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DWSmith

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I have a possible order upcoming for a restaurant for 45 table tops. Knowing I can't do that solo I decided to contact the local Employment Secrity Commission office to post a part-time job opening. I was very specific with the requirements since the last thing I need is to run a woodworking school instead of a woodworking shop and since the ESC will screen the applicants, I wouldn't have to wade through a lot of non-qualified applicants.

The first application looked good so I gave him a call to set an interview time. I called at 10:30 am and actually woke him up. I don't know if he was working all night or what else might have been going on. I gave him the address and said to come on down and he never showed.

The second application wasn't what I was looking for so I never called.

I did hire a young man from my church but that hasn't lasted. On the first day he asked me to pay him for the day and I replied with a no, I wasn't going to start that. But after he left he came back in saying he didn't have enough gas to get home, I caved. Not a good way to start off. That was on Wednesday and on Friday he acted surprised when I said he would be paid the next Friday so I had time to figure everything out.

He called me this week asking if I could pay him early, stating he had some things he had to take care of. After his screw-ups with packing the boards for shipping, forgetting to include Board Butter in at least two boxes and shorting one box, which cost me additional postage and time plus he loaded a board in a box upside down which just happened to be the one UPS dropped gouging the cutting surface, and asking again to be paid early after I told him not to ask, I cut him loose when he came for his money.

The fellow who worked for me part-time during the move last year was drawing unemployment benefits and not reporting what I was paying him. Since I sent a 1099 form for what I paid, he has evidently decided I threw him under the bus and will not speak or acknowledge my presence. BTW He lives across the street. At least his children wave.

There is supposed to be a job shortage and a worker surplus in this country yet it is tough to find someone who is really willing to work. What is wrong?
 

Salty dog

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It is amazing. Even trying to find a good Server is difficult. Good cooks are even harder.
 

Keith Neal

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Trying to find good tax preparers was always a pain. One I hired was a retired CPA who had been chief of the audit division of a big city IRS office. He first complained about not making enough money. I paid a percentage of fees on tax returns prepared, and he took several hours to complete a simple 1040, so no, he didn't make much. And he treated my clients like they were in an IRS audit. Bye.
 

WildBoar

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Sorry to hear of your trobles, David. It's admirible going to the employment commission, but there are many who just go through the motions so they can collect unemployment and are not all that crazy about actually working. It might be helpful to post some fliers at the grocery store if they have a bulletin board. Also could talk to any of your material suppliers to see if they have leads on people looking for work.

Congrats on the big order -- I hope you are able to get it all done on time and make some $ on it.
 

Chifunda

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Would it be too much trouble for you to move your shop 250 miles to the south? I'd be happy to help you out, but it would be a hell of a commute.:)

Your best bet might be to find an old geezer like me who loves woodworking, doesn't need to make a lot of money and understands that a day's pay commands an honest day's work.

Hang in there...sometimes you've got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince.
 

DeepCSweede

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David,

Talk to a couple of local finish carpentry type of company's and see if they have laid off people who they would consider hiring back. they probably won't recommend their top couple but may give you some quality leads. With the construction downturn, there has to be some quality people out there.

One of my former good friends was a CNC machinist that got laid off and was collecting unemployment and decided that he was making more money on unemployment and being a bum than trying to find a decent job. He milked it until he lost his unemployment the first time, skipped out on his rental and moved in with his sister (I was his landlord), and then after unemployment was reinstated he milked it for another 42 weeks (this is why he is former, I don't respect him enough to be around him any more). I am sure there are lots of people out there like this, but I am sure there has to be some quality people too. Good luck.
 

kalaeb

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I open restaurants all across the country and believe me when I say you are not alone in the problems you are having. Finding quality employees has never been harder.
 

jm2hill

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Good luck Dave!
It would suck to not be able to fill that order!
 

bprescot

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This blows my mind... I remember talking to a former colleague that got laid off but quickly found another job. His thoughts, though I discredited them at the time, was that, after getting a good number of interviews and offers from nearly all of the places he interviewed, we didn't really have an employment problem right now, we really had an employee problem. Apparently hiring manager after hiring manager told him that he was the first truly qualified candidate they'd had in months... Your experience, Dave, seems to lend some additional support to that view.
 

Pabloz

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But isn't there a recession going on with all time HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT?????
 

Mint427

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Hi Dave. I have a small business and have success in hiring part-time help using Craig's List. I only consider those who post CV's which in your case would include woodworking background. Hope that helps and good luck!
 

ajhuff

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Doesn't sound like anything has changed in at least 20 years to me. I always tell people you can get a good feel for the available labor pool by going to McDonald's. If the service sucks, you can bet that your job applicants will too because that's what you've got to work with.

-AJ
 

Pabloz

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What about a local community college/ trade school w/a wood working/carpentry program. My students are always in demand and I get great feedback from my advisory committee.
 

Eamon Burke

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Heck, I work at a catering company and a college...we can't even find a good dishwasher!

Its because of high un employment...good workers are the only ones with jobs, and they are being saddled with doing everything, while all the suckfish are trying their hand at something new.

Plus everyone assumes that, worst case scenario, someone else will take care of them.
 

ajhuff

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Its because of high un employment...good workers are the only ones with jobs, and they are being saddled with doing everything, while all the suckfish are trying their hand at something new.
This may be the most brilliant observation I have read in years. I think you are spot on.

-AJ
 

Burl Source

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I would suggest contacting local cabinet shops.
They are bound to know of someone.

Another idea is high school wood shop. When I was in high school both my brother and I were hired by a local cabinet shop for part time work.
The teacher should be able to tell you who to hire and who to stay away from.
 

JBroida

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its funny, but i know quite a few people who keep saying to me that they wont take a job that pays less than their unemployment so they arent looking for jobs... weirds me out
 

ThEoRy

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It is amazing. Even trying to find a good Server is difficult. Good cooks are even harder.

Tell me about it. I'm looking for a grill cook now and after wading through all the jokers I finally find an applicant I feel is worth an interview and he no shows on me today! Go figure. You need work. I may offer you a position. WHA HAPPEN YOU GUY!!
 

Deckhand

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I feel your pain. Usually doing the work can be taught to someone eager. I hope you find someone with character and a good work ethic.
 

DWSmith

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Craigs List - Hadn't thought of that but will look.

The local high schools, community colleges and colleges have all done away with their shop classes. I called all within a 30 mile radius and got no where last year.

The last guy said he had done finish work but couldn't read a tape measure.

I will try some of the local cabinet shops to see if they know of a good worker who needs work.

Maybe I will continue to work it solo until I get to big to do so. At least I know the boss and can argue with him if needed.

Thanks all!
 

ThEoRy

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try the illegal Mexicans, hard workers I tell you.
No. That's exactly why skilled workers in America are forced to take lesser wages than they are worth. Miguel the illegal has 9 roommates and can afford to work for $8.00 an hour. John Smith, a skilled worker, is married with children, needs work and is only offered $10.00-$10.50 because of illegal labor wage competition.

Don't tell me I'm making things up either. I've seen it a hundred times before and even was John Smith a few times.
 

memorael

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No. That's exactly why skilled workers in America are forced to take lesser wages than they are worth. Miguel the illegal has 9 roommates and can afford to work for $8.00 an hour. John Smith, a skilled worker, is married with children, needs work and is only offered $10.00-$10.50 because of illegal labor wage competition.

Don't tell me I'm making things up either. I've seen it a hundred times before and even was John Smith a few times.
Do you know any Illegal's? cause the ones that I used to work with must have been millionaires or something because they all had their own apartment and the owners of the place highly regarded them because and I quote "million's of people have worked in these kitchens, of those millions 5 of them still work here because they work the hardest" guess what they were.
 

Bishopmaker

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Either you can't find good workers or large companies would rather pay less and get so/so workers.
 

Eamon Burke

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No. That's exactly why skilled workers in America are forced to take lesser wages than they are worth. Miguel the illegal has 9 roommates and can afford to work for $8.00 an hour. John Smith, a skilled worker, is married with children, needs work and is only offered $10.00-$10.50 because of illegal labor wage competition.

Don't tell me I'm making things up either. I've seen it a hundred times before and even was John Smith a few times.
Yeah, it's not really a concrete comparison. We take home different amounts, and can buy different things with that money.

I worked a sushi bar, and got paid a flat salary, working 65 hours a week, my wife and daughter were at home(then only one daughter). I could barely cover my bills, and our one luxury was a Netflix account. We never ate out, we didn't go on a single date, I didn't even purchase a pair of shoes. I got 2 knives and a stone with my income tax return that year.

Meanwhile, the guy in the back that crept across the border got paid under the table, and was being paid out 60% of what I was. But in order to keep him there, the boss used their old, paid off house to shelter their under the table workers, and drove them to work in a van in the morning. So he had no rent, no car insurance/repairs/payments, no gas, no food, no electric bill, and no taxes. He sent some of his money back to family in Mexico, where a liver operation to save his father's life cost him what he spent on beer in a month--$700usd.

He tried to tell me one day that I made more money because I was a sushi chef. I then compared paychecks, asked about his bills and how much the exchange rate to mexico was, and what that could buy back home. The end result? He worked one less day a week than I did, and got 212% more than I got paid. It's not my boss' fault, or his. Nobody's scheming this thing out, it's just the end result of a backward system.


And as far as illegal immigrants working hard--you bet! If you walked 1200 miles through Mexico/Central America, got raped, robbed, and beaten a few times, thrown off the roof of a train, left to die of thirst in the desert by a coyote, snuck past a few dozen varieties of armed law enforcement, faced drug cartels and murdering thugs, and lived a double life in a foreign land to feed your family in Guatemala--yeah, you're probably a go-getter.

There is an implication, however, that it is morally acceptable to pay someone however little they are willing to take to do a job. If an out of work roofer comes to you and says "My family has just enough money to buy food, and used clothing to send our children to school, but we can't make rent this month. I will re-roof your house, I can tell it needs it. You pay materials, and I will do the job for $400 because it will take 2 weeks and that is what I need to cover rent at the end of the month." He may be willing to do anything for his family, and might be grateful and happy to do it. But that doesn't make it right.


It may seem a bit :eek:fftopic: and I hope nobody's offended by it. But it is the heart of the issue--you know, in Georgia, they shooed illegal immigrants off the farms, and now nobody is doing the work. They either can't hack the work, or they aren't willing to do it. Don't try to tell me that there is something most Americans wouldn't do for the right price--and farm work isn't even morally objectionable! They just said "I could go out and break my back again for another $50 for the day. All I want to do is sleep, the work is exhausting. I got paid for 2 weeks, now I have $600, I'd lose $50 of it to not go to work today". So they don't go--it isn't worth it. Get them paid so that they go out and buy a home, and a car, and start a family...they aren't about to let that go for the luxury of a day's rest.
 

add

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Eamon, what a wonderful, even-handed thought out post, imho.

Amazing how this situation effects so many directly or indirectly...

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Dave, I would think the right person is out there.
Perhaps as your business continues to grow, even someone you could mentor and take on as an apprentice.

Best of luck!
 

Keith Neal

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"And as far as illegal immigrants working hard--you bet! If you walked 1200 miles through Mexico/Central America, got raped, robbed, and beaten a few times, thrown off the roof of a train, left to die of thirst in the desert by a coyote, snuck past a few dozen varieties of armed law enforcement, faced drug cartels and murdering thugs, and lived a double life in a foreign land to feed your family in Guatemala--yeah, you're probably a go-getter. "

Eamon, you are right about that, especially the Guatemalans. I lived in the Stuart, FL region for a long time, and knew and saw many of them. They were the hardest working people I have ever seen. Many who had managed to get a green card came to me for tax returns, and always seemed to be honest. One man came in barefooted wearing shorts and a t-shirt. He had a business and needed a Schedule C, so had to have help. He had bought three used up school buses for $1500 each, fixed them up well enough to run, and delivered workers to the orange groves every day. He was paid by the grove people a set amount -- I think it was $2 -- a head a day for workers delivered. He declared over $100,000 and paid his taxes. And I actually believe he declared all his income.

Those are some good folks.
 

Johnny.B.Good

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Nice post Eamon.

It is a complicated issue, and like most complicated issues, there are no easy answers.
 
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