Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spring Break Already?

I was looking at the schedule for March when I realized my herd of little Christians goes on Spring Break soon.  What?!  They haven't been back from Winter Break for two months yet.  What the heck is going on?

Remember my rant a month or so ago: They Don't Build 'Em Like They Used To?  Well, let me tell you folks, they don't.  When I was in college, I didn't take holidays.  Seriously.  I worked for Elaine.  Elaine had stuff that needed doing.

For Thanksgiving Break, I got Thursday and Friday off.  For Winter Break, I got Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day off.  For Spring Break, I got no time off.  That's when the state budget was on the House floor for debate.  There would be no time off.  In the summer, I worked full time or I went to summer school and worked when I wasn't in class.

I did not take weeks and weeks off from work.  Elaine would have said to me very bluntly, "What's the point of having you if you're going to take all of this time off?"  I knew better than to start whining about wanting a bunch of time off.

But, then, those were the old days.  Yes, working at the State House was a much more prestigious job than working at the farm. But, in the old days, I was just so happy to have a nice office job that didn't require nights and weekends.

For my employees, the farm doesn't require nights.  It doesn't require Sundays.  They rotate Saturdays so they only work one Saturday a month.  This is except for me and Cowgirl Slim, of course, who work every Saturday and alternate Sundays.

But, the rest of the crew, they are on a new plan that I don't get.  Although they are great employees, they are on the "Come and Go as I Please" Plan.  It's a generational thing, apparently. It makes me appreciate Cowgirl Slim and her old fashioned values even more.  Slim and her values.  That's a whole other story!

And, as a part of this new generation of student employees, to my unfortunate dismay, Ruthie is taking a class that requires her to go to Italy for Spring Break...and more.  She'll actually be gone for two weeks for class credit!  I don't remember having classes like that in college!

Then, Phil, my recent addition, is going back home to Florida for Spring Break.  He'll be gone for 10 days!  What's up with this sh*t?!  Yes, I think it merits strong language.

Well, you say, you've got Dod and Rose to carry you through.  When I was thinking the same thing, I confirmed with Dod and Rose they they'll be here for Spring Break.  I mean, Dod is married and needs the money.  And, Rose is supporting herself through grad school.  They need money, right?  No, apparently not.

Dod informed me his sister-in-law is having a baby that week.  He and his wife, Julie, thought they'd go help her another state.  Rose told me she'll be here, but she doesn't want to work full time.  You have got to be kidding me!  I thought of all the staff you two needed money!

Cowgirl Slim is in high school.  High schools around here don't have Spring Break until Easter.  So, there'll be no Cowgirl Slim around to help out, either.  Do you see how my "Spring Break" is shaping up?

There are many good things about employing college students at the farm.  I know they have a reasonable amount of intelligence because they got into college, after all.  I can pay them minimum wage without a lot of complaint.

I do get some grumbles every now and then from Rose.  But, it's unskilled labor.  What do they want from me?  No horse experience?  Can't teach lessons for me?  Minimum wage it is.  Truthfully, they are living off of loans or money from their parents, so I really don't feel bad about the pay.

College students tend to be younger and enthusiastic.  It's a fun job.  It gets them outside in a country environment.  They get out of the classroom and the dorm and into the fresh air.  College students, especially from the Bible College, have been my best employees.

The Bible College students are a whole different breed.  They sign an honor pledge that they won't drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, do drugs, have sex out of wedlock, or dance--in addition to obeying all Biblical law.  You can't find many 18-22 year olds willing to abide by those kind of rules.

Those rules also make them really good employees.  I don't have folks calling in "sick" because they are hung over.  It keeps the romance drama down, too.  No one needing time off to go to the free clinic for some unmentionable disorder.  Nope, they are not your regular college students.

The Bible College also teaches them to respect authority. It teaches that God is using authority figures for your own good.  Ok, I don't know if I buy into that. But, I'm perfectly happy for my employees to buy into it--because at the farm, I am the authority figure.  Cool.  Yep, kids, God wants you to obey authority for your own well being.  Uh huh.  That's what the good book says.  I'm all for them believing that as long as they are here.

Last Spring Break, we painted the barn.  It took all week.  I had a different herd of little Christians, save Dod who was here back then.  Those little Christians did not have a lot of plans.  As Bob, my farrier put it, "What are they going to do on Spring Break any way? They can't smoke, drink, dance, have sex or do drugs."  Bob is a realist.

This Spring Break, looks like the horses and I will be treading water with a little help from Rose.  There are a lot of good things about having college students for employees.  All of their freaking holidays isn't one of them!

Now, who wants to come help out at the farm?  Hmm?  I can't hear you?  What?  No one?  Geez, folks.  You sound like my employees!

Thank God for Cowgirl Slim!  She may not be here for the Bible College Spring Break, but she's here when it counts--always.  Slim, next time I'm ridding you about something, remind me I said all of this.  You're an older generation in a newer body. Cowgirl Slim's parents have raised an extraordinarily grounded and responsible young lady.  I'm glad to have her around.  Thanks, Slim!

Ok guys, thanks for reading!  Have a good day!

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