Things Arent Always as They Seem

Amy Campbell, Senior Editor

October 9, 2007

3 Min Read
Things Arent Always as They Seem

[A guest blog spot by ISS Editor Drew Whitney.]

For those whove been following the tales of my debut into chicken-farming, the saga continues. For those who have not, a quick summary: We adopted six fluffy chicks in the spring, like many a good farmer (which Im not). From lemon-size fluffs, theyve doubled, tripled, quadrupled (at least) in size, as any good hen should; and now every time I look at them, I think theyre the biggest chickens Ive ever seen.

Especially one of them, who, as it turns out, is not what I bargained for when placing my order for a half-dozen egg-laying hens. The truth of the matter is this one is not a hen at all; hes a rooster.

This would be a good thing if we were in the business of making new chicks, but were not. We just want eggs to feed the family. We dont want a rooster to wake up the neighborhood (again and again) and peck the hens around all day.

Unfortunately, Im told, this kind of thing happens frequently. When ordering hens, I was told that sexing chicks isnt a perfect science. Sellers do their best to hand over hen chicks only, but when they all look the same, its not easy to tell which one will grow a comb and wattle (those things on their heads and necks) bigger than the rest. The only real test is the wait-and-see approach. In due time, chickens will usually lay eggs or start to crow. Ours began crowing on the dawn of my birthday, last Sunday.

At first glance, our rooster is a beautiful creature (the kids named him McNugget months ago). One would never know he has some behavioral quirks. But just watch and listen, and youll see him boss the hens around and cock-a-doodle-doo till the cows come home (fortunately, thats only an expression because I have more farm animals than I can handle).

In a sense, acquiring chickens is not unlike that of hiring employees: They may look innocent enough, but one never knows for sure what theyre getting. Worse, did you know your company could be legally liable for negligent hiring if you fail to thoroughly check an applicants background?

According to ISS contributor Lori T. Murphy, a national sales consultant for Trak-1 Technology, a national provider of web-based background screening solutions, Misrepresentations on job applications are becoming more and more common. More than 35 percent of potential employees have a criminal record, bad driving record, fake Social Security number or a workers compensation claim. Considering the time and expense to hire and train a new employee, its certainly worthwhile to implement a comprehensive pre-employment screening program.

Additionally, Randy J. Tipton, president of Universal Insurance Facilities, advises self-storage operators to consider adding employee dishonesty coverage to their insurance policy.Unlike damage caused by fires, losses due to employee dishonesty may accumulate over time and reach alarming levels before being discovered, writes Tipton in her article, Protecting Yourself From Employee Dishonesty, appearing in the March 2007 issue of ISS. If you have one or more employees, you should safeguard your business with this type of important yet affordable coverage.

[To read articles by Lori Murphy and Randy Tipton in full, simply search for their names in the "Articles on Demand" search box in the upper right corner of the Inside Self-Storage website.]

So, there you have it: While things may never really be as they seem, when it comes to operating your self-storage facility, you can still safeguard yourself to some degree via employee background checks and dishonesty coverage.

Thats all well and good, but for me, I ask you, whats a rooster owner to do? Stay tuned ...

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Senior Editor, Inside Self Storage

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