Monday, July 18, 2011

Fred the farmhand and the stuck tractor

I interviewed a whole bunch of people for a farmhand position, and at the end of the day I picked 3, figuring that one of them wouldn't work out (hoped that all three would, but you have to be realistic) and sure enough, one of the three picked came to me about a week into it and said "This is waaay too hard. I gotta quit". No hard feelings, nice person, just not a good fit.

So I went back to the list and found the next candidate, Fred (Not his real name). I called Fred on a Thursday, and told him to come to the farm on Saturday morning.

Sean worked with him, and he did a pretty good job. Between the two of them they did a fair bit of work, and we scheduled him to come back Monday.

Monday rolls around, and Sean's off doing his thing, and Fred's on the tractor, doing a pretty good job. We're going to be planting blueberries, and we're forming the raised beds for the rows of plants. Fred is new to the land though, and manages to drive the tractor into a soft spot, and get it stuck.

I stop by, spot him struggling in the field, put my boots on and walk him through how to get the tractor out. After a little coaching, he seems to be in a good spot, and off i go to get my other work done.

So I was a little surprised to get a call about 45 minutes later. "Hey, the tractor is stuck, and I've got to tell you that... " Freds voice trails off. "...that, I, Uh, brokethetractorwindow"

What? You did what?

"I broke thetractorwindow"

You broke the tractor window?


How did you do that?

"Well, I just wanted to tell you that I also got a call from a friend of mine about a full time job and I hate to do this, but I've got to take that job"

What? You're quitting?


Ok, let me get this straight: You work for me for a day and a half, get my tractor stuck, break the window, and then you tell me you're quitting? "yea" Thanks for the 2 weeks notice, dude!

"uh. Can I ask you something?"


"Can you give me a reference?"


Craig said...

Mistake number one, don't let hired help drive equipement within the first week of hiring them. And when your interviewing them for a job and they say they can do everything and anything, that's usually bullsh*t. Make them weedwack the electric fence and do manaul jobs first before graduating them to the next level.

RH said...

Gotta say, I read a lot of stuff online but not much of it makes me smile.

sheila said...

Darn near impossible to find farm employees. Been there done that and ended up doing the work myself, it was easier.

jason said...

That's the problem with low paying help. Not usually committed or reliable.

Anonymous said...

Someone once told me, "good help ain't cheap and cheap help ain't good."

Joanne said...

Used to run into that in the tile business. The good ones are probably already working for someone else. Not always, but usually.

Anonymous said...

..wowie zowie. that is funny but not in a funny sense. It is hard to find good workers in youth today..too many distractions and too much having things handed to them! I also agree that the good workers usually have/keep their jobs so they never are usually applying! hehe

Anonymous said...

Sure, give him an honest reference by phone if someone inquires.

Urbancowgrrl said...

I like what eagergridlessbeaver and anonymous say. That would be a good lesson for him for you to give him an honest reference! And I agree it is hard to find good employees, not just in teenagers but many adults too because so many people have been brought up the last generation or so to expect everything to be handed to them without working for it. There's a lot of entitlement going on. I'd love to see that change! It might actually help our country. Sigh.