What is wrong with people ...

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Sharp Services, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. Sharp Services

    Sharp Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Trying to grow my business and make a little money. With all y'alls advice I have been looking to hire a part-timer to help out. I place an ad, get calls and interview. I explain .... " this is a part time job, with the plan of making it full time with the potential of you becoming a crew boss and getting a raise." Starting part timers off at $11.50 an hour. $1.50 more than is norm here. Last Monday my first hired employee shows up at 7:45 AM (15 minutes late). He walks up and watches me finish sharping a blade and put it on a back up mower. I then start showing him the different equipment and go over safety issues with each. As I load up in the truck he says ... I think this job is going to be too much work, gets in his car and drives off. Great now I am an hour late starting on my day.

    This Monday ... My second choice is scheduled to show up for work. I wait until 8:15 AM. No employee. This ain't going to well ....

    Thank God my 13 year old is willing to help out in the afternoons and he only cost me $7.50 an hour.

    Going to hold off to start of next year and look for some other great recruits.

    Thanks for letting me vent!!
  2. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    i have same problems its tough but hangin and it will payoff
  3. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    Next time don't wait around. If they are late the first day or even week, the job is not important to them. Seems like you'll go through ten people for every decent one. Very frustrating I know!
  4. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    I was in a teleconference the other day where we were discussing a new dispatch system (non-green industry related). One of the employees speaks up and says "what am I supposed to do when it rains?". This moron actually had the (lack of) sense to admit he doesn't work when it's raining on a teleconference with his boss, and his bosses' boss. What's wrong with people? I don't know, but there sure seems to be a lot of people who think they're owed a paycheck, without having to put in any work for it.
  5. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    I too have found kids from 35 yrs down having this feeling of entitlement and not wanting to do any physical labor.....because it is "beneath" them. From talking with folks across the country, it is pandemic in our society with the current youth.
    The flip side to this is, if you are willing to work, there is a ton of it out there!
    I go through "white boys" like a knife through butter, the only guys that will/want to work are the Hispanic folks. I have had one guy with me for two years now, he has never been late to work (without a phone call), has a great sense of humor and pride in the work that he does, is willing to tackle everything/anything that I myself am willing to do and has turned into a great friend along the way. I pay him twice the going rate around here, bonus, company jackets and shirts, fill his vehicles with fuel and treat him like I would want to be treated.
    How long did it take me to find a good lead man? I am not sure, but it has felt like many lifetimes.....hang in there, it always takes longer than we would like.
    Earthworker has a good point....do not sacrifice your integrity or promptness because of someone else. If they are late, I am sure they have a cell phone and they can drive themselves to your job. Don't let the tail wag the dog.
  6. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Welcome to the wonderful world of growth. As you see, I feel help in this country is the hardest hurdle to get over in business. As you grow you will need more and more of it. With more and more it only comes with more and more headaches. :hammerhead:
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    No doubt the labor market is tough, finding part time help is going to be even more difficult than full time. You may have to make it a full time position and supplement their income until you can grow it into a full time deal.

    I remember when I was hired as a "supervisor" I was making 1800 per month and the route only generated 2700 per month. There was a 3 man crew doing the work. The owner knew he did not have the time to grow that portion of the business but he needed a maintenance division to remain competitive in the custom design install market. In two years we were doing 30-k per month and the business was profitable. You can bet for the first 6-9 months it was a money pit.

    Some things you can do is plan for growth.

    Trying to expand in the fall is a loosing proposition. Spring and late summer are your two best times to sign new clients. Few people wan to make a change with holiday season so close at hand.

    Start a waiting list if your service is good people will be willing to wait. They understand a good businessman does not take on more work than they can handle. It works in my market may not work in yours.

    Try advertising for help differently, I use Jobbing .com. or 3x5 cards at nurseries or college campuses and the local second hand store. If you don't mind poaching from other industries you could have some business cards printed up with your typical stuff on the front and on the back say something to the effect of

    "You have impressed me with your customer service or quick thinking or professional attitude if you are considering a career change please contact me".

    If nothing else you will give put a smile on their face, and Karma goes a long way.

    There are many people in other lines of work who hate their jobs and would like to work out doors but don't see how they can make enough money. You have to sell your company and the opportunities they will have if they come along. You might also find with your part time needs they might like to try it before you buy it type of thing so it might work.

    Lastly you need to be proactive and do things differently, not only to get clients but especially to get employees. You must also be willing to not hire someone unless they meet your standards. It's tough especially when the houses are a waiting.

    If it were easy everyone would be doing it. Hope this helps.
  8. Sharp Services

    Sharp Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Hey... that is a great idea ... I have a tech school in my area. I will but a 3 x 5 card on the bulletin board. College kids always need a little extra money. Thanks.
  9. ozd12005

    ozd12005 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    Good and steady help is far a few inbetween, But when you find the right person for the job treat and pay them well
  10. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    i cant believe he thought it was too much work and you guys hadnt even started yet

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