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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.;)
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.

KB
 

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Originally posted by charlies
$11.00 per hour is definitely too much for zero or little experience.
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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

:p
 

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yeah dude a mexican that knows nothing and doest speak english. I speak a little bit of spanish so if it were me I would start him at 6/hr but i could also explain to him that if he works good and becomes knowledgable of my business and my equiptment i'd give him a raise to 8/hr afert 2 weeks.

but 11 is way too much. I don't know about down south but i know the wadges in New Jersey are very high compaired to the rest of the country and around here 11 is a very high amout to pay for that kinda work.
 

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I have seen books out that will help out with Mexicans in the work force. I took a couple of semesters at the local university. I had a couple of Mexicans that helped out last year and there were a few times where communication was a problem, but nothing major. Once the work truck broke down and one of the Mexicans use to own his own auto repair shop. He was not able to tell what to get at the parts store, but he was able to take the part off and give it to me. After a couple trips on my Z to the Auto Zone and after an hour and a half, we were back up and running. I started my help out at $8 an hour. I also think $11 is too much.
 

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walker-talker, did you really drive your mower to AutoZone? That would have been pretty funny. I also agree that 11 an hour is too much for someone that doesn't speak english and isn't experienced.
 

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I pay all my non speaking english help $10 an hour..They tend to work very hard for this rate. But every dollar you can save by paying an employee less goes back into yur pocket

Chuck
 

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I cant believe you guys are so cheap! I start my guys out at 15, and my supervisors at 23 an hour. my guys and I are one, we both work to expand this company, because my guys dont work for me, they work for their company, and the better their company does, the better they do. Yeah, Im the "boss" but I act as though I am just one of them who signs the checks and makes the schedules. yeah, I may not be earning as much by paying so much, but my guys are able to support their families, and they come to work happy, and they always go that extra mile, and I have NEVER had a customer complaint about my guys, they are my number one public relations team, I almost always get 1 or 2 more jobs from each one I have because my guys are always not only doing a good job, but leaving good lasting impressions on home owners, and making them laugh and becoming friends with everyone. heck, I even went and picked up one of my guy's girls from school the other day when she was sick and she slept in the office all day while her dad was out working. Im tellin ya, if your guys are happy, you will be happy. and once again, your guys should be working for the company, not for you... treat your guys as friends, as peers... have fun, work hard, and instead of making them work for you, and doing what they do to please you, ahve them work for the company, and to expand the company.. and as the company grows, be sure your employees checks do to... ..

work hard, play hard, and go out friday nights for a cold beer...
 

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Originally posted by Lbilawncare
walker-talker, did you really drive your mower to AutoZone? That would have been pretty funny.
Yes, it only took about 10 minutes and most of the trip was through a shopping mall. It was one day I wish I has something faster, like a Dixie Chopper.
 

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every market is different--not only the wage level, but also the rates we can get for our work. Whether $11 an hr is too much for your market, I don't know. But I sure agree with the points made that if he is eager, keep him and train him. You gripe that every job is taking 10 minutes longer--well, that will change if he gets the training he needs. It's in your court now.

By the way, in this area newby workers get $7-$8, experienced and motivated get $10-$13, crew leaders get $15 up.
 

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Originally posted by cvogtffemt
treat your guys as friends, as peers... have fun, work hard, and instead of making them work for you, and doing what they do to please you, ahve them work for the company, and to expand the company.. and as the company grows, be sure your employees checks do to...
ummmmmmm, no.
 

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Sorry, no time to read the other replies. But here's my reply to the original post;

First of all, it's good to at least have a working knowledge of spanish. I am pretty much fluent in spanish so it's not quite as hard for me. If you're not, then there's going to be a communication gap and you're going to have to just keep instructing him in english even though he doesn't understand.

Have him watch and learn. He'll pick stuff up after a while. You'll be happy when he's all trained.

By the way, $11.00 is WAAAAY high for a guy with zero experience and doesn't speak any english.

We have the second highest minimum wage in the nation here in Oregon and still you can find a good hispanic laborer WITH experience and no english for $8.00. And he'll work for you for a year before wanting a raise. If he also speaks english, going rate for LCO biz. around here is $9.00. If he can do installs, landscape construction, and irrigation systems, water features, etc. then he's worth $11.00 to start. But $11.00 for a dude with no experience and doesn't know the lingo is just nuts!
 
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