Good Help is Hard to Find….

This is a 2 parter.

Part 1: The Not So Curious Case of Yes, We Hired Another H1-B …An ad ran on Craigslist; I was interested in the company and the salary of the job was not listed. I figured I’d take a trip down to the company, case the joint and see what was what before I sent any information to them.

I park my car and I’m walking to the door of the company; I see a little Asian Indian guy at the door.

“Do you work here?” he asked me. I replied no.  He said,”I am supposed to start work today at this company and the doors are locked.”

No buzzer, no intercom. I called the phone number of the company. A very snotty young girl got the phone.  I told her she had a guy standing outside waiting to be let in. “That’s because we are a secure company…” and then i asked her what salary was offered for the job. She told me to send my resume.  She was nasty as hell and just based on that, I would NOT sent that company my resume.

Nice….you can’t even hire a local American for the job that that guy got? Impossible.

Part 2: The Not So Curious Case of “Yes, We TOO Hired an H1-B…”
I have a 3 month old washing machine that broke.  It won’t spin and rinse; it leaves a puddle of water behind in the basket and nearly flooded my basement. The wash cycle repeats over and over again.

Here comes the repair guy — really, you mean to tell me there are no Americans who can fix a damn washing machine??? Poor communicationand poor English — he was here Wednesday. He was to return today with the part; he’s nowher to be seen — I just got  off the phone from him. The story now is “I told you Friday or Saturday depending upon when the part gets here, if we get it.” He very definitely told me on Wednesday he would be here Friday with the part.

Sure, I am seeing red. This is the principle of the thing and yeah, again, another foreigner. Somebody who was born here can’t fix a washing machine. I called the store I bought the appliance from and blasted them.

Good help is hard to find.

9 thoughts on “Good Help is Hard to Find….”

  1. They claim it’s because of a shortage but this is a lie. I have mentioned about the marketing director job I applied for that went to a H1-B and while Googling found employers can pretty much say any job has a shortage which is of course a lie.

  2. Well, maybe….

    It’s true that one can secure an H-1B visa for pretty much any job, but it still requires money and paperwork in quantities beyond the reach of the vast majority of small businesses. Foreign employees at small businesses are more likely to be legal residents or illegal immigrants. If I’m a foreigner, running a business, and I have a choice:

    – Hire my friends and people from my immigrant community who will accept $8/hour and happily put up with my management style, or
    – Hire in the broader market, recognizing that a native US citizen will wanty at least $12/hour for the same work, and act like a prince/princess with all the ‘rights’ that he/she has as an employee?

    which do I do?

    Another factor is that in many countries, small business is a way of life. I’ve said before that we don’t teach the basic skills of business in schools. But it’s broader than that. In my own case, my parents both worked for relatively large organizations. Later, they went into business with my aunt and uncle, and their investment got wiped out (poor planning, then lousy customer service). All my working life, until I went into business for myself,I had also worked in large organizations. So many people grown up in the US have no sense of what small business is like.

    To Dude’s second point, appliance repair is normally a local business, franchised by the appliance manufacturer. At one time these businesses were run by Americans. But as they retired, and their children wanted to do other things, they probably sold their businesses to foreigners who really wanted to do appliance repair.

    The crappy response of service businesses is a subject for another day, but I find that it’s everywhere, and Americans are as bad as foreigners.

  3. All the guys here in Amish Country, who do repair work, are young white males. The only exception was the heat pump guy, who was Hispanic and from Brooklyn NY. I wonder if anyone here may know him. :< ). He was competent, but the others (young white local guys) varied from great to 'two brain cells, with one of them being lonely' stupid. Appliance repair being a good example. I think bad service is generational, so therefore I have little hope for the future.

  4. I’d have to agree that the “visaed” employees are more likely to be legal residents or merely people who overstayed a tourist or student visa, which is one of the many ways to be an illegal resident. No coyote required.

    One of the visas that needs to be regulated more strictly is the “J” visa, which allows people into the country for cultural exchange and to work for up to four months. This is the visa that they use to fill the summer jobs at the shore.

    We forget that the government does not require a lot of residents of a lot of countries to HAVE a visa to enter the United States.

  5. I’ve heard of that J visa and yes that needs to be looked at. It was originally to intended for cultural diversity but now it often causes people who are unskilled to come here and we just can’t afford more unskilled.

    Regarding small businesses I agree. I have known a lot of small businesses and most were from other countries. One thing I can say about this is that in many other countries running a family business is the norm and people are taught this. This is especially true in things like restaurants which are often run by immigrant families. The guy I am interested in runs a business with his mom and she has a strong accent. I’ve been wanting to ask him this only because I am curious and because it will answer the debate of whether he is Mexican or Italian (I am leaning Mexican because of his last name and because he wants to open a taco stand). My point of this is that I see this work ethic all the time with immigrants but rarely long time American citizens. Part of the reason is because we aren’t taught how to start businesses and it is complicated to start many. For me and other starting a business is the best idea but we have to research it more than we should have to. I don’t know why schools can’t include a class on this in high school.

  6. The guy from Mexico may not even speak Spanish — he may be speaking a dialect and that’s a whole other smoke in itself.

    There are many dialects in South America.

    The days of mom and pop business are over. I blame it on sign of the times — I knew kids in school whose parents owned grocery stores, men’s clothing stores, liquor stores and more — they dont’ want their kids to grow up running a little store on the corner or in the downtown area of a town that’s worth a plug nickel so they sent them all to college to do something else with their lives.

    And running a store here in this town is expensive; I explained this a long time ago — the deli we were supposed to get did not materialize nor did the florist. The new owners both abandoned ship, apparently; maybe it was price; who knows why?

  7. The guy I like I suspect was born here (he served in the army)and for all I know his mom might have been born here too though has an accent. I know a few people who are the children of immigrants but still have accents. I’m fascinated by accents because I am close enough to immigrants family wise to have known actual immigrants, like my paternal grandmother who spoke with a strong London accent until she died.

    Sadly in this country we have gotten away from the mom and pop stores and it’s sad. My mom tells me about her childhood and how everything was mom and pop. She would go to the fruit market and buy fruits and vegetables, often with her dog (she likes to rely the story of how Tinker her dog peed on the food). She would shop at clothing store run by a family for generations and then go to the tv store next door to buy a color television. Many stores had this form of credit card where you would put your purchases on an account then pay later. We won’t see that today.

    I don’t know if you have ever seen this show, but about 10 years ago NBC aired this fantastic show called American Dreams set in the 1960’s. It only lasted three years (basically because Americans prefer trashy shows over quality)but one of the themes of this show was the fact that the white family owned a television store where the father of the black family worked. I would watch it and get upset we don’t live in that era where one could own their own business because in that respect I think people were happier. Not to mention often the employees were paid generously and considered part of the family. Now with the big chains they pay little and most of the jobs are low wage.

  8. “Store credit” was seldom without interest, even back in the 1960s. Private label credit cards have long been one of the more expensive ways to get credit if you don’t pay it off monthly. Target and Sears have long made more money from their credit cards than from selling merchandise. This may change for Sears, because they sold their credit card business to Citibank.

    Before the rise of credit cards, a store owner might sell their accounts receivable to a “factor” who would give them so much money based on how old the debt was if they needed money faster than their customers were paying them, and the store owner would pay the factor back as customers paid him, with the expectation that the factor would be paid back in a certain amount of time. Now every credit card transaction is “factored” because AmEx, Visa, and MasterCard take so much of every transaction, regardless of whether or not the account is paid off monthly.

    I was standing in line at the checkout at a local grocery store yesterday and the couple in front of me paid for their food with a check. I hadn’t seen that in years. Part of the reason that I haven’t seen people pay with checks is my preference for self-checkout, but most people pay with a credit card.

    The larger question is whether selling commodity goods should be a well-paying job. If people are just going into a store and picking what they want, and the clerk is ringing up the order, that’s a low-skill job that shouldn’t pay that much. If I’m dealing with a salesman who is all hard sell about extended warranties but doesn’t know his product line, as I learned when I bought a dishwasher recently, I don’t see what value that adds to my purchase.

    A hidden factor in the depression of low-skill wages is the increased use of credit cards to pay for purchases. Suppose that a store clerk checks out an average of $1000 per shift worth of credit card purchases. Because stores cannot charge extra for the use of a credit card and do not discount for cash in most cases, that’s $30 that could go to increased corporate profit or better pay for the clerk and other store employees, presuming an average fee of 3% of the purchase.

  9. An advantage that hiring an H-1B offers over hiring a U.S. citizen is that the H-1B is bound to the company until they get their green card, which I think takes about five years. I would guess that they can change jobs prior to getting their green card if they find another company willing to sponsor them.

    I have no idea what it costs to sponsor/arrange an H-1B hire, but in jobs where there is high turnover, there is a point where an H-1B makes economic sense just from the point of view of stabilizing one’s workforce, and they may be easier to fire than a U.S. citizen. Many of the initial H-1Bs were computer programmers, which used to be a highly mobile job where substantial pay increases upon changing jobs were routine, based on what my friends told me. Bringing in the H-1Bs killed that bidding war.

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