The Challenges of New Hires, Men on the Moon, and Lots more Great Plants Coming!

We’re about to hit that “in between” time as we transition from spring to summer. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than load truck, but we’re falling behind on other exciting activities like weed pulling, pruning and fertilizing. In an effort to play catch-up a little bit, I’ve hired some extra help in the last few weeks. What I’ve seen makes me very afraid for the future of our country if this is what’s really out there.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re in Mississippi and you should expect to be drawing from the shallow end of the labor pool. I know that. With the wages we can afford to pay it is unreasonable to expect to get top-shelf, highly motivated self-starters, but this is ridiculous. 

I imagine if you’ve been in any position of having to hire people, for whatever job, you probably have some stories to tell as well. Following are just a few of the doozies I’ve heard from the local brain trust. I’m sure I’ve covered some of this before, but I’ve just gotten myself a refresher course in the thought processes of some of my neighbors. 

As I was showing one of the recently hired (and fired) geniuses how to pull weeds I mentioned that we might not be able to make a full day. The forecast called that day for a very good chance of severe weather. As I recall, WKRG in Mobile (our nearest city with a TV station) pegged the rain chance at 90%. When I brought it up I was informed, very matter of factly, that it wasn’t going to rain that day because, as she put it, “The moon wasn’t right”. We got 4” that afternoon and evening. When we all showed up the next day I suggested the moon owed her a heartfelt apology. When you are born dumb to begin with and then fry your brain with crystal methamphetamine it leads to some interesting opinions. 

I had a guy tell me some years ago that we wouldn’t have had the AIDS outbreak if we hadn’t sent people to the moon. As ludicrous as that sounds, it represented a great step forward in the thinking of the individual who said it. Prior to that, I’d heard him argue rather fiercely that the moon landings were all faked anyway. He knew that because he and his brother, then both in their late teens, had gone outside and looked up at the moon while our astronauts were supposedly there. They could clearly see the moon and there wasn’t a soul there. In the words of Dave Barry, I am not making this up.

I had a young employee once that wondered aloud how a rain gauge worked. He asked if you just stuck it in a mudhole to see how much rain had fallen. I explained how it worked but I couldn’t help but to imagine wading around checking puddles to gauge the rainfall. “We got an inch here, but whoa, we got 4” right over here…”

I had a guy tell me recently that we ought to be using water to fuel our cars instead of gasoline. The fact that we aren’t is, in his mind, proof positive that the evil oil companies are in absolute control of our government, and indeed all facets of our civilization. When I asked him how you run an engine with water, his response was, “Think about it; when a house explodes it’s always the water heater. When you take the oxygen offen’ water it’s gonna make a terrible explosion.” I kid you not. I was so dumbfounded that I couldn’t find the words to explain to him that when a water heater explodes it is more often caused by the gas that fuels the burner than by oxygen starved water. I can only speculate that he thinks the little bit of air space in bottled water is left there specifically to prevent the loss of life and limb. I’m pretty sure if I thought that we’d all be taking cold showers at my house. In fact, I’m certain of it.

Circling back to the nursery business, you probably noticed that I’ve added a lot of items to the availability list. We’ve got a good bit more stuff that’ll be getting ready in the next few weeks. I hope your spring has been good and that we’ll all keep moving material even into the heat of the summer. Finally, finally, I think better times are ahead.

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