Put Your Mouth Where The Money Is

, , , , , | Working | June 24, 2021

I run a small woodworking shop and I make affordable furniture. I’m not in it for the money; I do it to semi-retire and help people out. Most days, it’s just me, but when we get busy, I take on seasonal workers.

This year, I plan on getting ahead of the rush and bringing in some staff to make up some stock of the more popular items. I hold the interviews and find two decent guys and a third that just seems… off. I decide that maybe he doesn’t interview well and give him a try. He says he is keen to work hard and prove himself.

A couple of weeks in, I notice that whenever I look up or find a mistake, it’s the third guy. He always makes some stupid excuse right before I get around to firing him.

The three seasonal workers approach me, [New Hire #3] in the lead.

New Hire #3: “We’ve been talking and we don’t think you pay us enough.”

Me: “Oh? And why do you think that?”

New Hire #3: “Look at the prices you charge! You are making a fortune off of us.”

Me: “The prices cover power, materials, and rent, not to mention four people’s wages. There is no fortune to be made. I make nearly the same as you.”

New Hire #3: “Liar! All the equipment, tools… The money comes from somewhere.”

The tools are rented or old ones that I have accumulated over forty years of woodworking. Many are screwed together and have been repaired a dozen times.

Me: “You know what, [New Hire #3]? I was going to do this anyway. You’re fired; you make more mistakes than anyone I’ve ever employed and you’re always talking.”

New Hire #3: “But I—”

Me: “Go on, leave. And for you two gentlemen, the pay is fair and non-negotiable; you can take it or leave it.”

The three looked at each other and had a short conversation in a language I didn’t understand. [New Hire #3] seemed to be trying to lead the revolt and the other two were having none of it. 

[New Hire #3] left and the other two got on fine. We hit our quota with room to spare.

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