Mountain Folks Guide to Employment

I’ve been getting an earful about the employment situation up here and have to say that it is hard to believe the stuff that happens. There are a lot of folks out there looking for work and so I thought it was time for the Mountain Folks Guide to Employment.

In fact, this is a good time to remind everyone to review the Mountain Folk Interview Criteria or Mountain Folks Guide To Going Out of Business in Record Time!

As usual, I asked around for tips and hints–I can only say it was really sad or really entertaining–depending on your perspective.

So, let me just start off here and get all the cards all on the table. This relates to employers and employees.

To avoid any confusion, just because a prospect is breathing does not mean that he or she is a good prospect to hire for your establishment.

Likewise, just because a job yields a paycheck doesn’t mean it is the perfect place for you.

Read the above statements over and over again.

The consensus for identifying good employees are that they:

  • Shower before coming to work.

This means eye gunk, running noses, dirty nails, and ear wax are not appropriate in the quest to provide a totally awesome customer experience.

It also means wearing clean clothing and let me just remind everyone that deodorant and toothpaste are really great products that should be used daily.

  • Understand what comprises appropriate attire or uniform for the place of employment.

No boobs, butts, or toes…come to think of it, belly overhangs aren’t attractive either.

If the attire is not similar to that of the customers—revisit your dress code. Exceptions to this rule are avoiding dressing like those customers who show boobs, butts, toes, and belly overhangs.

  • Are polite and helpful to customers.

Uh, guess who is really responsible for your paycheck? The customer! Good employees keep regular customers happy and attract new ones.

Customer Service Tips

1. Don’t stay seated in your chair behind the counter. Smile and get up to go greet all customers.

2. Quit talking on the phone when a customer comes in. If you are helping a customer via telephone—pause and tell the customer in the store, “I’ll be right with you.”

3. Stop working on the computer! Look up and smile and offer to help anyone walking in the door.

4. Do not respond to questions by saying, “Dunno” with a shrug or “S’over there” with a head thrust. These are unacceptable responses.

5. Don’t tell a customer, “We are out of ____…” when you haven’t checked. This statement is especially bad when the customer finds it on his or her own.

  • Speak well about employer, coworkers, and managers.

Bad mouthing your employer or manager is definitely a bad practice. Talking poorly about your coworker won’t earn you points either.

If you insist on this practice, start looking for a new job–or do everyone a favor and quit first.

  • Don’t dispense advice on technical aspects that might relate to the job.

“Yep, jus’ do this an’ that…should work fer ya…” is not the job of an employee (in most cases). If you don’t have the credentials, don’t hand out advice.

Do help customers find something they need—don’t get the employer sued over tips you “heard.”

  • Don’t sell another competing service or business before attempting to solve the problem in house first.

Do go the extra mile for the customer:

a. Ask the customer if you can order something for them before you send them off to a competitor.

b. If you have a product useful to solve the issue at hand—sell it and if it is not all they need, tell them they might need to make a service call later.

c. If you cannot do a or b, then call other businesses and check for the customer prior to sending them elsewhere.

Remember: A customer will remember your helpful actions and come back because you helped them get help or solve the problem.

  • Stay home if sick.

You know, I can’t believe this has to be said. Believe it or not customers and co-workers just don’t appreciate this type of “sharing.”

  • Use disclaimer or stay home if “having a bad day.”

Okay, so maybe you can’t stay home. Apologize in advance if you are having a tough day. It helps soften the fright when people see those fangs. Also, if you are going to stay out late and drink–do it before your day off NOT just prior to a normal work day.

  • Avoid using substances on the job.

Now I really think this is something that should not have to be said. No substances means avoiding the use of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes on the job.

If your employer allows you to smoke, do it away from the business entrance during your breaks. Wash your hands and use breath freshener afterwards for the customer’s sake.

  • Follow orders.

Finish that list of daily tasks and adhere to directions given to you by your employer or manager. This, believe it or not, is what you are paid to do.

  • Don’t have “peeps” threaten the current (or former) employer.

Wow, this was about the most entertaining—one establishment actually had a relative of a disgruntled employee come into the place of business and threaten the owner over the firing.

Next time file a report with the sheriff’s office!

Now, for the employer. I can’t believe I even have to list some of these:

  • Avoid inappropriate smarta** remarks, jokes, posters, or touching.

Mind your manners with the opposite gender—oh yeah, these days you better watch it around the same gender, too.

  • Don’t physically or verbally assault your employees.

Come to think of it, don’t let you employees engage in the behavior with co-workers either.

  • Fire the violator—not the violated.

Do we need to even talk abut this one? I know of many stories that fall into this category. Call the sheriff I say.

  • Reward good behavior, extinguish bad behavior.

Take a good animal training course—that’ll help ya’ figure this one out.

  • Don’t adopt, give guidelines.

Employees are not pets or kin. Give them rules or a manual and then follow through with consequences when they behave badly.

This is kind of like baseball in some respects, three strikes and you’re out.

  • Set the example for the employee.

Be the example you want your employee to follow—and review all the employee tips so you make sure you are following them, too!

For the customer:

  • Report problems to the manger or owner.

If you are having a problem with an employee or product, complain to the right person and let them have a chance to solve the problem.

  • Report abuse to the right sources.

Always give the business owner a chance to solve an issue. If it is not resolved, you can report an issue to the Better Business Bureau and file complaints with associations or governing agencies appropriate for the business.

  • Pass on the good.

Sharing good service, good products is a great way to help your local businesses.

  • Extinguish the bad.

If you are not happy, quit supporting the business and take your dollars elsewhere.

One person said, “People need to realize they vote with their dollars.” Vote for your favorite places by your shopping habits and let them know through your referrals.

Got anything else to add? Leave your comments below!

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 26th, 2008 and is filed under Business & Commerce, Mountain Lake Resort, Small Town Living.

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4 Responses to “Mountain Folks Guide to Employment

  • 1
    March 26th, 2008 19:53

    How about adding a tip to employers to pay their good employees a living wage and quit being so cheap.

  • 2
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    March 27th, 2008 07:51

    Silly me–how could I leave that out?!
    I think most of the employers up here don’t realize that if they paid a better wage they would get better help. One reader told me that the first sign of trouble is when a business hires teens.
    Granted, some can’t afford to pay a better wage–I did some temp work for a while–filling in for a few businesses and it was amazing.
    Since I was a corporate trainer for a national firm I really can’t believe some of the “stuff” that goes on around these parts.

  • 3
    March 27th, 2008 14:42

    CVS store lost me as a customer when I inquired about a particular product of a well-know brand. The girl replied to me, “Huh, if you don’t see it it means it is discontinued.” Well, I checked it on the internet, found it and ordered a six-months supply. Sorry CVS, that employee was just too lazy to check!

  • 4
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    March 28th, 2008 15:00

    Well, a local establishment lost my business over bad behavior. I was doing my taxes and a low ball estimate is that I represented about 1500 bucks a year plus those funds my pals spent that joined me not to mention those customers I referred in–pretty stupid to lose local customers isn’t it?