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Thread: How to get time off

  1. #121
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    It's been quite a few years since I had employees, but the biggest problem I encountered was getting people to take their job seriously.

    High school kids are under the impression that farming is all about driving new trucks, tractors, four wheelers with tobacco juice running down their chin. The stigma that farming was a "last resort" occupation was always alive and well with most of the employees I had.

  2. #122
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    Well, I've gone from a staff of part time high schoolers, to full time Hispanics and my brother, to part time high schoolers and my brother and a Hispanic to, soon, two Hispanics and my brother and a couple high schoolers... farm size from 100 to 140 to 300 to 280 to 560... we had more employees at 100 cows than we have now at 280... your problem cousinit is that you don't believe in the most important mantra...Pat your employees money and give them time to spend it. At 100 cows I had 6 part time kids. You need more employees if your refuse to milk your cows. Expecting one guy to work 6 days a week and never be flexible for other days off is, quite frankly, unreasonable. I don't care if your discussions with the individual included it or not. As an employer you can't be naive to the need for other days off, it's irresponsible of you and you brought this issue on yourself by not being an understanding reasonable employer.

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  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by drdiederich View Post
    Well, I've gone from a staff of part time high schoolers, to full time Hispanics and my brother, to part time high schoolers and my brother and a Hispanic to, soon, two Hispanics and my brother and a couple high schoolers... farm size from 100 to 140 to 300 to 280 to 560... we had more employees at 100 cows than we have now at 280... your problem cousinit is that you don't believe in the most important mantra...Pat your employees money and give them time to spend it. At 100 cows I had 6 part time kids. You need more employees if your refuse to milk your cows. Expecting one guy to work 6 days a week and never be flexible for other days off is, quite frankly, unreasonable. I don't care if your discussions with the individual included it or not. As an employer you can't be naive to the need for other days off, it's irresponsible of you and you brought this issue on yourself by not being an understanding reasonable employer.

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    He wants to work the amount of hours he works. Or I should say he wants his check to look like it does. To get another guy enough hours, his check would be cut in 2.

    I'm not irresponsible, Dan. I paid a human resource management firm a fee to help us. This is the hiring model they came up with. We had more employees last year. One guy left because not enough hours. Then the other guy wanted every weekend off. We hired a high schooler to do one weekend day. That still wasnt good enough, he wanted every Saturday & Sunday off.

    That's when we sought the advice of the Agri-staff USA. We looked at how many cows, how many hours, other chores. Human resource professional said we need one good guy, not 2 guys. Not enough work for 2 guys. Hispanics do not like part-time work. They prefer either an 8 hour shift or a 12 hour shift. Well we have a split shift, 5 hours in the morning & 4 hours at nite. Very hard to fill according to Agri-Staff.

    We also asked him about relief milkers. He said he is not aware of any reliable method to find relief milkers.

    Thanks for everyone's input. We will tough it out.

    I talked with several neighbors who said their Hispanics never get a day off.

  4. #124
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    And with all due respect, Dan, if you were so good at the employee thing or enjoyed it so much, why did you go the robot route.

  5. #125
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    Cousinit, you are definitely at a tough size for managing employees. Too much work for one full time, and not enough for two (if I'm understanding correctly). Then throw in that you are not in this for the long haul, and you've got your current situation.

    I'm overstaffed myself, but it does give me some pretty good flexibility. I have three people on my Saturday night shift when only two are necessary. But I also give those three people the flexibility to rotate turns taking that shift off so they can enjoy their Saturday nights. But if they want to work, they can. I also have some employees that do not like being asked to come in when somebody else is sick and others that have no problem with it. It's a juggling act sometimes but we usually get things done.

    If you were in it for the long haul, I'd say bite the bullet and get a second person. There's always something that can be done around a farm. In your current situation? Well, not much I can say there.

  6. #126
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    Cousinit, my farm is very similar to yours. I have one full time milking both shifts. One to one and a half days off per week. I've found that treating them well and being patient with hiring the right person goes further than money will.


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  7. #127
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    We'd hire another guy but not crazy about the thought of a guy leaving a job to come work for us & we only need him for a few months.

  8. #128

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    Glad to see some people on here have a heart and a head. Milklotsofcows is right, give your employees some worship and respect when deserved and they will bust your ass for you. Getting mad because the guy wants one milking off, is probably going to make him want more off.


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  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdeere4630 View Post
    Glad to see some people on here have a heart and a head. Milklotsofcows is right, give your employees some worship and respect when deserved and they will bust your ass for you. Getting mad because the guy wants one milking off, is probably going to make him want more off.


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    Worship???

    Only one guy I worship and it ain't my employee.

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by cousinit View Post
    And with all due respect, Dan, if you were so good at the employee thing or enjoyed it so much, why did you go the robot route.
    Just because i understand employees doesn't mean i want to milk my cows with them. I believe there is a better way. That's why. I never said i enjoyed managing them all but i never complained about it like you do and i certainly seem to have a better way of managing them. You need more part time help. If you can't get it than its on you. End of discussion.

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    Last edited by drdiederich; 04-17-2017 at 03:22 PM.
    DiederichFarm
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  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by drdiederich View Post
    Just because i understand employees doesn't mean i want to milk my cows with them. I believe there is a better way. That's why. I never said i enjoyed managing them all but i never complained about it like you do and i certainly seem to have a better way of managing them. You need more part time help. If you can't get it than its on you. End of discussion.

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    So glad you have all the answers. Did you read the part where he doesn't want his hours reduced?

  12. #132
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    Just to clarify, you have 10-14 hours between milkings because of soccer games in the evenings, correct? So why doesn't he start earlier in the morning so it's 12-12 and still make it to his games?

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baazevedo1 View Post
    Just to clarify, you have 10-14 hours between milkings because of soccer games in the evenings, correct? So why doesn't he start earlier in the morning so it's 12-12 and still make it to his games?
    He doesn't want to get up.

  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by cousinit View Post
    He doesn't want to get up.
    That would be a no go here

  15. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by cousinit View Post
    So glad you have all the answers. Did you read the part where he doesn't want his hours reduced?
    You know... i wonder if you ever listen to yourself. I mean, really. You are in here complaining...as usual about something....this time that the employee ISN'T working...that sounds like availability of hours to me. That he won't work Sundays...sounds like available hours to me. That blah blah blah... there is no solve that is good enough for you. Ever. It's always someone else's fault...they don't want this or they won't do that. It's YOUR farm. There is only one thing to blame...the owners. In the end every issue is resolved there. Always. If you can't get employees, it is on you. If you only get bad ones, its on you.

    Take responsibility for your role as owner and manager. I know you don't like to hear it but, dang it, it is the truth.

    People need to vent now and then but it seems never ending with you and your employees. Sooner or later you need to look to the person in the mirror and ask what you aren't doing or what you should do different and then...DO IT.

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  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by drdiederich View Post
    You know... i wonder if you ever listen to yourself. I mean, really. You are in here complaining...as usual about something....this time that the employee ISN'T working...that sounds like availability of hours to me. That he won't work Sundays...sounds like available hours to me. That blah blah blah... there is no solve that is good enough for you. Ever. It's always someone else's fault...they don't want this or they won't do that. It's YOUR farm. There is only one thing to blame...the owners. In the end every issue is resolved there. Always. If you can't get employees, it is on you. If you only get bad ones, its on you.

    Take responsibility for your role as owner and manager. I know you don't like to hear it but, dang it, it is the truth.

    People need to vent now and then but it seems never ending with you and your employees. Sooner or later you need to look to the person in the mirror and ask what you aren't doing or what you should do different and then...DO IT.

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    Sounds like I hit a nerve.

    You should see the employees we tried that are no longer employed here that I never even talked about on here. There are some doozies out there.

    This thread started as how to get time off. The only way we (and most small farmers) are going to get time off is to sell the cows. We know that. And are working towards it.

    Gee, where I work, it's not always the owner's fault. Why do you think everything is the owner's fault? Owners are not in control of everything.

  17. #137
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    He wants to switch Saturdays off to Sundays off. That does not mean he wants less hours. He wants to sleep in. That does not mean less hours either.

    He does not want less scheduled hours. I just want extra time off to be mutually agreeable. This summer he can have tons of time off because the high school kid can work lots of hours, but I bet he won't give up many hours.

  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by cousinit View Post
    Who said he's unhappy?
    You did !

    From all the shenanigans you describe it sounds unhappy to me . Employees leaving on short notice, grumpy owner , slow dairy to work in ... The more you do of what you've done the more you'll get of what you've got , or something like that.
    "Those people who say they have no time for bodily exercise will soon have to find time for illness ". Joseph Pilates

  19. #139

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    My husband works the farm FT 12-14 hrs a day 7 days a week, we have not been able to take a day off in 4 years. I work FT on the farm and a FT job off the farm. Dairy size is about 190 milking, raise our own heifers, and grow our own crops. For 2 years we had 2 hired full time Hispanics I would have agreed with help and how you treat them and all will be merry. Although last summer (May) 1 left without notice or replacement, that has not been past practice (because he didn't get along with his brother-in-law anymore- no fault of our own) Took us 6 weeks to find a new guy to replace 1. With A LOT of crappy hires that only lasted 1-2 days at the most a week, because they had to actually work not sit and drive tractor and skid loaders all day. Got a new guy worked for about 6 weeks and then decided to leave and take the 1 remaining good guy with. That was for a false promise of greener pastures in South Carolina digging ditches by hand. That was the end of 3x milking. Two weeks into doing the work ourselves, we hired a Hispanic lady with prior agreed upon housing and wages and the expectations laid out ahead of time. She didn't want to work and wanted to make $1500 every 2 weeks without skills and not a quality milker. She couldn't figure out why in a 2 week period and working only 36 hours why her check was smaller. FYI we include housing, heat, electric, internet and netflix. She quit because with a 2 weeks notice she could not work Christmas night milking, I had to work that night, needless to say we did not get Christmas this year due to the lack of people willing to work. The idea of compromise is BS. She had off whenever she needed (every Sunday and went to Vegas for 4 days and extra days off during the week because 8 hour days were to much for her to work). She worked for us for 4 months and had more time off than ANY of my employees combined. Communication is very important and we rely on Google to help with communication and our Vet clinic has a fluent veterinarian and we call her in when we have a problem. We take VERY good care of our employees. They do not drive, I will take them to places so they do not get picked up by the police. One of the guys the left to go to greener pastures has since returned and is very happy to be back and appreciates that we rehired him and loaned him the $1000 to get back here. If I will not do it I do not expect my employees to do it. We are still looking to hire another, but wasted another $15 on advertising for help and not a single response. We are not the only ones that are not getting responses. We had meetings with the extension office with no success or pointers on how to fix the employee problem. We are open for suggestions.

  20. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lead Cow View Post
    You did !

    From all the shenanigans you describe it sounds unhappy to me . Employees leaving on short notice, grumpy owner , slow dairy to work in ... The more you do of what you've done the more you'll get of what you've got , or something like that.
    I don't recall saying he was unhappy. Did I say that ?��

    He is happy because he gets every Sunday off & gets to milk whenever he wants.

    I just didnt want to have to help hubby milk Friday nite while they are on a wild goose chase & they'll be pissed cuz they wasted their time going to the airport & couldn't translate anyhow.

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