Either way you look at it – you’re screwed

Nothing like procrastination!

I don’t want to work on packing and upgrading condo.  So, I decided to read another’s blog post, and now I’m lost, because dang it – it’s a topic that is very heated for me.  I had to change my response on their original post, and just create my own blog post because my comment was too lengthy.

They were speaking of the Temp Agent / Contract Worker / Temporary Staff.  Anyone that has read my blog for a while, know I refer to this as TEMP HELL.  If you are thinking of using a staffing agency (read), or if you have been a contract person in the past, you can commiserate!

So here’s Prog Chik’s original blog post, and here’s my original comment with additional info:

In the past, to see if a match existed between an employer and prospective employee, it made sense to have a 3-month maybe 6-month temporary period.  That was ample time for both parties to know if it were a match or not.  Rarely did temping last a year. (in my personal experience)  And this process worked for both parties.  Although not ideal, it wasn’t a big deal.  Because companies did want to hire on the right person.

However, flash forward 10 years and presently, the big corporate trend is now to mainly use staffing agencies permanently and keeping a staffing rep onsite for admin type jobs.  The 2.5 years I worked for a world-wide medical manufacturer, and all their new admin staff were via the Staffing agency.  The rep sits near the HR people.  Only the Engineers would be direct hires.  (and any prior staff that was hired several years ago were perm)  The staffing agent no longer represents their contractors, their interest lies solely with the company to which they are supplying the work force.  With that said, admin contract workers need a union to ensure they are treated fairly and earn decent wages.  However, no one earns enough to pay for this.

As for getting hired on:  You can work your ass off and be that company’s reliable person and it doesn’t matter.  You can be their GOTO person, and write procedures and train other permanent employees on how to do the job, and still be contract help.  Once you come in as contract, it’s nearly impossible to change to perm status.  They will keep that “carrot” in front of you, telling you how “awesome” you are and promising “some day” you’ll get hired as long as you reach whatever lofty goal they have set.  It’s a LIE to get you to stay on in your current status.

The big company no longer wants to pay benefits – no 401k, no medical insurance, no raises, no vacation time.  If you get hurt on the job, that’s on you and the staffing agency.  In my experience, they moved to a new building and put me into an active construction zone, and then were mad at me because my asthma flared up and I got a doctor’s note to work at another location in the meantime until construction was completed.

On holiday closures and mandatory summer vacation that results in company shut-down, that forces everyone to be off work, but the contractor is not paid during that time.  No Christmas gifts for my family.  Speaking of the holiday, the company would buy Christmas gifts for everyone, but not contract workers…although I worked there longer than several of the new employees.

A lot of those new employees I trained them! 🙂  They qualify for the bonus program, but I don’t. Please, tell me why would I work harder to reach your goal, when I wouldn’t benefit like the rest of the team?  I’m picking up your lazy-workers slack.  Showing them how to do the job properly.  You come to me when you want things done correctly?  But I don’t get rewarded?

These positions will work you into the ground, until you have had enough abuse and choose to leave.  No matter to them, there’s another temp waiting to take your place.  If they chose to reduce in work force, they don’t have to pay you unemployment or offer you severance even if you gave them years of service, because you signed the AT WILL contract with the Staffing Agency.  California is an “At will” state, meaning either the employer/employee can terminate at any time, for no reason and no additional compensation etc.  Just done.

No wonder companies are moving to this “non-hiring” method of staffing their workforce.  The benefit is all for them and nothing for the individual.  The contractor gets screwed and has to accept it or another is waiting to take their place.  How badly do you need work?  Do you want to eat?

My friend has been on the receiving end, where the company gets sneaky and they had her create procedure, write down the process, hired on another temp at a lower cost, with a different title (same job, maybe a couple different tasks) had her train that individual and got rid of her because she was more money.  If that’s the goal, then they should be honest so she knows her time is limited, what the purpose of her contract is, and length of time, so she can look for a more perm-job in the meantime while she is finishing her contract there.  But they don’t want you leaving early so they don’t reveal their true intentions.  They can f’you over with no repercussion whatsoever.  And the contractor has to be ultra careful because they need referrals on their resume.

There needs to be better law protecting contract workers.  It is beyond ridiculous.



8 thoughts on “Either way you look at it – you’re screwed

  1. Your post if heartbreaking. It’s one thing for me to write about it, but another to hear that someone else has been through the same hell. It goes without saying that this kind of treatment is blatantly unjust.

    I wish we could point to this happening in our grandparent’s generation and say, “Wow, we’ve come such a long way in terms of workers’ rights.” But no. It’s becoming the norm in OUR generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, it’s true. The corporate world has figured out “ways around the laws,” That what they are doing is completely legal, and it is so frustrating and degrading and people can’t survive and are working themselves to death – constantly worried about whether they can get hired on, or if they decide to do away with the position. We’re doing back-flips and can never relax. The company will just someone else that is willing to do whatever ridiculous request and probably for less. That job I had, the QA manager had me and another temp fighting for the same one “perm” position available. Neither of us got it. He let the one girl go, and I eventually left. The guy after me got hired because after 6 months, he was going to leave too. He already knew the drill and found another job – he had more leverage.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been in this situation a couple of times and yes it does suck. The company has no incentive to hire you or pay you what you what your skills are actually worth because the job is being done and they aren’t required to cover insureance, time off, sick days, holiday pay and, neither is the temp agency!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay, I forgot about this:
      My original staffing agency that got me hired, originally after working 40 hour weeks for a year, were going to give me 2 weeks vacation at the pay I was earning. (so that I would stay) That was the contract I signed. Well, the company used several staffing agencies and after a year of my working there, decided to reduce down to one staffing agency and forced everyone to switch, and then brought a rep in house. WELL, instead of my contract being 2 weeks of vacation as the agency I original chose … the new staffing agency only provided $75.00 for 1 week – which they don’t tell anyone, you have to inquire about vacation – which I did because I knew I had something. I was appalled and offended – $75.00 doesn’t even cover 1 day! Yet, I had to be grateful for that. I was so ticked off. They don’t want you taking more than 1 week off, and only pay you almost a day’s pay. I still took 2 weeks unpaid.

      As I was leaving, the agency sent a mass e-mail out to their contractors indicating they were adding some form of sick time, but the accrual of hours were so minimal it would have taken forever to earn 1 day. I just laughed and laughed.

      What a joke.


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