Whitey and I went to Bend last week for our Fantasy Football draft. We had solidified the schedule for our employees weeks in advance, and felt confident in our crew to keep the place open while we were gone.
The day we were to leave, an employee called in and asked if she could not come in that day; it was her little sister’s birthday and her family was going to have a party. I reminded her that we were leaving town, and that we really did need her to come in and make dough. I told her that if it were slow, she could take off right after her dough-shift instead of staying to back up the front for the rest of the night (which is what ended up happening).
The day we were to come back to Baker City, we were running a little late heading out of town. I was determined to find a tote decorated with fruit to bring back for this particular employee. She had been coveting my tote that I had previously purchased in Bend, and I knew she’d be stoked if I brought one back for her. It took almost an hour that morning, but I was able to find one decorated with a big watermelon.
Our cell phone rang when we were half way home to Baker. Our kitchen manager announced that this same employee had not shown up to work, and wasn’t answering her phone. She mentioned that the day before, this girl had been sullen and wouldn’t talk to anyone, saying how she was upset that her hours were cut.
What?!?? The schedule had been up for THREE WEEKS leading up to our mini-vacation (and yes, her hours were cut for the two days we were out of town – she would lose a total of 2 to 4 hours that week so that someone who knew how to close would be working).
Unbelivable. This young woman really wronged us, and it felt like a slap in the face.
She had been new to town, and when I hired her she guaranteed me that she was staying in Baker and not moving anytime soon. After only 3 weeks, she was already planning on moving away. I only found this out after someone mentioned that she had posted this on her MySpace account.
Even though she scowled at customers, didn’t even show up for scheduled shifts twice in three weeks, made numerous mistakes, and wasn’t completely upfront with me about moving, I felt like “hey, it’s only a few more weeks – she’s a nice girl – keep her on the schedule so she can make some money before she moves.”
This nice girl knew that we were out of town, and that she was the only one (besides Whitey) that knew how to make dough. She purposefully screwed us. Had I known she was planning on not showing up to work, I wouldn’t have wasted so much time that morning SHOPPING FOR A FREAKING PRESENT FOR HER in Bend.
Work Ethic. You either have it, or you don’t.
Thankfully, we do have some of the most awesome employees right now – they show up to work on time, take pride in their jobs, find things to do even when it’s slow. It’s the rotating employees that just don’t get it. The ones that last a month or two at any given job, and just basically don’t give a sh*t. A job is a job is a job, and if they’re able to get one, they’ll work there until they’re bored or until they can create some drama before they move on.
The problem is, most everyone gives a decent interview. In those short ten minutes, they are everything we’re looking for in an employee. Eager, hard-working, honest, funny, and have a fantastic work ethic.
They show up for their first day. It’s a good day. But by the second week of employment, they’re comfortable, and they don’t have anything to prove anymore. I’ve seen it time and time again.
Finding great employees is the most difficult part of owning our business. I want people who CARE about what they’re doing, and to show PRIDE in their work. Our long-term employees are are rewarded often through gifts, positive reviews, more personal responsibility, and are paid a higher than average wage. They are thoroughly appreciated. On the other hand, our short-timers can’t wait to clock-out at the end of the day.
What is it that someone said to me recently… it seems as if every potential employee is really saying
“I need a paycheck and some time off.”