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15 August 2010 @ 01:51 pm
In which I have to put the big-girl pants on.  
I am going to be leaving for Washington DC in two days, and my boss is still out taking care of her father, so there's no one to work at RHA, save Chris. Now, Chris is a very capable woman but she can't be in the office from 8am to 9 pm seven days a week, so we were hoping to get a temp in through the same agency we found her. No dice. The agency sent me several resumes, and the candidates looked good, but for one reason or another they fell through. Finally, I got an e-mail that someone named Evie would be at RHA today at 10:00am for training.

So she comes in and the first thing I think is "Gee, this Evie is young." It turns out she's really young - only seventeen. She's still in high school. Oh dear. So I ask her about her work experience. It turns out that this will be her first job.

Now, granted, some teenagers can be surprisingly useful and the agency did thing Evie would be a good match, so I decide to give her a chance. She's really sweet, after all. But after the first hour it's painfully clear that the kid isn't going to work out. I show her how to do traffic passes, and how to record them in the homeowners' files. Then I show her again. She's still unclear, so I demonstrate a third time. She still doesn't quite get it. Perhaps I was just explaining it poorly, but I've now trained three previous women and they all got it in one go, so I doubt that's the problem.

We take a walk around the property so she can see it, and she oooo's and aaaaah's over the scenery. (There are some pretty walking trails around the property.) Some of her questions are a little...lame. "Do people live here?" Uh. Yes. IT'S A HOMEOWNER'S ASSOCIATION. In fact, she seemed pretty fuzzy on the whole concept of what a homeowner's association is.

We get back to the Clubhouse and I demonstrate how to use the online Tennis Registration system. As she sits at the computer, I notice she's not using touch typing. Instead, she's hen-pecking each key out and has to ask me where several letters are (our keyboard's old and several of the letters have rubbed off). That was a big turn-off right there. In this day and age, not knowing how to type is just ridiculous. I mean, I learned it in 4th grade, 6th grade, 8th grade and 9th grade. It's ubiquitous in California schools. Further, even though the registration site is not complicated at all (it's easier to use than Facebook or Livejournal, for sure!) she couldn't grasp how to use it. I showed her several times, talked her through it, and all she could do was stare blankly at me with big doe-like eyes.

Further, she wanted only morning hours. When I strongly suggested that she come back tomorrow for the hours of 2-6, so she could
A/ Get practice working by herself
B/ Meet Chris
she asked if she could come the same time as today, at 10. I repeated that she should really meet Chris, because that was who she'd be working with, but she again just looked blank. At this point, I was wondering why the agency sent her. My job is not hard, but since 90-95% of the time you're self-supervised it really doesn't work as a first job. She's seventeen. She's engaged to her boyfriend, who has to chauffeur her around because she doesn't drive. She can't/won't work the hours we told the agency we needed covered.

She is a sweet kid, though, and I remember how hard it was to get my first job. Plus, we really needed someone. So I e-mailed my boss, who saw the words "first job" and immediately replied NO, NOT THAT ONE.
So I fired the girl. I couldn't do it myself, because I didn't have her contact info, so I e-mailed the agency and they said they'd take care of it. But I feel really bad. If I'd gone in for training at my first job, been told to come back the next day, and then got a call saying I wasn't wanted, I would have been devastated. But she was dumb as a stump! If any emergency had come up, she lacked the common sense and life experience to react properly.

Poor kid.
She should've tried to get a job in retail.
brokenliich on August 16th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
tho we all try to be nice, when it comes down to it, the whole reason for hiring people and training them is to get the job done. if the job cannot be completed properly in a timely and efficient manner, then it's the logical bet to hire someone who can do the job, do it well and get it finished. i've worked with enough stupids and it's such a waste of time, effort and money, it's not worth the hastle. it might have been her first job, but that's not an excuse. if that had been me, i would have been able to pick up on the job quickly and would have TRIED to figure things out...such as the keyboard. blank keys and you're not too sure about the letters? get a piece of paper, draw out the keyboard and label it via trial and error. NOT HARD!! i know not everyone out there is capable of logical thinking or common sense, but that's neither your fault nor your responsibility. your job is to contact the agency and tell them what you want. and it's the agency's job to follow through and find you someone to fit the position. if the person doesn't work out, you go back and find someone who does.
don't worry about it. carry on. we all have our turn at rejections in life...this time it was hers! :)
Narratoraswirlymatrix on August 17th, 2010 03:41 am (UTC)
"Dumb as a stump" cracks me up every time.

You did the right thing with the firing. You want to be nice but if she really can't do the job, you can't keep her either! Also, staffing agencies do the firing, not you. My office used to use a staffing agency for everything; if they weren't happy with someone, they called the agency who called the mismatch after he left for the day. It saves you from awkward situations! Yay.