My Big Fat Job Hunt Goes On- Temp Agencies 101

Will blog for food

Temping can be a good way to earn money if one has the necessary skill set, and more importantly, the patience needed, to make it through the 2 hour interview process.

Hourly rates can range from 18-25 dollars so that, is nothing to sneeze at.

Keeping in mind that the agency will probably be making 30 percent on top of that means that companies really need to get what they pay for, so I put on my happy face and sharpen my pencil in order to REGISTER to work. What this translates to is brining yourself and a resume, some identification and a happy face, all dressed up in a business outfit. Digging deep into my soul, I usually pretend I am going on an audition, so the process isn’t quite so horrific.

Over the years, I have registered with many agencies, and have worked on a boatload of temp assignments. These jobs have included some of these exciting tasks:

1) Answering phones and running into an exec’s office, holding up a flash card announcing the name of caller, so he can decide whether or not, to get off the other line.

2) Printing multiple copies of many documents, over and over again, wasting both ink and paper.

3) Sitting around surfing the internet.

When it comes to landing these plum roles, different agencies have different methods, of checking prospective employees’ skills and reliability.

This week, I had the pleasure of meeting with 3 different agencies, each of whom, had their own criteria, for what constitutes a good, worker bee.                          

Agency #1

Upon arrival, I am handed a clipboard, with an hour’s worth of paperwork that included:

1. Drug Test Waiver

2. Employee Verification

3. Termination Policy

4. Fair Credit Reporting Act

5. I-9

6. W-4

7. Health Care Enrollment

8. Pre Screening Notice

9. Direct Deposit Form

10. Notice of Wage Rates for Temporary Help Firms

11. Employee Free Credit Reporting

12. References

13. Job History

Not that I don’t enjoy filling out paperwork (ok, I’m lying), but aside from the fact that I may NEVER work for these people, why on earth do I need to fill out all these forms now?

Seriously, WHEN you get me a job, I will be more than happy to spend the time. Does that make more sense? Just saying.

I’m not sure if it’s the waste of time, or paper, that bothers me more. Perhaps, it is a way for them to get me excited, and offer a glimmer of hope that I could, be back in the work force again?

After the wasted hour, I am escorted to a room, so I can take several tests that prove I know how to use a computer and it’s many difficult programs, such as:


I am pretty sure in this day, and at my age, I would not have been hired anywhere, if I couldn’t perform these tough tasks but, I pride myself on my skill set having worked as an Executive Assistant, that I can answer these questions correctly.

1) HIGHLIGHT the text

2) Make the FONT larger

3) PRINT 2 copies of pages 3 and 4 in this document.

Holy CRAP! A three year old can do this.

Adding insult to injury, they throw in a TIMED TYPING TEST. Upon completion of this 5 minute exam, I discover that in 1962 I would have had NO SHOT, of ever getting a job. Although I know CONCUR, ACT, SALESFORCE, SAP iPhoto, iMovie, Tumblr, Twitter, and tons of other programs, my typing speed, is just under 30 words per minute.

After these 2 endless hours, I am finally allowed to see the recruiter, who called me in the first place.

Although said person had advertised for some alleged position, to which I would be perfectly suited, said job REALLY doesn’t exist.

Something like a loss leader at Best Buy, but I know this going in. Her motivation is to have a good pool of talent to call upon, when she actually has the need for, a SPEEDY TYPIST, who knows EXCEL and POWERPOINT.

Said RECRUITER eyes me up and down, asks me what I am looking for, and says she will call me. She hands me a timesheet, and I get the feeling I will never hear from her, ever again.

Agency #2

At this office, in addition to the job history and references forms, the requisite clipboard has a test to see how well I know SPELLING, GRAMMAR and MATH. Just to give you an inkling of their standards, I must know how to:

a) Spell the word Investor

b) Properly use the word allude in a sentence

c) Divide 140 by 10

I find myself thinking I should just go audition for “Are you Smarter Than a Fifth Grader,” but instead I pull out my iPhone, and answer all the questions correctly, in record time.

The nice recruiter man says he will send my resume to his clients, who just might want to meet with me. I want to believe him.

Agency #3 is the most promising.

The 2 hours of testing go so well, that I am complimented on my skills. My personality, is exactly what his client might be looking for too. This prompts a meeting with the head of the temp agency who seems to like me as well. He offers to try to get me an interview for a FULL TIME job with benefits, at some point. Things are looking up!

Let’s see what happens, but I already don’t have a good feeling.

Stay Tuned and Thanks for Reading!

Vicki Winters

Thanks for being my guest on The Vicki Winters Show.

I'm A Food, Travel, Video Blogger with ADHD.

"I'm All Over The Place."

Winters, a Bucket List Boomer has been living life to its fullest.

She can usually be found riding her bike around NYC or on some interesting adventure, somewhere around the globe.

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