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Senior Contributor

Re: cell phones and low wage workers

I think the safety factor of being distracted is such a big thing.  I understand their need to stay connected but during work hours, they are being paid to work, not use the phone for personal reasons.   

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Senior Contributor

Re: cell phones and low wage workers

There is no doubt about the addiction to phones. DGD school is letting the kids leave them on now but they don't talk just text. Before they were to always be off. I am wondering about other businesses and how they handle this.

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Honored Advisor

Re: cell phones and low wage workers

This is the problem.  It is harder when it is family...I know, Jolene, I know! 

 

I think it is fair to say "no calls except for issues related to our work and your child."

 

It is very serious, in terms of time wasted.  I can see this, in comparing Mike doing the same chores this week, and how long it takes her to do the same tasks.  I pay salary, not hourly, but her wages for time actually needed are phenomenal.

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Honored Advisor

Re: cell phones and low wage workers

You son is young and impatient in this regard.  I understand his feeling, but we have observed that some people want only enough work to make their usual bills, factor that around their usual income, and want NO overtime. 

 

Mike used to see this all the time with his railroad co-workers, and that was time-and-a-half union pay for overtime. SIL says he sees it at his job, but those guys who turn down overtime, also 1.5 rate but at a non-union job, tend to get drunk as a skunk as soon as they knock off their regular shift. 

 

With this situation, it sounds a lot like the Lowe's distribution center near us in NC.  When gasoline got so high, some workers were unable to afford fuel to get to work by Friday, then that made them unable to afford Thursday the next week, and so on. 

 

If he has never worked for what you folks can pay (not saying anything negative, but we do get what we pay for) , he cannot fathom how tight the slack is in that level of income.  It is easy to miscalculate by a few bucks and get cut off until you pay a bill, which usually comes with additional charges for disconnection and reconnection.  It is a vicious cycle.

 

For people living on low wages, a flat tire can be a major emergency.  Being sick and missing a shift can cause fairly major hardships.  Those of us with better resources and maybe better life paths have a hard time fathoming these issues. 

 

He needs to read a book called "Nickel and Dimed"  I didn't grasp it until I did.

 

We deal with this as landlords.  Some people are perpetually surprised by the arrival of the first of the month.  Every month. 

 

Maybe he needs to post a signup sheet for employees wanting extra hours.  Have them list a number where they can be reached with their name.  At least that way, you don't waste time dialing people who are not interested. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: cell phones and low wage workers

I went to a farm management conference years ago and they hammered one point to no end..    Family is the WORST hired help.  Period.   I know it, I can see it,  but we still do it.    There is no easy answer for the phone situation with family.    Not that it is easier with regular nonfamily help either.  

 

My situation is different with college aged and teenage kids..     We often have a discussion regarding phone usage..    As long as I'm paying the bill their phones are for me to contact them and them to contact me.     Well I've had to relax that with so much school stuff coming via text,etc.. but that is the gist of it.   Our plan allows us to set texting times, allowed numbers, etc..  and I have done that.    

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Honored Advisor

Re: cell phones and low wage workers

Well, she is generally good help, but this week has brought to light that her priorities and ours are not 100% on the same screen.  That is a lot Mike's hands-off, "I have told her this 100 times" mentality.  Honestly, I blame them both equally. 

 

Our division of labor is very simple...evolved over time and necessity.  In general it isn't broken, so requires not much fixing. For example, I made the checklist for him last weekend, so he can complete it this week for her to follow next week. 

 

My problem, he is supposed to do it EVERY Friday...his chosen day...but, he forgot to do it today.  This is our real issue.   

 

If it is inside the farm gate, he is in charge.  He can ask for my help, but I do suffer OCD enough that I go crazy when I go back there.  I see things I would want done, but they are not important to him.  This is an inside-the-gate issue. 

 

Outside the gate, I am in charge.  I have her lmy esson book for management tasks, which I do need to do a few updates in this year as I go along.  Some functions change due to bank website changes, etc., and I have to keep astride of that, so she can pick up the book and run with it, when the day comes I that I can't. 

 

I will be collecting the checklists and guarantee I will have more trouble getting him to write them than her to follow them.  Guess I had better polish off my big gold B to wear around here for a while....

 

This is a situation that should have been nipped in the bud, but wasn't.    Bad habits need breaking.  I have to come up with a tactful way to do that. 

 

Thanks for listening. 

 

 

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Advisor

Re: cell phones and low wage workers

I did not mean to be critical, just my opinion. My wife worked/works at the post office. Her supervisor asked for her cell no. she would not give it, but told her that she could be reached at our house/landline phone and leave a message. I realize many don't have a "real" phone, so i'm probably comparing dis-similar situations.

 

As far as phones on the job....a bin construction company collects all the employee phones while working. they give them back at breaks and then pick them up in a box when work starts again. Owner said that is a safety issue as much as a productivity issue. It's also an age issue (for me), at 56 ,  i don't want my life controlled by that &%?$@ phone.

Senior Contributor

Re: cell phones and low wage workers

Oh believe me Kay  we would all love it if the money in dairy was good enough to pay double what we pay.  The work certainly deserves it.

This one particular kid he has "trouble" with is a good example of what you are talking about.  I used parenthesis because I truely believe my sons attitude is a big part of the problem.

Anyway this kid comes from a family where neither parent works.  They both collect disability of some sort.  He has a brother whom they are very proud to say they qualified as "dumb" enough to collect disability.  And believe me the kid is probably not that dumb.  He has done some manual labor for us and certainly didn't seem different that any one else we hired for those jobs ie picking rocks or humping tires on the feed piles.

Then like all these kids he had to have a truck.  He actually didn't do too bad of a job of getting a servicable truck for a decent price, unlike his buddy that works for us, the one he was sharing a phone plan with who has a piece of junk that he paid way too much for at way to high an interest rate.  Actually that is his second truck.  Really couldn't afford the first one and actually thought when he bought the second truck that the dealer was paying off the first truck not just adding the balance to the financing on the second truck.  That kid also thought some huge medical bills he unnecessarily ran up should just be forgotten because he couldn't afford them.  Was really surprised when they went to collection.  We had counceled him to talk to the hospital and make some sort of payment arrangement, but his folks and himself decided they could just be ignored.

So back to the kid my son has problems with.  He has this truck gets into an accident when some one brakes in front of him for a stupid turkey on the road.  Pretty much ruined his truck., bent the frame although he did keep driving it until it was repoed.  Anyway at his accident he got ticketed for not having insurance.  Big fine.  So his truck get repoed and he now has no vehicle.  So he is getting to work, mostly with his girlfriend's car, then he wrecks that when supposedly the power steering just suddenly went out and he put it in a dtch.  Really seems funny to me that power steering would just fail, usually seems like it starts fading first, but I don't know.  So we give him (actually I'm not sure whether hubby gave it to him or sold it really really cheap) an old truck we were no longer using mainly because the door wouldn't open from the inside and I didn't have the hand strength to reach out the window and use the latch that way. BTW he does have insurace, we made sure of that, helping him find the best deal we could.  Helped as much as we could reasonably because he is a nice kid, and like I said we like him as an employee and things just seem to keep stacking up against him.  Oh they also had to move because they found black mold in this delapiated trailer they were renting.  And moving is expensive you know.  You know 1st and last months rent and deposit and all that.  But he just does stupid stuff that makes my son mad.  Like one day he wasn't going to come for his regular shift because they had frozen pipes.  They had found the problem and had a heater on it, but the heater was in the basement and his girlfriend didn't like going in the basement to keep an eye on it, so he was going to skip work.  Really just how much can you do to help people that think like that.

Also the female employee that just quit with no notice.  According to another employee this girl is moving in with the parents of her boyfriend of about 6 months.  He isn't there, he's working in South Dakota.  She doesn't have another job yet, but her and her almost 2yr old are moving in with his parents.  Hopes it works out for her, but if one of my daughter's made a decision like that I'd knock their head off.

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Honored Advisor

Re: cell phones and low wage workers

Yes, they careen from one rmergency to another. This employee of ours went out driving the vehiclevhe bought from our daughter ( her stupidity), in a sleetstorm, with five tiny kids in it. Vehilce totalled, liability on,y civerage...but, there's a stink about that, too, because his wife told SIL the adjuster had totalled it our. Nobody bothers to adjust if you have liability only, right? I think they may have gotten money, but who knows?

I have to stay at arm's length, or I would choke somebody.
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Advisor

Re: cell phones and low wage workers

wow. you and dairy mom's stories could not be made up. wow. I lead a sheltered life. I admire dairy moms son for trying to help the employee from his situation.  don't these people see how the rest of the world functions??? If they've got 5 children , they've already done their best work. I used to get in trouble for this, but long a go i would  cruelly say that you could make a case for sterilization.

 

Not the same thing, but i was in a hospital waiting room last week. A couple (male and female) come in and start playing with their smart phones. both have a substantial amount of teeth missing. My condescending thought was "you've got money for the phone, but not a dentist?"  On second thought, i've heard meth can do that.  No wonder farmers in my area are so heavily armed, the "normal" people are in the minority.