job he was able to find before we hired him in this industry, after being in Oregon for over 6 months, was a low-paying job at the Japanese Gardens just taking tickets and answering questions. Now, unfortunately he's not being used as a landscape architect, as he was trained. But the reality is we don't have a position for a full time landscape architect here. And neither does anyone else at this point. So he's been very happy at least taking a job in the same industry in which he was trained and making fairly good money.

    Don't assume so much. Just because I had people who are well qualified doesn't mean I abuse the privilege. You misread what I was saying. My point was: Before 2008, we could never find qualified people and always ended up having to hire someone who wasn't quite right, just because they were the only ones who applied or showed up. But after 2008, we now have an abundance of choices. It's only smart to choose the best candidate. And in a pre-2008 economy maybe they could have made more elsewhere, but not now. Right now they're getting a good wage, a stable job, and good benefits. If the economy improves and they are hiring people trained in landscape architecture at big firms my irrigation tech. who was trained as a landscape architect will have the opportunity to move to that firm, if he chooses. But for now, he gets a really nice respectable job, a company vehicle to take home every day, good pay (at or better than industry norms), benefits, and a good working environment. So far he's been really happy with that situation. Who are you to tell him he should not have taken this position with us and should have held out for a non-existent job in landscape architecture???
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  2. ryde307

    ryde307 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    Well said Jim.

    I don't see an issue with Jim's original statement.

    A common problem now is there is a flood of well qualified people out there right now. Many who believe because of there schooling or qualifications they deserve and are entitled to better paying jobs.
    The reality is there is not alot of those jobs out there so those spots get filled with the best of the best and the rest of the well qualified are somewhat stuck with less desirable jobs. Many have to much pride to take those.

    At least around here it is what I see. I have friends, family and others I know that were making X and lost there jobs and refuse to now go work for Y because they believe they are better than that. They went to school, they had good jobs, and are good workers so they should get that again. It is unfortunate but the reality is there are not enough jobs for those people and it's time to swallow some pride and go back to work for less desirable jobs until things change.
  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    He is paying them 25% less then before.

    The problem is not that they are over qualified they are under paid.

    When you are making a lot less then before you can't afford to pay your mortgage, default loans, can't afford to buy a car, spend less on food, clothes, etc.

    How can the economy come back when people have very little disposable income to pay for goods and services.

    Sales stay down the economy stays down.

    One thing to be happy that you are getting the best employees ever. Another to exploit them.
  4. orlawncaresvc

    orlawncaresvc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 962

    This goes to show you how twisted this economy is right now. Well educated people who were used to getting paid high salaries working in the rugged outdoors.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    His words not mine.
  6. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Messages: 2,754

    It's one thing to take advantage of the situation and other to take advantage of the people in the situation. I have two guys that make $15/hour and they are beyond tickled to death about it, both high school diplomas, but both know the industry. I have 2 part time college students who make $10/hour and the both think they are entitled to more because they are working on a horticulture degree.

    Sometime you have to do what you have to do in order to provide, you may not like it, but it is respectable. I'd rather be digging ditches for $7/hour than standing in line for a check if that was the situation.
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    WHOA!!!! Relax there a little 32vld. You gotta get your facts straight before you go piping off at the mouth on things you don't know anything about.

    I never said I pay anyone 25% less. I said I had guys coming to us, WILLING TO WORK for 25% less. We've always paid very competitive wages, they get good benefits, and some nice fringe benefits as well. Just because they were willing to work for less doesn't mean I took advantage of that. In fact, I told you above that, in fact, I did NOT take advantage of that. Every one of the people I've hired since the recession are getting paid as much or more than we ever paid for that position and as good or better than any of our competitors pay for the same position.

    If you'd actually bother to take a minute and read what I actually wrote rather than just reading a sentence or two then making false accusations, you would have caught this. Go back and re-read the part above where I said,
    If you want to have a pissing match over proper wages, let's compare notes a little. What are you paying your workers per hour for the different positions withing your company? Do you offer health insurance to your workers? A company vehicle to take home? Cell phone with unlimited minutes they can use any time? Flexible hours? Or do you even have employees? My bet is you either don't have any - which means you have no experience in the area which you are criticizing me for - or if you do have employees I'd love to see you put your money where you mouth is and explain to me how you offer them so much better pay and benefits than I do.
  8. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,763

    Or maybe they were living beyond their means to begin with?
  9. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,631

    Jim Lewis--- Good to see you posting, Ive alaways admired your business and personal characther. How the cigar thing coming along???

    Being solo this year Ive done just the oppsite, all new business has been 20 to 25% higher compared to current accounts. Its actually been very successful and I still get most of the accounts that I bid on.
  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Thank you! I was just thinking the same thing as I was driving this afternoon. I was going to post that same thing later. If people are living so high on the hog that a moderate cut in pay makes them default on their loans, default on their credit cards, and not be able to pay their mortgage, then is it their bosses fault anyway? Or is it maybe they were just already living a little too high on the hog to begin with.

    I'm not saying I'm not guilty of living a little high on the hog myself before the recession. But I am not blaming anyone other than myself for that. We all need to be accountable for our own actions and quit blaming others for choices we made. If we chose to be a little too liberal with our money or debt, we need to face the consequences of that. Not whine about it and make it seem like it's someone else's fault.

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