Nicholas LaChaine Interview #2
This is file #23, cycle 4. Today’s date is Aug 29, 2019. This is Jean McMillen. I am interviewing Nicholas LaChaine who was a worker for Chore Service during the summer. He is going to talk about his experiences with his work and his clients. But first we’ll start with the hard stuff…
JM:What is your name?
JM:How did you get the job at chore Service?
NL:My aunt was friends with Jane MacLaren who is one of the heads at Chore Service. (She is Program Director of Chore Service see her interview. See also Pat Wright interview as Executive Director of Chore Service)
JM:What was your aunt’s name?
NL:Delores Perotti. I think she is going to be on the board for Chore Service. I learned about chore Service through Delores. I was at a party and Jane was there. I said that I wanted to work for the Chore Service. We had a little interview, and I was working a week later.
JM:The best way to get a job.
JM:Did you have to do any formal application or anything like that?
NL:There was a lot of paperwork. There was code of conduct, insurance, but I didn’t do an application and a W2.
JM:What was the code of conduct?
NL:There was a drug test that you had to take. There was a bunch of other papers for your signature, I won’t steal. A lot of stuff like that.
JM:Background check, criminal background check?
NL:I don’t think there was a background check.
JM:How about driver’s license? Did they check your driving record?
NL:No I don’t think so.
JM:They do check but you may not be aware of it. Did you go to a formal training session?
NL:I did not. I know they do have training sessions because I have gotten some mail that tells when a training session will be held at this time on this date, but I never want through a training session.
JM:How many clients did you have?2.
NL:I think total over the summer had 12, ranging from couples to single men or women.
JM:Was it evenly divided male/female?
NL:A majority of them were female, but there were a few men and couples. I had 4 couples.
JM:Did you work just in Lakeville or did you go all over?
NL:I worked all over. I was in Lakeville, Canaan, West Cornwall, Kent, Sharon, and Falls Village.
JM:How was your work schedule?
NL:This was what was nice about it. After Jane set me up with the clients or gave me their information, I would call and introduced myself as working for Chore Service this summer. I got to make my own schedule sort of whenever I wanted to show up. I would try to meet with each one once a week. There was a four hour limit per client per week. So if I am working 3-4 hours with each client, I am working 12 times 4 equals 48 hours a week.
JM:Do you get mileage?
NL:You do get mileage, over 10 miles one way you get paid and it is $.50 a gallon.
JM:Would you work 20 hours a week or more like 50?
NL:I worked depending on the needs of my clients maybe 40- 45 hours a week and then if I had a bad week I would work for about 20. There were times when some people did not need work done or they had a conflict or something.
JM:Did you have to fill out a time sheet?
NL:I did have a time sheet. Each client had a copy, I had a copy and Chore Service had a copy. You turned in the sheet and got paid every two weeks. They would send you a check.
JM:How much were you getting per hour?
NL:It was $14 but as of July 1 it went up to $15. With the tax taken out if was getting $12.50 per hour.
JM:Did you have to pay Social Security?
NL:I don’t think so.
JM:You would turn in your pay sheet and get a check every 2 weeks.
NL:I was bad with my time sheets, like from the middle July to the end August, I didn’t hand in my sheets, so I don’t think they were happy with me. I let them build up.
JM:Well it is learning experience.3.
JM:Other than the Summer Youth Program, is this the first paid job you have had?
NL:I have worked for the Summer Youth Program (See Nicholas LaChaine interview #1) in years past. I have worked at hockey camp for the past 4 or 5 years.
JM:This is a different type of work, but you have worked for pay before.
JM:What did you actually do for the clients?
NL:I would do anything from yard work to organizing things in the barn or the shed. I would pick up around the house. For the most part it was yard work. Whatever they asked me to do, I did it.
JM:Were they accepting of you as a young man?
NL:Oh they loved me.
JM:I figured that! (He is my neighbor and does many kind things for others. Ed)
NL:I would get phone calls, “Oh Nicholas we miss you. When are you available next?” When I would show up they were always out there to greet me. For the couples some would come out and help me, some wouldn’t. It was more for the people living on their own: they were out there to meet me when I got there because for the most part, I was the only person they see throughout the week. It is pretty cool.
JM:Do you enjoy doing it?
NL:Oh I loved it. The work was tough at times, but just being able to see the enjoyment on these people’s faces because, like I said, I am probably one of the only people they talk to or see in a week.
JM:You are young and that makes such a difference.
NL: It does.
JM:When I was house bound here, the only person I would see was my chore Service lady or if someone came to visit. I know what it is like: you get lonesome. It is nice to have somebody to talk to, particularly a young man that is willing to interact.
NL:They would come out even if some of them were handicapped, they would still come out in their wheelchairs and park right next to me and just chat away while I worked.
JM:That is wonderful because you are giving them something that they would not ordinarily have.
NL:Right. While the work wasn’t the best, it made me feel good because of what you are doing to make these people happy. I sort of made these people’s day for them.
JM:Yes you did. You like to help others: you always have. Would you plan to work for Chore Service next summer?
JM:You really enjoyed it then. Not necessarily the work but the people, the socialization.
NL:Yes the socialization part of it was awesome.
JM:Did you develop relationships with these people or did they just give you orders and go away?
NL:No I developed some good relationships with these people. There were times when it was a hot day, they would bring me out lemonade and cookies or something like that.
JM:Cookies go a long way!
NL:They do. (In joke Nicholas used to shovel my front walk for cookies. Ed)
JM:You did not work with the administration or with other Chore workers, did you?
NL:I was the yard man and did not work with others. I was a lone wolf.
JM:Anything else that you would like to add about your experience with Chore Service?
NL:I don’t think so.
JM:Thank you so much.
NL:You are very welcome.