Dealing with employees can be very difficult. Most of the time, it is fine, but there are those times as an employer that you wish you did not have to deal with problem people.
As a rule, most of our team members, past and present, have been great.
Good Monday afternoon! It has been a good Monday so far. A few members of our team went with us to do an errand and then we treated them to lunch. While doing the errand, I noticed some green Wandering Jew plants with purple flowers. I used to have this kind in San Antonio but they were all gone by the time we moved. We used to sell them at our San Antonio store and at Traders Village.
Recently, I purchased some Wandering Jews but not this kind. I got some slips for my collection. I now have five varieties. Three are multi-colored. I am so excited. I got those planted in pots as soon as we got home. Once they start to thrive and propagate, I will begin selling them at David's Garden Seeds® Farm Store.
Before we went home, we took the helpers to Las Palmas Mexican Food and it was good. I had the flauta plate, like I always get there. They have good lemonade.
Now we are back. I am in the store alone, enjoying the quiet. David is working in the den. Matt and Jay are out finishing up the errand in Devine. Some of our team has gone home for the day and the rest are working in their various places, none of them are in here now!
In today's outing, it was simple dealing with employees. We took four who are not demanding and who believe in getting the job done instead of complaining and whining. Then we rewarded them with a free lunch at a decent place. It was fun to sit and talk with these guys. I wish dealing with employees was always this much fun.
The rest of the day was downright hot and humid, our second day in a row with no rain.
Dealing with employees can be difficult, but dealing with this much rain is ridiculous. Out in the back forty, the rain has finally begun drying up and the chickens were happy that they were not stepping in mud anymore this morning. Then at 12:05pm today, the skies opened and it is pouring again!
This morning started with a pleasant early outdoor activity of unlocking everything before the crew got here. I fed all of the animals. We still have four fish left. I thought the rain was over for a while.
Then some of the guys started taking the two window air conditioning units down in the farm store because we now have good air conditioning installed. Some of the screws were in there pretty good but after a few hours, they are both out and I have cardboard in two places in the walls. I need some new dry wall. The cardboard won't last long because the rain is really coming down hard with thunder.
I have been taking down discontinued seeds from the website all morning. Then at 11:45am, I went to the house to make a beautiful tuna salad for David for lunch and as soon as I came back over to the farm store, the rain started. Glad it did not get the sandwiches wet!
We haven't had any customers today and I guess it is a combination of corona, vacations, and the rain. Hopefully, soon, the customers will start coming out to the farm store again to get home canned goods, fresh eggs from our chickens, plants, and our Non-GMO seeds.
Happy Wednesday. Today, the second lady from the Texas State Health Department showed up for inspection. She was so much nicer than the first one. She took the time to explain things. It turns out that in order for us to can and sell vegetables that are not pickled, we have to pay thousands of dollars each time we can so that someone can be here to monitor us and keep track of the temperatures. Then, after that, we have to pay more money to have the food tested. So we are surrendering our license as we cannot afford that. We might make five or ten quarts of food but the cost is still the same.
The inspector said we will receive a letter with all of "violations" and mention of thousands of dollars in fines. She said we need to answer with "we are surrendering our license." Hopefully, that will take care of it. Turns out, they think we are a food manufacturer because we got a license. We got the license because we wanted to be legal making our home canned vegetables. We can make them for ourselves only. She said we can go by Texas Cottage Laws and make and sell pickles and jelly without a license to sell.
So about an hour after she left, David came to the farm store and said he was bleeding. We went to the house. He ripped the surgical wound that was healing up nicely below the belly button. So he is a four inch wound that is now open. I kept telling him to stop doing so much. We called the surgeon. Around 6pm, we got a call from the medical assistant in the office and she said to change the dressings twice a day and keep them dry. The surgeon will see him next Wednesday.
So it was a not so fun day. And tomorrow we go to the cardiologist who saw David in the hospital.
When I went outside to feed the chickens, one of the new bags of feed was all moldy. The other was moldy and had live bugs. They both had to be thrown out. Both were purchased at a local feed store but we no longer have the receipts. Totally disgusting. There were bugs all over the feed shed so I had to spray.
So this morning we went to the cardiologist. We have never been to his office before. Of course, we left late and could not find the office. We finally walked in right at 11am, which was the time of the appointment. I had to fill out new patient paperwork and corona papers. The city of San Antonio has masks everywhere and they are still so afraid because their mayor is so afraid.
At noon, they put us back in a room. Then they did an EKG and we waited another 20 minutes for the doctor. Of course, David was bleeding through the gauze and I did not think to bring more. The doctor's office did not have any gauze per the nurse. I thought they all had that just in case, but no. They originally told us that they would be doing cardioversion today, which is shocking the heart, but they did not do it. They said it will be done in two weeks at the hospital. Fun, fun. More bills. He renewed all $600 worth of the prescriptions and will see us back at the office in a month.
All of the snapdragons and sunflowers were pulled up today in front of the farm store. Now I have to plant zinnias for the rest of the season. I chose a bunch of zinnia mixes and I will try to get them in the ground this weekend.
Our egg production is back up with between 14 and 20 eggs a day again. No one coming in the store means I am not selling any eggs. I am being overwhelmed by the amount of eggs we have right now.
We made pickles which is fine because of the acidity according to the health department.
Remember that if you are considering hiring someone to help you with your business, dealing with employees can be difficult. Make sure you do a whole interview process with several interviews instead of just one interview. Explain clearly everything you expect them to do several times before you hire them. Once you hire them and they don't work out, it can be difficult to terminate them, depending on the rules in your state. It can also be costly. Dealing with employees gets easier if you hire the right ones.
Be careful of hiring family members. Dealing with employees, if they are family, is not fun when you have to reprimand them and can affect your family relationships. It has not turned out well for us in most cases.
Good Friday morning. Sometimes, it is best when dealing with employees to do what is best for the business instead of what is best for them. For instance, today we have four employees here. Everyone else is off. Instead of assigning days off, David allowed them all to pick the days they want off. I guess we are lucky anyone showed up today.
This morning, David wants to go to Leakey to visit his father. I don't think this is a good idea. I think he just needs to lie still and heal.
I got my happy self outside early, fed the animals and then planted zinnia seeds in both of the raised beds in front of our farm store. I sure hope they grow quickly. The snapdragons were beautiful while they lasted.
I noticed the neighbor's cows over in a far field. The fields are looking green and beautiful because we have had so much rain.
These past few weeks, we have talked a lot about dealing with employees. Some of them make it so difficult. For instance, who is actually going to tell one of the owners (me), "I don't care" and then two weeks later says the same thing to David but it happened. Worse, she still works here. I do not believe she will quit. She has it too easy here.
Normally, we don't want our team members to quit. We tend to like who we hire until they show their true colors. Then, dealing with employees should be moving either to correct the undesirable behavior or it should lead to letting them go. But then the circumstances of that person come into play so they can get away with what they shouldn't. Incidentally, an apology would have gone a long way but neither of us has received one and it has now been over five months. When it happens again, and I am sure it will, she will be gone.
Dealing with employees, caring about them, and doing what is right for the company is a fine line to balance and our emotions tend to get in the way sometimes.
We drove out to Leakey with two portable air conditioners and gave them to two couples that David has known for a long time in Leakey. We met them uptown at a place named Chickin Earls. The place was crowded. My father-in-law wanted chicken for lunch but he is not feeling well enough to go out to eat. It took quite a while to cook the chicken because there were so many tourists and locals. We had a good visit with several of David's friends.
While visiting, we talked about dealing with employees and got some tips.
We got the chicken out to Dad. He feels fine if he is sitting but when he gets up to move across a room, with his oxygen on, it is hard for him to breathe. We had a good visit and then it was time to go home.
We arrived home around 4pm and there were only four people here. No customers showed up today.
Some of our people are here working today because not everything got done yesterday. It is a hot and humid morning with overcast skies, unlike yesterday morning when it was cool out.
Nacho and one of his sons came out to work on our irrigation system out back. I dead headed all of my roses and zinnias. I also pulled a lot of weeds and then I picked tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. There were a lot of rotted tomatoes on the vines. I cannot imagine why they are not being picked. I picked some of the bad ones for the chickens and they loved them. However, many were moldy because they have been on the vines for so long. The strawberries are the same way. They would pick a few and when I go out there, there are many rotten ones on the vine. I just don't get it.
We pay our people very well and yet the outdoor crew would not pick the produce. What? It is a shame to waste tomatoes that we could have canned for later. We are always asking if they picked everything because there should be a lot but harvests have been low. Now we know why. Laziness. Dealing with employees can be difficult if they don't tell the truth and they don't want to work. Had they picked everything, they might still have jobs. David got rid of the farm department because they were not producing anything. Three months ago, they were told that if there was not enough produce, they would be gone. There was plenty of produce. They just didn't harvest it, weed it, water it, or fertilize it enough.
For the first time in weeks, I got to use the pool after everyone went home. I wish they would stop coming on weekends. Also, if everyone could go home by 4pm, I might get to swim on weekdays. I need the exercise but I don't want to put on a show for employees and contractors.
Svengoolie played the 1959 Mummy movie and it was pretty good. I had not seen that one.
Good Sunday morning to you! I hope it is a good one. We are getting ready for church. This will be the first time we go to church since before David's surgery. I changed his dressing this morning and it is looking so much better, closing on its own. The blood has stopped but there is some liquid coming out. It is minimal though. We are going to a nearby church so we don't have to travel for two hours to get to San Antonio and back.
It is hot and sunny already. My hope is that no one is coming here to the farm today. Often times, a contractor or an employee comes in but so far, David has not said anything. Last week, our marketing company sent a videographer to fly a drone over the farm so I could not be out in the pool.
After church, we drove through the back forty and David pointed out another balsam gourd vine with ripe, red fruits on it.
Then we went to get groceries. After I put the groceries away, I watered the plants on the store deck and picked a bunch of the balsam gourds.
Then I put a pork roast in the oven with carrots, celery, mushrooms, and onions. I sliced up some fresh cucumbers from the garden, along with cherry tomatoes and we are set for a wonderful dinner this evening. I am doing laundry as well.
I have some computer corrections to make on David's Garden Seeds® so I will do that for a while. It is miserably hot and humid out there so I am happy to be in the A/C.
Thirty-five years ago today, David and I had our first date. It is hard to believe that it has been so long ago. I remember spending much of that day looking for the perfect pair of shoes to wear that night. I found some beautiful pink leather sandals. We went to What A Burger and swapped life stories and then we went to our Sunday School teacher's house for a few hours, talking and getting to know each other more. We met at church in the Singles Sunday School class. Who knew that 35 years later we would be dealing with employees in our own business?
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Peppers and peas
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