The Red Guide to Temp Agencies

Review of Olsten Staffing Service (Midtown NY)

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310 Madison Avenue
NYC, NY 10017

Total time with agency:
2 years

Wait for first assignment:

Average wait between assignments:

Last five jobs:
Job Title Length Client Hourly Wage Typical of agency?
6 Days Kinderhook Computer Consultant 10
1 Days Bristols MyersSquipps(Clariol) 8
3 Months Coopers & Lybrand Accountants 8
5 Hours Baras & Jersey Textiles 7
6 Hours NY Life Insurance 6

Tests given:

Payroll policies:
On-site time sheet pickup:
Direct deposit of payroll checks:
Free check cashing at agency's bank:

Medical insurance:
Dental insurance:
Paid vacation:
Transportation allowance:
Entertainment allowance:
Matching contributions:

This was my first time temping. Olsten's offered me a "job" almost right away. I had just completed taking computer training classes. They offered me a 4 day job at a computer consultants doing excel. The pay was $10. Which is very low, but I was very eager to start appling my newly acquired computer skills. I thought if I did a great job, they would see I was worth more than $10 an hour and my salary would incrementally go up. The job was extended 2 days and everyone was happy, except that the job was more like data entry then word processing.

Susan, my counselor, continued to keep me busy, but with really crappy 1 or 2 day jobs and they always were data entry or worse just answering a telephone. But the worst was everytime Susan called she kept lowering my pay rate even though I insisted I would not work for less than $10 an hour. It was as if she just pretended not to hear me.

Finally, they called me in the morning offering me a job that would start as soon as I got there and would end at 5:00. They told me if I hurried I could get there right away. The company, NY Life Insurance, is only 20 blocks from where I live. Please hurry they begged, we really need you to help us out. I accepted the job and agreed to rush over there. THEN they told me the topper - the job paid $6 an hour stuffing envelopes!! Not only that, they told me to make sure I dress corporate. (How on earth do they expect someone to be able to afford to dress corporate at 6 bucks an hour) Believe it or not, I actually went to the job. After that I wanted nothing to do with them. Even though I told them repeatedly I wasn't availbale, Susan for days kept calling my house with crappy little jobs telling me they were great. I felt like they must of thought they had found the ultimate sucker.

I think they lure you in right away with a good job (though I consider $10 an hour pathetic) and then switch to crappy little jobs once they know they've got you. But worst, I repeatedly asked for a word processing job and only got jobs answering a telephone.

I believe if they treat temps like a dime a dozen, we as temps should treat temp agencies as a dime dozen. There are plenty of temp agencies out there.



Mon Sep 29 22:59:22 EST 1997

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