Hustle Truck

Having given some 270 people short term work and graduated 26 on to full-time employment in some 4 months, the Hustle Truck program has now been suspended.  If you asked those 270 people given work or those 26 now fully employed, would they tell you it was a success or a failure?

The Hustle Truck proved at least one thing, that people on the streets aren’t lazy and there are many who are ready and willing to work if the opportunity is provided to them.  It’s goal being to achieve just that by allowing individuals from many different backgrounds, whether poor, down on their luck, living on the streets, trying to make extra cash or even trying to break an addiction, to find work.  The Hustle Truck is the opportunity for the individual to help themselves.

It is unfortunate the the scheme has now been suspended due to a row over pay.  Does this indicate that today’s Bermuda has become so expensive that just about everyone is having a hard time surviving, even those who are desperate for any kind of work?

Senator Gina Spence-Farmer described the Hustle Truck as a good idea, but questioned it’s level of planning.

“[Minister Burch] did not have a realistic plan in place to manage the people they were putting to work. You can’t just take people off the street and expect them to do spot work around the Island without proper supervision and support.”

How does one go about planning such an endeavor having never undertaken it before?  How do you deal with workers of varying backgrounds who are just desperate for a chance to work?   Could the process of trial and error have worked considering the program’s track record up until now?  Did those 26 now working full time lack supervision and support or is this a case of a few bad apples ruining it for the bunch?  Is this kind of scenario only limited to hustling?

Sen. Spence-Farmer is quick to suggest that the program did not get the commitment and resources needed to succeed, but is that truly the case?  What were the management conditions of the workers?  What resources were provided?  How could things have been done better?  What would Sen. Spence-Farmer have done differently?  How would she improve things if she were in Minister Burch’s shoes?

Unfortunately, these questions remain unanswered.  For those 26 however, no doubt they’re simply happy they’ve found work.

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rick
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rick

I don’t expect people to comprehend the real problem which most employers face in their day to day running of their business. Which is there is not enough employable Bermudians that want to work a full time job on a fixed 40 hour work week. In my business and I’m sure the rest of the hospitality business we are always short staffed year round. Even now with students back it is impossible to meet the employment demands of high season which unfortantly is often reflected by less than stellar service.This has resulted in an influx of foreign workers across the… Read more »

silencedogood
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silencedogood

All due respect Dennis, but I don’t think you are being completely fair to Ms. Spence-Farmer. She’s in the opposition, not the government. I agree solutions are preferable to criticism, but in order to propose them you have to have access to information on how the Hussle Truck, or any other government program, is functioning. I sincerely doubt she has that access. Even assuming she does, the way I look at it is as if the voter is the owner of a company, the government is management, and the opposition is an employee. If management is incompetent and the employee… Read more »

Denis Pitcher
Guest

“to simply hand over their ideas and hope their boss doesn’t take credit for them in front of the owner (voter)would just be dumb.” So what you’re telling me is that if I want my boss’s job I should do a piss poor job of my own, point out every flaw in his efforts and wait till he flubs it rather than achieving stellar reviews with the customer by doing my own job as best I can (voters are both customers and owners)? So instead of me getting great reviews and promoted over my boss we both get terrible reviews… Read more »

Denis Pitcher
Guest

When attempting to consider Ken’s suggestion of objectivity I’ve noted that there may be one line that is a culprit that throws things off. “Sen. Spence-Farmer is quick to suggest that the program did not get the commitment and resources needed to succeed, but is that truly the case?” Likely, to have truly written objectively it may have been better to phrase it: “Sen. Spence-Farmer suggests that the program did not get the commitment and resources needed to succeed. Is that the case?” I suspect lines such as “quick to suggest” and “but is that truly” were leading people towards… Read more »

silencedogood
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silencedogood

So what you’re telling me is that if I want my boss’s job I should do a piss poor job of my own, point out every flaw in his efforts and wait till he flubs it rather than achieving stellar reviews with the customer by doing my own job as best I can (voters are both customers and owners)? Nope. You have to do the best job you can within your realm of responsibility and show potential to exceed it. The key point is that the opposition has been given different responsibilities from government when they were “hired” at the… Read more »

Denis Pitcher
Guest

“I think you and I disagree over the definition of an opposition’s ‘job’. ” Noted. “The devil is always in the details” “[Ms. Spence-Farmer] said she thought it was a good idea, but needed more thought in how it was implemented (broad). She even suggested more supervision of the people while they were out in the community (specific). From what I gathered with regards to the further details (http://www.bermudasun.bm/main.asp?SectionID=24&SubSectionID=270&ArticleID=34715) that were released on the issue, the workers were rowdy when collecting paycheques (for the first time) at the BHC office in town, not out on a worksite. This hardly supports… Read more »

silencedogood
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silencedogood

Fair enough, but I think it is a fairly weak argument to say that because the hussle truck guys got out of line in a government building there isn’t a risk of it happening in the community. We’ll just have to agree to disagree amigo.

Denis Pitcher
Guest

Out of line?
Some foul language and the firing off of a fire extinguisher is hardly signs of a great deal of risk.
If they’d done things to a more extreme extend I’d agree with you, but at the level things occured, I agree we’ll have to disagree.

silencedogood
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silencedogood

It was more than that D. The reports I read said that they smashed picture frames and broke some furniature. At some point I’m sure they were restrained, but if out in the community where the response time of the police is sure to be lower who knows how out of hand it might have gotten. But I digress… I read this in today’s gazette–“In an attempt to prevent any repeats of the BHC incident, the Hustle Truck team has also been boosted by the appointment of Shane Watson as an alcohol and drugs counsellor.” So apparently they didn’t have… Read more »

Denis Pitcher
Guest

“The reports I read said that they smashed picture frames and broke some furniature. At some point I’m sure they were restrained” I certainly havn’t read anything even remotely similar to that and if I had, I would be more inclined to agree with your position. I’d be very interested if you could provide any sources with regards to further details. “So apparently they didn’t have a drug counsellor before–surely we can agree that this was poor planning on their part and that it’s a good remeial measure?” I’m not so sure I agree with you here. There are some… Read more »

Andrew
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Andrew

I chatted to a guy the other day who worked the hustle truck. He said they pulled the plug because some of the guys were stealing from job sites, drinking, smoking dope, etc. There’s a reason why these people are on the street – drug issues, untreated mental illness, etc. The real problem is that there will always be a segment of society that will be unable to care for themselves. There is no benefit to throwing them on the back of a truck and dropping them off at a job site without addressind the issues that left them jobless… Read more »