I know that barn owners work super hard themselves. I will never deny this. But I also think, in general, people take more pride in something that is theirs versus something that's just a job. What really motivates a worker to give more of themselves to that job is feeling like they're part of a real team. (But for the love of all things, please don't refer to them as teammates or your team. Coming from corporate America, it feels super demeaning.) Make them feel like an appreciated and important member who's work makes a difference. The person who "just cleans stalls" is probably the first one to notice that your horse came in from the paddock with a twisted shoe. Or a cut on his leg. That person probably saved you a vet bill by tending to that issue. Tell that person thank you. You know what? Even if that person hasn't found something wrong with your horse lately, tell them thank you anyway.
I know most of my audience here is the stall cleaner and often the barn owner as well. So you don't really need this message. But it was something that's been bothering me as I see more of these owners posting this same story. And I just needed to talk about it.
Every time I hear someone say "nobody wants to work anymore" my head explodes a little 🤯🤯 it's soooooo frustrating. And people acting like barn workers should accept poverty wages and break their backs for jobs that provide minimal (if any) benefits and no retirement is just.... I can't.ReplyDelete
Right? All of that!Delete
OOOHH I want to share this so badly but it's gonna start DRAMAReplyDelete
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125% agree. Not to mention that this minimum wage-paying, back-breaking job is also typically 12+ hours a day, 6-7 days a week, in ALL weather with no sick time or holidays. I would hazard a guess that most barn workers do it because they love the animals and are trying to get by, not because of the perks of the job. A thank you is the least they should get on a daily basis, but seriously, do better!ReplyDelete
Yes, exactly. Either the love or the animal, or they may be in a tough place regarding citizenship and their options are limited.Delete
These and posts looking for "working students" that pay $0 really piss me off. You're looking for an indentured servant, not a student. Everyone deserves a living wage and to be told they're appreciated and doing a good job.ReplyDelete
So much that! How are these working students supposed to pay their phone bill and car insurance? It's not like they have any time left over to have a paying job too.Delete
Got me a solid soapbox!Delete
That mentality you've recognized reminds me a lot of the "Where are all the good grooms these days??? Young people don't want to work anymore!!" Like . . . they're in college and working actual jobs because the world gets more expensive by the day, and working a well paying job with benefits while leasing a singular horse is a lot less soul sucking than being a slave to someone who barely knows what a W2 is.ReplyDelete
I do want to have my own facility someday. But when I think about how you would compensate people in a way that's similar to a traditional job, it's difficult to put together. Even something like time off is difficult to formulate because the animals need to be cared for every day. BUT, if you recognize that the job is just going to be more physically and time demanding than other positions, you have to accommodate your staff's needs accordingly. And there are endless ways to do that, whether it's lessons for career advancement, employer provided meals, or even something like free/discounted medspa because of how physically demanding the work is.
You really just need to pay them, and allow them some time off on occasion. Time off isn't that hard if you have enough staff. In my case, I have just one worker everyday, so when he has time off, the chores fall to me. But he lets me know in advance whenever possible, so I am able to plan accordingly.Delete
I like how you put this. I work very hard because I'm living my dream. I can't expect others to do that.ReplyDelete
Exactly! I know that I like things certain ways, and that those things may take more time and may or may not be utterly ridiculous. So for those things, I do them myself and don't expect anyone else to do it or understand it. Cleaning stalls for other people's horses probably isn't really anyone's dream, so you can't expect them to put their entire selves into that.Delete
I know exactly what you are talking about, there is also a realy shortage of people wanting to enter the horse industry and get paid. My friend I rode with in Dec/Jan can hire an assistant at ~$1000 a week, she can do under the table or legit invoicing, whatever the person wants and she can't find anyone, not a college student, nothing. It was disappointing because that's a pretty good salary for the horse industry, does not include extra money made at horse shows, and if I still lived in the area I'd fucking quit my job and go work for her because I would be able to get health insurance through my husband's job and would come out ahead versus the job I work now.ReplyDelete
I'm sure there is a shortage of workers too, especially for something specialized like horse care. But I think the health insurance thing is a real deterrent. That, and is the $1000 a week for 6 day weeks? 10 hour days? It's probably not as enticing as it may seem once you factor in cost of living right now, plus no insurance, etc.Delete
haha so I rarely come back to check comments but I wanted to check this one. They are not 10 hour days more like 6. Even with not including health insurance there are more options now for health insurance outside of a traditional employer than when I was a working student and dependent on my moms. But yeah in California its pretty tough, but I could definitely swing it if I had been in my old apartment in NorCal (rent control)Delete
That honestly sounds like a great job for the right candidate! I'd work 6 hour days for that pay!Delete