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dealing with employees

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  1. #1
    EcoSafe started this thread.
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    dealing with employees

    I didn't know where exactly where to put this so here is as good of a place as any I guess. A few ( very few, certainly not my wife and kids) people think that I'm a pretty smart cookie. well the truth is I'm not. I just have 50 + years of experience.

    This is a paraphrased excerpt from one of my books, "Vending 101" Thirty years on the road". It deals with employees.

    Some of you know, we used to own carnival games and rides. Carnival (Carnies) employees are some of the hardest to deal with day to day. They have to show on and on time every day, and they think they are as independent as scrap employees. ( They are really not They just think they are.)

    We treated our employees better then any one I know of on the circuit and payed them a normal wage. To understand this you must understand that most Carnies are treated very badly and paid as little as $10 or $15 a day. many times not paid at all, just used up and thrown away.

    We would even take them home in the off season (December and January) let them stay in the motor homes or one of our houses and feed them and buy them smokes all winter,BUT when Feb came and we were not scheduled for the first show of the season they would all disappear and usually with a their trunks full of our blow ups or plush ( Carnival game prizes). For years we could never figure out why.


    Over the years many times we heard the comment " Mike you treat your people too good." followed by our comment "then why do they run off?" followed by, " because you treat them too well."

    After about five years of this we became friends with the owner of the Bo-Bo gig (dunk tank ), these guys are usually the tough customers of the lot.( Carnival grounds). I pulled him aside one day after loosing a particularly good crew of seven to the first show of the season, and asked him how he kept his crew year after year. This was his method and advice. " First show or two of the season pick out the toughest guy on your crew you think you can whip, arrange it so some how you are in full view of the rest of the crew and slap the crap out of him, you will have no discipline problems the rest of the season. Second, by paying weekly as well as you do, you allow them to be able to buy cars ect. and to carnies the grass ALWAYS looks greener on another show.(BOY DO i HAVE SOME STORIES).

    That year we took his advice. I Gainesvill fl I picked out a guy, who I was going to cull any way, and when he disrespected my wife I slapped the crap out of him in front of other employees. No problems the rest of the season.
    we changed our pay schedule to a $15 a day pay with a season end bonus system.( stay for the season and get a big bonus}.

    The lesson here is, not the method but Even with the toughest of employees have to have set rules, with set penalties for infractions. You are running a business not a homeless shelter or half way house.

    Hope you enjoyed the story. mcw.

    Last edited by EcoSafe; 12-26-2014 at 05:02 PM.
    "anyone who thinks scrappin is easy money ain't doin it right!"



  2. #2
    Abuilder's Avatar
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    I can't believe you housed some for two months. YIKES!!!!! I won't even let a carnie worker know what state I live in.
    If they worked the whole season, give them the bonus and tell them to come back in spring if they want.
    Carnies are a tough bunch. I use to shave with my Buck knife

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    directrecycle's Avatar
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    even though not scrap related i love the stories. keep them coming


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