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Working Too Hard For Reduced Board
I'm not really sure what to do about this situation that I have found myself in. I work at my barn for reduced board. Usually, board is $375 per month, but my reduced rate is only $200 per month. I totally appreciate the opportunity to work off some of the cost, but I think things are getting out of hand. When this first started, I was told that I would only have to pitch in here and there, clean a few stalls, help with hay and grain, fill the troughs, etc. It really wasn't an issue. I was at the barn spending time with my horse anyway, why not just lend a hand while I'm there? Easy peasy.
Now, a year later, I get a text every morning with a list of things that need done. Some days, I am left with everything. My BO is a busy lady, I understand. Her and I are actually pretty good friends. Now days, however, I feel like she relies on me TOO much. I think I have made myself too available and too willing to help her out, but how do I go back? How do I say I don't want to help as much anymore? I don't want to hurt her feelings or leave her with too much work to do. And I don't want to ask for any more of a discount, $200 is more than fair, especially with the price of hay around here.
This is what I do daily, 4 days a week, for my $175 per month discount...
Clean and rake 8 stalls, sweep stall mats, put out hay and grain in each stall, and fill the water buckets. Sweep the center aisle, the office, the feed room, the tack room, and the bathroom. Fill all 4 troughs outside, bring hay bales in the barn, and occasionally clean the run-in sheds.
Sometimes, the BO will clean 4-5 stalls, but all she does is remove the waste, then she asks me to finish them. In the beginning, she used to finish 6 stalls every day so I only had 2 to do. Then she started slacking and I started saying "No worries, I got it. Don't stress, I'll finish it up." and now, I think she is really comfortable with leaving most of the work for me.
This is what it all adds up to... I work 4 days a week, every week, all month long. That is 16 days of work to earn $175 off of my board, which equals about $11 a day. I'm pretty sure I work a lot harder than I should have to. The problem is... I am the nicest, most accommodating person on the planet. Obviously, to my own demise. How do I get out of this situation without creating an issue?
I know I should just talk to her, but if I back out of some of the work, she will have to pick it back up and she doesn't have the time. She works out of the house, then comes home to take care of her kids. I don't know if she can afford to have another boarder work for a discount and it's not really my place to suggest that anyway. Plus, I don't know if anyone else CAN do the work for me.
I would suggest that you request a written agreement with set duties or hours that you work in exchange for $X dollars off board. You are being taken advantage of. Ultimately it was her decision to start a boarding stable, if she doesn't have the time, she needs to cut back on number of horses or in other areas. If she used to clean the majority of the stalls and just started slacking because she knew you would pick up the slack, thats not fair. If it were me, I would rather pay the $375 and pick up some hours working elsewhere to make up the difference. That way the lines don't get blurred. With the amount of hours you are working, even at minimum wage, you could do much better.
OMG!!!! I do half of what you do in a month and get my $450 board completely covered.....you are being milked!!! I would not be a doormat for this 'friend' anymore.....Goodluck to you, but don't let yourself be taken advantage of anymore.....sounds like you're paying her just so you can work!:evil:
I pay barn help $8/hr. Figure out your hours times rate of pay and figure out what you're really 'paying' for your board. Then once you have facts and figures, go to the BO and negotiate a reasonable TIME frame and the list of chores you should be able to do within the time.
And she started the boarding operation, not you. Don't let her make her time issues your problem. You are a customer and need to be treated as such. It's nice of you to help and it's nice of her to give you a break but you are past the point of bending over backwards to be nice and you're to the point of just getting bent over.
When a gal wanted to do this we discussed hourly rate for her work then kept track of her time. I billed her accordingly. I'm a firm believer in bending to help somone but never so far as to kiss the other person's butt.
My BO pays $10/hr, perhaps it depends upon where you are. Good dependable barn help is hard to find. I suggest you try and find it elsewhere, or another job. You are definitely being taken advantage of.
Like the first poster said... the only way to guarantee you will only have to clean _ stalls and sweep _ rooms is to get a contract. If she breaks the contract, then it's time to move.
Can you come to my house? Just kidding... You need to speak up, She may even offer free board for all your work you do. Its not your problem if she can't handle her own buisness,
Here's what my daily schedule (5 days per week) looked like for about 9 months before I had to move.
8:00 AM - wake up, shower, whatever
9:00 AM - feed all 13 horses in upper and lower barns
10:00 AM - hay fields, water troughs, turn out all 13 horses in their respective areas
11-1:00 PM - muck all 13 stalls, haul full barrows UP a RAMP to dump, bedding if needed hay, and water
Everything HAD to be done by a certain time. Mucking 13 stalls within two hours is a ridiculously difficult task, especially when you aren't used to that kind of labor. Not only did I do all that, but I also did odd jobs like raking/sweeping the aisles, cleaning tack, bathing horses, watering the arenas, etc. Board would have been $450/month. I would have been paid $10/hour if it wasn't for board. My workload comes out to at LEAST $800/month, if not more because of odd jobs. That's twice the amount that board costs.
Your situation could be MUCH worse, trust me.
I'm not using this as a "look at what I had to do - pity me" kind of thing, but more as a comparison and saying "you're actually extremely lucky and things could be worse for you" thing. You know? I don't mind that I have to do all that work...it's good exercise now that I'm used to it. And it actually evens out NOW because training included, board actually IS $800/month XD
Still though, if you think something isn't right for you, try to work it out with your BO. Work it out money-wise...with your calculations for how much your work per hour should be worth and say she has to find someone else to do the other work or add something to make your work worth it?
I'd be changing up your entire deal, work for cash and then use that cash to pay your board. ;D Mark down when you start, have a list of all the chores you do and mark them off, even including how long each one took you if you have to. And then provide her an invoice and how much she owes you- that's how I did it when I worked at a barn because there was no 'punching in' like regular jobs.
That said, I was working four hours twice a week, all by myself with no help if I needed it (middle of a storm, with high strung, huge warmbloods) being paid for two hours, and before I left they brought in six more horses with no mention of increased hours or pay. When I tried to quit she didn't return my calls / emails and was suddenly nowhere to be found when I was at the barn.
It's not an easy industry to work in!
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