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Future boarding questions

There’s a meme going around the internet about future interview questions for employers.

I can’t find it now, but basically: it posits that you should ask all future potential employers what their response to the pandemic was.

Did they ignore it, try to get classified as essential even though they weren’t, use it as an excuse to treat employees shabbily and/or yank pay? (Like this story of the employer who plans to cut employee pay because of the upcoming stimulus checks.)

Or did they close preemptively, communicate with employees, and do the right thing maybe even before it was required?

I always knew I loved my job, but I admit, I got pretty emotional during our last staff gathering (two weeks ago today) when our director said firmly we were closing indefinitely, staff would work from home, and take any sick time we needed, even if it meant we went negative. In the weeks since, we’ve all stayed connected, and he’s done a great job energizing us around totally new work patterns and programs.

So, in that vein:

Will you be asking future boarding barns what their response was?

Will their answer matter to you? If so, how?

As much as it hurts not to see Tristan right now, I’m proud of how hard my barn worked to keep up with changing circumstances, and I’m proud that they made the decision to close even when they probably could have wiggled through an outside exercise/agricultural exemption. I’ve gotten a couple of texts from the barn manager already, and they’re planning on giving all the horses extra grooming and attention while owners are away.

When I moved back to Vermont almost 8 years ago, I looked at a couple of good barns, and chose this one because of how impressed I was with their thorough, meticulous, and attentive care – and I have never had a reason to regret that choice. I’d like to think any future barns (though god willing I will never move again) would do the same.

6 thoughts on “Future boarding questions

  1. That’s a good way to look at it – I know I’m feeling exceptionally lucky to have my horses at home right now. And the reaction of a few of my local barns has definitely caused me to reevaluate where I’m going to spend my future dollars at lessons, clinic, hauling in for events, etc 🤔

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  2. As wild as it is, one of my questions would be “where were you for the duration of the virus?” Why? because I know of one barn owner/trainer who has, thus far, stayed in Florida. Leaving her boarders and lone worker (who speaks limited english) to figure it out. She even originally discussed closing to barn to everyone EXCEPT that worker unless a horse were dying. If it were me, i would be horrified.

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  3. I work from home all the time, but I was really happy to see that my jobs response was to tell people in the beginning days of things happening in the Bay Area (where they were ahead of California in everything) that if they wanted to work from home they could, it was between their boss and them and not Laboratory senior management. And before the county enacted anything they told people everyone would be working from home and if your work couldn’t be done from home you’d still be paid for as long as the SIP lasts.

    I worry a lot for those who have lost their jobs, the economic factors will plague them for a long time and I do not believe the ‘system’ will do much to help them.

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