Posts Tagged ‘day labor pools’

20 years later! Discharge anniversary. A small look back!

November 28, 2012

Come this December 14th, I’ll celebrate 20 years since my discharge from the United States Navy.  However, I have nothing really to celebrate other than more freedom (though several of those freedoms are being challenged by our current congressional leaders), more police harassment, and politicians who refuse to find jobs for and help those veterans that protect their rights.  Of course, I can believe this since there are only 103 people in the upcoming Congress who are veterans themselves.  That’s not even 25% of our congressional leaders are veterans.

Before I give you my opinion on that, let me give you a brief synopsis of my life since I left the military.  Well maybe not so brief, but it will be enlightening to say the least.  Let me add that before I entered the military, I had some if not much college education.

Ok, I was discharged in December 14, 1992 and I remained in San Diego for approximately four months living in what some would call a studio apartment.  At the time rent was $425/month in San Diego and that was behind the San Diego airport.  Living anywhere near the beach or in a decent neighborhood was cost prohibitive.  What sucked was, I was attempting to do this on a security officer’s (as most call them “rent-a-pigs”) salary.  No easy task back then.  Alas, it wasn’t to be.

In May of 1993, after already filing my Veteran’s administration claim, I had to leave California due to monetary reasons.  So off I went back to my home state of Michigan only to find no work for almost three months.  Then it was back to the recreational vehicle industry (manufacturing).  That move cost me almost everything I owned and eventually cost me the pickup truck I was driving at the time.  Then my transportation became a bicycle.  Probably a good thing too.

Between 1993 and 1998 I stayed as actively employed as I could.  Even in the rust belt it wasn’t easy at the time.  While I was in Michigan I got to visit with my uncle who is now deceased.  He was the only non-family member of Florida Technical College Dean’s.  This college was set up by Ronald Reagen’s ex-Education Secretary with multiple locations all over Florida.  He offered to help me further my education in the field of my choice.  It would be later that I’d decide to take him up on his offer.

Out a job and in financial trouble (about to be evicted from my rental mobile home and forced to call the bank and return a truck I bought just less than a year ago), I took the last $1500 I earned spending it on a reasonable bicycle and what I thought might be appropriate to travel around 2000 miles with.  I left in June of 1998 headed to Florida to see my uncle who made me the offer.  Needless to say, I had little or no knowledge then what I was letting myself in for not to mention I became homeless for the first of many times to come.

Trip to Florida

Now this was the most interesting or harrowing trip/vacation I ever made.  It was also a vast eye opener as to what was going on in the country most people don’t see and our politicians try to hide.  It took me one full month (21 actual riding days) to roll from Three Rivers, Michigan to Winter Haven, Florida.  I traversed Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida in my travels.

While many only see what they view from the interstate highways and tollways, I got to see America up close and personal as bicycles are not allowed on those roads.  Most of my travels were on two lane highways (some four lanes).  What I saw was that there were only a certain few people who used what they earned properly (i.e. good home and functional automobile).  One such case I witnessed, a man owning a mobile home with no less than five automobiles in the driveway (one of which was a BMW sport sedan).  Now all of those vehicles may or may not have been his and some or all could have been non-functional.  However, no person should put an automobile of that expense over a home.

The vast majority of what I saw on my trip was shocking.  Most people in the areas I traveled lived in modest homes and had modest cars.  Many were living paycheck to paycheck to keep what they had.  They WEREN’T competing with the Jones.  Only a small percentage of people had any true wealth (i.e. luxurious home, extravagant automobiles, mobile homes, boats, and other luxuries by my standards).  All this got me thinking of who pays the most taxes.  Come to find out it’s not those with the luxuries.  It’s the ones barely making ends meet.

Sure there may be more of us who barely make ends meet.  However, the ones that can barely make ends meet are those who are most likely to become homeless and also those most likely to be imprisoned because of trying to stay alive while those that rob other people blind (i.e. white collar criminals) generally get of with little or no punishment.
As they say “The best law money can buy.”  Basically stating, if you have money you can buy the law/lawyers.

Needless to say, this trip opened my eyes up more than my time in the military or advertisements for aid to the hungry and homeless in Africa.  I saw both homelessness and hunger right here in America and am still witnessing it growing by the day in Columbia, South Carolina.  All this because of a small percentage of greedy people whom DON’T want to pay any taxes whatsoever.  It’s this, petty jealousy, religion, and the fight over resources that cause wars both civil and otherwise.

Jacksonville, Florida

After making it to Winter Haven, Florida and getting to talk with my grandmother for a week, I was picked up and relocated to Jacksonville, Florida where my uncle was opening up another branch of Florida Technical College.  It would soon be my new school since I told my uncle of my decision on his offer of further education albeit two years later.  It’s also where I took up residence with my aunt and uncle while I attended school before they were transferred south.

Once my time at Florida Technical College ended, I moved out from my aunt and uncle’s apartment.  I held a studio in Jacksonville for just a short bit before becoming homeless yet again.  Eventually, I got back to work for a day labor place and moved from there to full time work.  It didn’t last.  I ended up back on the street in 2000 without a home, a job, or any unemployment benefits per say.  It was at that time, I decided on a location change as there was nothing in Jacksonville.

Thinking with the little head!

In 2000, I met a lady online whom I fell for rather hard.  Thinking with my little head,  I decided to move to South Carolina.  Alas, she moved to Texas and I was stuck again.  I ended up in Columbia and remain to this day.  Still homeless (I was living out of a cheap used car I was driving at the time), I started working day labor again in an attempt to get back off the street and into something a little more permanent.

In the last twelve years, I’ve been on and off the street time and time again.  Each time it gets harder to get up and off the street.  Coming up on my 53rd birthday, I wonder if I’ll make it up this time.  Will I be stuck on the street while awaiting my Veteran’s Association claim to be denied yet again?  Will I finally be driven beyond the brink and do what I thought of doing last when I was 15?  We’ll just have to wait and see.

At this point, I can no longer do the physical labor I once did and Information Technology jobs in this state are far and few in between.  All I can hope for now is the resolution of my VA claim and my disability payment goes above 50% so I can at least find myself off the street.  From there I can at least run a part time business fixing computers from my home to supplement my disability pay.  Perhaps eventually, I’ll be able to garner the other certifications that will allow me to return to the work force in a much better job.

With all this on my plate, I’ll leave you with something about my next post.  It will be entitled Why do they do this? Police brutality!

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Day labor, Temporary agency’s, and Uncaring corporations!

June 11, 2012

Now this will not win me any friends but it’s something to be said about a group of individuals feeding off of those who actually do work.  If anything it may just run me out of the employment market completely.  I don’t care at this point.  Some people think they aren’t using others to live but they are.  These are the carrion of man.  The lazy, scamming filth of humanity are just other terms that can be used for them.

I’m referring to day labor, temporary agencies, and head hunters.  A good number of these people DON’T know how to get a job.  They often DON’T know how a resume should be formatted or what should be in it.  It doesn’t matter how many years they’ve been working in the placement service of their choice or what kind of “sheep skin”(college degree for those less knowledgeable)  they have.

Let me start with day labor employment services.  These are the real sharks.  The people who run them have their employee’s go and find work for others.  Generally, they’ll tell the perspective employers or users of their services how much it will cost them to use their services (people the day labor place employs).  This includes a small hourly amount (not necessarily small) to cover the day labor employer’s cost or administrative fees.  Then the day labor service sends out workers to these employers on a daily basis.  The employee of the day labor place is paid as little as possible for doing some of the dirtiest jobs no one else will do.  Generally that wage is minimum wage if not less if the day labor place could get away with it.  The employee of the day labor employer is also minimally covered (almost no coverage) insurance wise (medical or otherwise).  There are no other benefits.  No vacation time, no sick days or sick leave.  There are at least five or more day labor places in Columbia, SC metro area.

Before I leave day labor places be, I must make light of one thing.  The day labor places will charge you for transportation and food (lunch if you so desire to get one).  While I was working it was $3/day for rides and the same for lunches.  Now when I was working at the day labor place doing this, I was making at the time minimum wage of $5.25/hour.  At the end of an 8 hour workday I had roughly $38 left after paying for transportation.  Can someone live off that?  Not really.  Average rent around here for a one bedroom is around $425/month.  This is just the rent.  No utilities no nothing beyond the rent.

Now before I get sidetracked too much about other things.  Let’s move on shall we.  Next up are the temporary agencies or headhunters.  The people in these business’ are very similar to the day labor people.  Jobs from these pay a bit better.  Not often as you’d like.  However, they do come with many of  the missing benefits you don’t get out of a day labor organizations.  However, they don’t come with full benefits.  Also, these places generally pay weekly or bi-monthly.  Headhunters really only differ in the fact that they get a bonus after you’re employed so long at the company they set you up with.  Otherwise they are pretty much the same as the regular temporary agencies like Manpower.

Now where they all get off is in the number of people they get to work for them and the overhead (costs) for them to get you to work.  Day labor services generally make more per person employed as they can set a wage that is much higher than the one the laborer earns.  Regular temporary agencies are much more controlled by the jobs they post people to thus they rely more on numbers of people they employ with a lower per laborer take on wages.

You ask how I know this?  I’ve worked day labor places, temporary agencies like Manpower, and even worked for a headhunter.  I never figured out what the day labor places nor the headhunter made from me in the way of profit over my paid wages.  However, for one place I was placed by Manpower at the time, I was paid $8/hour.  They were actually charging the customer $10/hour so the net profit they made from my labor was $2/hour.  There you can see where Manpower was relying more on numbers of people they could get employed vice the day labor pools or headhunters.

My real problem with these people isn’t the money they make off any effort I do.  It’s the thought that these people who sometimes tell you they have to embellish your resume to get a good job and often times do modify your resume without your knowledge DON’T KNOW how to get a job or do a resume in the first place.  Many don’t have even a business degree.  And when it comes to the IT industry, there are very few who truly know the industry.  Most don’t even hold any kind of IT certifications.  In other words, the vast majority of these people who run these so called businesses have never even worked a day in the life of anyone in these fields.  They neither understand the position that they are hiring for nor know how to advertise the position opening to begin with.  This fails to bring up the least common denominator in all the people in these business’.  None of them want to work in the first place so they USE people to make money for themselves.

My last thought is the reason most corporations use these services in the beginning.  By using such agencies to begin with the corporations don’t pay benefits that they generally pay full time employees.  Point in case.  I was reading an article on one of the various technology sites about a guy who got laid off from IBM during the last batch of downsizing layoffs.  He got called by a headhunter a week later and was asked if he’d like a job doing the same thing he was doing for IBM.  The pay was the same but lacked the benefits that his IBM full time job had.  He asked the headhunter who the job was for and discovered that it was the very same IBM who he was working for a week earlier.  Once he found this out he told the headhunter no thanks and swore he’d never work for IBM again in his life.  Can you blame the guy?  I surely can’t.  Now you understand my problem with these people and the corporations that use them to avoid paying what they should to keep good people instead of using these agencies to cut their costs.  To the corporations, this is a cost saving aspect.  If they truly looked at it it actually costs them more than to maintain their own HR department and do their own paperwork.  Not to mention higher cost/employee.

Now you know about how these people work together.  Myself, I’m like that guy who no longer works for IBM.  I refuse to work for day labor or temporary agencies ever again.  Contract work (where I can set my own wages and benefits) or full time employment (not through an agency) will be the only way I’ll go.