02 September 2008

What to do?

I often joke that hubby and I do not need to have children because we have employees. It's a bit like jumping in with multiple teenagers. They bicker, fight, plot, finagle, and get into trouble. The kind of situations that one would think their parents would step up to deal with, but our experience has been slightly different. Either the person's parents are a/ just relieved to have their kid out of the house and not their daily problem anymore, b/ too messed up with their own bag of hammers, c/ going through a divorce or major turmoil with a sibling, or (now) d/sick and preoccupied trying to get better/live their life.
We just hired a kid (nineteen) that was recommended by another employee. He is a very polite well spoken kid who is motivated and eager to learn and help. On his first day he was answering the phone without anyone asking him too kind of motivated.
But he had his mysteries. I even thought of doing a background check on him. The pieces didn't add up. He said his Mom was a nurse, and his dad a teacher- both retired. One would think that parents like that would want their recent high school graduate to go to college. He's a smart kid... Then he has no bank account?!? Told me he wasn't planning on getting one either. Weird. Then he has no car, but he lives one town further away from the store than we do (we're about 25 minutes). He said he was going to move closer, but then moved further away.
Today his ride to work fell through. Go figure, a nineteen year old kid's friend didn't come through with a ride... (Duh!) He called and left a message on the store's answering machine apologizing. Then he called Art about an hour after opening saying he tried really hard but couldn't get a ride and fell over himself apologizing and explaining. Art ended up going to get him. Partly because we needed the body to do what was on the schedule for today and partly to try to figure out his story and see if this was going to be the norm.
Meanwhile our crabbiest employee (kind of like Mikey- he hates everything and everyone) called and said that our next door neighbor was selling a car for a thousand bucks and we should help our newby kid buy it by loaning him the money. Then the employee who got him the job pulled us aside and asked us if we would finance the car for Newby. We asked him a bit about things like Newby's lack of bank account, etc. We found out his father has recently gotten very sick, and that changed newby's choices in life fast. He doesn't have much stability or support and needs help.
We have loaned an employee money once in our ten years. It was more financing of a stove actually and it was after he worked for us for three years. This kid has been with us two weeks. The employee who recommended him said he will co-sign on the loan and it is not a lot of money to us.
Still... I worry that all employees will assume they can use us for a bank. I worry that he won't be able to afford the insurance; Nineteen year old boy... I worry that he will crash it into a tree...
We have put ourselves out on a limb to help other young guys who needed help and the odds are not that great. They either didn't appreciate it, didn't follow through, and/or thought we were "out to get them".
But what if we did help. What if when no one else is consistent in his life we are? What if he needs someone to care that little bit extra? What if he can't do it any other way?
What to do???


Uncivil said...

I'm a sucker for stuff like that! I'd help him. If it works out...great...... if not....chalk it up to a loss and the next needy employee that comes along definitely won't be gettin any help!

Anonymous said...

The only thing I can say is go with your gut. I would probably
suggest talking finances with your new employee. Will he be able to
afford a car/insurance/ gas. What would he be able to repay on a
weekly basis. That kind of thing. And get the repayment agreement in
writing with a notarization. I'm a sucker for lending people money but
have wizened up over the years, hence the written/signed/ notarized
Good luck and I hope everything works out to the positive for everyone
involved. Jocelyn

Mary said...

Personally I would wait a little bit before I loaned money to an
employee. Like you said, it worked out OK before, but the person had
worked there 3 years, so you knew them a little bit more.

One thing you could do is buy the car yourself, use it as a company
car, and after this employee has worked there a little longer, maybe
try loaning the car to him. I worked for a company that did this, and
they ended up selling the car to an employee and deducting the
payments from his paycheck. I'm not sure how they handled the
insurance, but if you owned the car yourselves, and anything happened
to it, it would be covered by insurance. That way, you wouldn't be
handing money out to employees for everyone to see, but you would be
helping him out. That same company, one of the managers actually came
and got myself and another employee every day, and we put extra gas
in her car to show our appreciation.

EXSENO said...

Good Lord, my comment was almost word for word what Mary had to say. I couldn't believe it. And by the way my real name is Mary too. Ahhhhh,
Great minds think alike. lol

C said...

Oooooooooh! That's s tough one, Shannon! I am a true sucker for helping out those who need help (or give the impression that they need help).

There are so many things to consider here before helping out with finances with the new employee. The part about not having a bank account would be a real issue for me.

Wait and see a bit longer so you can properly assess the situation. Also, like everyone else has said, trust your gut.

Good luck, and let us know how things work out!

badsara said...

baby ~ unless there is a binding contract, don't lend money to friends / fmaily / co-workers, unless you can consider it a gift. if it comes back, wonderful.
i personally would never lend an employee money. too messy. but, then, i'm a cold-hearted bitch and you are nice people.
love ya!

badsara said...

okay ~ after a few more minutes to think about this, and because i know you guys are such nice folk... how about this?

you say he's only been with your company a couple weeks. well, it sounds like he saw something he wanted right now, and folks at your work told him that you have lent money in the past. my kid does the same thing if she sees something on tv she wants. why not call him in, and tell him that after his 90 day review, you and art will consider docking his check to finance the sum? soup to nuts either the glow will be off the item in 90 days or he will, in the interm, find some other way to finace it?

good luck, buttercup!

Shannon said...

Well, thank you everyone for your input. We were deliberating on what to do when the car sold. I believe that everything happens for a reason, so I took the car selling (to someone else) as my answer. He has not approached us about money for a different car, so (fingers crossed) we dodged that bullet!