I had to fire a worker. I don’t like doing that as I feel like all my student workers are part of our family in Special Education. However he is the third student worker where I’ve had serious issues with work ethics. Some of my biggest issues are no call/no show; cell phone use during work hours; socializing during work hours; and quality of work.
No call / no show is when someone is scheduled to work and doesn’t show up or call in sick. I’m pretty flexible with work hours I think. I’ve let students off work because they were tired from late nights of studying. I’ve let students out to meet with professors or to study. It isn’t like I’m a hard nose and say here is your schedule and be here or else. However, I’ve had four student workers who haven’t been able to get the concept that when you are scheduled to work you should show up or call if you can’t. I’ve started telling new employees that the best solution is to email me and if they don’t get an email back then I didn’t get it.
We all use cell phones. Mostly you can’t have any type of interaction without someone having their cell phone handy. I get that people want to stay in touch and have a life outside of work but here is the thing. If it isn’t an emergency or even urgent put the cell phone away. You won’t shrivel up and die if you aren’t on it constantly. I’m guilty of checking my texts and answering my phone but I also make a point of getting my work done.
Socializing is part of the work environment. There is always someone who wants to chat because they need a break. However, when you take work and it takes twice or three times as long as it should to get the job done because you are chatting that isn’t working it is socializing and I don’t pay for that. I’m all for conversations when there isn’t anything to do but when there is work at hand stay on task.
I get that it is a college job and not your dream job. Here is the thing – treat it like it is because if you come ask me for a reference you better have performed to a high level of competence. I have three student workers this summer and when they are here the work gets out and is accurate. I don’t have to double check their work or get them back on track. I just give them a list and it gets done. One of my workers I give him a list and think it will be enough to keep him busy for the full time. Then he is coming back to say – I’m done what else?
Working isn’t fun. It is a means to an end. If you need money to survive so you can make it through school then you have to work. I appreciate the students who come to me with a strong work ethic and get the work done. Their work ethic helps build a respect that most people their ages don’t get. It shows a maturity and responsibility level that is above and beyond the average.