Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hired Help

I hired a kid to do my shovelling this year. My surgery is not really the reason, more the excuse that works best at this time. The truth is that I live on a corner lot, which means a lot of shovelling in the winter that I'd rather not do.

I hired him last week. Not knowing the going rate for jobs like this, or knowing if the kid would want to do it, I asked him how much he wanted. He didn't know. So, I asked him if $50/month sounded reasonable. His eyes lit up like Christmas, and he tore inside to yell at his dad that he'd gotten a job. I'm pretty sure that means he thought that $50 would do.

It snowed the day after I hired him. I came home from work, just after he'd finished. He didn't do a great job. He'd shovelled some snow onto the road (which is against the bylaws) and he didn't go all the way to the back of my property, leaving 10-12 feet of sidewalk uncleared... not sure who he thought would do that bit, but oh well. I paid him his $50, and made a note to myself, that I'd talk to him the next time about the quality of workmanship required for such a good paying job.

Friday, a wicked storm blew in. With the wind, snow drifts were/are up over my waist. Of course, that's the day of the surgery. I was told not to shovel until fully recovered.

Friday, there was no sight of the young entrepreneur, so my sister shovelled out a portion of the dog pen. We pretended like the driveway and sidewalk weren't there.

Saturday morning, I woke up and couldn't get out the back door, due to snow drifts. I stomped on the snow until I had a small area for the dogs to use.

A few hours later, a friend came by with his snow blower, and cleared my entire sidewalk and driveway. We (and by we, I mean that I watched while my sister did the work) baked him chocolate pumpkin loaf to say thank you. There was no sign of the young entrepreneur.

This morning, the same friend returned, but I told him not to bother. There wasn't that much snow, and I was expecting the young entrepreneur.

A few hours later, my sister ventured out to head home. She started to shovel as she waited for her van to warm up. Again, I told her not to bother - the young entrepreneur should arrive soon.

After lunch, my dogs' crossed legs indicated to me that they had no place to pee. I went out to shovel a portion of the dog pen, discovered the waist-high drifts and realized the hard way that my Dr probably knew what he was talking about when I said I shouldn't shovel any snow for a while. I gave up and had a nap. The dogs shared a postage stamp sized potty area. Or, they may have found a convenient corner in the house somewhere... I'll have to look into that later.

I woke up from my nap somewhat miffed that the young entrepreneur hadn't yet come around. I was contemplating going over to his house, and telling him that it's not working out. Perhaps I should have warned him about how particular I am, and that I really did mean it when I told him I wanted him to be punctual.

I turned on my Christmas lights, and then the outdoor lights. The young entrepreneur had been around. I'm not sure when he did it, but the sidewalk and driveway are now clear. I haven't looked too carefully to see if it's done just so; but the point is that it's done. I don't have to go outside and shovel, and that's pretty huge.

That's a 60-90 minute job at the best of times. Personally, I think that it's worth $50 not to have to do it myself for a month. Sure, the kid is happy to have his first job. He's going to learn about earning his money; and he's going to have to work hard. I may end up talking to him about how he can improve his work. Or, it may not get done exactly how I'd like. The point is that I'm not the one having to do the work... and that I'm learning to give up the control. I think those are some pretty great lessons for us both.

1 comment:

  1. I cringed when you said you were going to shovel and was really glad to hear the young man followed through.