Hiring

artgirlee

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Aug 26, 2005
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15
From
Canada
Please Help me!

I have a frame shop & I just hired a lady who has worked one & a half day, being trained as she works for assembly (later to be trained for sales all things working out). She has been very well told that she is to use only the equipment, materials & methods taught by me in her training. So far, I have trained her only in elementary assembly. I have also told her that should I be in the shop & a customer arrives, "she may greet the customer & tell them that I will be right with you" (referring to me).

Well, yesterday I was working at the sales counter with a customer & though she had some work to do in the back, she greeted the customer & started to discuss the art they wanted framing. I asked my customer to be excused, then told the customer who I knew & who new me, that I would be right with them. I figured my employee would get the hint. Next thing she has mats coming out & I am getting annoyed. Again, asking to be excused, I walked over & said to my worker to continue her work in the back & said to the customer if they would please wait for me as I will have to help them as "she is a new worker and is not yet trained for sales". She got the hint & they waited.

Later I mentioned to her "don't take offense but I don't want you working with the customer until you are well trained". Her response was that I should not call her "she" in front of a customer. Whew! I did apologize & said I meant no offense. However, now I get to thinking - whow - that is quite something for her to say! isn't it!

I have a couple questions - I sure honor your opinions

1. What do you think - was I wrong?
2 If and when I would let someone go after a few days because of not meeting my standards - just not developing the way I feel they should - how much reason should I give them at termination.
3. What if they want specific reasons for terminating

I respect people very much & hate to offend in letting them go - I just want to do it the proper way so the least offense is given


Thank you all very much.
 

Maryann

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Shippensburg, PA 17257 USA
Not being there, it's hard to say who was wrong, but it sounded somewhat disrespectful to me. (you to her)

I would be pleased if a new employee took the initiative to help a customer rather than leave them standing there. I may have said something like "Susie just started here this week, why don't you work with her and take a look at some possiblities and I'll be with you soon." Your customer would not be left standing and your employee would get exposure and you would the have 'final' word.

We hired a university art student in the past few months to help out part time. I was very pleased when on her first day, she popped right out front when the first customer came in and tore into it. I was on the sidelines and offered some suggestions. In three months, she's grown into a valuable employee.

Everyone runs their shop differently and you need to do what's right for you.

Welcome to the Grumble.
 

Bob Doyle

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Jul 14, 2002
Posts
19,504
From
South Berwick, Maine
I think the hardest part of hiring is letting go of the control of your shop.

I respect your desire to keep your quality high, but a well known customer would have been a good person to "train" a new employee on.

Having said that I have to admit that in your shoes I probably would have been "put out" as well. I had a freind working in the shop with me hanging samples on the wall for me. And while she wasn't "trained" to do matting I had a customer ask her opinion. Next thing I knew I was out of the picture (no pun) and Donna and the customer were writing up orders and picking mats!

I felt annoyed, damnit its MY SHOP! but looking over the orders and the choices I have to admit she did a great job! If and when I do hire someone Donna is tops on the list!

If your new hire stays and shows initiative bite your tongue in front of the customers. Go over the order with her afterward and use it as a learnig experience for both of you. Also talk to the "new hire" and let her know that you do respect her, and appreciate the initiative she showed, but that you would prefer to call her to help instead of having her just show up, at least until you feel more comfortable.

Good luck and remember if she is asking for more work, give it to her! You'll be showing her respect and she'll appreciate that!
 

framah

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Mar 15, 2001
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Degobah
Business
death star driver
I would get rid of her right now!!
If she has this much disregard for your authority now , think what it will be like a few months from now!!
Tell her that what she did was not what you told her to do and it put everyone in an uncomfortable situation including the customer and you can't have that. Tell her that you just can't have someone working for you who will not follow instructions and you are going to end it right now before it goes any farther.

Calling her"she" is not a problem unless she is a he. It's amazing that she was offended by a something as simple as calling her she.

She was the one doing the offending so you have no problem. It is your store and your rules and forget about whether you are offending her or not which you did nothing to give her reason to feel offended except to put her back in her place. It's not about being friends, it's about running a business YOUR way. (...or the highway!!)
Consider this a learning experience for the both of you.
 

Framing Goddess

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4,309
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Cleveland, Ohio
This is what I tell myself when it is time to pop a pill down my cat's throat, "You are the alpha cat!" If I don't, then I get too silly with her, like apologizing to her and letting her get the upper hand and NOT getting a pill.

Girlee, YOU are the alpha framer. You very specifically told her what you wanted her to do in that situation, how many times? And then this employee had the nerve to take you to task? You should not have even had to say anything to her. If she ain't listening to you now, she never will.

Now, there is a very slim chance that this is just the type of self-motivated go-getter you need to charge up your business, if she proves to respect you. If she does not, then she will hold you hostage for the entire time of her employ with you. And it will end ugly and expensive. I am speaking directly from experience.

Tell her that you need some things to improve IMMEDIATELY if she wants to stay with you, tell her what they are, give her one more day and if there are no improvements, DUMP HER. Give her a check for the hours worked, smile and say, "I'm sorry, but this is not working out, have a nice day, goodbye."

edie the youdontneedtobeherfriend goddess
 

JbNormandog

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NJ
If she is a go getter and legitamately WANTS to help customers and take your overflow until your ready I would try her for 30 days.

If in that time it doesn't work boot her, but I wouldn't fault her for trying just yet.

I let all new hires it is a trial basis for 45 days. This gives me an out in case we don't mesh.

Like Maryann said we're not there you are, if you see something in her that you think can be an assest after some training keep her, if she has already left a bad taste in your mouth and you don't want her around boot her and get someone else that fits better.

A day and a half I think is too soon to boot unless you are sure it won't work , go with your gut, it's the only thing that doesn't lie (although sometimes it could be wrong).
 

Rozmataz

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Fingerlakes Region of NYS
Tough spot to be in.

She sounds like she takes the initiative but you had asked her not to. When she put you in a hard place between her and the customer - I would have probably reacted the same way. I think a conversation about personality styles with her might help... this is how you work and what you expect of her and draw the "line in the sand" so she understands that it is your shop.

Whether or not her aggressiveness (assertiveness!?) will be a plus for you and your business will not be evident until she is in the hot seat and actually working with customers. Maybe her idea of where she wants to be in your shop is not the same as what you expect.

You may want to ask her to "shadow" you as you help customers, rather than taking an active role until YOU are ready to give her the leeway to begin working the front counter. She may think she's already ready but you might need more assurance... And sometimes another person works differently but achieves the same or better level of outcome. If the level is not the same or better - then that is a problem.
 

mona

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May 15, 2005
Posts
175
From
Corvallis, Oregon
MMMM I would have to say give it a little longer maybe a week tops. You might just not mesh with her no matter what sometimes people just don't get along well. Don't wait you know in your gut by one week speaking from experience it just gets unbearable if you drag it out. Listen to that little voice in your head, or in my case the many voices in my head that speak to me!
 

Todd-Art4you

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Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Posts
122
From
Ontario, Canada
Go with your gut. My biggest concern here is that if she speaks to you like this now what will she be like when she becomes comfortable.
She needs to follow rules. Your rules not hers.
Employees are always a tricky thing. You have to make sure that you are ready to let go a little. But they need to know who the boss is.

Since you are in Canada here is something he may want to look at.
http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/factsheets/fs_termination.html
 

JbNormandog

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artgirlee,

Let us know what happens.

I feel vested in this somehow.
 

J Phipps TN

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Kingsport TN
I know this "sounds" like she was being aggressive in her sales but what it really sounds like to me is that she was just trying to get out of the work you had for her in the back and wasting time with a customer. I had an employee once who everytime a customer came in she thought it was time to waste time.

This will be something to watch out for. Sounds to me that you were pretty clear in your instructions.

I would give it at least a week and then make a decision. I would not invest any more time then that if you don't feel any better about her at the end of that time. 45 days is a long time to invest, just to start all over.

Jennifer

kaffeetrinker_2.gif
 

Lauren Tanzio

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Feb 24, 2005
Posts
46
From
Metairie, LA
I think you are right in saying that your new employee was out of line, but I don't think what you said to your customer was right. If I were a new employee, I would have felt like you belittled me in front of the customer. To me, what you basically said to the customer was "Please excuse my employee, she is not as smart as I am and can't help you." (and this is just reading, I don't know what your actual inflection was) It would have been especially insulting to someone with framing experience, which begs the question- Does this employee have any framing experience? The answer does change things somewhat.
 

artgirlee

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Aug 26, 2005
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Canada
No Framing experience whatsoever

Thanks all

I see you all responded well to point #1 (except edie)

any takers on the other 2?
 

Matoaka

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Apr 28, 2002
Posts
519
From
Albuquerque, NM
#1. Yes. First rule of good management is to never address a party by the third person; and never denigrate an employee in front of a customer.

#2. No reason needed in most states. But, then, I would never discharge someone after a day or two unless they were caught stealing. Especially someone who showed initiative. Relinguishing "control" is a real tuffy for many people who are sole proprietors. But you have to let people develope and feel some sort of "ownership/pride" in their career.

#3. Chances are, if you continue to deny her a positive place in your business, you won't have to worry about this one. She'll quit first.

Turn-over is very expensive. A little latitude on your part could go a long way in developing quality personnel. Stringent training programs are wonderful, if you have other employees to cover all the business areas while you and your new-hire are engaged. Otherwise, chill out a little and give yourself the space to grow WITH your new hires. You'll be less frazzled at the end of the day; and they'll be a lot happier.

After nearly 20 years in management, I can feel your frustration. Just don't act too quickly. And don't act of jealously for your shop. Sharing the pride will bring it's own reward.

Best of luck to you.
 

Al E

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Posts
446
From
Starrucca,PA,USA
INSUBORDINATION, plain and simple. And the follow up- trying to put the boss on the defensive. All this on the second day.

Taking any more chances with an employee like this is too risky. This seems to be a nuts and bolts business decision-----DON'T TAKE ANY MORE CHANCES WITH YOUR BUSINESS.

Even anguishing over this decision on the second day of employment makes this employee ,at best, counterproductive and ,at worst, a nightmare down the road.
 

LeighAnn

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Feb 26, 2005
Posts
494
From
Yamhill County Oregon
My first thought was "get rid of her now." If she can't follow your instructions after just a couple of days what's going to happen later? It takes a lot of time, energy and dollars to train someone. If your not comfortable with this person end it now. I had an employee that started walking over my husband and myself (we used to be pushovers) from day one. I never felt "comfortable" with this person but I kept her for a few months. A huge waste of training time.

I also had a employee that was at the shop basically to clean up after my husband and myself, and also do filing, dusting, etc. She took it upon herself to watch me help customers design their pieces. It was difficult for me to help the customers because I was paying my "gopher" to watch me work. Needless to say she didn't last too much longer. I don't know why I brought this up other than it still bugs me.
icon45.gif


Bottom line(s): (1)It is very expensive to train someone... make sure she's "the one" (2)This person is representing you and your store, make sure they follow your rules.
 

artgirlee

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Canada
JbNormandog & Al E & others

I do promise to update...thanks for your interest.

I decided to be more patient, she only comes in 2 x per week during her training, and I will look closely for any more insubordination signs.

I will keep you posted.
 

stud d

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next too you
This is a double-edged sword...first there is an employee trying to show the go-getem attittude, on the other hand you are to be listened and respected. I personally think it takes about 3 months to see if a relationship works. Now work can be different. I watched a former employer higher someone after myself (left on wonderful terms, she is a great gal). Now she was looking for someone like me, but before I was there there was another girl...and I am sure when she hired me she was looking for someone like her (sorry if i lost you in that). Well it worked out for both of us.
However with her new employee it did not. She was not sure as to what she wanted from her job, life, career, art work, the list goes on. Now it was hard, because she could talk to someone and make them feel so comfy. She was a cute schoomzer. If she could have only been trained, she could have been deadly.
She was not motivated and your employee is. So try to give her a chance, motivation is half the battle of any employee. On the other hand I am a control freak, so I would watch to see if there are any other signs.
Patrick Leeland
 

artgirlee

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Update

My employee turned out to be a nice person with a good work ethic. It's not going to work out, however. The other day she was banging the garbage against everything in sight & stuff ws falling off the shelves, and when I discussed it with her at the end of the day - telling her to be a lot more careful she said - "oh thats good advice". It seems everytime I correct her doing things contrary to the way she was taught she responds with "oh well, there is always new things to learn!"

Today I told her things just aren't working out, & that she seems to be fighting the equipment & she just doesn't seem to be getting the hang of things (which is true).

I guess I should listen to my gut next time.

back to the drawing board.

Thanks all
 
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