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Hiring Employees

This week, we will focus on hiring employees. We have hired a lot of team members over 12 years. Most were good, some were temporary and others were flat out bad and we wish we had not hired them. It can be difficult to get it right. If one of your management team says not to hire someone, listen to his or her concerns. Turns out, the concerns are always right but you don't find that out until much later and it costs you in time and money.

Once a month, we take our whole team out to celebrate birthdays for lunch; usually we go to Salt Grass! Hiring employees can be difficult to get right.Once a month, we take our whole team out to celebrate birthdays for lunch; usually we go to Salt Grass! Hiring employees can be difficult to get right.

Hiring Employees - June 7-June 13, 2021

Monday, June 7, 2021

The electric gate team is here this morning and they told me the electric gate will be working by the time they leave today! Yay!The electric gate team is here this morning and they told me the electric gate will be working by the time they leave today! Yay!

Good Monday morning! Welcome to a typical, busy, payday Monday at David's Garden Seeds®. I think everyone is back from vacations, etc, except for Sam, who is still in a rehab facility after having a stroke.

Good news! As of 1pm, the electric gate is installed and the installer says it works. It was expensive.

Today is payday but still no sign of pay stubs coming from our accountant yet. Matthew is taking plants out of our grow tower and planting them in pots so we can sell them.

I collected a bunch of seeds that snakes hate and Matthew planted those in pots outside of the store. When they germinate, we will plant the seedlings around the pond to further protect the fish. This morning, I found just five fish again. Five is better than four but we should have seven. If we don't, it means that snakes have eaten four of our nine fish. We have found only two fish bodies.

We had some customers in the store this morning from San Antonio. They enjoyed looking at the fish and took a selfie at our official selfie spot in the gazebo.

Across the parking lot, Jay, the production manager is taking new seeds into his building to be logged, counted, and packaged. Jay helps a lot with hiring employees.Across the parking lot, Jay, the production manager is taking new seeds into his building to be logged, counted, and packaged. Jay helps a lot with hiring employees.

Hiring Employees

Right now, I think we have 20 but hiring employees is a difficult challenge. We have hired people who we thought would be good and they never even showed up for day one. Then we hired some who we thought would stay until we died and they got mad and left after a reprimand. You never can tell about folks.

Dave Ramsey gives a lot of good advice about hiring employees in his book and class, Entreleadership. We try to get a good reference from someone we know when hiring, but it doesn't always work that way. Sometimes we get a good reference and they are the worst with no respect for their supervisor or they feel like they don't have to follow the rules. Other times, we don't know anyone they know and they are great employees. It is different with every person.

Part of the problem we have when hiring employees is finding good people who actually want to work for 40 hours. I thought everyone wanted a full paycheck, but few people do. They want to work a few hours a day, but not everyday, Monday through Friday and no one wants to work on Saturday, no matter how much you offer. I think this is so interesting. The reason we have so many employees is because we can't get enough full timers.

David and I went to Entreleadership taught by Dave Ramsey back in 2012 and, for the most part, we run our business the way Dave taught us to. One area that we fail in repeatedly is having a 12 step hiring process.

Usually, we get a referral or someone stops in and asks if we are hiring. Then we do a quick interview and hire them or not.

This is where we fail. We have had a lot of quitters, terminations, and people who have the wrong attitude about working here. We definitely need to correct our process so this week we will talk about Dave's way of hiring employees. Here is a brief six point process that summarizes what Dave does when hiring employees.


The paychecks are written and have been distributed. The plants have been pulled from the grow tower and have been transplanted into pots so they can be sold to customers. Matthew had to leave to run some company errands so they have not been replanted. I guess I will have to choose some new seeds to plant.

It is 4:30pm. The humidity is so thick you can cut it with a knife. It is 89° Fahrenheit but it feels way hotter because of all of the moisture in the air.

Some friends showed up for a visit right after I wrote the above line and they didn't leave until almost 6:30pm. At that time, I left the store and took care of all of the animals. The air was a little cooler by then so I did not break out into horrible sweating as quickly as I do at 5:00pm.

I captured a beautiful sunset on my way in from taking care of the animals.

The sky looked ablaze this evening as the sun went down. I was on my way in from gathering eggs and watering animals.The sky looked ablaze this evening as the sun went down. I was on my way in from gathering eggs and watering animals.

By the time I got back inside, it was already 7:15pm and I still had to change my soaking wet clothes. I missed the first half of Hell's Kitchen so I was not pleased. I fell asleep on the couch before 10pm and I awoke at 12:30am. I showered and went to bed...


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Look at this pretty new yellow waterlily in our pond.Look at this pretty new yellow waterlily in our pond.

Good Tuesday morning! It is another overcast and very humid day. Nacho and his team are here doing some sort of damage control to stop all of the flooding that we experienced last week. I am hoping the building that is falling will be fixed today so I can get in there and get feed for the animals. The ground is still wet and nasty back there.

This morning, we replanted the grow tower so it has lavender, lemon balm and dill in it now. The other plants are outside of the store, potted in dirt so we can sell them. Also, we planted all of the seeds that snakes hate in trays out on the store deck. Once they grow, we will plant those around the pond and gazebo area. I have some Mother-In-Law's Tongue coming from Amazon since snakes hate that plant as well.

It looks like we still have five fish in the pond so the snake repellent must be working.

These are the plants we took from the grow tower. They are now in pots of dirt for sale.These are the plants we took from the grow tower. They are now in pots of dirt for sale.
Reflection on our covered pond.Reflection on our covered pond. You can see a few of the fish.

Nacho worked until 7:30pm placing rocks and gravel around flooded areas and did some more work to the pond area.

I went out to collect eggs and the sweat just poured off of me uncontrollably. It was disgusting and extremely humid.


Hiring Employees

One of Dave Ramsey's 12 steps of hiring employees is to pray. In fact, it is his first step of the hiring employees process. It only makes sense if you run your business the way you should. Don't ask people you know if they know of anyone. First, pray and ask God for the right people for whatever position you have open.

Because we are Christians, many people in the churches we have attended feel it is our job to put all of the unemployed people to work, no matter what type or lack of talents those people have. Pastors and others in churches can make you feel obligated to hire their people. Hiring employees is more than filling seats in your company. You need to find the right people with talent who are interested in your company, not in taking home a paycheck. We have hired the wrong people from churches so many times over the years. Hiring employees should be done from a business standpoint. We are a business, not a charity, yet so many in the church feel like we have a moral obligation to hire people who don't want to lift a finger to earn a paycheck.


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

This morning, we are getting ready for a company potluck. I have been in a lot of back and arm pain lately so I got some ice cream on a stick for everyone instead of cooking something. Having a company potluck in addition to our once a month birthday celebrations is something we do often. When hiring employees, make sure they can cook and you can have some awesome potlucks!

The potluck was very good. The food was wonderful. I am now stuffed beyond measure.

We don't have any contractors on the property today. It is hot and humid but overcast.

Good News Finally!

This photo shows the lights we had hanging above the grow tower because the tower lights were not sent until yesterday, more than 2 months after we received our tower.This photo shows the lights we had hanging above the grow tower because the tower lights were not sent until yesterday, more than 2 months after we received our tower.

Do you remember several months ago, on April 1, when we got a grow tower to display in our farm store? The grow tower was supposed to come with lights but the company sent the grow tower with no lights. We bought some grow lights to add to the top since the company would not send us our lights that we paid for. Well, guess what? They finally decided to send us their grow lights that we paid for months ago. They look way different than what we put up. We just took all of our plants out earlier this week and put new seeds in the grow tower today. Now, we have the actual grow tower lights on.

So they told us the grow lights would be here in five days and it took over two months for them to get here. I will tell you that the lighting in the store is completely different than with the other lights. These are cooler but we should have received them back in April.

The new lights, the correct lights, on the grow tower look pretty cool and will let light shine on all of the plants. Problem is they would not send them for over two months.The new lights, the correct lights, on the grow tower look pretty cool and will let light shine on all of the plants. Problem is they would not send them for over two months.
The lighting in here is so different without the bright overhead lights we had in here for two months now that the real grow lights came.The lighting in here is so different without the bright overhead lights we had in here for two months now that the real grow lights came.

Our pest control guy showed up and sprayed the commercial kitchen after it was all cleaned up. He then came in the farm store and sprayed. I asked him about gnat spray. He gave me some of what he uses.

Hiring Employees

Dave Ramsey suggests when hiring employees that advertising an available opportunity, not a job is best. It sounds better than I have a job opening because it is better. It should probably bring in a higher class of people than those looking for an easy way to get a paycheck. People like that are a dime a dozen and they don't show up for work every day, eager to learn and see how much they can do. They drift in late because they did not get up early enough and they will see if they can sneak out before they are supposed to. We have plenty of that kind of employee.

The good ones who have a great work ethic are difficult to find. Hiring employees is a difficult job and can take up more time than you have to spend, especially when you need good help right away. Sometimes you have to settle and just pick a body to fill a position. When that happens, just know that it will not end well.

Dave suggests taking the prospective new hire out to dinner with his or her significant other to see if it will be a good fit when hiring employees. Take your spouse with you. Sometimes, your spouse can pick up on things that you don't have a clue about. If there is no significant other, find out why and have them bring a friend or a family member to dinner. Ask a few questions and then sit back and shut up and let the significant other talk, spill the beans, or see what he or she comes up with. Hiring employees means you are hiring the family because the way the significant other handles things can impact and affect your employee's work. This is a step we never do and I really think we should.


After work, I went out to feed and water everyone and collect eggs. First stop was the guinea coop. The male guinea has been throwing himself into me to hit me for a couple of weeks now so when I went in there to grab the water container, I sort of moved out of the way and the two guineas went out of their coop. I thought they would go back in as soon as I put their favorite food and treats in there. No, they did not. They nibbled on grass and then made their way to their old home, the chicken coop where, once again, they proceeded to try to get in.

In fact, when I went outside to put the chickens away at 8:45pm, they were still there in the same place, trying to get in. I tried to coax them back to their coop then but they would not budge.

The white guinea got on the left side of the chicken coop and kept sticking her head through the fencing to get in.The white guinea got on the left side of the chicken coop and kept sticking her head through the fencing to get in.
The male guinea was on the right side of the chicken coop, trying to fly in through the fenced wall all night long.The male guinea was on the right side of the chicken coop, trying to fly in through the fenced wall all night long.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Us at the surgeon's office in the waiting room. They still require masks at all times in San Antonio. I had a difficult time breathing. So glad I don't live there any longer!Us at the surgeon's office in the waiting room. They still require masks at all times in San Antonio. I had a difficult time breathing. So glad I don't live there any longer!

Good Thursday morning. As soon as it was light, I could see the two guineas, still on either side of the chicken coop trying to get in. They did this all night, completely freaking out the hens. They used to rule the roost and they want in so bad but we had to remove them because they were constantly pecking the chickens.

A little after 7am, Matthew came to the rescue. He got the net and finally caught the white female. By this time, I was out there and opened the guinea coop door and closed it. I had actually left the door open all night so they could go in and eat and drink and sleep but that never happened.

The male guinea ran up to the end of the orchard. I was trying to feed the chickens who were still inside the main coop and so I left their play area door open. Matthew chased the guinea down to the chicken coop and the male guinea finally ran inside. Matthew went in and closed the door. Matthew came out just a few minutes later, guinea in hand, no net, and carried him over to the guinea coop with not a peep from the guinea. I opened the door, he put him in and I closed the door. I thought the two would settle down to a lovely guinea breakfast. Not a chance.

That male was so upset that all he did was make noise, along with the female. I finished up with the chickens and went inside to get ready for work.

This afternoon, we see David's surgeon. Hopefully, we can get some work done quickly, before the grandkids visit us in a few weeks.

We saw the surgeon. There will be surgery soon. At this point, we do not have a date. The surgeon's scheduler will call us with details next week. We picked up Taco Cabana on the way home and it was so good. Living out in the country, you tend to forget how good some foods are.

I got a bunch of live plants in the mail today, with several more arriving in the next few days. Some of them are for me to grow and root to sell. Others are to plant by the pond because snakes hate them. Also, the seeds that Matthew planted earlier this week are starting to come up.

Hiring Employees Means You Have To Fire Them Too

So let's say you find a perfect person to fill that position. You think you questioned him or her well, like you are supposed to. Things go great for the first three or four weeks and then you begin to realize that not all of the work is getting done or he or she lies and says yes, I got it all done and then you discover that is not so. Dave Ramsey calls this allowing crazy into the building. We have done this a number of times.

Then crazy says there is a family emergency and he or she has to leave. A few days later, this person comes in late and calls in that Friday. Repeat errors begin. Oh, no. You hired the wrong person who knew how to play the hiring game and now comes the time to discipline and eventually fire them.

Reprimand them nicely the first time. Get a bit more stern the next time. Finally, give them a written warning with time to shape up. You probably know by now that the person will say they will change, but will not. So he or she is late again or doesn't complete the task again that you warned him or her about. Now you have to end it for everyone and terminate the person before all morale is lost in the company.

Call him or her in with one or two witnesses, like supervisors or an HR rep. Talk calmly, state the problem and say I have to terminate you now. Then escort him or her to pack up and escort them out of the building and the parking lot. You just let crazy out. Be careful not to let crazy in the building again the next time you are hiring employees.



Friday, June 11, 2021

Good Friday morning! Nacho is here doing more pond landscaping. Marlene is here, cleaning up the house. Molly, the stray pit bull, went into the living room on the 18 month old couch, found the tear in one of the seats, and went to town. She chewed it up and pulled out fluff. It is ruined.

Molly chewed part of the fabric away from my new couch.Molly chewed part of the fabric away from my new couch.
Side view of Molly's tooth work.Side view of Molly's tooth work.
The rip is on the seat on the left. Both of these seats will need to go to the repair shop as they are hooked together.This is our new living room sectional that we bought when we moved into our new home in September of 2019. It was not delivered until November of 2019.
This is our new living room sectional that we bought when we moved into our new home in September of 2019. It was not delivered until November of 2019.This is our new living room sectional that we bought when we moved into our new home in September of 2019. It was not delivered until November of 2019.

So I called a bunch of upholstery places in San Antonio. I finally got one who would come out here to get the furniture. It will cost about $440 but he cannot even think about it for ten weeks. A different company told me it would be several months. Anyway, I am disgusted. I am waiting for the guy to schedule a pickup date so we can get this nice couch fixed. He will have to take two seats with him. He said he would have to look at his calendar and get back with me this morning. He never did.

I found just four fish in the pond today. I am hoping one is hiding and was not snake bait over night.

Nacho sprayed around the pond for weeds and put rocks in nice looking arrangements around the pond. Phil put more snake repellent around the pond. Matthew vacuumed the pond.

I finally went in the pool this evening and it felt great but was so full of floating insects that it was disgusting. I finally found the problem. The hose to the filter is broken so the bugs get sucked up and go right back into the pool water. David says he has extra hose and will fix it tomorrow.

We could not get the electric gate to close using the keypads or the remotes so the electric gate guy came to say that during the times of 7:30am to 7:30pm, the gate would stay open and there is no way to close it. Then, somehow, he demonstrated that it can close and he left. I guess he took it off automatic timer because 7:30pm came and went tonight and the gate would not close. I tried multiple times to close it using both keypads and using the remote. Nothing worked. I had to manually drag it with my painful shoulder to close it. It was not easy and I am disgusted. We paid about $6000 for the electric feature and the stupid thing will not work.


Hiring Employees Tips

We have been hiring employees for about ten years now. David actually has done most of the hiring and all of the firing. Sometimes, it is hard to know how to hire the person you need. You want to reach for the stars and hire someone who is smart and who has skills that you don't have. However, the applicants should be humble and not have the mindset that since they know a lot, they will take over. You need to let them know from the beginning that you are the boss. You are in charge, not them. If you think they grasp this concept, then hire them. Put them on a 90 day probation and see how they do. If they will not do things the way you want them done, terminate them and try again.

Dave Ramsey says that when hiring employees, you should be very careful. Those who quit or have to be let go, should never have been hired in the first place because they are not the right fit. Just because someone needs a job at your church does not mean they are the right fit for your company. Most people who need a job and don't have one are not desirable employees. They don't have a job for a reason. We have found this to be true. Either they are lazy and feel entitled to your money but won't perform, or they have the wrong attitude and do things the way they feel things should be done instead of the way you want them done.

There is such a fine line in hiring employees sometimes because at the interview, they can tend to be pleasant and humble, acting like they will be a great addition to your team. Then you hire them and they are bossy, trying to take over and boss your other employees around. We had one like that. We hired her almost a year ago because the pastor at the church we attended said she needed work. She came on board in an entry level position and soon she was going back and forth between two of our work areas, telling people what to do and how to do it. She refused to take direction. She finally came to me on a Friday afternoon and told me she was going to quit on the following Monday.

She never showed up on Monday, Tuesday, or any other day of the week. She never called in. Instead, she went to Texas Work Commission and told them we fired her and they paid her. We contested it because we never fired her. She just never showed up to work. No call, no show, no paycheck. They overrode us and gave her benefits that we paid into the system. How do you like that? So don't feel obligated in hiring employees just because a pastor tells you they have to have work. She didn't want to work and was not pleasant to be around at all.


Saturday, June 12, 2021

Mammoth Grey Stripe Sunflowers are getting tall among all of the flowers and herbs growing in the raised beds close to the farm store.Mammoth Grey Stripe Sunflowers are getting tall among all of the flowers and herbs growing in the raised beds close to the farm store.

Good Saturday morning. Today is the first day in such a long time that I do not have to go sit in the farm store. Yet, I could not sleep. I woke up just after 4am. I should have gone to my office then but instead, I tried to go back to sleep on the couch in the living room. It is terribly uncomfortable. Maybe we should just get some new furniture for in there instead of trying to fix something that is so uncomfortable. I never got back to sleep. My shoulder, back, and right foot are all in pain. I am sick of pain.

I need to take care of the chicken coop since I can't get anyone to do it for me. I also need to plant some of these plants around the pond but since it was just sprayed with weed killer, I need to wait. So that is another chore I had planned for today but now I cannot do.

I have a whole pile of clothes that need to be altered so maybe I can get that done today. (I didn't, by the way.)

Hopefully, David can change out the broken hose on the pool so it will stay clean instead of gathering thousands of insects like last night. Holley and Max will be here next Friday and I know they will want to go in the pool.

Tonight, we were watching the Svengoolie movie and Matt went out to get something from his car. He came in and said the gate guy was out there doing something to the gate. I find it weird that people just come onto the property without a call or text, especially when our business is closed. I mean, who is open on a Saturday night after 8pm out in the country? David did not go check it out so we have no idea what he did to the gate.

Hiring Employees - Yet Another Tip

If you need full time help, when hiring employees, don't hire college students or adults who feel like they can't work 40 hours a week. We have a bunch of part time workers, instead of some full time workers because we could not find many full time workers over the past year. Don't do what we did. We felt like we needed people, even though they did not meet our needs as far as hours go. So we have too many people and I am never sure who comes in on what day. Also, it seems like the days and times keep on changing.

As these part timers leave to go back to school or goof off during the day, they will not be replaced. We need full time adults, not part time kids. From now on, we will be revamping our hiring process. No more hiring employees because someone brings a friend in who doesn't meet our qualifications.


Sunday, June 13, 2021

Happy Sunday. It is already 5pm. Where does the time go? I got up early this morning and had coffee with sweet rolls for breakfast. Then I went out into the hot, humid, hazy day at 7am and fed and watered all of the farm animals, including the four goldfish we have left. If you missed it, a snake has been eating all of the koi fish we had.

The electric gate was closed so it is no longer opening at 7:30am automatically. I used the remote when we left and to my shock, it actually opened the gate for us. Then we sat outside the property wondering if it would shut and finally, it shut!

Then I came back in the house, fed the cat, and the dogs, and got ready for church. After church, I was starving so we went into Lytle and got some Sonic which we pretty much devoured on the way home.

The electric gate opened again with the remote when we got to the driveway. Now we wonder, will it open at 7:30am tomorrow? We have no idea what the guy did. He never told us he was here and did not tell us what he was doing.

Tips On Hiring Employees Again

When hiring employees, don't offer them so much money that you won't be able in the future to offer them a raise. Right now, an older man who has been with us for almost two years keeps asking for a raise. He is not full time so David told him that he is already at the budgeted maximum as far as an hourly wage goes. (He makes more per hour than either of us did working in San Antonio before our business.)

David told him he could start working 40 hours to get more money but he declined the offer. A few weeks later, he came asking for more money again. Summer is our business's slow time so we don't have extra cash to just line people's pockets. We have been doing improvements and adding things to the business and farm all year. We are cleaned out.

David was having a hard time filling the position almost two years ago so he offered way too much, more than double the current minimum wage ($7.50 x 2 + more per hour). This turned out to be a mistake. He should have started him at $12 an hour, which is more than most make in San Antonio. That way he could have increased him several times.

Don't be cheap, but don't be willing to pay out a ridiculous amount when you are hiring employees. Be generous, but not that generous that it will break you.


Return from Hiring Employees to Farm And Business Life


David of David's Garden Seeds® zipping along on his little tractor across the farm. He is having a blast!David of David's Garden Seeds® zipping along on his little tractor across the farm. He is having a blast!

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Mrs. David's Garden Seeds in the greenhouse with Lucy the lap dog.Mrs. David's Garden Seeds in the greenhouse with Lucy the lap dog.

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Hi! I am Juanita aka Mrs. DGS. This photo was taken in our commercial kitchen during a potluck.Hi! I am Juanita aka Mrs. DGS. This photo was taken in our commercial kitchen during a potluck.

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