When South Canterbury contractor and farmer Geoff Wallace had a frank job advert published, he had no idea of the reaction it would garner.
“I was shocked,” Wallace said.
Beyond making headlines in New Zealand, his quirky advert has attracted attention in other countries.
The advert, posted in a local newspaper last week, asked for a stockman who “needs to be able to divorce himself from his phone for more than two hours at a time”, and a labourer.
On the initial article, most commenters found his frank honesty a laugh and a breath of fresh air, with commenter Professor Plum saying “it’s a way of saying ‘I really need someone with a good attitude, not self entitled, who can do a fair days work for a fair days pay”.
Wallace echoed this sentiment. He did not want a “sloppy worker”.
He is building six sheds to house more than 500 bulls during part of the winter as his Makikihi property abuts the Wainono Lagoon, an internationally significant wetland.
The sheds would protect his bulls from the cold weather and soggy winter soil, while preventing effluent from entering the lagoon.
But a shed full of wheat straw and bulls would be no match for a cigarette so he ruled out smokers.
“I don’t want roast beef before their time,” Wallace said.
He had received a dozen job applications in the last couple of days for the positions, but wished some people had read the advert more carefully.
“I’ll give anyone a chance, but I won’t put people in a situation where they could kill themselves,” Wallace said.
Changes to health and safety regulations meant the onus was on the employer, not the employee, to take care, which was “disappointing”, he said.
Wallace had more workers in their 60s and 70s because they might move slower, but they had the experience to manage their times and the knowledge to work faster, he said.
“I just want someone who is focused on the job, not their phone.”
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