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Author Topic: A sort-of employer related dilemma  (Read 3626 times)

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A sort-of employer related dilemma
« on: April 09, 2013, 12:27:28 PM »
BG:  I am currently in need of some general household assistance with basic everyday cleaning:  dusting, vacuuming, mopping and the like.  This is a short-term need and a little less intensive than something that would require hiring a service.   A teen boy currently cuts my lawn and I thought that this would be another good situation to hire another teen for a few hours a month.  End BG.

I contacted a local church two blocks away via email, thinking that they might have some teens in the church who would be happy to have a few hours work per month. 

I got a response back yesterday....from a person who is unemployed.   My original thought was that this endeavor would pay $40 per month for four hours work (2 hours every other week).  I felt this was good for a teen to pick up a few extra dollars, but for some reason, I am uncomfortable with this arrangement for an unemployed adult.  I would feel like I should be paying more per hour or paying for more hours, neither of which I am prepared to do.  Plus, this seems like it would then require some tax arrangements as well. 

However, I could always state my original idea, which is the $40 per month.  I guess my question is....if you were unemployed, would you feel that this was offensive or would you be grateful for the extra few bucks?  I don't want to aggravate or irritate anyone because I really do appreciate the fact that the church even passed along my request.   I'm really conflicted.

Thanks for any and all feedback! 


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Re: A sort-of employer related dilemma
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 12:36:54 PM »
I would be grateful for the few extra bucks.  $10/hour isn't a huge amount, but it's more than minimum wage and more than a lot of people across the country make.  There are tax laws involved even for teens, though I don't know what they are.  There's some maximum amount you can make per year without having to report, but again, I have no clue what that amount is.  Somehow, I don't think you'd come anywhere near that amount with the temporary status of your needs, but it might be worth a call to a tax professional.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: A sort-of employer related dilemma
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 12:38:23 PM »
Did you put what you were willing to pay and the hours you wanted in the original email?  If so, the person who responded knows what they've agreed to and you could go ahead.  They might be trying to string together a number of small jobs or if they do a good job for you that you will refer them to someone else.  But they might also be hoping that you'll find other jobs for them to do and pay them more.

I'd meet with them before agreeing to take them on and reiterate what you are looking for at what rate.  As for the tax arrangements, the person is probably just looking to be paid cash under the table so if you are bothered by that, you might want to try again to get a teenager.

How big is your house?  Mine is only a little over 1000 square feet and it takes the person I hire closer to 3 hours to do the basics, longer if I ask her to do stuff like clean out the fridge.  So depending on the size of the house and what you want done, 2 hours sounds a little low on the time committment.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.


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Re: A sort-of employer related dilemma
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2013, 12:38:59 PM »
We come across people in this way a lot in our community - usually one sticks around for a year or so and at first everyone hires them at reasonable rates and gives extra help, but over time the quality of their work drops as they begin feeling entitled to the help and then people stop hiring them and move on to the next person.  A job is a job though so go ahead and make the offer. 

There is no problem with telling him - "I am looking for someone to do X, Y, Z for $40/month.  Are you interested?"


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Re: A sort-of employer related dilemma
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2013, 01:18:50 PM »
OP here...thanks for all of the responses!

I did put the parameters ($20 for 2 hours twice a month) in my original email, although I am not 100% sure that detail got passed along to the person who responded.  I realize this is not a lot of hours, but I'm just looking for a little assistance while I am dealing with some health issues.  My goal is not to get my whole house cleaned for this amount, but just to get a few things done.  The limiting parameter is really the money, so if I have a few extra bucks one week, I might ask for some additional assistance if it would be mutually agreeable.

I'm not overly concerned with the "cash under the table" portion either as it is hopefully a limited time need.  If things progress in a bad way, I would definitely go with a more formal arrangement since the time commitment would become larger.

I'll send the responder an email and reiterate the parameters.  The worst she can say is "no". 


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Re: A sort-of employer related dilemma
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 03:57:04 PM »
cattlekid, you might want to email the general idea of what you want, and suggest that the two of you meet at your house so you can discuss specifics.  This gives you a chance to evaluate the person and how they handle the discussion.  Because it is 'still in the talking about it' stage, if they were to make you feel uncomfortable, you have a way out.

I suggest this because I made a similar set up once without meeting the person first.  They were a smoker and I couldn't handle the residue smell that lingered after she finished (I consider this my issue, not theirs).  I felt awkward saying that I changed my mind after only one visit since I stated it would last longer.


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Re: A sort-of employer related dilemma
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 11:17:08 AM »
You should go ahead with this, if you are comfortable with the person, of course.  It isn't just the money that they are earning - for many people who are unemployed and wish they had a job, not having a job is bad for their self-esteem.  My coworker's husband lost his job and his self-esteem plummeted and she was worried about him become clinically depressed.  He got a job that pays almost nothing, but it made such a difference for him - he felt good about himself again!  Also, it was a new field for him, and now this job is a reference for him for other jobs that will pay more and/or have more hours for him. 
"The test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones" - Solomon ibn Gabirol


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Re: A sort-of employer related dilemma
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 07:34:14 AM »
If you want to go ahead with the adult, tell them the hours/rate and say something like "I was originally thinking of a teen doing this given the hours and rate, but we can give this a trial period if you are interested."

Then you see if they balk or try to get you to add more hours. Be firm.   Then let them try and if you don't like it and don't feel comfortable then you could say "The trial period is over and I won't be continuing with you. Thank you for your efforts."
If you do like them you could say "The trial period has worked out well! Would you mind if I give your info to people I know that may be interested in housecleaning?"

If you don't feel comfortable with this at this point then just say "I was really looking for a teenager to have an afterschool job."


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Re: A sort-of employer related dilemma
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2013, 07:42:32 AM »
Do know you any friends who have teens?  That's who I would go to frankly; because I would not want DD going to someone's home that I did not know pretty well.  Or a friend of a friend maybe?

Whichever route you go, I would make sure to make my expectations clear up front and as others have suggested, have a trial period.