‘Why I can’t come to work today’


As anyone who ever had employees knows, being an employer is not the piece of cake that some management gurus would like us to believe.
Why do we hire employees?
One of three basic reasons usually covers it:
1) The farm is growing and having enough kids to do all the work isn’t an attractive option.
2) The kids grew up and left.
3) The farmer isn’t 23 any more and finally accepted that they can’t work like they are still 23 any more and they really don’t want to work like they are 23 any more.
Good and bad. Like any other management practice, there are pluses and minuses.
One “plus” is that there are usually more people around to help with the work.
However, not everyone shows up when scheduled.
Just when you think you have heard them all, you hear another one.
These happen to be a sampling of some we have heard at our dairy.
Reasonable requests are always worked out to the best of everyone’s ability and are not included.
Categories. Excuses tend to sort out into several major categories.

“I might not be done with my Christmas shopping in time.”

Misplaced Priorities
“I need to process our piglets because my boyfriend is on vacation.” (This was the employee’s only job, four hours a day, five days a week).

Mechanical Difficulties
“My car won’t start.”
“My car broke down and I’m at ______ (pick a location).”
It is always interesting to tell the employee that someone will be at their house or other location in 15 minutes to pick them up and see what the reaction is.
“If I don’t sit in my car (that hasn’t run for three months) it will get towed from the parking lot tonight.”
“The furnace repair man hasn’t come yet and I let it run out of fuel yesterday.” (Even though my wife will be home in 45 minutes, I can’t come at all.)

“I have a cold.” (a weekend favorite)
“My kid is sick and my wife won’t be home until 5 p.m.” (The worker’s shift starts at 4 p.m., but theoretically he can’t come at all.)
“My kid is sick and his baby-sitter is undergoing chemo.”
“I’m in the emergency room because


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