Finding Time
  • Maggie Franklin
  • April 23, 2014

The bank downstairs has hired new tellers. It’s about time; they’ve been desperately understaffed for months. Fortunately, I just work upstairs. So every time I venture down to the bank and see the line of 12 people for only two available tellers, I can just do a 180 and head right back upstairs.

The problem is, they now have trainees. Which means the experienced tellers who might be available to handle customers are no longer available. Instead, they have to sit next to the trainees and watch their every move while they handle customers.

This means that there still aren’t enough teller windows open to handle the customer load. And since the trainees are being trained — the whole process got worse instead of better.

I realize that, in time, the trainees will be deemed worthy of being let off their leash and the end result will be more tellers who are qualified to handle customers and, ultimately, the lines will move much faster as there will be enough staff to handle everyone in a timely manner.

But OH! That training period!

Which is exactly what I find myself dealing with upstairs with my newly acquired baby bird. She needs training. She needs proper training. I need her to do nails the way I do nails, I need her to be able to do what I do; every service I can do, she needs to be able to do too. So I can guarantee consistency in my brand, and so my clientele can trust her to take care of them when I do something foolish like take a vacation or buy a motorcycle.

But training someone to do nails at all — let alone to do them like I do — requires time and attention. Constant attention. And giving constant attention to a trainee means not having enough time to pay attention to my own clients. And since Baby Bird doesn’t have her own clientele yet, it’s up to me to catch enough food for both of us, but catching food means not being there to catch her if she falls out of the nest.

Whose idea was this?

I knew it would be a learning experience when I took the “hire an employee” plunge. And boy am I learning!

So I’ll share my first lesson with y’all: Hire an employee before you need one. Because once you need one, you won’t have time to train them.

Keywords:   employee issues     staff training  

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