Summer has descended on the island, and with it the promise of all the riches and spoils of a fun summer job! Or something like it.
I get flooded with requests for jobs around this time of year. Thankfully I can hire on nearly twice my regular staff to accommodate the influx of business we receive on the trails and in lessons and pony rides. High school and college students are easy to find, and many are willing to do any job here, which frees up my full-time employees to finish projects and further training while the young whippersnappers clean the stalls and fans and wash racks.
I love hiring young employees that have little job experience. I get the opportunity to train these kids on how to be good employees. Sure, I'd love it if they are also God's gift to horses, but I'll settle for them knowing which is the business end. I love the young employees because I get to be the first boss to tell them what is appropriate to wear to a job, and why talking on their cell phone is not ok during their shift, and that they need to walk faster when they are on my time. And they rarely get offended or defensive; they take the constructive criticism for what it is and improve! If I tell a 30-something to walk faster when they loiter I get attitude and complaints about their ancient joints. There are of course the hiccups; at least one high schooler will oversleep their 7am shift this summer. More than once. I'll have to be short labor a few hours because I have to send a girl home to change when she shows up in yoga pants. Serious pet peeve of mine: if I can't tell if you slept in what you are wearing then it is not appropriate for work.
However, not every kid gets a job. The number one reason I turn kids down from jobs? They don't apply. Their parents do. Then I end up with three employees: kids, mom, and dad. If a teen is not confident enough to come ask me for a job or application then they are not ready to work. I will ask them to do things out of their comfort zone, so I need to know that they are capable of stepping beyond it before they are hired. And I put them through the entire application process, including paperwork and drug tests. Welcome to life kids!
I love seeing how well my young employees do in other jobs. I feel that they learn well basics, such as how to ask for time off responsibly, and how to handle being turned down from a requested day off. They learn that 7 minutes late is not ok, nor is 3 minutes late. They become capable of watching another employee do a job and emulating it. And they learn how to ask for help and how to look around when your job is done and see if everything is finished, rather than just doing the minimum and clocking out. There is no better way to get on my good side, as a boss, than to find me at the end of the shift and ask if there is anything else you can do. And don't wear yoga pants work.