The Red Guide to Temp Agencies

Review of Custom Word Processing

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420 Lexington Avenue (43rd Street)
New York, NY

Total time with agency:

Wait for first assignment:

Average wait between assignments:

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

Tests given:
Typing, Word, Excel, WordPerfect, Lotus.

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:

Approx date/length of time as employee: 2 major assignments of one month each, plus several shorter assignments

Types of jobs reported on: Word, Excel, WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3. Secretarial, word processing and number-crunching

The tests are in-house and use the actual programs. Tests are available for DOS, Windows and Mac, and for several versions of the software.

Custom also administers a standard "operator's" test for Lehman Brothers. Temps who pass this test are elligible to work in the word processing production department at Lehman for as much as $18.50 per hour.

Types of client firms: Investment banking houses, ad agencies

Wages: $15-16; $18.50 promised.

Benefits: None

"They're very professional," said my friend M about Custom Word Processing. "Make sure you dress really well, and they'll test you and send you out. They have very good assignments, and if you do well, you may get a permanent offer."

Custom was my regular agency for three months. They were always friendly and helpful, and consistently provided me with long-term, well-paying positions. I eventually took an assignment with another agency only because it had been two and a half weeks (in February, which I was told is the slowest time of year), and I could not afford to wait any longer for a Custom assignment.

Angus B. Grieve-Smith



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