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Anyone ever do temp work? What was it like?

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Anyone ever do temp work? What was it like?

Old 08-07-04, 01:33 AM
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Anyone ever do temp work? What was it like?

How does 'temp work' work? (heh)

Do they call you the morning they need you, and you can take it or turn it down? I've never registered with a staffing service, or anything like that....I figured I would check here and see what peoples opinions were. I talked to one girl who said "I do temp work, and I love it!"

Is it basically just day to day staffing at different job locations? What kind of work are you doing if it's just temp? Obviously they can't train you to do anything major if you'll only be there short term.
Old 08-07-04, 02:04 AM
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In my old dept. we try temps like illegal immigrants... they get to make copies, take out the trash, type up stuff, get lunch... They work in the dept. for maybe a couple of months, then we throw them back into the temp pool and hire permenent slaves.
Old 08-07-04, 02:12 AM
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I worked at a supermarket once that had a temp agency in the same shopping center.
Old 08-07-04, 02:34 AM
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I did one temp job when my mom managed a temp agency. Local computer company needed people to test software. Pay was AWESOME ... but the job only lasted 45 minutes. Turns out I was in the first group, which meant the software was barely done. :P I still got about $40 out of the deal though.
Old 08-07-04, 04:46 AM
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Generally, it isn't great. The secret is to come in, learn the ropes fast, and do better, more enthusiastic work than any of the permanent employees. Any manager worth a damn will recognize your value. I have gotten job offers from a majority of the temp positions I filled when I was doing that. I ended up taking one which has led, ultimately, to where I am today.

Don't bother trying to make friends with the permanent staff. Just be polite, professional, and have thick skin.
Old 08-07-04, 10:17 AM
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I've temped a lot. I did it for a couple of summers during college, but it was mostly manual labor, warehouse-type stuff. One gig was just sweeping up a warehouse. The permanent employees called me "easy money."

I got a job after graduation (not related to my temp work), got fed up with it after 2+ years and decided to "retire." That lasted six months and then I started temping again, only at offices. Sure, I had some assignments that lasted a day or a week, but my big assignment lasted 3 months. I was actually filling a position of someone who had left and it wasn't just making copies and stuff like that. They treated me really well.

Some agencies (the one I was at, included) will have you come to their office in the morning and wait around for a few hours to see if an assignment comes in. If no assignments come in, you still get paid. I'm not sure if all agencies do that, though. Oh yeah, I got work through Randstad.

The pay wasn't bad, but there's no benefits. Still, for some, that's an easy trade-off with the freedom that you have: you don't have to accept assignments, you don't have to stay at them if you don't like them, etc. The variety can be nice.

I'll probably do some temping while I wait for the results of the bar exam.
Old 08-07-04, 11:50 AM
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I worked as a temp after getting laid off in the early 90s. I did general labor. I discovered that companies usually only hire temps because they have scut work that they don't feel like doing themselves. The rest of the time it's because they have work that required no training and don't have enough staff.

I also discovered that most guys who worked for the temp agency couldn't find a job because no one in his right mind would hire them. What a sorry bunch they were.

I pulled 3' weeds, picked up trash, stacked pallets, shoveled sand, loaded trucks, and helped deliver drywall. I was professional, worked hard, and angled for jobs. Nothing came of it. I made employee of the month. Eventually, the agency placed me here, mopping floors. (I got a lot of promotions since.)
Old 08-07-04, 12:23 PM
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Originally posted by Nick Danger
I worked as a temp after getting laid off in the early 90s. I did general labor. I discovered that companies usually only hire temps because they have scut work that they don't feel like doing themselves. The rest of the time it's because they have work that required no training and don't have enough staff.

I also discovered that most guys who worked for the temp agency couldn't find a job because no one in his right mind would hire them. What a sorry bunch they were.

I pulled 3' weeds, picked up trash, stacked pallets, shoveled sand, loaded trucks, and helped deliver drywall. I was professional, worked hard, and angled for jobs. Nothing came of it. I made employee of the month. Eventually, the agency placed me here, mopping floors. (I got a lot of promotions since.)
This has been my experience as well. If its a short term assignment (a few days to a couple weeks) the work you will be doing is basically grunt work (making copies, faxing stuff, etc). If it's a long term assignment, then they are generally looking for someone with specific skills and you will be more specific tasks.

I worked a few temp jobs about 6 years ago and some of them were pretty good. One I got paid quite a bit to play solitaire because it turned out they weren't as busy as they expected. My last one lead to a job offer and I got a permanent job out of it.

The way all the temp services work here is they call you when they have a job. Sometimes it can be the same day (rarely), but it's usually the next day.

But remember that most, if not all, agencies are not just temp agencies. Many offer temp to hire positions. I That means that you're basically being hired on permanently, but they are giving you a 3-month test run. Companies like this because they don't have to put you on the payroll until they are sure you are the right fit.
Old 08-07-04, 01:18 PM
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When I did temping, I always felt like the outsider and never part of the company's dynamics. Since most of the assignments was just basically filling in for somebody who was away on vacation and what not and I had to be sitting at their desk/cubicle with their personal mementos all over the place, it felt like I was invading their privacy than working sometimes. Still, I was always early to work and, maintained a professional attitude. It didn't lead to anything permanent, but at least the temping gave me things to put on my resume to account for any gaps I might have had. And at least with temping, they hire you for the skills you already have, so there is usually no training required. That probably could be true for any job, but with temping, you show that you're adapative at most tasks on notice.
Old 08-07-04, 03:31 PM
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Temping can be fun or temping can be miserable, it depends on the jobs you get and your attitude. If you can afford the intermittent and low pay it can be kind of enjoyable for awhile. I temped during the summers while I was in college doing mostly office work. It was mostly pretty menial work, many filing jobs, a few data cleanup or data entry positions. I even had one where I worked for a cemetary; they had recently been bought out by a national chain who was trying to modernize the place. Another temp and I had to go out to their warehouse and go through hundreds of pre-purchased headstones and mark down their information for entry into a computer system. Most of my jobs lasted anywhere from a day to a week, the longest lasted 2 and a half months.

I did the same thing after I dropped out of school until one of the jobs landed me a permanent position. I got that the way previous posters suggested, just be better and more enthusiastic than the regular employees and you'll stand out to a good manager.

The temp agency I was with would call me when they had jobs available, usually it was in the morning with a "get there as soon as possible" message, sometimes it was late afternoon or on a Friday where I was supposed to be there the next morning/Monday. The key with the people I was with (Office Team) was to call at least every other day, if not every day, and let them know you were ready and willing to work. It keeps you at the forefront in their minds when someone calls asking for a temp and they may place you just so you stop bugging them

Also like someone mentioned, good temps can be hard to come by, so once you get a good reputation with your place as a reliable and enthusiastic worker, they're much more interested in placing you, and some of the companies you temp with may even request you the next time they need a temp.
Old 08-07-04, 07:48 PM
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Temp work is pretty suck.

I've worked for a number of temp agencies, and even though I learn quickly and work hard, I've noticed that permanent employees treat you like you're the scum of the Earth.

Here's a rundown of places I worked as a temp:

A company going out of business. Job: stuffing CDs into paper holders. I was the only person who spoke english and was not allowed to sit down. I was also not allowed to listen to a walkman or an mp3 player. Eight hours felt like 80. I was there for three weeks before everyone got laid off.

Abbott Labs. Job: assembly of medical devices. Again, I was the only one who spoke english, but this time I was allowed to sit down once in a while. The suck part was getting up at 4am to be there by 5 and the shift ended at 4pm. Eleven hours a day. Ugh. I was there for two weeks before all the temps were laid off.

Inhale Therapeutics. Assignment was supposed to last six weeks, it lasted nine months. I was treated horribly by my manager, harrassed by employees, one guy accused me of spreading rumors, the temps I worked with were completely nuts. I quit the assignment because I was blacking out in the corridors from the stress of being there. One day I actually collapsed into a quivering heap and just laid there for a few minutes. It was horrible there. I worked really hard and did my job well, but I was still treated like garbage.

I also had a few one and two day stints doing inventory, reception, and basic office crap.

The pay can range from insulting to decent. The best wage I got was $16/hour. The worst was $7/hour.

Know that if you ever refuse a job, you may be passed over for other jobs. Temp agencies are overflowing with people who want to work right now and if you refuse a job they have no problem NOT contacting you for future jobs.

It's best to get temp to perm assignments.

The one day assignments are the worst.
Old 08-07-04, 07:51 PM
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I agree with all the people who say it basically sucks.
I spent over a month one (atlanta) summer working in a warehouse of a/c parts that didn't have a/c, I also did other pointless tasks for shorter amounts of time.
I had to call in to try to get assignments, they rarely called me.
Old 08-07-04, 08:27 PM
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3 days a week for 3 hours or so after HS, filing, editing legal documents, copying and data entry.

$5/hour. Just above minimum wage back then.

Did most of the things people were getting paid 40-60k/year to do. One guy was fired so I took over his cubical next to my boss.

I did this for about 2 years until I graduated HS and started college.

...and then my sister received a temp job at skywalker sound for a few days.

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