Temporary Placement Agencies
Traveling around the world and living a carefree life in my 20s and 30s, I probably worked in every position that temporary placement agencies offer. You see, I have never been a very grounded person. I don't feel the need for many of the comforts that most people take for granted. Give me a warm blanket, a roof over my head, and something to eat and I'm happy. It doesn't matter whether or not the roof belongs to me, or whether there is a bed under the blanket. I love to ramble and wander, and I will do it whenever I get the chance.
I suppose that my favorite temporary employment agency job was when I got to work as a construction worker. The problem with working for a temporary placement agency is that you generally have to deal with some pretty patronizing managers. Managers in many businesses seem to assume that you are only there because you aren't skilled enough to find a job on your own. When you're hired out to construction firms by temporary placement agencies, however, things are different. People are straightforward with you. They don't talk down to you, and are only suspicious of you until they find out that you can do what you are supposed to do. Basically, with construction workers, if you can do the job they respect you.
Of course, some of my temporary placement agency jobs have been downright miserable. I actually was once placed with a company that designs personnel software. I have never seen something so ridiculous or nerve-racking in my life. I had some programming experience and had worked as a project manager before, so I was a perfect candidate to replace their traffic coordinator while she was in the hospital recovering from surgery. I had never worked with such a big outfit before, but I was not in for a pleasant surprise. Apparently, several other temporary placement agencies had stopped doing business with them because of the many complaints they got. I lasted about two weeks there, and apparently that was some kind of record.
Whenever I have a friend who is going to go into temporary placement agencies looking for work, I always give him or her the same advice: trust your instincts. Don't let anything slide. If they are rude to you while you are doing the interview, that is a sure sign that something is wrong. If the place smells or the paint is peeling, that is another sign. Some temporary placement agencies are there to help you find work, but other ones simply prey on the desperate. Find out what you're getting into as soon as you can.