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  1. #1

    * Trusting a Teen Tech with your Company...

    Hello Everyone,

    I know a lot of people stress SUPPORT, SUPPORT, SUPPORT! As do I. I believe each customer should be treated as the first and most valuable customer. I also know they deserve to have the same support they did when they first started using your services. To keep up with a growing business and maintaining the same support a company must higher more support staff to help handle the increase in support requests.

    On average, small hosting businesses have 1-2 members as part of their support staff. When handling a client base of up to 120 clients 2 people is more than efficient (if a timetable can be worked out). However, when a company reaches the point where it is either going to stay at the same capacity and provide the same services, or grow into a medium sized business, a few executive decisions will need to be made.

    Having a medium sized business, especially one that is run virtually, does not necessarily mean that there is an office with two desks and a room for tech support. It just means that it handles a medium size flow of business.

    This is where my query arrises. If and when a small business takes the next step into becoming a medium business and you reach the point of employee expansion. where is the best place to go for clean water? In other words, what is the best source of good water? Is it the pool of teenagers still in high school? Is it the pond of IT students studying at your local university? Or is it the unemployment swamp your friend's father, who has not found any programming work in a couple of years, swims in? How does one decide who to trust the product of their labor, hard work and success with?

    If you have reached this point and would like to share some information, please post here.

    I believe this to be an interesting topic that people will have both wonderful and horrible stories to share from their own experiences.

    Thank You,
    Brandon Stuart
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  2. #2
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    If you fully interview and log/review tickets, hiring a teen if fine. Just make sure you ask certain questions to get a grasp on how well they handle their grammar, tough questions, annoying clients, and common sense.

  3. #3
    Thank you DanX,

    A little addition to the above posted topic, is it difficult to have a technician who does not live in your area and does work from their home? Are you required to pay for their internet services or computers?

    Thanks again!
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  4. #4
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    I would look at their abilities and experience. I won't hire someone jsut because they are young or old, but the older you get, generally the more experience you get.

    It all comes down to the person, too. Never hire someone you can't work well with, no matter how little they want or how much they know.

    You are not required to provide anything for an employee, except pay of course, but webspace or some similiar benefits can help keep employees once you have them. Money isn't everything, y'know
    Peter M Dodge,
    President, Viridian Tower Electronics

    (Formerly Creative Director of LiquidFire Network Solutions 2003-2007)

  5. #5
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    Yeah, it's not that bad to hire a teen, as long as he/she knows what they are doing.

  6. #6
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    Exactly. Look at skills and experience, not age (or gender or race, for that matter.)

    We have a couple teens among us and they've only helped. As long as you're careful and get someone who really *wants* the job, then you should be fine. But that goes for adults as well.

    Just remember that in most places you have to be 16 to hold a job.

    I'll note staight out that I'm 18, so I'm biased, myself.
    Peter M Dodge,
    President, Viridian Tower Electronics

    (Formerly Creative Director of LiquidFire Network Solutions 2003-2007)

  7. #7
    That is some good advice. But do you think that a teen would care less or more about the success of your company? When I ask this I mean more specifically, the type of support they give. Will they care if your customers are happy as much as a person who say, was not attending school? Or would they take this more seriously as a foot in the door for future promotions?

    Thanks again.
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  8. #8
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    I do

    It doesn't really depend upon the age. You can get the "whatever" type in adults just as much as in teens. It depends upon their personality. That's why I said that you should be careful to find someone who really *wants* the job, because then, they'll do everything reasonable to make sure they keep it.
    Peter M Dodge,
    President, Viridian Tower Electronics

    (Formerly Creative Director of LiquidFire Network Solutions 2003-2007)

  9. #9
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    I've hired teens in the past, many, many times. I won't do it anymore. Teens generally don't have the life skills needed to maintain a professional business relationship for any real length of time. There are, of course, exceptions...but I don't want to risk my business reputation while finding the exception. You never know how a teen is going to act under pressure and, in my experience, they crumble far more than adults.

    Yes, there are flaky adults as well. However, you normally can get a long-term work history on an adult and find out how they've performed in the past. You can't with a teen.

    --Tina
    Last edited by Tina J; 03-14-2004 at 06:07 PM.
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  10. #10
    That was some great input there. Since I'm full of questions, here is another one (that may not be addressed as easily do to it being a sensitive topic). How much do teens usually get paid for tech support? How is the pay decided? Do they get paid by the ticket, by the hours or by the month? Is pay between adults and teens the same or different? If different why is the adults time worth more than the teens time?
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  11. #11
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    I pay by the hour, with proof of work. I pay by position, not by age.

    If you're just customer support, then you get a different pay and set of benefits than a designer or me

    It depends on the type of work involved, how long it takes to do that work, if they worked overtime, if they needed to go out of their way to do it, etc. Doing a logo for a website is far less intensive than programming an SQL database, so if I have an employee that programs a SQL database, that employee is going to get more money than an employee that does a logo for a website.

    As to the age issue, I think it all depends on how things are in your area; remember that people vary from place to place. In Ottawa there are quite a few teens that I'd trust more than many adults with my business, and some that could program circles around MIT grads, but I'm not naive - I know it's not the same in other places. Test the waters, and if you like what you're feeling then go for it. Otherwise, don't.

    Remember than in hiring any employee you take a risk on that person. So, when you're thinking of hiring someone, always ak yourself it that's someone you'd take a risk with.
    Peter M Dodge,
    President, Viridian Tower Electronics

    (Formerly Creative Director of LiquidFire Network Solutions 2003-2007)

  12. #12
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    If you do hire a teen, try sending them a few ambiguous and/or rudely worded tickets and see how they respond.

  13. #13
    That's a good suggestion. Always check up on your investments

    Sounds like a sound bet.
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  14. #14
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    Originally posted by sightz
    If you do hire a teen, try sending them a few ambiguous and/or rudely worded tickets and see how they respond.
    I do that regardless.
    Peter M Dodge,
    President, Viridian Tower Electronics

    (Formerly Creative Director of LiquidFire Network Solutions 2003-2007)

  15. #15
    I think age dont matter as long as some one knows what they are doing some teens no alot.

    Anyway be careful

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by D0mainGuru
    I think age dont matter as long as some one knows what they are doing some teens no alot.

    Anyway be careful
    How old are you?

    --Tina
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  17. #17
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    What does that matter?

    You could argue against someone's ideas instead of there person. It's a fallacy to argue against a person instead of the argument they have provided.

    (Philosophy comes in handy, no?)
    Peter M Dodge,
    President, Viridian Tower Electronics

    (Formerly Creative Director of LiquidFire Network Solutions 2003-2007)

  18. #18
    Tina that wasn't very nice!

    You can not assume someone is young simply due to their grammar. Maybe they don't read lots hehe

    Seriously though, that wasn't cool.
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  19. #19
    Originally posted by liquidfire
    What does that matter?

    You could argue against someone's ideas instead of there person. It's a fallacy to argue against a person instead of the argument they have provided.

    (Philosophy comes in handy, no?)
    Do you know what I find more handy than Philosophy? Rhetoric. If you can argue with any Rhetoric style; Rogerian or Toulmin, you can pretty much win any argument, even when you're really wrong.

    That's always the best part! hehe
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  20. #20
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    Tina that wasn't very nice!

    You can not assume someone is young simply due to their grammar. Maybe they don't read lots hehe

    Seriously though, that wasn't cool.
    A lot of people would say I'm older than I am given how I carry myself and my skills & experience. Go figure. Just goes to show you that stereotyping people doesn't work.

    [edit: I hate it when I post the same time as someone else ]
    Peter M Dodge,
    President, Viridian Tower Electronics

    (Formerly Creative Director of LiquidFire Network Solutions 2003-2007)

  21. #21
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    Heh, 16 or 56, if the person knows what they're doing, and can meet ALL requirements you may have for them, than why not give them a job?

    As stated, if you're not sure how the "teen" would deal with adversity, or pressure, test him/her. I’d do the same for ANY adult as well.

    Many times you will encounter immature teens, that’s a fact. But there are also plenty of VERY capable teenagers out there with the know how, and people skills to help your business be successful.

    Often, more mature teenagers, 17, 18, 19, have experienced countless high pressure situations in their daily lives and could actually be exceptional when dealing with a rude customer, or a very demanding person.

    And don’t think even for a second that kids don’t want that money just as much as adults do. No, they might not be trying to pay the rent for an apartment or for their meals that week, but I guarantee that they are interested in buying a new car, or being able to take their girlfriend out on a date at the nicest restaurant in town. Some “teens,” could even be trying to pay their way through college, which is ridiculously expensive and even with financial aid is very hard for some people to make ends meet.

    With either age group you will either find people driven to succeed, or fail. Just like EVERYTHING else in life, you can’t just look at a whole “group” of people as if they were the same or assume that just because he’s one age, he’s better at something then someone at another age. Some kids will be happy with a C in school, others work their *** off to get those As. Some adults are happy making a decent salary in a little office somewhere, others strive to get those promotions and move up the latter. Who do you want to hire? Driven people, young or old.
    Thanks,

    Brendan Diaz
    Connect: linkedin.com/in/brendandiaz

  22. #22
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    Originally posted by IWS Brandon
    Tina that wasn't very nice!

    You can not assume someone is young simply due to their grammar. Maybe they don't read lots hehe

    Seriously though, that wasn't cool.

    You're reading WAY more into my question than what I intended.

    Seriously, THAT isn't cool.

    --Tina
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  23. #23
    Hey Tina I'm just joking with you.
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  24. #24
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    Originally posted by X F e L i X
    Heh, 16 or 56, if the person knows what they're doing, and can meet ALL requirements you may have for them, than why not give them a job?
    Life skills. Knowing how to handle intense or sticky situations is something that comes with age, for most people.

    I'm not going to argue the "age" debate. There are some kids who can handle it...there are some adults who can't. It all comes down to the percentages and odds though. You can't argue with that.

    --Tina
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    Plenty of space and bandwidth to fit your needs!
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  25. #25
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    Yes, and I'd love to see the %. Because to my knowledge, there are no official % or odds stating that a 30 year old can handle pressure better then a 18 year old. It all depends on the PERSON. If an 18 year old can be trusted in the military to be in charge of dozens of other troops, often, older troops, then an 18 year old can sure as hell work for me as long as he meets the requirements.

    Tina, you have a very firm position against teens, that's fine. But at least let the person who has asked the question hear everyone's opinion. We know what yours is already.
    Thanks,

    Brendan Diaz
    Connect: linkedin.com/in/brendandiaz

  26. #26
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    Guilty until proven innocent. I get that a lot. I'm not worth tursting until I do something worthy of trust. I suppose I should expect it, but it's a sad reflection on our society.

    I have to agree with XFelix. We have a teen at LFNS that happens to be in the Army Reserve. And not just as a private. If I can trust someone with a tank, then I think I can trust them with my business Just my humble opinion.

    The armed forces don't trust just anyone with a tank. Especially up here in Canada where our total amount of armor you can count on your hands.
    Peter M Dodge,
    President, Viridian Tower Electronics

    (Formerly Creative Director of LiquidFire Network Solutions 2003-2007)

  27. #27
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    Starting out, I wouldn't hire anyone younger then 22-24, but there are exceptions to the rule (and I have met quite a few of them) and that is why I go by knowledge and experience along with people skills, rather than age.

  28. #28
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    I have several teen admins and they are an asset to my company. we are in the games hosting biz so our customer base is alot younger than than of a web hosting company and we also have alot more real time contact with them.

    I have built up a good relasionship with all my admins even though some are 12 years younger than myself and I have even met all but one of them this makes a big diffrance to me as it means that I can find out if i am comfortable with this person having access to my servers.

    The teen admins that help us do it for enjoyment and learning experiance and get paid in the form of games and server hosting. I have in exchange offered to write letters of referance and have even had one do his collage work experiance with our company as well as

    I have also found that the teen admins are on a par with myself and other employees in knowledge and attitude if you pick the right ones they will be and asset to you.

  29. #29
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    I have had people ranging from 14-29 working for me. As a matter of fact...the youger ones did better than many of the older ones. People never question my age. I present myself proffessionally. Only clients of whome I know personally (many of whom are adults, while others are teens) still respect me even though I am not an adult. Other Staff members respect me as well. You wonder how old I am?
    I am only sixteen. So far my business has gone without any major flaws, we are seeing good profit and happy customers. I do not thnk age is a matter, as long as you test them first. I test all people: the older and the younger, before they become official staff.
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  30. #30
    Doing a logo for a website is far less intensive than programming an SQL database, so if I have an employee that programs a SQL database, that employee is going to get more money than an employee that does a logo for a website.
    I would have to disagree with this. I really think it depends on who you are talking to and the quality of work that is resulting.

    I know designers that get paid up to two times as much as SQL programmers, and I know programmers that get paid twice as much as some designers.

    Find a designer that turns out really quality work, and you will be looking at a person that gets paid equal to or greater than most SQL programmers.

    You can't assign pay based on intensity, it needs to be based on the quality of work being turned out.....

    Those are my .02

    Peter
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  31. #31
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    age has nothing to do with it, it all has to do with:

    1. Knowledge
    2. Ethics
    3. People skills

    and yes, I am 14.

  32. #32
    Bub Host,
    Just letting you know your site does not render well at all in Mozilla Firefox. Thought you might want to know.

    Peter
    The Maag Group - Intelligent IT Solutions
    • Colocation • Dedicated Servers • Server Administration •
    www.maaggroup.com • 877.622.4477

  33. #33
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    Originally posted by e12pilot
    Bub Host,
    Just letting you know your site does not render well at all in Mozilla Firefox. Thought you might want to know.

    Peter
    yes I know, I am getting a new website professionaly designed, so it will be much better soon!

  34. #34
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    I've met a few teens who seem really anxious to join our team the first day, and act all mature. But then after a few days, sometimes a few hours, they show their real side, and it's not pretty. I guess that's my fault though, for not "testing" them out first.

  35. #35
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    Hello,

    For what I do, we hire teens to deal with teens customers because the communication are lots more easier and more understandable.

    If we hire an expert and chat with the teens customers, it will be a waste since the teens customers will understand 10% of what the expert says.

    =)

  36. #36
    Im still a teen

    And so far,

    1.) I have designed over 30 sites total (Plus designing more at the moment)

    2.) Run a recording studio out of my home

    3.) Also, do the production side of it

    4.) Done commercials locally along with my friends and family working beside me

    5.) Soon, to be opening up a Record Label/Production Company/Film Company

    6.) Already written atleast 2 books, not including children books.. Oh yea, No Grammar Errors

    7.) Currently working as a Tech/Support assistant at a webhosting company.

    8.) Writing up a script for a movie that me and my brothers are going to shoot.

    9.) Could start up a hosting business, but im too busy as it is to sit down all day and accept the more stressing of the business.


    10.) I have a great sense of humor
    Money is the root of all evil. So if you don't want to go crazy, give it all to me

  37. #37
    Even as a teen myself, I'll say this: there are many immature teens I would never trust.

    Yet at the same time, there are a few that have more maturity and skills than someone 2x their age. So I really agree that you can't base your decisions or opinions of someone on their age. Remember that everyone is different, and if you come across a tempermental teen, they're not all that way.
    Adventures in Parenting.org - Are you a parent? Listen to the free podcast and sign up for the newsletter!

  38. #38
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    Originally posted by JWise
    Im still a teen

    And so far,

    1.) I have designed over 30 sites total (Plus designing more at the moment)

    2.) Run a recording studio out of my home

    3.) Also, do the production side of it

    4.) Done commercials locally along with my friends and family working beside me

    5.) Soon, to be opening up a Record Label/Production Company/Film Company

    6.) Already written atleast 2 books, not including children books.. Oh yea, No Grammar Errors

    7.) Currently working as a Tech/Support assistant at a webhosting company.

    8.) Writing up a script for a movie that me and my brothers are going to shoot.

    9.) Could start up a hosting business, but im too busy as it is to sit down all day and accept the more stressing of the business.


    10.) I have a great sense of humor
    would you like a medal with that?

    You know showing off is a sign of immaturity.

  39. #39
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    Hi,

    Nothing matters... Compared to once attitude towards work.

    WORK ATTITUDE MATTERS.

    -Devil

  40. #40
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    I would never employ anyone under the age of 18.

    Your liability and risk will go thru the roof if you decide to hire someone under the age of 18. Question is, are you responsible enough to yourself, your employees and your customers hiring someone that are under age?
    I like to help

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