Would You Do This?!
If you remember from my post last week, my little business is starting to sprout. It is growing so quickly that I am desperate to staff all my open positions.
NEVER do anything when you are desperate!
Last week I interviewed a woman who was unemployed for almost 6 months. She mentioned she had a criminal past, but that it was over 7 years ago. She didn’t have her own car but assured me that the location of the job would allow for her husband to drive her since he worked in the same area. She had previous cleaning experience and could start right away, so I hired her on the spot. I started training her on Thursday the 21st and we trained her for 3 day. Tuesday was her first independent day of working without help. Thursday she text me that she was quitting and wouldn’t be back. She worked for me for 6 days, 3 of which were training days with a helper.
When she text me that she was quitting, she asked “would you do this for $24?”. She then called me and asked the same thing. On that phone call she demanded to know if I would work 2 hours a night for $12 bucks an hour 5 days a week. She repeatedly asked me this question because she was trying to get me to pay her $14 an hour. She said she would stay if I paid her $14 an hour. I said this 2 hour a night job is usually for those trying to pay off debt or save for a down payment on a house or help with their mortgage. She yelled at me over the phone saying this doesn’t pay anyone’s mortgage! Mind you, the interview and job offer was just 6 business days earlier. I verbally confirmed the wage and had her read and sign an offer letter of employment that stated the wage. This was a part-time position that would lead to a full time position starting that next Monday. I explained that if she stayed with us and took the full time position, that in a couple months she could fix her old car or buy a “new” used car. Her answer to me was “Right!” Insert the eye roll from my employee here.
I explained to her that this was a starting wage and that if things went well raises would come. She would have nothing of it. She wanted $14 an hour right now. This is after she said “I quit” and inferred that I was “that kind of person” to only pay $12 an hour. She asked me one final time, would you do this? (Work for $12 an hour). I answered her and said yes. She didn’t believe me and said she would return the uniforms and keys the next day.
Times that I have worked for $12 an hour or less:
Middle School-High School: Babysitting. I charged $2 per hour (1990s to give perspective). This paid for all my extras as a kid, so I didn’t have to ask my single mother for money beyond the basic food & shelter.
High School: Worked 2-3 days a week cleaning offices & ship yards from 3:30am to 6:30am and got paid $90 a month. I figured it equated to about $3-$4 an hour. But my boss paid gas to pick me and drop me off. I thought it was a good deal. This would be my first exposure to commercial cleaning which would be my future career.
High School: Worked at McDonalds for $4.25 an hour. Helped pay my first year of college tuition.
College: Worked from 4:00am to 8:00am 5 days a week. Earned $4.25 an hour. This paid for my college living expenses. Rent, food, transportation and play.
College: Worked summer breaks cleaning hotel rooms from 6:00am-4:30pm and 7:00pm-11:00pm at a restaurant 5 days a week for $6.25 an hour. This paid all my college tuition and allowed for me to backpack through Europe and do a study abroad. I graduated college debt free because I worked for minimum wage.
First Job After College: Worked as an HR Generalist for $10.00 an hour (2002). Was trained in all things HR, including hiring, firing, benefits, payroll, etc. A paid internship! Bought a car, bought braces, put money away for retirement and learned a ton.
Night Job: I cleaned the building of my first post college employer’s office. Got paid $125 a month. This equated to about $8.50 an hour. I put this money towards travel funds and went to Mexico on a volunteer trip to set up water catchment systems in native villages.
3rd Job After College: Ran my family’s franchise restoration business for minimum wage. Which at the time was $9.50 an hour. I actually was paid less than $9.50 per hour as I was salary and worked many more hours than 40 a week. What I gained from this was basically a real-life MBA. Which finally put me in the six-figure income realm once I sold the business.
And my Job Today as a Franchise Business Owner: I’m on salary, and if you put all my hours that I work in the business each week, it equates to less than $12 an hour. But I’m building an asset and know that my income will grow with my asset and lead to financial independence.
So....would YOU work for $12 an hour? Would you?
I have only seen financial growth in my decisions to work for less than $12 an hour. This now former employee of mine is unemployed again earning $0 an hour holding out for that $14 an hour job, with no car and no GRIT to speak of.