A New Year grump!

David Greenin Best of the Rest

The festive season is a time for goodwill to all men, but some make this very hard indeed. Is it just me or do others find that good, honest, hardworking labour is nigh on impossible to find?

I offer a good wage that is about treble the national minimum. The job involves some work when we are busy and not a lot of work when we are quiet.

I have a business that is growing, despite the recession, and I am struggling to employ some more people to replace those approaching retirement, but the labour pool from which I am drawing seems totally inadequate.

These would-be employees come with the following baggage - everything on this list is genuine.

  • Cannot think for themselves and lack common sense.
  • No concept of personal responsibility
  • Addicted to their mobile phones.
  • Have drug and smoking addictions
  • Have multiple children from different mothers, all of whom are estranged,
  • Have ill parents.
  • Have adult "children" for whom they must take time off.
  • Have criminal records
  • Are accident damaged, with replacement hips and knees, nipped nerves in shoulders and backs, have elbows with faulty ligaments, flat feet.
  • Regard starting times as a loose target time for them to try to get to work
  • Work nights for other people and so are too tired to come to work for me.
  • Treat working on Friday afternoons as optional.
  • Have stomach sickness every Monday morning
  • Have rotting teeth and need multiple dental appointments in works time.
  • Are ill mannered
  • Are ill disciplined
  • Do not know how to use a broom or empty a rubbish bin
  • Never clean a company vehicle unless specifically instructed to do so.
  • Treat the inside of the company vans as some form of refuse disposal site.
  • Have no concept of working safely despite repeated instruction - how many times do you need to be told to put the supplied ramps securely in place before driving a machine off the back of a trailer?
  • Claim work related physical injuries weeks after they are supposed to have hurt themselves having never previously mentioned any accident or injury to their employer.
  • Cannot absorb information from training courses as they "already know it all"
  • Believe the road transport laws apply only to others.
  • Cannot drive without hitting stationary objects & getting fined for speeding
  • Cannot take a corner without damaging tyre sidewalls and wheel rims.
  • Cannot be bothered to check that their vehicles are roadworthy or that all the trailer connections are made.
  • Regard MOT certification, car insurance and road tax as optional on their own vehicles.
  • Get so many penalty points that they are banned from driving.
  • Regard company stocks of fuel, oil and antifreeze as being there for them to use in their own vehicles.
  • Leave company vehicles and machinery running on fumes despite having working fuel cards and having passed a dozen fuel stations on the way home.
  • Drive at 45mph and stop for multiple breaks when going to site
  • Drive home at 80mph without a single break
  • Drive machinery into houses causing expensive damage
  • Bend trailer chassis: How????
  • Dangerously over inflate or under inflate tyres despite clear tyre pressure markings adjacent to the tyres.
  • Cannot navigate their way out of a paper bag despite the provision of road maps, satnavs and route finder step by step instructions when going to site.
  • Never miss a junction going home.
  • In such a hurry to get home that they leave valuable equipment behind on site
  • Routinely lose company telephones but never mislay their own mobile
  • Leave loose equipment on flatbed trailers
  • Put petrol in diesel engines (and vice versa) despite clear markings by every fuel cap.
  • Never check coolants, oils or washer fluids
  • Cannot change a set of wiper blades correctly
  • Cannot take the right equipment with them despite the provision of a written checklist for each job.
  • Cannot work out the area of a piece of rectangular ground when given a measuring wheel.
  • Find working outside to be too cold and wet or too hot.
  • Waste and damage materials and equipment.
  • Always want cash advances.
  • Never buy milk, tea, coffee or sugar for their own use at tea break.
  • Cannot collect and retain receipts for company petty cash issued to them.
  • Are blind when it comes to looking for clearly visible spares in the well organised company stores.
  • Select the most expensive steak on the menu when the company is paying.
  • Expect to drink all evening on the company tab when working away
  • Throw their wet waterproof gear in to the van and just leave it there overnight and then moan that it is still wet the following day.
  • Do not take enough gloves from the ample supplies at base and then moan that they have to use wet or dirty gloves.
  • Are generally workshy.

The politically correct amongst us would blame the employer, me, for a failure to adequately train and supervise these people and, ultimately I suppose, that is right. However, as a scouse friend so aptly puts it; "you cannot educate Spam".

It is statistically highly unlikely that I should have seen only the "bad" ones if the labour pool is not full of similar people.

We are told there are 2.5 million people unemployed, but I wonder just how many of those are actually employable?

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