Turn, Turn, Turn

The school where I teach martial arts is not a bad place. At times I grumble. Every job has its j.o.b. parts that we grumble about. But I do have a good job that I generally enjoy doing.

Later this week an instructor will leave. He has been with us for only about two months. Sometime in March one of my students who has a job assisting the front counter will also leave. She’s been doing that job for about four months. It seems the job turn over rate at the school is like that of a McDonald’s. People come and go at an alarming rate.

I understand the difficulty with keeping front counter help. Those folk are under one of the owner’s. She can be very demanding. She requires everything to be done the way she would do it, even if the way she does it is not the best or easiest way. It is just the way she understands things and she expects everyone to do it that way. She has no problem calling up an employee at the last minute and asking them to come in to work unexpectedly, a line that should not be crossed with low pay employees. She constantly complains about the work she has to do. However, with her demanding nature, she almost guarantees that she is the only person that can do the job to her liking. She will have to get use to training people only to lose them after a few months.

I guess I understand the difficulties with keeping youth instructors and day care managers as well. Working with youngsters is a difficult and demanding job in itself. For the right person, someone who wants to do that sort of thing, I suppose it can have its rewards. But even with those rewards, it has to be stressful. Little kids are always handfuls. Children with A.D.D. and the like are real handfuls, and you can be sure martial arts schools with a day care program get their fair share of those kids.

What I cannot understand is why we cannot keep people in those positions. We have been through so many certainly a few of them enjoyed the work and challenges. But are there challenges that I cannot see? Do the female owner’s demands and particulars extend into those areas? Does the male owner extend demands and particulars that I am not aware of? Is the pay sufficient to the task? I certainly doubt the latter. The school does not offer any benefits such as insurance or retirement programs. Based on my pay, I’m fairly sure that most of the individuals that we had felt like the original offer was good, but once they experienced the work they felt the simple pay did not meet the requirements.

Well, the next few weeks and months will be interesting, with the youth’s assistant instructor leaving, and then the front counter help and teen’s assistant instructor leaving, meanwhile we are moving toward our spring tournament and a host of other activities. To everything, turn, turn, turn.

About Sifu Keith Mosher

My new book, "Astro Boy, Sensei, and Me" is available now, as is my Sci-Fi joy ride, "On a Sphere's Edge". I have a Bachelor of Media Arts degree from USC. I have been an Audio Producer / Engineer, a Law Office Manager, and I am currently an Author and a Martial Arts Instructor.
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