The Red Guide to Temp Agencies

Review of The Supporting Cast

Browse Back Search the Red Guide Challenge Database for information from the staff of The Supporting Cast, or agencies with similar names. Browse Forward

300 Madison Ave.

Total time with agency:
6 mos.

Wait for first assignment:

Average wait between assignments:

Last five jobs:
Job Title Length Client Hourly Wage Typical of agency?

Tests given:
Word, WP, Lotus, PowerPoint, etc.

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:

Average length of assignment: 8 weeks

Types of Jobs: Word Processing, phones

Was this Typical: Yes.

Clients: Banks, other financial institutions, Lever Bros. soap

Salary: $16-$18

Benefits: None.

Comments: I had not temped for a while before I registered with SS. The only reason I went there was because a friend was working for them and they promised to pay (him) a $50 bonus once I had worked 40 hours.

The first assignment they gave me was at Pinnacle-Alliance, an outsourcing company. (I learned on this job that outsourcing is another kind of temping. A division of JPMorgan had hired Pinnacle-Alliance to take over part of their company and replace the JP employees with their own. So in effect I was working for people who were themselves temporary, in that they were only on the job for 6 months or so, only until the transition was complete. You know, maybe I don't understand it that well myself.)

Anyway, SS assured me that the job would be word processing. I had done a lot of temping (2 years) in the early 90s, ah, the early 90s, and knew that sometimes clients would request someone who knew Word even though the assignment would be mostly filing. When I arrived at JPMorgan, I was greeted by "DM", the office manager. For my entire tenure there, she subjected me to her constant attentions, mostly positive. If you have never been in this situation you might not be able to sympathize.

I called Susan at The Supporting Cast to tell her that Friday would be my last day, I couldn't take it no more. She asked if there was a problem, I told her they were asking me to do a lot of office chores other than word processing (true) and that I would prefer a straight WP job. (I should mention that I impressed the P-A people early on by figuring out a way to format something in Word. So they kind of had the impression that I was some kind of computer wiz.)

Susan seemed a little chagrined, and tried to convince me to stick it out for a while. I had the distinct impression that DM had scared away more than one SS temp in the past. I told her that if P-A could pay me $18/hour (a 2 buck raise) that I would stay, and suggested that Susan explain to them that I had been offered another position at the higher rate. Susan immediately became irate, "Don't put a gun to my head, David. I don't work well with a gun to my head!" I tried to tell her that I was not putting a gun to her head, and that I thought that imagery was a little strong considering we were just discussing my rate, but her rage was not to be assuaged. We hung up after icy good-byes.

The next day, which was to be my last, I told DM (office manager) about my new assignment, expressing regret for having to leave the P-A family. She was pretty distraught, although thankfully she didn't cry. (She frequently came close to tears over the course of the work day.) I told her that I would love to stay (untrue) except for the fact that I had to take my money tree to warmer climes. "It's just economics, DM." She then brought up the idea of raising my rate to match the fictitious other employers.

Long story short, she called Susan, told her they would pay me more, Susan grudgingly called me, in defeat I imagined, although how she lost I cannot figure out, and I got a raise. Keep in mind, The Supporting Cast didn't give me anything out of their pockets. They just started billing Pinnacle-Alliance 2, 3, 4 dollars more an hour.

As temps, our rate is all we have. An agency will pay you $13/hour if you let them. Yes, it is true that clients are not paying AS much these days as they did in the early 90s, ah, the early 90s, but that doesn't mean it is impossible to get a decent wage. A decent wage for word processing, especially at a bank, ad agency, anything in Wall St., is $17/hour. Not $15/hour. At your next assignment, look around and try to find a way of increasing your rate. In the case above the weak link was an emotionally unstable boss.

Your agency is eager to bill the client more, to increase their own profit margin, but at the same time is loathe to cost to client too much, for fear of losing the client to a competing agency. Yes, you are working for your agency as their employee, and as such you must behave like an employee, not a buccaneer pillaging all you survey. But at the same time you are earning money for the agency. Their profit comes directly from your efforts. Do not undervalue what you do, do not undersell yourself.

If you are able to perform well on the job, and are popular with the client, there is always a way getting 17-18 an hour. True dat!

Resist Rate Rape!


Fri Dec 13 17:08:23 EST 1996

Browse Back Search the Red Guide Challenge Database for information from the staff of The Supporting Cast, or agencies with similar names. Browse Forward

Submit your own review.

Review Database Challenge Database Introduction
What's New Tips for Temps Review Form

The Red Guide to Temp Agencies is copyright 1994-2004 by Angus B. Grieve-Smith.
It may be reproduced in its entirety, but may not be sold for profit or reproduced in part without written permission of the Editor.

Note that all reviews are individual contributions and do not represent the opinion of the site administrator. They have not been independently verified, so there is nothing to stop someone from posting a pack of lies. Some agencies with great reviews may be really bad, and some agencies with bad reviews may be really great. As with everything online, be careful and don't believe everything you read. I take no responsibility for what comes up when you google yourself.

Feel free to email me with questions or comments. Please do NOT email me your resume. I am not an employer, and I cannot get you a job. If you send me your resume anyway, I will report it to your internet provider. My email address is