Pierced lip employee candidate

muddydogsFebruary 12, 2006

Need help. Someone from outa state with 3 years weeding transplanting experience, but has this stupid ring in her lip. Would you hire her? Tell her to take out the ring.

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snowdogmama(high mountain desert Zone 5)

Will she be seen by the customers? How conservative is your customer base?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 12:43AM
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ninamarie(4Ont.)

Had one. Loved her. She never walked, but ran, never went anywhere empty handed and had to be told to stop working at the end of the day.
Customers loved her. Many still ask after her. She was bright and cheerful and helpful and could and would do anything in a pinch. She was self-directed, self-starting and motivated.
We lost her to a high paid government job. They won't keep her either. I expect to hear she's running the world in a year or two.
She still comes back twice a year to pitch in on our busiest weekend events.
Of course, it didn't hurt that she's a natural blond with big blue eyes, cute as a button and was slumming here after graduating from university and before starting her "real" career in civic planning.
She also helped us attract and keep a new, young, hip audience to the nursery and gardening.
So, I guess I'd have to say it depends on the person.
But her piercings still make me feel a litle queasy.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 4:16PM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

The lip I can handle. Throw in a brow ring and I get freaked out.

You have to weigh what you expect this person brings to the table against your best perception of the negative impact there might be because of the ring or any other thing about this person. I suppose the impact of the ring is something you don't quite know about and you need a little bit of a survey from us or anyone. You can always try and find out the real impact by hiring her. If she is not well received for whatever reason, you can let her go based on that fact without any assumption as to why she is not well received.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 7:26PM
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miss_rumphius_rules(z6 NJ)

One of the crews I work with has a foreman with a pierced lower lip. The ladies love him. I guess it adds that element of danger so often missing in suburban lives...

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 9:10PM
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gardengal48

Body decor aside, it depends on the individual. Is she knowledgeable, personable, enthusiastic and ready to pitch in and do what's needed? If so, hire her. Much like ninamarie's experience, we hired a young woman with multiple piercings and numerous tatoos (most not visible) who has turned out to be one of the permanent stalwarts at our nursery. She is bright, personable and a very hard worker. She rapidly took on some supervisory duties and has sinced progressed into a buying position, even while attending college evenings and on days off. She is now learning web page design and will be assisting our marketing director in revamping our nursery website.

As the saying goes, you can't judge a book by the cover nor can you judge an individual's value to your organization by their appearance. Obviously, one hopes to encourage a well-groomed and professional appearance on the job, but body art and piercings are a sign of the times and to eliminate a good job candidate for simply this reason seems to me to be a little short sighted and narrow minded.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 9:56AM
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mylu

That said you can still offer the job and request during working hours they remove the ring. After all you do own the company and it's not a democracy.

Coming from the man whoÂs recently turned 18 daughter came home with a tattoo...Bad daughter bad..

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 5:02PM
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crunchdaddy

It all depends on your standards for your company. I would not discount someone based on how they look at all. Definitely, see what they are all about before making the call.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 8:27PM
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inkognito

I put an ad up at the local college where horticulture was studied and a lot of them wanted a summer job. You don't have the time to interview all of them, I picked two. Colin had a haircut and a shower, he wore the suit his mother bought and was top of his class. Nathan had a haircut that became that punk Mohican thing at the week-end and proclaimed himself an anarchist with no idea what that meant. I employed both of them. Sorry to spoil any preconceptions of how this panned out but they were both useless. Take her on but make it probationary, two weeks, two hours, you decide. For twenty there is one keeper.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 6:59PM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

Hiring is like a box of chocolates ........

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 6:45AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Bosses can be real gems, too.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 3:12PM
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calliope(6)

I'm pretty open-minded for an old broad. Some of the piercings I don't mind at all, but some of them are repugnant and even painful to look at. They have little to nothing to do with work ethic, however.

Questions I'd ask myself if I were doing the hiring, and I have done more than a little of that over the years.......

I'd look first at the basic qualifications. She may wash out before you even get to esthetics. If she were qualified then I'd go to the next step and ask myself these questions.

What position would this person be filling? Who comprises my customer base and would they find this offensive? I'd also look at just how mutilating the piercings are and ask myself if this person has authority issues? If the piercings exceed the modestly typical ones you see in moderately well adjusted kids (IOW peer pressure decorations) I'd be suspicious of some type of personality quirk. Getting along with the team is pretty important and somebody who is screaming out loud for attention sends up red flags to me.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 6:40PM
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mamabirrd(z5/6 PA)

I have no problems with employees sporting any sort of piercing, so long as they are hard-working, conscientious, and friendly. If they do a great job and get the mission accomplished, why should a lip-piercing be an issue?

I'd never ask for a piercing to be removed either. To some, it is more than just a piece of jewelry. A personal expression, religious belief, who knows? But it's none of my business and I would never judge someone by what they look like on the outside.

I say give her a chance. If she doesn't work out, i'm sure it won't have anything to do with her lip-ring.

~mamabirrd

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 10:13AM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

Agreed, but ....

You have to think about your clients. I have a mother (who'd would have thunk it?) who is about 80. It is very difficult for her and other elderly people to not feel vulnerable when people have to work in or around their homes. Little things that might be harmless expressions are not always perceived that way by people who feel more vulnerable.

We all want to accept people for who they are and let them express themselves, ideally. Whether we believe everything and everybody has the right to self expression, we all really know that in reality some things are simply not accepted by everyone. Sometimes it is not from being harsh and narrow, but simply through fear.

You can choose to believe that no one cares about the lip ring, but that can not really be true.

Make the decision based on whether or not you believe that the benefit of this employee out weighs any negative effect that the piercings have. Don't pretend that no one cares.

Lots of people, particularly the elderly (who often require this type of service) need to feel comfortable with the people you send to them. Normal is a relative thing. To an 80 year old, a piercing in the face is far away from what many of them know as normal.

What makes more sense? Do you take one individual who has chosen an expression that makes some uncomfortable and choose to make her feel comfortable by accepting her, or do you choose to keep several of your clients comfortable who would not be?

We all want to accept people. It is a problem when we worry too much about accepting the "different" that we ignore everyone else.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 12:53PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Being harsh and narrow comes from fear as well.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 4:25PM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

Choose the woman with the lip ring and your company is wearing that lip ring. If you are comfortable with that than all is well.

Total acceptance is an ideal. Preconceived notions are real whether they are right or wrong. We can choose to stand against those notions, but we can not project our comfort and acceptance upon other people because we want to believe they should have it.

You can choose to think you are accepting and accommodating to the pierced lip person and therefore a better person.

You could just as easily believe that you might be avoiding making some people who you serve uncomfortable, maybe through their own ignorance, by not sending this person to work closely around their home and are therefore a better person.

This is not a black and white right and wrong thing to do here. Either choice has a potential negative consequence or maybe none at all. The point is to think it all the way through and make the decision based upon your best judgement.

I don't see myself doing a great public service if I make my clients uncomfortable so someone can express herself.

I don't see myself doing a great publc service by rejecting a perfectly fine person because she chooses a lip ring either.

I am quite qualified to have this opinion. In the late 70's my hair was halfway down my back and as thick as a sheep fleece. I wore bandana head bands, wrote on my pants in ball point pen, and so forth. It was not as well accepted back then as it might be now. I applied for a lot of jobs that I know I did not get because I was a freak despite my good work ethic and charming personality (I really am a doll in person). I new that all I had to do was get a hair cut and clean up my appearance and I would have no problem. No one was obligated to put up with their clients perceptions of me simply because I wanted to project an image. I would have effectively been asking them to wear my clothes and my hair as part of their business image. They did not want to do that. I did not blame them then, nor do I now.

Choose the woman with the lip ring and your company is wearing that lip ring. If you are comfortable with that than all is well.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 10:43PM
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upnortdareh(Zone 4)

I started my business a long time ago with long hair and my thought was if the hair bothers you that much don't shop here. I know its not good business, but being a stubborn German what can I say. I was going to be myself plain and simple . Iam sure it affected my business but over the years I have built a clientle that is second to none. And by the way I still have long hair . Works For Me---- Upnortdareh

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 8:33AM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

I have no problem with that.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 9:54AM
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upnortdareh(Zone 4)

lagg-----I knew you wouldn't Its part of your grain-----Upnortdareh

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 1:08PM
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muddydogs

Guess I don't have to make a decision. I told her to come back in a couple of weeks and I would try her out by pulling weeds and sprucing up display beds. No show!
Had another young gal coming by daily for a job and I finally gave her that weed pulling job. She showed up in a midriff top and I'm not lying, but after 20 minutes she said she couldn't do it anymore. I think she just wanted to stand behind the cash register. Probably help herself to some cash, too.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 8:56PM
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sally2_gw

Maybe she wanted to get paid to sunbathe.

Sally

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 9:27AM
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butterflychaser(z7)

Good help is hard to find. I don't know why people even bother to apply for a job they know they don't want. The girl you hired (for 20 minutes) knew you were in the nursery business, so she must have had some clue that physical labor was involved. What a waste of YOUR time to even talk to her.

Have you considered hiring thru a temp agency? It may cost you a little more, but you can try people out that the agency has already screened. If they quit ya, you aren't responsible for their unemployment. But since the agency wants to make money off of them, they really try to find someone they feel is appropriate for the job.

Also, you may want to adopt a dress code--no jewelry (jewelry of any kind can be dangerous on the job, and stating "no jewelry" is non-discriminatory and covers "unusual" piercing jewelry too), no bare backs or midriffs, no short shorts, no open-toed shoes, etc. You might type it up and make it part of their sign-on package. Have them sign a copy and keep it in your files. It amazes me how many people show up for work looking like street walkers. I was always taught to dress for the job--a nice professional suit for the office, t-shirt and blue jeans for outdoor work.

Hope you find someone to help you out. But these days, many people just don't want to exert themselves at all. And you know, a job really shouldn't interfere with your party life. LOL

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 9:11AM
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Msrpaul(8bSC)

Now you guys can all understand why I sold my restaurant 8 years ago and took a job for a major bank!

Now anf then a nursery comes up for sale....or I think about a B&B...and I ask myself..."What am I crazy" to got hrough all that again?

There's not enough money in the world to pay me to be an employer again...

(just dropped in from the butterfly forum to see the other forums...interesting stuff!)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 9:43PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

>being a stubborn German what can I sayNein, of course!

>I don't know why people even bother to apply for a job they know they don't want.To qualify for unemployment benefits. Or they really didn't know what was involved, not having much experience with physical activity.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 2:02AM
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lmw845(z5 NY)

As a nose-pierced & tatooed lass working in retail, I'm confident the customers leave the garden center remembering above-and-beyond service/attention, kind and helpful conversation and the gorgeous plants instead of my appearance. Comment on my look has been voiced by a single crazy customer as he threw a ridiculous and unfounded tantrum. He was much more angry about me being "young" and female than my often unnoticed body decor. I've never been more offended in my life.

If a potential employee gives you that good kind of hunch in spite of their appearance, I say follow your gut. You can always fire them later when they don't work out. You never know, they may take your company places you've only dreamed of.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 7:16PM
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karmahappytoes

Is this not discrimination here? Are you not judging a book by the cover? People need to work and give the kid a break, it you know your clients can't handle the appearance then don't send this person to that job. Some of the best workers were those that were decorated in style! I'm a little pierced by this post.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 12:13PM
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muddydogs

Hey if you are the best worker decorated in style I would hire you only after a trial run. 8 bucks is all I pay.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 12:44AM
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dirtyin_nh(z4 nh)

Hiring hard working help IS really difficult - do any of you have any advice about finding and hiring help?

I hired my younger brother - he is big,strong and is used to me bossing him around. So far thats the only one that has truly worked out....I don't like that part of being in business, but it seems like a constant.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 9:43PM
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jumpinjuniper(6A Nova Scotia)

Lip piercing or not, anyone who is getting paid a low wage to take out weeds etc is getting paid for just that. My best worker, a really good friend of mine, has tattoos and a tongue piercing, and she gets along fabulously with my clients. My take on asking them to take the ring out means more money if they have to put up with that. You get what you pay for and I put up as much as I can, about $12.50 Canadian an hour, and I expect good help.

Rob

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 1:25PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

You get what you pay for. The outlook and approach of much of the 8/hour labor pool is consistent with that level of compensation.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 12:42AM
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ian_wa(Sequim)

That's it, I'm going to start wearing a giant spear through my nose.

A lot of nurseries seem to make business decisions based on their profile of the "average customer" - which around here is a 50's woman with lots of disposable income. This is shortsighted though, because 20 years from now these people will all be dying and the next generation will still be getting all their plants from WalMart and Home Depot as they are now, since the independent nurseries and garden centers never bothered to invest in them. Anyways most 'good help' would rather do something different with their lives than work for a crotchety narrow minded business owner for a low wage.

Speaking of which.... I'm becoming increasingly convinced that the primary reason horticulture is relegated to a low paying industry is poor management, plain and simple. So much money that could be spent on paying a better wage is wasted on stock that doesn't sell (also a major waste of time), and unnecessary services. Time is also wasted worrying about procedures, stupid rules, and complaining about how hard the nursery business is. If it's that bad, well do something else. If you have trouble finding good help because you can't afford to pay a competitive wage the way you are doing things, perhaps you need to make some major changes in your business practices or consider terminating the business.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 2:36AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

In your case a cactus spine would be more appropriate than a spear.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 3:10PM
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inkognito

Well, there you have a well considered response from ian. What we in the green industry should do is pay handsome wages, this will in turn generate the business to enable us to pay those wages. We should not consider the attitude or the value of our employees because this will change the minute we pay them more. We no longer have to take into account all those boring details like stock that doesn't sell all we have to do is take the money from that pie in the sky and give it to people like ian who need it more that we do.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 6:17PM
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ian_wa(Sequim)

That would be too inconspicuous. How about an ocotillo branch.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 10:43PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Very fetching, indeed.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 3:02PM
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muddydogs

Found help. No piercings. A customer in her 50's. Excellent! Also a customer's son, 16, and a great waterer.
9 dollars to her and 8 to him. Is that a rip off? They are aware this is part time! My business is seasonal! I wish I had their job.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 12:38AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

>Is that a ripoff?For you or them?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 10:21PM
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plantladyott(5)

Trying not to 'judge a book by its cover' is an overused cliché IMO. We are not judging books but people! With all these privacy issues regarding personal questions at interview time our only clue to what lies beneath is appearances! A lady we hired with dreadlocks in an attempt to overlook her appearances left two weeks later to work for a competitor so free spirited was she. Another lady who wore outlandish hats was hired only to quit two days after she learned that a training and probationary period was necessary before she was set free on her own route. Unstable is the word that comes to mind but we're still scratching our heads over that one. I just wish management would actually manage the company to keep the good staff so I don't have to keep finding new staff that's all.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 1:14PM
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girlndocs(8 WA)

Yes, because the dreadlocks and the hats were unquestionably connected to the undesirable behaviors. No one with "normal" fashion sense ever manifests unpredictability or undependability. Of course.

Kristin

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 7:06PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I don't see getting a better job as a huge indescretion. Dreadlocks I do see as a possible statement of rebellion, but that could just as well be merely a statement of liking dumb-looking hair. Coming to an interview/work dressed for the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, now that is a definite red flag--an announcement of not intending to cooperate and blend in.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 11:18PM
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thistle5(z7 VA)

I've worked p/t in a garden center since last spring (I can only work p/t, I have young children, & my bosses are very good about my working school hours)-employees seem to come & go-our recently promoted business manager has been there since last summer, she has multiple piercings & tattoos, but conducts herself as a professional, knows the business inside & out, is diplomatic in dealing with problem customers, my bosses are lucky to have her.

We've just recently added a number of new employees, mostly 'kids', very few have lasted more than a week or two-I was commiserating with someone else the other day, when I had a job in my youth, I would never consider quitting by just not showing up, I always gave notice-how do these guys have the balls to come in & pick up their last paycheck?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 2:45PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Maybe it gets mailed to them.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 3:07AM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

Why is there the assumption that the type of employee this industry attracts is related to a low pay scale? It most definitely is not in my neighborhood. The industry is limited to the people who are willing to get filthy, work very hard physically, be sweaty, hot, cold, wet, muddy, and be productive through all of it. They will take physical abuse that will wear on them increasingly as they age. They will eventually be physically incapable of doing the work at an earlier age than in other careers.

Iknow a young Jamaican imigrant who has been here for four years. He just quit a job at $21 per hour with a lot of overtime at time and a half on top of that. Yes, imigrants are not paid any less here than anyone else. You hire people who show up and work. You pay them to keep them. You can not pay them to the point where it makes you noncompetitive, but if you can't produce because you don't have help, you are also noncompetitive.

The notion that if you pay more money, you would have better help is not as clear cut as it would seem.

What you do for a living is what you are committing at least a large segment of your life to. Who in their right mind is going to donate their life as an employee to get filthy, work very hard physically, be sweaty, hot, cold, wet, muddy, and be productive through all of it and most likely be laid off for three months of the year when there are so many other opportunities in this world? A fool, that's who. It can be a fool with a piercing, a fool who shows up finely groomed and dressed, but it will be a fool.

If it is not a fool, it is someone who will either learn that there is a better way to spend his life, or is there only to learn and move on.

Pay all you want, it will be the same people, but they will cost you more.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 7:51AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

We have high cost of living here, too, but few hort. industry employees will be getting 21 dollars per hour. As with other segments, a common pattern seems to be a small kernel of salarid management/supervisory people overseeing a revolving door of low paid hourly wage earners for the benefit of an owner who may or may not show their face on a daily basis (at the store or at the job site). Not much different from a fast food franchise with its manager and cadre of schoolkids and retirees.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2006 at 1:51PM
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thistle5(z7 VA)

Well, I guess I'm a fool, then. I followed up, after sending my resume in last spring, & my boss said, 'you know, you're way overqualified, but we'd love to have you work here'-he has quite a few military spouses working there, they've been a valuable addition to their workforce. I'll be going on 'hiatus' over the summer, to watch my kids, & might go back in the fall, if I haven't found a better-paying job. I really like working there, see alot of the regular customers over the year, my bosses (2 owners & a manager) all know alot about the plants they sell & are very nice to work for-they work 6 days a week, do everything, & know what's going on...I just worry about how things are going to go, if they can't get good employees...

    Bookmark   May 29, 2006 at 8:15PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Look out for number one first. Owners who "can't find good help" and present themselves as being vulnerable due to other outside circumstances sometimes also prove to have a funny ability to spend part of every winter in Palm Springs.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2006 at 9:23PM
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plantladyott(5)

Ooooh good one bboy! Right on the nose! Here I am 2PM on a Friday catching up on paperwork because the rest of the week was spent labouring as we are short staffed. I'm sore, I'm tired and yes I must be a fool too. Where's the owner? Maybe not Palm Springs but out on 'errands'.

Yes the hat was a red flag which went unnoticed. I wasn't trying to comment on fashion sense as a way of pigeon holing people. Just grasping at straws for some scrap of a clue to personality types, that's all.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 2:12PM
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alpiner(Albertaz3)

Our province has a huge labour shortage. Anyone with a pulse can get 10 jobs by noon. There is so much work available that one would think that getting help in the landscaping/ gardnening sector would be difficult. It isn't. There are a lot of mature individuals content to work a couple days a week and they do a crackerjack job. The key is to create a positive atmosphere and, for myself, that means not hiring a pierced-lipped employee but rather hiring the semi-retired friend of a 55-year-old part time employee. We pay around $13/hour but that's not all we offer. There is lways work available elsewhere for more than we can pay so I don't compete at that game...I can't win. We let them work together with their friends, get the job done by a particular day, etc. I don't need to supervise 2 mature individuals or worry about them not showing up or jumping ship in a week. Hiring a pieced-lip kid with an attitude is just delaying the need to find willing and positive employees.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 4:28PM
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girlndocs(8 WA)

How do you make the assumption that an employee with a pierced lip must have an attitude (I didn't see the OP say that -- in fact she was considering hiring the applicant as I recall) or that they wouldn't be a willing and positive employee?

Like it or not, piercings and other body mods are becoming more and more normalized in our culture, less and less of a lunatic-fringe thing. In my (admittedly, young progressive urban) area, I would say I can expect to see a pierced or otherwise modded employee at about 3 out of 4 of the businesses I frequent.

This is going to spread to more conservative and rural areas. It's already happening. Y'all in hiring positions are going to have to start coming to terms with the fact that normal, responsible, worthwhile employees can also have lip rings.

A fashion statement you don't personally care for is just that, not an indicator of moral fiber or attitude.

Kristin

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 3:41PM
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yng_grdnr(z6 lower hudson valley)

I'm a 20 year old male with both ears pierced and an eye brow ring. During all my interviews I never wore them. I only wore them when I knew it was ok and after I had settled into the job. I work in the nursery section of home depot now, where I have quite a bit of knowledge on plants for someone my age. My collegues, who are much older them me, turn to me for plant advice. I tend to be a "personal shopper" for some customers. I have realized that customers at first think I am some rebelious teen with a summer job. But after I start working with them I know they change their minds. I do not look like the typical goth/punk stereotype person with piercings. Honestly, I just like them. I dress rather casually, jeans and a collard shirt. I have been praised by past employers for my hard work and strong work ethics. So what it comes down to is how the person is, not how he looks or expresses himself.

P.S., I'd love to move up in the planting world, possibly a real nursery. So if anyone reading this is in the lower hudson valley area of NY who needs another body for work, contact me.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 11:50AM
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greenstar(2)

I don't care how good or not someone with a pierced lip or other outward symbol can work. I care about the reaction of my clients. Their expectations. I'm sure the pierced group can get lots of jobs elsewhere so they won't mind me not hiring them. We all know our own clients and markets so generalizations are probably not applicable across the board.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 2:07PM
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