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Old 06-20-2013, 08:37 AM
 
3,339 posts, read 8,865,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg Bach View Post
BETTER to over pay the young guys then underpay...if you can afford to hire people to do work for you it means you are a person of means...pay the guys and maybe talk to them about value? Are you pleased with the results?
Their work is fine. I am not pleased with progress. As for being a "person of means"...oh, please.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:40 AM
 
3,339 posts, read 8,865,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Bear View Post


So, three trips and they are done????

I think you are gertting a fair deal. You don't have crushed plants, uneven mulch, stuff all over the place (according to what you have told us) and are generally pleased with the work.

Keep encouraging and supervising, but at the end of the day, you're plus or minus $100 to what you think thr 'right' price is, you have a decent job, you actually found somone to do it, and the project will be done and you can move on.

Just for giggles (and maybe you can call the materials yard now and get a quote), next time you order mulch have it come in a pump truck and they spread it mechanically. Would it be twice the material price? I am curious how it compares to your labor plus materials bill.
OMG -- is that what I said??? No...the cart holds 17 cubic feet!! That's about 2/3 of a yard, and I mound it up a lot. Wow, what a typo that was! I just did two carts, piled into mountains, a total of 2 yards. Now I'm headed out to do more.
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:46 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 7,370,519 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
No, it simply means you have work which must be done but you can't do it. You would be surprised how many families of modest income hire a maid or lawn care. It's all a matter of priorities. Some of us would go without food to have a nice garden. it represents so much more than just pretty flowers and to an "aging" person like Tina and myself we will find ways to continue our favorite pastime even if it means reducing the time, energy and money we can spend on it. She is busy and has a time table she wants to meet and she will probably feel that 45 minutes of strenuous exercise in a few hours.

Tina, I like the idea of working along side them and also trying to get them when they are more rested.
Good luck.
Thank you for putting it so pleasantly, I don't think I could respond as nicely so I will leave it at that. I used to haul huge rocks (think the old New England walls around the farms) and mulch and soil, dig up heavy clay dirt and made my own gardens from scratch. I had a compost heap before most people who are snotty about organic gardening even knew what a garden was. I am now too old and arthritic to do all the hauling when it comes to big jobs so I have to pay for help at times and it means giving up something not because I am filthy rich. I don't understand where the idea comes from that it you have a large garden you must have too much money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaMcG View Post
Anyone can shovel mulch into a big garden cart, haul it to a bed and use a spade fork to spread it around. Anyone. It is a no-skill job. I have stressed that extreme care is a waste of time because time and rain will settle the mulch. I gave good instructions, and I told him not to be anal. I've just done two yards in two hours, and that included a long break. You spread five yards in five hours -- that's terrific!! These two young men, both 17, used up 18 manhours (9 hours each) to load and spread 6 yards.

As for motivation, these kids knock themselves out at football, and they don't get paid for football. There is a work ethic that needs to be learned here. I don't think they're intentionally being slow, but they're probably thinking more of the money at the end of the say (tax free cash) than getting a lot done. That's shortsighted, too, because if you want to be hired back for a job, you have to do a good job AND do it efficiently. My husband had a cow when I told him we had paid $180 to have 6 yards of mulch spread, and I don't blame him.

Now I am in a quandary. I'll talk to the kid. I really do want to hire him for yard work. He needs the money, I need the help.
Tina be honest. Tell him what you were able to do as an old slow lady, and what other gardeners you know have told you it takes them. Explain that you appreciate the care they are taking but that you cannot afford to pay them for double the time it should take. If said nicely and showing you would like to be fair.. They may either work faster for the last part or make you a deal for the whole job instead of the by the hour. There could be any number of compromises, especially if you tell them you appreciate the work and will have jobs in the future if you can come to a fair for everyone understanding. I believe people are innately good until they prove to me otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaMcG View Post
OMG -- is that what I said??? No...the cart holds 17 cubic feet!! That's about 2/3 of a yard, and I mound it up a lot. Wow, what a typo that was! I just did two carts, piled into mountains, a total of 2 yards. Now I'm headed out to do more.
LOL that miscalculation had me in stitches... I kept saying now I've got to see this cart!!! Tina is some strong lady!
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Mayberry
34,099 posts, read 14,595,177 times
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Maybe Tina, you use your shovel as a spreading tool much more effectively than the boys, not so much work with the spade, my Dad and i spread with a shovel/wrist action only...very hard, around plants and such. He is 84 I am 60. We wish we could find someone for 10.00 an hour. We do 4-6 ", shoveling out from the back of a trailer.

So maybe you are just more effective/efficient?
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:54 PM
 
3,339 posts, read 8,865,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J&Em View Post
Tina be honest. Tell him what you were able to do as an old slow lady, and what other gardeners you know have told you it takes them. Explain that you appreciate the care they are taking but that you cannot afford to pay them for double the time it should take. If said nicely and showing you would like to be fair.. They may either work faster for the last part or make you a deal for the whole job instead of the by the hour. There could be any number of compromises, especially if you tell them you appreciate the work and will have jobs in the future if you can come to a fair for everyone understanding. I believe people are innately good until they prove to me otherwise.



LOL that miscalculation had me in stitches... I kept saying now I've got to see this cart!!! Tina is some strong lady!
Who you calling an old slow lady?? I'm 62 -- I don't feel it, and okay, I am looking older, but I am very very limber, not arthritic, and I can really move when I need to. I could also lose about five cubic yards of ballast! I rested for a couple hours, took a jet bath, and I'm good to go now. Gonna make me a homemade pizza and have a glass of wine.

I did talk to the kid. He wanted to work for free today; he did feel bad, even before I said anything. He pulled up to his house, saw me finishing up the pile (I did 4 yards by lunchtime), and I think he was stunned.
He will work for me again this weekend -- without his friend. I don't want to pay someone I don't know. I want this kid to get the money. He is saving for college, and the K-State rates were just jacked up by Brownback. He now knows what is expected of him and to help him achieve that, I'm going to work with him for the first hour and show him the little tips and tricks I use to save time and effort.

Hahaha!! Still -- it's a very nice cart! A dump cart and everything! I'd be lost without it.

Last edited by TinaMcG; 06-20-2013 at 05:16 PM..
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:49 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 17,305,304 times
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OK, I am going to have a curmudgeonly moment here so bear with me.

I paint houses for a living. I have, over the years and quite a few times, hired friends' teenagers to do "grunt work" for $10 per hour cash. Which is really quite excellent money.

With only one exception (and I remember that kid fondly) I've had to babysit teenagers who really aren't interested in, you know, doing actual WORK, have stern talks with them about not spending, literally, half their time texting (my suggestion that they leave the cell phone in the car and just check it on breaks was met with incredulity and snorts of derision), and I have also been met with astonishment when I expressed that showing up two hours later than you said you would be here is really not all that cool.

And I am extremely loosey-goosey and relaxed as a boss, but I do expect that a: the person will actually be, primarily, WORKING when I am paying that person for, you know, working, and b: will show up and do what they're being paid to do, and if they get hung up somewhere else that's OK, life happens, but just CALL OR TEXT and LET ME KNOW.

So anyway...yes I agree that paying a fair, fixed price is probably a better deal. And that way these kids will realise that the faster and more efficiently they work, the more money it comes out to be for them per hour. Win-win all around.
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:20 PM
 
3,339 posts, read 8,865,353 times
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Well, this isn't the first time this kid has done work for me, and he is always a gem. Never a complaint. I have even had him plant things, cut things back, remove diseased rose bushes and weed, and he does a good job. He also did a lot of mulching here two years ago when we got the last megaload. As for those who say it's good to have two kids because they will compete, I don't think so. I think having his friend help out was a drag on his productivity. I guess he is at an age where he needs to learn work ethics. He isn't really spoiled. His parents are great people and the deal is, if he wants money over the summer, he has to work for it. No handouts from them.

Geeze, I'm tired tonight! Wonder why?
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:47 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 17,305,304 times
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Well their psyches are malleable and ever-changing at that age. But there are still valuable life lessons to be learned.

And, umm, no wonder you are tired!!
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 50,744,254 times
Reputation: 47769
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaMcG View Post
Geeze, I'm tired tonight! Wonder why?
I think Em had you confused with me when she was talking about "slow old lady"!

Will you be "all stove up" in the morning? Hope it isn't too bad but I know you felt good getting so much done. You are lucky to have a nice young man willing to help you and I hope you can work things out with him for the rest of the summer. Rest well.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,794 posts, read 4,602,813 times
Reputation: 3659
Tina,
You are a nice person. It's good you take the time and patience to
pay a neighbor kid and train him to do work in the yard. Not everyone will
do that, they just bad mouth kids so much anymore.
Teenagers can be trying at times, but your patience is admirable.
You are also teaching him new skills, skills that in the future he may use to
work for a lawn service in the summertime while he is in college.
Hope he also helps you out too, you never know, he could be a landscaper
some day.
Sounds silly, but that is how people get into professions, by other people
taking the time to show them how to do things.
Now send him over when he's done at your place....
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