First off, what is Labor Ready? If you asked me that question two weeks ago I would have shrugged my shoulders and guessed that it was a new brand of tools they sold at Home Depot... It wasn't until my friend Eric emailed me a bunch of temporary work sites for my fiancé to look into and Labor Ready was among them... So for those of you, who like me, didn't/don't have a clue, a quote from their website:
Each year, Labor Ready dispatches approximately 400,000 Temporary Associates to jobs in construction, manufacturing, hospitality, events, restoration, auto services, logistics and warehousing, retail support, waste and recycling and more. More than 225,000 businesses of all sizes throughout the United States and Canada use Labor Ready when they need a dependable source of labor. We take pride in quickly matching the right worker with the right job. That means not only knowing our Temporary Associates strengths – it also means knowing the policies and working styles of every one of our customers.
When you work with Labor Ready, your account team will ask the questions and do the homework necessary to know your business at a level that helps ensure that the Temporary Associates we send to your site are the ideal fit for your company. Whatever your line of work, your Labor Ready team will make sure that all Temporary Associates are selected according to your criteria and are prepared and ready to meet your particular objectives from the minute they arrive.
So how does it work?
- You show up at the designated Labor Ready site with a driver’s license and your social security card.
- You then get in line and sign in, go through their questionnaire, & note any special skills you have.
- You then need to take a safety course or pass the safety test before you can be issued any work. Once all that’s been taken care of, you wait to be called.
- If something matches your skill set or you’re the first one in line for a “no experience needed job,” they offer it to you and you can either accept or decline the offer… some days you don’t get work… other days you do.
- You work for the day at minimum wage and at the end of your shift you get a paper with your hours listed. You take that back to labor ready and they issue you a paycheck—on the spot. (If they are closed, you take the paper there on the next business day).
Employers are allowed to “invite you back” so you have the potential to score a gig for a few weeks or more. (They check a box on your time slip indicating if they would like you to return the following day or not… if they do, you get a new card from Labor Ready for the following day when you get your paycheck so you go straight to the job site the next day and check in with Labor Ready after you complete your shift to pick up your check.)
Since my fiance is still unemployed (See: The Hard Truth about my Fiance's Job Hunt), we decided to give this a try. They have a location that's close to our home so we won't burn through gas if nothing pans out from it... and it also gets South County Boy out of the house and that alone is good for his morale.
He had his first Day a week or so ago... He arrived at the location about 10 mins after it opened and checked in with the person at the desk. He told him it was his first time there, answered the questions, and then signed in for the day. He hung around for a few hours, but after 9am or so if you haven't got work, you generally won't for that day according to our contractor friends. There were about 20 people in front of him by the time he was able to check in and 10 people got jobs that morning, my fiance was not one of them.
Day Two was actually this past Tuesday because we spent Monday with the wedding planner crunch the numbers for our new wedding location (See: We need a new wedding location, & Wedding location Update for those details). He arrived about 15 mins before the place opened and found about 10 people in front of him... again, no one called him up and he didn't get any work that day...
Day Three (Wednesday) My fiance left the condo at 4:30am so he could be the FIRST PERSON IN LINE!!!! but here was the weird thing... he didn't actually end up with any work, while 5 other people who arrived after he did, did get work... Something seemed kind of fishy...
Day Four (Thursday) Again my fiance was the first person in line at Labor Ready! It seemed like today might just be the day! He took a seat and after waiting around awhile he started talking to a few people... and found out that the guy on DAY ONE was an idiot and forgot to mention something very important to my fiance... he needed to take and pass a safety test before he would be issued any work ... .... .... All those days at the center just wasted... I felt so bad for him... but at that point all he could do was wait till 10:00am when they offered the Safety Test. Thankfully, he took it on the spot and passed so he won't need to take the safety class and re-test... at this point all the work for the day was claimed so he headed home to online applications and cold calls.
Day Five (Friday) Again, he was the first person in line for work at Labor Ready. He signed in and passed the time chatting with one of the other 6 other guys who were there hoping for work.... and BINGO My phone buzzed at 8am... It was my fiance calling me to tell me he was off to work for the day!!!!!!
He got to be a dishwasher at an office building cafeteria.... and got invited back for work today too! Apparently this company keeps at least 2 positions on the books with Labor Ready and the guy who was doing the job before couldn't make it in one day, so it went back up for grabs... and it appears like it will be my fiance’s until he isn’t able to show up. (Which means he will have it till the end of May because we will need to get a marriage licence in June and they only offer those on business days.)
Yeah, it's not glamorous work, but it's work! A lot of people have commented lately about whether or not he was really looking for work and putting 110% percent into the efforts... I hope this gives you hope because it sure lifts our spirits.
He got paid $8 an hour and took home a paycheck for $58.29. Thankfully, Labor Ready considers him an employee and pays for the employer’s portion of social security and Medicare so he won’t be 1099’d at the end of the year...