My experience with day workers at the Dayworker Center of Mountain View

29 Jan

Challenges but Success

Years ago, I started using the Day Worker Center after I tried to use high school students for yardwork not typically done by ‘mow and blow’ vendors. I needed bushes removed, other bushes to be heavily trimmed, and flower beds turned over.

After much difficulty in sourcing the high school students from the local high school (repeated calls yielding tepid support by staff), two 17-year old, strapping members of the football team, we got started. After about an hour of heavy work, they both asked to stop working as the work was too hard. Left with the tasks to complete, I turned to the Day Worker Center.

As I was driving over, I wondered about who these day workers were and whether they were trustworthy. My wife insisted that if I did hire a worker, that I be around the house.

With minimal fuss, I hired two workers and rode back to my house to begin work. I explained, more so showed, what I needed to have done, and the two men started working. Within two hours, all the bushes including digging out the roots had been removed assuring that the oleander

Pesky oleander

would not grow back.

They then asked for the tools to trim the bushes. This took a few moments as neither they or nor I knew what the tools’ names were in Spanish.

I quickly showed them how I wanted the bushes trimmed and off they went to work. They trimmed the bushes and even asked for a composting bin to place the trimmed branches in—something the high school kids never thought to ask about.

They also turned the garden beds after some instruction.

By the end of the morning, the work had been done. I provided them some water—they didn’t even ask. They did ask to wash their hands. Once we put away the tools, they thought to clean their shoes before getting back in my car. I paid them and drove them back the Center.

That single experience convinced me to use the Day Worker Center for our yard work. I fired our ‘mow and blow’ gardener and now, two houses later, continue to use them for all manner of garden work.

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