The Red Guide to Temp Agencies

Review of Fifth Avenue Temporary Services, INC.

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1430 Broadway
New York, NY 10018

Total time with agency:
Over 1 year

Wait for first assignment:

Average wait between assignments:

Last five jobs:
Job Title Length Client Hourly Wage Typical of agency?
8 Months New York Philharmonic 15

Tests given:
Word, Excel, Typing, the usual

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:

I had a extremely absurd experience at 5th Avenue... it almost made me swear off temping for good.

I was sent to the New York Philharmonic by 5th Ave, with the understanding that the job would be 3 to 4 weeks while they looked for a new administrative assistant for the financial department. I wound up working there for 8 months. Sounds great, right? Not so. The entire time I was there, I would say to myself every Friday: "Just one more week... one more week and I'll tell them I'm going to leave...", but I never did. My mindset was, well, they really need me, so I can't leave until they find someone else. I don't want to leave them without someone. Ha! I should have listened to my instincts. While most people at the NYP were very nice, my contact, the woman that ran HR, turned out to be quite the nightmare. I did a LOT of work for them that I wasn't technically hired to do; lifting and moving heavy boxes, running the mailroom when the guy that usually ran it was on vacation (this happened twice, with no list of who did what job and where... I basically had to guess where stuff was going, and non-profits get TONS of mail. I also wound up updating their postage machine while he was gone), and even substituting in the CEO's office when his assistant was gone. I was all over that place. I stayed overtime on many occasions, and came in early every day.

I was very unhappy there, as I was treated as "the temp," rather than a human being. Even after months and months, they still treated me like I'd be gone the next day. Lots of comments right in front of me: "Hey everyone, don't forget we have this free event going on this weekend; everyone is invited.... except of course, Paul, because HE'S A TEMP." Talk about humiliating. But, I STAYED there, month after month, because I felt they really NEEDED me.


After I finally left there, and I called 5th ave for more work, they called me about 3 days later with another position at the NYP. I wasn't too happy about that, but it was in another department, so I told them to put my name in. Then, I didn't hear anything for days. When I finally called them to find out what was going on, I was told I had to talk to another counselor for my "feedback" from the Philharmonic.

Basically, he told me that the NYP didn't want me back, because I "had a bad attitude and never wanted to work." I was amazed... flabbergasted. After all the extra work I had done, staying late, working all over the building, all of a sudden I was a bad employee with a worse attitude. This, from a woman who I rarely worked with and hardly ever saw day to day. A woman who came in to work every day very late, and spent most of the day chatting with other workers and on personal phone calls. A woman who, when she asked for something, had it done immediately by me and placed on her desk, error free. A woman for whom I cut short my Christmas vacation. A woman who, as an "HR professional," took EIGHT MONTHS to find an administrative assistant despite having hundreds of applicants faxing and emailing resumes every month (I know, I'm the one that received and organized them all).

I was told by Fifth Avenue, who never asked for my side of the story, that they "couldn't trust me anymore," and not to expect calls from them.

Eight months out of my life, no reference, and blacklisted from my temp agency.

Thanks, Fifth Avenue. Hope I can put food on the table tonight.

Paul Wiemerslage


Mon Jun 17 12:45:47 EST 2002

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