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Senior Contributor

Back to square 1 I guess

Hubby had finally scheduled some interviews off the few applications for work we finally got.  Decided on 2 women to talk to.  One had just taken a job much closer to where she lives.

So the other one comes for interview this afternoon.  Nice lady.  We talked to her, hubby showed her around and ended the interview.  We talked about it and decided to offer her the job.  Then either she called or maybe hubby called her, but anyway she said her husband, who is unemployed, said she could not work for the starting wage we are offering.

So where to now.  Call on some of the other applicants that we felt had built in problems, or run ads again.

There is a former employee who is willing to help out some. In fact we had talked to her about coming back to work last year when my son was leaving.  She was one of our first employees.  Worked for us as a second job while her husband finished school.  Then she got pregnant and stopped working here when she was about 6 months along.  Just had a second baby a few months ago (reason she didn't come back last year) and is doing the stay at home mom thing.  Will have to discuss her with hubby again seeing how the employee search is going to stretch on.  She's a wonderful young lady.  Have known her and her family for years.   Good worker, intelligent (has a biology degree)  and she just really loves cows. 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Back to square 1 I guess

As Bill Clinton used to say, "I feel your pain...."

 

 The irony of an unemployed man keeping his wife from taking a job is too rich.  He cannot support them, but won't let her earn whatever she can....

 

How can a young mom with two small children justify getting care for them so she can work, unless your wage offer is worth it? 

 

At least you still have some contacts in hand, and someone willing to help some.  I am advising our daughter to keep names and numbers for guys who o not get the job each time we refill this one.  

 

We found out that she had decided to hire the one who did the networking interview yesterday, when he asked to work today, too.  Second guy said he couldn't' come on such short notice.  Hmmm....you have no job, but cannot find time to interview for one?!?

 

This guy stuck out washing the whole building, did stalls , and received baby pigs and loaded out feeders.  Mike said he showed him, then observed him, then corrected his mistakes and observed him get it right.  I think working with our daughter, who has worked hogs all her life,  had caused him not to think about how to teach a worker.  He seemed proud of his training, too.

 

Guy got keys to the house.  I offered to pay him for four hours to clean it, so I don't have to go through that a fourth time in just over two months.  Money well spent.

 

I wish you well on finding help.  This is a universal problem in ag, and is why ag is driving immigration reform.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Back to square 1 I guess

The girl that worked for us before is just the kind of person who does not like not  having something to do.  Her daycare is her MIL and her mom.  And as I said she just simply loves cows.  In fact the weekend she came over she took a special needs calf home with her.  Not the first project calf she's taken from this farm and another farm she worked for in the area.  She is just a really special person.

 

Hubby talked to the lady that interviewed yesterday again last night.  She called to say she and her husband  had "penciled" it out and she would like the job.  Hubby told her he would let her know. 

It is hard to know what to do.  Sure this is not the best job in the world and certainly not the best pay.  And we have to make some demands.  We cannot tolerate someone who does not always show up or tends to be late.  The cows have to be milked when they are suppose to be every day of the year or it can cost us big time in so many ways. And I know it sounds awful but hubby and I are not willing (and probably not physically capable anymore) of stepping in when an employee messes us up.  Believe me I did not milk at the pace it is in the parlor now when I milked.  After we went to the 3 times a day schedule one of the first priorities was to get me out of the parlor because I was just too slow.  I used to milk 150 cows by myself in slightly more time that they now milk 250 cows and never ever got the kind of production out of the cows we now get.

This woman has 6 kids under the age of 11.  Her husband worked for a custom manure hauler but did a lot of out of state work.  They moved here to be closer to his family and now he hasn't found more work.   Funny that's not the first time we've come across that scenario.  Just can't understand quitting a job when you don't have another one lined up.

I would love it if the markets were such that we could offer more pay.  The job they do for us is worth it.  But we don't control the market.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Back to square 1 I guess

Maybe that couple figured out that something " pencils out" better than nothing. With that many young kids, one of them has to be home, I would think.

She will likely stsy until he finds something equal or better...I am with you about not quitting one job before you have the next. You sort of wonder why he didn't apply?

The girl with all the family support sounds like she already knows and loves the work, and wants back into cows. At least she is back on your radar.

Would venture that any one of our farms compensates better than the large corporations that mine our communities for every cent they can suck out of us. LA has written eloquently here about Walmart, but they are all cut from pretty much the same piece of cloth.

It is entirely possible that, by the time you take into account the lack of commuting costs from where we live to the nearest town of any size, the worker here would have to earn $20 an hour to match our package. Not many of those opportunities floating around in these parts, so I do not make any apologies for what we pay, or what we expect for the salary earned.

The thing about being put out to pasture, so to speak, is a problem in our minds sometimes. I commented last week to daughter that I would rather wash the buildings myself than keep going through the aggravations associated with the guy just fired. She reminded me of how long it's been since I was actively on duty outside my office here. Point taken....

She hired him, so I am sure we didn't hear as much griping about him as if her Daddy had picked the employee. Part of ournphilosophy...you picked him, you decide how much crap he's worth to keep.

We are finding that we can get three leads in a few days...maybe faster now, since her MIL took the Work First step for,us this go- around. I had suggested it before, but she found applicants without it. We had less time this time, so she acceptd the shortcut assistance.

I haven't checked to see if the guy is here cleaning yet, or if he's planning to do thst with his family there, after/ as they move in. I have told Mike he may need to offer to haul with his pickuo at some point. We need to swap a sturdier table in under the TV, out of our storage...stuff like that. Want to cover outlets, with so many tiny kids in tow this time.

It would just be nice to think someone local would settle in a realize thst they can have a comfortable life for their family, in exchange for forty hours or less of moderate physical work a week. We consider that fair.





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Advisor

Re: RE "...it can cost us big time in so many ways."

RE "The cows have to be milked when they are suppose to be every day of the year or it can cost us big time in so many ways." May I suggest NEVER saying that to an employee? Go with the idea "The cows have to be milked when they are suppose to be every day of the year or it is bad for the cows." I know,  it is subtle change.  But it really doesn't matter to them if you make a little more or less money.  You want them to focus on the cows, not making money. Making money is a management task.

 

If every time you talk with an employee you mention money you turn their focus to their paycheck. Focus them on caring for the cows.

Senior Contributor

Re: RE "...it can cost us big time in so many ways."

you are completely correct Mike.  Actually my thoughts were more about the problems it causes with the cows if you mess them around, not the money.  But I didn't express that very well.  My husband takes it very hard and personal whenever a cow has health problems.  Always blames himself.   says if you don't have your "A" game every second of every day the cows are who gets hurt.

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Honored Advisor

Re: RE "...it can cost us big time in so many ways."

Daughter and I just took a day last week to drive to and sit through a PQA Plus class. Our integrator wants all employees and contract growers certified. Fine.

The fact that we came into growing pigs for someone else from our own farrow to finish operation probably meant we already had that animals first mentality. Most of our headaches over the last two decades have been caused by a lack of that perspective on the part of whoever had the latest and greatest management idea.

When you have to stand and argue with someone about how many panels to put in or pull out of a trailer, before you can load it, it starts your day off behind, and in a mad state of mind. At least there are written standards we can pull out and place beside the thermometer now.
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Honored Advisor

Re: RE "...it can cost us big time in so many ways."

Mike, you are right, of course. It is hard NOT to invoke money, when you find a guy has been told to re-check every feeder rod pin in 12 buildings, because you find a pile of them in his farm pickup, though. Leaving out a 50-cent pin here could cost us tons of feed.

The last guy got given that instruction, and the Mike and daughter team still found EIGHT of them missing. The good news is they found them before pigs rooted the rods loose and dumped a semi load of feed or more. The bad news is that it took that bad performance for Mike to give up on him.

I cannot imagine what it must be like to hire a guy fir row cropping help these days, given all the hype over land prices and how much money farmers are making. Is that causing labor problems?
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Senior Contributor

Re: Back to square 1 I guess

I think I would be really hard pressed to trust the lady if she wasn't willing to take the job in the first place.  Add in her current living situation and I do not think you will have a reliable employee because her husband sounds like a flake which tends to rub off on the spouse eventually.  Who will end up having to stay home if the children are sick?  I'm guessing NOT the husband.  I could be wrong so who knows.  Either way good luck!

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Senior Contributor

Re: Back to square 1 I guess

exactly our thoughts.  But given the lack of response to our ads we have hired her.  She is suppose to have her first shift this afternoon.

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