It’s a shallow labor pool

The New Dude showed up to work yesterday, and as I’m frantically trying to find the delivery bag and run out the door, he says “You’re going to hate me.”

I raised my eyebrows, and said “Why?”

“I can’t work here anymore,” he says.

“As in today?” I asked, incredulous to the fact that he’s standing there as we’re filling up with customers and I’m having to leave on a delivery.

“Well, I can work today, but I can’t work here after that. I’m neglecting my business,” he replied.

Dude works at our local movie theater, and in his spare time he sells template websites.

I couldn’t believe it. I told him I had to go, but I’d talk to him after the lunch rush.

When I returned, it was chaos in the kitchen. Whitey was explaining to New Dude that he needs to pull the pies out of the oven faster; that’s why the last one was burnt. He pointed to the hotter parts of the lower oven, and so I interrupted and said, “Don’t worry about training him. He quit this morning.”

The look on Whitey’s face was of sheer disbelief.

“Well dude,” he said. “You can clock out and get outta here then.”

What these kids don’t understand is that they aren’t paid to work here for at least the first month. They’re paid to TRAIN to work here. To learn the art of timing in a kitchen, to learn where to stock things, how the day-to-day business is run.

When we hire someone, it’s an investment in OUR future, not just theirs.

To have New Dude collect his one-and-only paycheck didn’t just cost us his payroll; it cost us the price of SETTING up an employee with our accountant as well as the taxes we have to pay for the luxury of having another employee. It cost us the time that we had to spend to train him, where we could’ve been doing faster prep, or even (oh the luxury!) taking a nap.

New Dude clocked out and left after Whitey told him to leave. We busted our butts to get the lunch over with, and then for the rest of the afternoon we listened to Whitey rant about hiring new people, and of respect, and of work-ethic. We love our crew right now, and if we could clone them, we would do so in a heartbeat. We’re about two-people too short, however, and we do need to get someone new on board.

Whitey wants nothing of it.

Eventually, we’ll need to breakdown and go through this again, though. I just wish I had a crystal ball that could tell me if that new employee would be here in three months.

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One Response to It’s a shallow labor pool

  1. Jen says:

    We had the same problem at the athletic club that I worked at in Eugene. They just don’t make ’em like they used to!

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