Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The Fallacy of Joblessness
I just got into work and heard about the workplace drama that occurred yesterday. As owners of a massage therapy studio, my husband and I are no strangers to drama. It seems "crazy pills" are often served at massage school (most manage to avoid them but some must pop them like candy). But, for the most part, we have a pretty solid team of very skilled therapists. Recently, our managing therapist hired a lady who seemed eager to work and talented (oddly, a rare mix). Yesterday was her first day. She came in at 9am but didn't have a client scheduled until 1p. At noon, she decided to venture out to grab a coffee. Our receptionist pointed her in the direction of Starbucks and reminded her of her 1p as she walked out the door. 12:30 flies by. Then 12:45. Just before 1, her client walks in and takes a seat in the waiting room. You guessed it...1p, she is not back. She is never back. She just decides to not come back at all! Fortunately, we had a therapist available to take the client, but this woman's lack of respect was shocking.
Of course, this is a frustrating situation but all new therapists are expected to build their clientele. We help get the clients in the door, but they need to do their part to earn re-books and an established list of loyal clients. Going through some slow days (or even weeks depending on the time of year) at the beginning is part of paying yours dues. Those who stick it out eventually have a steady flow of clients, provided they are excellent therapists. Those who have a bad attitude about the situation don't get booked. Clearly, this woman expected to have a fully loaded schedule on day 1 and that is just not how it works (side note: we had a snow storm yesterday too, which greatly impacts bookings. Not an "excuse" but part of reality. It happens).
The worst part is the message she left early this morning. Summing it up, she said (in a very condescending and aloof tone) that she couldn't handle working for a "chain" because chains make her "stomach turn", her time was too valuable to be sitting around, she wasn't sure why she was hired to begin with and we obviously aren't busy enough to deserve her.
Seriously! As a small business owner, I have a hard time believing the news about our tanking economy and joblessness. Finding decent, honest, hard-working, skilled people to work is the most difficult part of owning a business. We pay our employees well and spend a ton of money on advertising for them. We don't even pay ourselves until we absolutely have to. In return, we get people stealing from us, doing their job with half-effort, showing up late (or not at all) and generally acting as if their job is a right. To be fair, our current staff doesn't often exhibit this behavior, but all of this has happened before...and I'm sure it will happen again.
Yes, we are a "chain"...a family-owned chain. There is no big corporation keeping our gears spinning. We are the mice in the wheel. Ironically, Obama's plan to address the unemployment rate includes "empowering small businesses to increase their hiring". Ha! How about empowering the work force to actually work?