problems at tennis center, need advice

looseswing

Professional
Hey guys, I have a quick question for you. I work for the tennis center run by my university at the front desk. When I was hired for the position I was told I would be sitting at the front desk answering phone calls, scheduling courts, collecting money etc etc. Recently my boss has asked me to string rackets during my shift. The center rents out courts to local pros so they can teach there. As I was stringing one day one of the pros asked how much I was payed to string, I told him I got nothing. He was astounded and said I should be getting something like $10 a racket on top of my pay for the front desk, especially since it was not in the job description. I was wondering what do you guys think and if you have any advice as to how I could handle the situation.

Cheers
 

max

Legend
I agree with Yenster. Typically, you should get some bucks. . . but your boss may just tell you it's part of the overall job.
 

Geezer Guy

Hall of Fame
They're paying you $X an hour. Seems to me they can ask you to answer the phone, schedule courts, sweep the floor, clean out the toilets, and string racquets.

Sure, you can ask for a raise. Or, with your new found racquet stringing skills you can quit and go into business for yourself.

But, I don't think you can demand to get paid extra for stringing racquets.

And - you're not getting "nothing" for stringing the racquets - it's part of your job (now).
 

SirGounder

Hall of Fame
Yarp I agree with Geezer. It may not have been what your original job description was, but you are getting paid while you string. You can try asking for a raise.

If that doesn't work, try stringing on the side. Maybe some of those guys would come to you so you can make some extra moneys.
 

SVP

Semi-Pro
fair treatment

Like the Geezer said, you can't "demand" that you get paid more for stringing. But the other posters weren't suggesting that you make such "demands," and by the tone of your post, I don't think you're the type of person who would "demand" more money. There's nothing wrong with respectfully asking for more money especially since stringing wasn't in your original job description. If stringing tennis racquets for the local pros is an additional burden to your normal duties, it's reasonable that you be paid more. However, this being a free market society and all, the employer has the right to refuse.

Oh yeah, Mr. Geezer, what if the government required you to clean out the toilets at the local senior center as a condition of your receiving your social security check? It wasn't part of your original duties, but since you are receiving a check....
 

eagle

Hall of Fame
Are you stringing one or two every once in a while?

I guess if it's just occasional, then it shouldn't be a problem. Now if you are stringing 5-10 a day, then you've now become the club stringer and then perhaps ... perhaps you might want to ask for a raise. But if you enjoy doing it, then just accept the responsibility with a smile.

r,
eagle
 

Steady Eddy

Legend
I know alot of people like that pro think it works this way, "I'm not doing more until I'm paid more." But think of this. You're learning how to string racquets. You're not paying for that training, you get paid to do it while you're on the job. At first, you'll probably not be very good at it, but that will be ok because they'll understand that you're new at it. But later, when you're good you'll have something to put on your resume and something you can do on the side for money if you wish.

Don't blow it by demanding extra money at this point. What if they say, "Ok, don't string racquets, we'll give that task to someone else."? You get paid by the hour, is it really better to not learn a skill just so you can sit around more? Anytime they make you more valuable at a job, go for it. Later on, the money will come, if not from them, the from someone else. Once you become a stringing wiz, and are adding more value to the club, they'll pay you more. Then they won't want to lose you.
 

Geezer Guy

Hall of Fame
... Oh yeah, Mr. Geezer, what if the government required you to clean out the toilets at the local senior center as a condition of your receiving your social security check? It wasn't part of your original duties, but since you are receiving a check....
I don't get Social Security. If that were a requirement, though, I guess I'd have to decide if that check was worth it to me or not.

Come to think of it - I'm scrubbing toilets now! My wife and I have certain household duties divided up, and somehow that one's one of mine.
 

hollywood9826

Hall of Fame
Cant hurt to maybe ask him about it. I would say if you knwo how to string and are good at it then there should be extra comepnsation. As stringing wasnt part of your initial agreement. Had it been those skills would have probably paid more than just doing desk/customer service work.
 
Stringing on the clock would be the best. I used to manage a shop when I was a head pro. I think you ought to get certified then ask for $5 to $7 per frame on top of the hourly. $10 for gut. Nothing for grips, grip build-ups or grommet strips. Very fair. Most good head pros would do that for a skilled employee who strings well.

My two cents.
 

Steady Eddy

Legend
Oh yeah, Mr. Geezer, what if the government required you to clean out the toilets at the local senior center as a condition of your receiving your social security check? It wasn't part of your original duties, but since you are receiving a check....
Am I the only one who doesn't think this is a strong analogy? Social security checks aren't paychecks. The government claims that you're getting back the money they withheld, that's sorta b.s., but that's a whole other subject.
 

Geezer Guy

Hall of Fame
Well, he called me "Mr." so I let him off with that.

I'm doubt the younger generation really "gets" the whole social security concept anyway. (I certainly didn't at that age.)
 

Fedace

Banned
Hire a Attorney and talk to your boss together. This is not Slavery,,,,your boss can't abuse like that....
 

Mikey Fresh

Banned
here is what i do because i work at my schools tennis center, i get 10 an hour and have to string if there are any rackets. As overtime i can go in on days im not working and make 12.50 because every racket i string outside of my hours i get the labor fee. So for overtime i get 50 an hour because it usualy takes me about 25mins a racket
 
I see, especially if the $10/hr is predicated upon doing some stringing. Not the businessmodel/pay structure I would use, but it's fair.

Call the attorneys off.

Fedace can rest well, now.

EDIT:
You're getting a good deal, but it does not really make sense. It actually incentivizes you to slack off during regular hours....and string on overtime. If I were your boss, I'd go with a flat rate for just working the desk and an incentive plan like $5 a frame....and $7 or $8 if you pass the USRSA test and you can hang a shingle up.
 
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zapvor

G.O.A.T.
i think it depends. obviously you feel liek you should get something out of it. if you are doing like 2 a day then i would just suck it up. but yea if its more than that i would ask for something. it doesnt have to be monetary. maybe you can use it as leverage for hitting with the team, flex time, etc. i had the same situation at my job, when the club stringer went on vacation for 2 weeks i was made to be the stringer. granted they did pay me:)
 

Steady Eddy

Legend
here is what i do because i work at my schools tennis center, i get 10 an hour and have to string if there are any rackets. As overtime i can go in on days im not working and make 12.50 because every racket i string outside of my hours i get the labor fee. So for overtime i get 50 an hour because it usualy takes me about 25mins a racket
So you're saying that you'd make $50 in an hour because you'd string 4 racquets in that time? Yeah, 4*$12.50 = $50, but 25 minutes isn't 1/4 of an hour. An hour isn't 100 minutes, it's 60 minutes.
 

bad_call

Legend
Am I the only one who doesn't think this is a strong analogy? Social security checks aren't paychecks. The government claims that you're getting back the money they withheld, that's sorta b.s., but that's a whole other subject.
wit u on this Eddy.
 

looseswing

Professional
Sorry for the late response guys. Basically whats happening is that for the first two weeks I would come in and just perform desk duties. I knew how to string prior to the job and my boss asked me and I told him this. So after that basically I would come in and string for my entire 5 hour shift handling his overflow rackets.

Also another note, this may be his own stringing business that he runs out of the tennis center, as I have noticed the reels of string he gives me all have his name on them. In this case I'm pretty sure he's doing something wrong. However, I'm not really sure how to figure out whether it actually is his own business or not.
 

Steady Eddy

Legend
Also another note, this may be his own stringing business that he runs out of the tennis center, as I have noticed the reels of string he gives me all have his name on them. In this case I'm pretty sure he's doing something wrong. However, I'm not really sure how to figure out whether it actually is his own business or not.
Gives you a perfect opportunity to steal his business. Find out what he charges and undercut him. When the people ask, "Can you string the racquets as well?" Tell them, "I'm the one who strings them now." Of course it won't be as convenient for them, so you'll have to make the discount good enough to compensate. You'll have to get a used stringer, but they can be had for fairly cheap.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Sorry for the late response guys. Basically whats happening is that for the first two weeks I would come in and just perform desk duties. I knew how to string prior to the job and my boss asked me and I told him this. So after that basically I would come in and string for my entire 5 hour shift handling his overflow rackets.

Also another note, this may be his own stringing business that he runs out of the tennis center, as I have noticed the reels of string he gives me all have his name on them. In this case I'm pretty sure he's doing something wrong. However, I'm not really sure how to figure out whether it actually is his own business or not.
Reminds me of a Professor in Texas who forced a grad student to do work for his startup company. The club is paying you, and your boss is using it to get free labor for his business.

The Professor went to prison, BTW.
 

goran_ace

Hall of Fame
Sorry for the late response guys. Basically whats happening is that for the first two weeks I would come in and just perform desk duties. I knew how to string prior to the job and my boss asked me and I told him this. So after that basically I would come in and string for my entire 5 hour shift handling his overflow rackets.

Also another note, this may be his own stringing business that he runs out of the tennis center, as I have noticed the reels of string he gives me all have his name on them. In this case I'm pretty sure he's doing something wrong. However, I'm not really sure how to figure out whether it actually is his own business or not.
There are worse ways to earn a buck. If you make a fuss about it you might not have that job anymore. I would say you should just slow down your pace so your implied per racket rate is more in tune with your actual hourly rate.
Take 45 minutes to string a racket instead of 25 and then take breaks in between to do other little tasks (cleaning, etc) rather than putting another racket on the machine right away.
 

albino smurf

Professional
Sounds to me like you are young and learning the ropes. Do your job and then do it well for a long time and you will earn more money. You have to pay your dues, and dues suck, but they serve their purpose.

As for the sketchiness, is it your boss or just someone that is over you doing this? If it is your boss, you could ask for a raise or accept that you are getting what you are getting and don't worry about what the pro said. IMO sitting around *****ing about what you get paid is the favorite hobby of bottom feeders that never are satisfied and never amount to much. Work hard and earn more money.
 

looseswing

Professional
Sounds to me like you are young and learning the ropes. Do your job and then do it well for a long time and you will earn more money. You have to pay your dues, and dues suck, but they serve their purpose.

As for the sketchiness, is it your boss or just someone that is over you doing this? If it is your boss, you could ask for a raise or accept that you are getting what you are getting and don't worry about what the pro said. IMO sitting around *****ing about what you get paid is the favorite hobby of bottom feeders that never are satisfied and never amount to much. Work hard and earn more money.
I'm not standing around complaining or anything like it. But it also seems to me that I'm providing a service other guys can't- the other people at the desk haven't ever strung a racket while I've been doing it for three years. In this world I'd also say that if you have an extra set of skills that no one else has you get paid for it. IF in the job description it was written, "knowing how to string a racket required" or even "must be willing to learn how to string" then yeah I would understand. But to me I understand that I am getting paid to man the desk at a tennis center, not take care of rackets he doesn't have time to string. Do you still think its wrong of me to ask him about this?
 

OrangeOne

Legend
I'm not standing around complaining or anything like it. But it also seems to me that I'm providing a service other guys can't- the other people at the desk haven't ever strung a racket while I've been doing it for three years. In this world I'd also say that if you have an extra set of skills that no one else has you get paid for it. IF in the job description it was written, "knowing how to string a racket required" or even "must be willing to learn how to string" then yeah I would understand. But to me I understand that I am getting paid to man the desk at a tennis center, not take care of rackets he doesn't have time to string. Do you still think its wrong of me to ask him about this?
It is never wrong to ask an employer for additional wages - especially if a job description has changed.

That said, there is no reason to expect that the extra pay will be forthcoming. You don't necessarily know if the other employees bring other strengths to the table that you aren't aware of. You don't necessarily know if your additional skill enhances your job security (I'd bet it does), the likelihood of getting extra shifts, etc etc.

Ask, put your case forward, do it confidently, but do not expect the situation to necessarily change. Many others have made some great points too about training / experience / own-business potential etc etc that I'll not remake.
 

SVP

Semi-Pro
weak analogy

Am I the only one who doesn't think this is a strong analogy? Social security checks aren't paychecks. The government claims that you're getting back the money they withheld, that's sorta b.s., but that's a whole other subject.
You are correct sir, not a strong analogy. My only defense is that I concocted it on the fly, and was having fun with Mr. Geezer, who apparently has a sense of humor.
 

SVP

Semi-Pro
Mr. Geezer is funny

I don't get Social Security. If that were a requirement, though, I guess I'd have to decide if that check was worth it to me or not.

Come to think of it - I'm scrubbing toilets now! My wife and I have certain household duties divided up, and somehow that one's one of mine.
I see that you have a sense of humor, Mr. Geezer. I am close to social security collection age, but I will not receive it either.
 

SFrazeur

Legend
Hey guys, I have a quick question for you. I work for the tennis center run by my university at the front desk. When I was hired for the position I was told I would be sitting at the front desk answering phone calls, scheduling courts, collecting money etc etc. Recently my boss has asked me to string rackets during my shift. The center rents out courts to local pros so they can teach there. As I was stringing one day one of the pros asked how much I was payed to string, I told him I got nothing. He was astounded and said I should be getting something like $10 a racket on top of my pay for the front desk, especially since it was not in the job description. I was wondering what do you guys think and if you have any advice as to how I could handle the situation.

Cheers
It's not uncommon for proshop/facility staff to string racquts as part of their job without being paid extra for the work. The problem is you already agreed and started. You won't be getting any extra at this point. However, you can always ask for a raise.

-SF
 

looseswing

Professional
What was said during your agreement to string the rackets?
There was never really an agreement, he just said I'm going to have you string. I talked to other desk people and they didn't have to string. I think I'll just try talking to him.
 
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