The Red Guide to Temp Agencies

Review of ASA Personnel

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317 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017


Total time with agency:
2 months

Wait for first assignment:
6 Hours

Average wait between assignments:

Last five jobs:
Job Title Length Client Hourly Wage Typical of agency?
Receptionist 2 Months architecture firm 15 Y
Spreadsheet_Operator 1 Months investment banking firm 17 Y
Receptionist 4 Days advertising conglomerate 13 Y

Tests given:
Typing, Word, Excel

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

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

Following a decision to take the time to completely rethink my career choice, I decided to start temping, so I called the temp agent for whom my boyfriend has been working for over a year (Miriam at ASA). A day after faxing in my resume and cover letter, I received a call from Miriam, and we set up an appointment.

Like many other reviewers in Red Guide, I, too, found the ASA receptionists to be particularly unfriendly, unprofessional and completely unhelpful. How in the world those women manage to keep THEIR jobs, I don't know. There are plenty of qualified, responsible, pleasant people waiting in that lobby every day who could do that job a hell of a lot better.

Anyway.... after filling out the clipboard of standard forms and proving that I know the order of the alphabet and basic arithmetic, I took the software and typing tests. Nothing too challenging there. (I was annoyed, though, that, during my typing test, two gabbing employees chose to go over the details of their weekend while standing right next to my chair. Very distracting.)

Miriam finally met with me after about a half hour wait. She was happy with my test scores and my resume and my “sunny disposition.” Before dinner that evening, Miriam had a short-term reception job lined up for me. This is apparently standard protocol for Miriam with her new applicants. (I say this based on my discussions with about 5 other people who have worked for her.) Regardless of your experience and qualifications, initially she will send you out on some not-so-challenging brief assignment, ask you what you think, get some feedback from the client you work with, and then, if you pass the litmus test, she will move you on to something a little more worthwhile. Which she did. I am now on my second open-ended long-term position, and I have found Miriam to be a very supportive agent. She’s very absentminded, yes, but it doesn’t bother me. My goal is to get a paycheck – not to be given first-class customer service.



Mon Jan 14 21:59:25 GMT 2002

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The Red Guide to Temp Agencies is copyright 1994-2004 by Angus B. Grieve-Smith.
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