Final straw...advice needed from Barn owners - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 09-05-2011, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Final straw...advice needed from Barn owners

I'm needing some input from fellow Barn Owners and Managers on firing a staff member. First a bit of background on the situation...

I run a smaller boarding barn. We have 10 outdoor boarders, and 8 indoor boarders. We also farm on the side (a mixed farm of cattle and grain).....so both my husband, 2 kids, and myself live on site. I also have a small farm house on property that is used for my 1 full-time staff member, she stays there rent free in exchange for working Mon-Thur...and has her horse boarded her for free as well (outdoor board).....I work 7 days a week, 365 days a year......that was until recently I felt it was time for a change, and would loved to have the weekends off to spend some family time (something I haven't had since starting the boarding barn 6 yrs ago)...So my hubby suggested hiring a weekend staff person to allow me some time off....

I thought it sounded like a good idea, so I posted an add in a local paper, also sent the word out to my boarders that if they knew of anyone to give me a heads up.....
I found a great girl who fit in here great...she worked hard, knew her sh*t, and I had no concerns about leaving her to work the weekend unattended.
Her husband however got transferred for his job and they had to move out of province. So again I was looking for another weekend barn help....

One of my boarders suggested a girl they knew. I had her in, did an interview, and both I and my Full-time worker, worked w her on a few occasions, she seemed great.........

Man was I wrong!!! Since hiring her, going on 6 months now, its been nothing but headache after headache.....
She is so LAZY, it takes 2 days for us to catch up on work that wasn't done over weekend.
I have discussed this w her time and time again, and she always has excuses as to why certain things her missed or avoided. She even went as far to blame boarders for her not being able to finish a simple task of watering our outdoor horses.
The final straw was this past weekend. My husband who was cultivating a field across the rd from the barn, witnessed her leaving during the day for 3 hrs, only to return in time to feed the horses their dinners, and then promptly leave again....I confronted her about it...thinking she had an appointment or emergency...she out right lied to my face.

I have gone over what id like to say to her in regards to letting her go, but Im Leary of what she will say to others or do, as she is friends w one of my boarders (very close friends in fact)...I don't want tension between the boarder and myself after the fact. I also dont want them spreading wierd rumours around the horse community here etc.

So my question is do we suck it up and deal w it, or do I just let her go telling her why, or do I just let her go saying we don't need the extra staff....she knows I'm not happy w her work ethic, so I think she would figure it out....
My main concern is how small the horse community is here, and one rumor could do allot of damage, and she strikes me as the type that would spread them.

Horses are like chips...you can never just have one
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post #2 of 42 Old 09-05-2011, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick101 View Post
I confronted her about it...thinking she had an appointment or emergency...she out right lied to my face.
She LIED to you and you didn't boot her off the property that very second? Where is your spine, woman?

Suck it up, put on your big girl panties, go dig around in your closet and under the bed for your spine, then let her know that she no longer has a job, and exactly WHY.

Do you somehow think if you tell her some stupid, banal reason for letting her go that she WON'T turn it around on you? Get a clue; she's lazy, a liar, and will of course try to make it all your fault, regardless of the reason you give her for firing her.

I can't even believe you'd consider putting up with with her and just 'dealing with it'. When did 'nice' become synonymous with 'cowardly'?

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
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post #3 of 42 Old 09-05-2011, 12:07 PM
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The horse community is the same everywhere whether big or small. Truth and rumors spread like wildfire. I have a friend who runs a business and she puts up with way too much from working students, boarders, etc. The way I see it, it should be like this for all: the person messes up once, talk to them, the second time, a verbal warning, the third time, they're out.

If you just suck it up and deal with her you're only going to make yourself more unhappy and possibly the boarders also. If things aren't getting done the way they're supposed to be getting done, your clients may be upset and then you take the chance of losing them.

Let the girl go, but be honest as to why you're doing it. Write it all down on paper as to what you're going to say to her. Read it a few times and get it in your head. Whether the horse community is small or large in your area one person spreading rumors should not matter if you run an efficient business where the animals, boarders, and property is well cared for.

If your boarder that is friends with the worker gets upset because you let her go, be honest with her as well. If she decides to move her horse, then that's her problem, but if she is a good person and listens to your reasoning, she should understand.

I have witnessed keeping employees that are a headache...some advice is that they don't get any better. They are who they are.

Good Luck!
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post #4 of 42 Old 09-05-2011, 12:09 PM
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I think you should just do it. Walk out to the barn "You have two weeks notices to find another job. We no longer need you here."
I bet a teen would happily do the job in exchange for free riding, and they would do it with more efficiency.
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post #5 of 42 Old 09-05-2011, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovemyPhillip View Post
"You have two weeks notice to find another job. We no longer need you here."
Nope, no two weeks notice. Immediate termination. That's the way it works in the corporate world if you're caught lying or stealing, so why should it be any different in the horse world?

Plus, that's such a wimpy thing to say. Better is, 'Get out. You've been slacking off and lied about it, and I don't need that kind of person around my barn'.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
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post #6 of 42 Old 09-05-2011, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemyPhillip View Post
I think you should just do it. Walk out to the barn "You have two weeks notices to find another job. We no longer need you here."
I bet a teen would happily do the job in exchange for free riding, and they would do it with more efficiency.
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I would not give her a 2 weeks notice. That could result in some serious hell from the worker. IF she shows up to work, I would foresee things definitely not getting done, tack going missing, etc. If you're going to fire her, do it on the spot.
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post #7 of 42 Old 09-05-2011, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
Nope, no two weeks notice. Immediate termination. That's the way it works in the corporate world if you're caught lying or stealing, so why should it be any different in the horse world?
I thought you had to give a notice. Oh well, fire her on the spot then! I would never lie or sneak with my boss. I am lazy, I do everything she asks of me, but I don't always go above and beyond..
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post #8 of 42 Old 09-05-2011, 12:16 PM
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I agree. Don't suck it up. It's not fair to anyone. My thing is... It seems kind of easy going for the girl that lives on your property and boards her horse for free.....Why not make her pick up a weekend day? Especially if she has to help to catch up the work someone else didn't do anyway.

100% Anti-Slaughter and PROUD of it!
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post #9 of 42 Old 09-05-2011, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovemyPhillip View Post
I thought you had to give a notice. Oh well, fire her on the spot then! I would never lie or sneak with my boss. I am lazy, I do everything she asks of me, but I don't always go above and beyond..
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Usually it's the worker who gives notice if they are going to quit. It's the nice thing to do. Depending on the situation, the employer may give notice, but for issues like these notice is not a good idea.
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post #10 of 42 Old 09-05-2011, 03:22 PM
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If she lied to you, she has without a doubt lied to others. Take the high road, fire her appropriately, and good luck finding someone else. Her reputation will speak for itself, and yours will, also.
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