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Blue Footed Booby
Oct 4, 2006

got those happy feet




Slippery Tilde

Tubgoat posted:

Forgive my non-cheque-using ignorance, but isn't bouncing a thing when you first go to deposit it? Will they re-withdraw the money from your account after honoring it? Will they send pigs to retrieve the money you withdrew from the check if you no longer have a balance?

It takes time for the check to clear so they front you the money because they know they can claw it back if they need to. They will absolutely use the government is they need to.

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Tubgoat
Jun 30, 2013

by sebmojo


Yet they won't go after the writer of the cheque? I think I see the problem here.

bamhand
Apr 15, 2010


Would the bank go after you, who is in the same country and under the same government as them and who has given them your name, address and a bunch of cash, or some random guy in Africa that they know nothing about?

They're going to go the path of least resistance.

UCS Hellmaker
Mar 29, 2008

mega. milk.

Toilet Rascal

Remember though writing bad checks is still something you can get jail time for.

WithoutTheFezOn
Aug 28, 2005
Oh no

Tubgoat posted:

Forgive my non-cheque-using ignorance, but isn't bouncing a thing when you first go to deposit it? Will they re-withdraw the money from your account after honoring it? Will they send pigs to retrieve the money you withdrew from the check if you no longer have a balance?
Every bank Iíve ever used in the US will release a portion of a check's funds immediately, then the rest waits for clearance. E.g. deposit a $5000 check and you have $200-500 available instantly but it takes a day or three to get the rest. If it bounces youíre on the hook for the 200-500.

Tubgoat
Jun 30, 2013

by sebmojo


UCS Hellmaker posted:

Remember though writing bad checks is still something you can get jail time for.
If you're poor.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Probably won't actually get jail time, but you will (in addition to having your credit destroyed) get to enjoy the experience of sitting in a courtroom while your court-appointed attorney explains that "No, Your Honor, my client is not a crook, he's just extraordinarily stupid," and then calls you to testify under oath that, no I am not a crook, I'm just extraordinarily stupid.

Tubgoat
Jun 30, 2013

by sebmojo


Eric the Mauve posted:

Probably won't actually get jail time, but you will (in addition to having your credit destroyed) get to enjoy the experience of sitting in a courtroom while your court-appointed attorney explains that "No, Your Honor, my client is not a crook, he's just extraordinarily stupid," and then calls you to testify under oath that, no I am not a crook, I'm just extraordinarily stupid.

Works for war criminals! v:v:v

ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

-=SEND HELP=-




Pillbug

Tubgoat posted:

Yet they won't go after the writer of the cheque? I think I see the problem here.

Maybe. I think those are typically state laws though writing enough bad checks for enough money can possibly get one slapped for fraud. I'm not a lawyer by any means and I think it varies by jurisdiction and check amount. Even so automatically throwing people in jail for writing a bad check is a terrible idea given that sometimes people just legitimately gently caress up and accidentally overdraft their accounts. Granted in the case of international finance shenanigans that's going to depend on a lot of factors. In theory somebody running a Nigerian prince scam from somewhere that isn't America has broken American laws but you may or may not be able to get them extradited or charged wherever they're operating from. The country may not give a poo poo or might let international scammers run amok as it brings money in. There might also be lawless areas or a civil war going on so lovely behavior goes under the radar. Or maybe the country can't afford to deal with it for some reason or another. The world is a big place and the answers vary.

You can look up the laws for that wherever you live I imagine. If nothing else somebody that has a long history of writing bad checks will eventually no longer be allowed to write checks. I've known one person in particular who wrote so many bad checks in her life (mind, this wasn't scam-related or writing checks against other peoples' money; she was just terrible with money and constantly wrote checks while saying "don't cash this until next week") that no bank would allow her to open a checking account. I mean that; absolutely nobody would let her open a checking account ever again.

Bajaha
Apr 1, 2011

BajaHAHAHA.




WithoutTheFezOn posted:

Every bank I’ve ever used in the US will release a portion of a check's funds immediately, then the rest waits for clearance. E.g. deposit a $5000 check and you have $200-500 available instantly but it takes a day or three to get the rest. If it bounces you’re on the hook for the 200-500.

Not necessity, from a quick search:

https://www.thebalance.com/clearing-checks-risks-and-scams-315292

https://www.thebalance.com/clearing-checks-risks-and-scams-315292 posted:

Most of the confusion around checks comes from bank policies and federal laws that allow you to spend money before a check really clears. Banks are required to make a portion of your deposit available quickly—usually the first $200 or, on certain official checks, $5,000—and they might need to release the remaining funds after several business days. But that policy might prematurely provide access to the money. It does not mean the funds successfully arrived from the check writer’s bank.

So even though it's "cleared", and you can spend it all, it's still possible for it to bounce.

Serephina
Nov 8, 2005



A really good anecdote came from a guy who published his experiences with a bank that hosed up re: cheques. Basically, he got given an advertising prop that looks like a cheque on first inspection, but is clearly just gag. Like "Here's your 100k deposit YOU MIGHT BE A WINNER!" or somesuch. On a lark, he filled it out and dropped it in his deposit box. Now the bank takes over, and fucks it up by actually processing it, giving him a huge amount of available funds. He goes in, laughs, explains what happened, and is savvy to how cheques really work and clarifies that it hasn't been cleared yet. Nono assures the bank, it's cleared its yours. It obviously isn't, and he comes up with a clever way to prove the point: He asks for it all in the form of a Traveler's Cheque. WHICH THEY ISSUE.

So, bemused, he takes his traveler's cheque and walks out the door. Sure enough, eventually he gets a call saying that the issuing bank on the clearly-prop cheque doesn't exist, the clerk who processed it was in the wrong, so its getting bounced. Can he please come back with the TC and return it? Police are being involved. He confirms with law enforcement that everything he's done has been in good faith, but if he would ever attempt to spend that TC it would not be in good faith and he'd be liable for fraud. Fair enough! So he sits on it.

Thing is, with TCs, that they're written by the bank itself and are guaranteed to never bounce - that's the entire point of TCs. The money is always available and ready to be transferred to its recipient. So the local bank is now sitting with a 6-7 figure hole in its accounting, and its hurting until the drat thing gets redeemed or returned. In the end, he returns it as its the only 'right' thing to do, but he's totally pissed at how the bank manager (?) was acting towards him and was debating it. He wrote this huge long well-documented story on the web that I have no idea where it is. But its a good lesson on how cheques work.

Weatherman
Jul 30, 2003

WARBLEKLONK


I believe in that case the advertising cheque was legally formatted as/included all the necessary elements to be considered a real cheque, so he was legally entitled to deposit it.

Tubgoat
Jun 30, 2013

by sebmojo


Assuming it was a bank and not a credit union, shoulda just fled. gently caress 'em.

EL BROMANCE
Jun 10, 2006

COWABUNGA DUDES!



He (Patrick Combs) used to have a website all about it, but it seems to be gone now and weirdly his official website as he's now a public speaker doesn't mention it at all. But there's a video of him telling the story, which given that he toured the show for a while and got awards it should be pretty good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SzQZDNfR2w

An article he wrote about it in case you don't want to use up an hour - https://www.ft.com/content/93a47a62-daf0-11e1-8074-00144feab49a

roffels
Jul 27, 2004

Yo Taxi!



MightyJoe36 posted:

I can't count the number of times I've heard this from somebody who is about to get involved with an MLM scam.

I once tried to tell someone that it sounded like they were getting scammed by a MLM, and their response was "They warned me about people like you."

Nothing left to say at that point.

Tubgoat
Jun 30, 2013

by sebmojo


roffels posted:

I once tried to tell someone that it sounded like they were getting scammed by a MLM, and their response was "They warned me about people like you."

Nothing left to say at that point.

Holy poo poo. :stare: I'm so sorry.

Red Oktober
May 24, 2006

wiggly eyes!





EL BROMANCE posted:

He (Patrick Combs) used to have a website all about it, but it seems to be gone now and weirdly his official website as he's now a public speaker doesn't mention it at all. But there's a video of him telling the story, which given that he toured the show for a while and got awards it should be pretty good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SzQZDNfR2w

An article he wrote about it in case you don't want to use up an hour - https://www.ft.com/content/93a47a62-daf0-11e1-8074-00144feab49a

Oh, how interesting. I remember reading this years and years ago as a teenager but never found how it ended as he put the final chapter behind a paywall.

As I remember the fact he put a smiley face on the cheque instead of signing it to endorse it was critical - it meant he hadnít actually meant to defraud or something.

ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

-=SEND HELP=-




Pillbug

roffels posted:

I once tried to tell someone that it sounded like they were getting scammed by a MLM, and their response was "They warned me about people like you."

Nothing left to say at that point.

Yeah, at this point I just don't bother with people that get suckered into MLMs. They're basically cults that suck people in where they get lost. I'll make a token attempt but once they start posting about nothing but their MLM on social media they're just too far gone. They'll figure it out eventually but the MLMs always have a list of canned responses. "They warned me about people like you" is one of them. Calling it a "business" and saying things like "it's fine if you don't support my new business" is another.

Like...no. It isn't your business. You are not operating a business. You are getting scammed and are trying to vacuum other people in. gently caress off with your guilt tripping and "but don't you want me to be successful?!?" Yes I do want you to be successful and want the best for you, fellow human, which is why I'm telling you to nope the gently caress out. Like 1% of people ever made money on MLM and you could make more money spending that time scavenging cans to sell them as scrap.

CommonShore
Jun 6, 2014

A true renaissance man




ToxicSlurpee posted:

Yeah, at this point I just don't bother with people that get suckered into MLMs. They're basically cults that suck people in where they get lost. I'll make a token attempt but once they start posting about nothing but their MLM on social media they're just too far gone. They'll figure it out eventually but the MLMs always have a list of canned responses. "They warned me about people like you" is one of them. Calling it a "business" and saying things like "it's fine if you don't support my new business" is another.

Like...no. It isn't your business. You are not operating a business. You are getting scammed and are trying to vacuum other people in. gently caress off with your guilt tripping and "but don't you want me to be successful?!?" Yes I do want you to be successful and want the best for you, fellow human, which is why I'm telling you to nope the gently caress out. Like 1% of people ever made money on MLM and you could make more money spending that time scavenging cans to sell them as scrap.

I know someone who has a staggering amount of high-level business qualifications and who posts like this. I think in this case that they know it's MLM but they are convinced they're going to "win."

ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

-=SEND HELP=-




Pillbug

CommonShore posted:

I know someone who has a staggering amount of high-level business qualifications and who posts like this. I think in this case that they know it's MLM but they are convinced they're going to "win."

Yeah, MLMs have been spreading propaganda focusing on the tiny number of people who do in fact make crap tons of money. There are even children's books about it. It's on the level of "well hey if you work very extremely hard and want it bad enough you'll get to diamond and make millions!"

No, you won't. Do the drat math. I forget which one it was but I crunched the numbers and one particular MLM had it set up to where you had to have like a billion people under you in the pyramid to get to the top level unless you were a founder. The payout was absurdly huge if you managed to get there but it's one of those "well I mean it's technically possible but from a practical standpoint..." sorts of things. Numbers don't lie and if you look at the numbers they're specifically geared to gently caress you over unless you get in at the very beginning. Which you won't do.

Meanwhile why should I buy poo poo from you when I can buy it for less direct from the company? Even then it's hideously overpriced and I can buy something better from any random retail place for way less. I'm just like "no gently caress off with that bullshit and never bother me with it again" at this point. It's like hey you're going to alienate everybody that cares about you and just get sucked deeper and deeper into a cult that will only cost you time and money. Do you really want that? I mean gently caress if all you care about is making more money then come hang out with me and I'll teach you how to write code.

wizzardstaff
Apr 6, 2018

Zorch! Splat! Pow!


I sold Cutco knives for a very brief period one summer in college and I got to see firsthand how cultish it was. I told myself, "I don't care if it's a pyramid scheme, I don't need to make it to the top of the pyramid, I just need to make rent."

On the first day of training, the instructor (who I had not yet realized was just another sales guy too) held me and a dozen others back after it ended and said, "I know you guys are special and have what it takes. You're going to see people disappearing from this training over the next few days. That's because they have people in their lives who are trying to hold them back and telling them to quit. But you'll make it."

I did eventually quit a couple weeks later when we went to a "conference" and I realized that 90% of the people in the hotel ballroom had only been doing it as long as I had. We were all suckers.

ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

-=SEND HELP=-




Pillbug

Yeah I'm legit glad for you that you saw the bullshit and got out that fast.

hyperhazard
Dec 4, 2011

I am the one lascivious
With magic potion niveous

Some like Avon and Mary Kay have cultivated a weird sense of legitimacy. I know multiple people who swear by Cutco knives (the poo poo ones they sell the general public, not the ok ones they give their salespeople for demonstrations.)

I was given a set of Cutco for my wedding, and while it feels extremely lovely to complain about free stuff given in good faith, they are seriously the worst knives I have ever used and I wish the person hadn't spent their money on something I'd feel bad giving to Goodwill.

hellotoothpaste
Dec 21, 2006

I dare you to call it a perm again..



ToxicSlurpee posted:

Yeah, MLMs have been spreading propaganda focusing on the tiny number of people who do in fact make crap tons of money. There are even children's books about it. It's on the level of "well hey if you work very extremely hard and want it bad enough you'll get to diamond and make millions!"

In case anyone hasn't heard of it, the children's book is Just Wait Til We're Diamond, and holy poo poo is it depressing. I found a copy online somewhere a while back and it basically excuses away parents-in-Amway behavior on the parents' behalf, why they're working so hard, etc. - Pretty bastard level way to get the kids to share the just wait mentality.

It sort of makes sense since the kid is likely reading by themselves because their parents are acting like the ones in the book. Some real meta poo poo.

goatsestretchgoals
Jun 4, 2011



ToxicSlurpee posted:

I forget which one it was but I crunched the numbers and one particular MLM had it set up to where you had to have like a billion people under you in the pyramid to get to the top level unless you were a founder. ... a cult that will only cost you time and money.

Isn't most of the MLM money in charging for conventions/DVDs anyway?

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013





goatsestretchgoals posted:

Isn't most of the MLM money in charging for conventions/DVDs anyway?

No, it's making you buy the product from them at a "wholesale" price barely below the mandatory retail price. Basically they give themselves obscenely huge margins on the stuff they sell to their salespeople and force the salespeople to sell at razor thin margins. As a salesperson, the only real way to make any kind of money is to recruit more salespeople (and even then you never really make money)

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


More accurately, the consultant is the customer. Once the product moves from the company to the consultant through them making (mandatory) bulk inventory orders, the company gives not one singular gently caress what happens to it after that. The wholesale price that say, Mary Kay ladies pay for their poo poo from MK is more than you could get Revlon for at Walgreens, so the company has its money.

The entire risk falls on the sales people, who have been told explicit lies about market saturation and saleability of the product. They can ostensibly sell it at "retail" price (twice wholesale) but that obviously almost never happens between unsellable product and discounts/bribes to host parties/expenses. Most MLM products end up in a basement/garage or on eBay for a fraction of "wholesale", and the consultants end up in terrifying amounts of debt.

MLMs are cancer.

Alkydere
Jun 7, 2010
Capitol: A building or complex of buildings in which any legislature meets.
Capital: A city designated as a legislative seat by the government or some other authority, often the city in which the government is located; otherwise the most important city within a country or a subdivision of it.




drat near ended up in one myself. Was something I didn't expect for an MLM: selling AT&T internet and cable. Living at my parents place and they're upgrading and just so happen to mention to the salespeople that their son needs a job and they mention they're hiring. I call the number/hit up the email and do all the usual pre-employment hoops, show up at my first day. It's an 8-10 hour day mostly on foot (okay, gotta hit the pavement to make the $$$, I get that), that starts with a 1.5-2 hour mandatory meeting/prep-rally (okay, creeepy) where they go over the sales everyone made, the cool events the money they make go to, and how much of a cut everyone's managers make off their work and how if you work for X long you get promoted, etc. Oh and their actual business name didn't match with what they had called themselves on the business cards they gave to people they were selling to. And they totally suggested I work 5 days a week and a "half day" on Saturday to meet my quotas.

Shadowed them for a full day and while they were actually selling an actual product (because they were working for AT&T as contractors selling fiber in an area) and they seemed more "shear the sheep" than "skin the sheep" but I noped out of there so loving hard after one day. I was desperate for a job but not that desperate. Helped that the next day I had a job fair to go to that I was planning on hitting up anyways.

PhazonLink
Jul 17, 2010


I forgot which video essay it was, but some MLMs also do their own version of loot boxes or other cultish things like telling your spose/SO to quit their job and help you.


(the lootbox one was some zuckbook clothing MLM that gave you like one nice legging in a box full of ugly rear end leggings or something)

Nighthand
Nov 4, 2009

what horror the gas



I think my favorite of the lovely lootbox scams is diamond candles. They're just lovely candles with lovely jewelry buried in the bottom of the wax. If it was just a goofy gimmick where you buy one and get a little toy out of it in the end, sure, that's fine.

But what they do is they promise that sometimes the ring will be valuable. Most of the time it's a $10 piece of costume jewelry, but sometimes you can get a ring with Real Diamonds on it worth up to $5,000!

They're random rings, random sizes, random styles, random values, and you're pretty universally going to get crap. But it targets people who aren't savvy to the loot box craze (mostly middle aged women), who buy dozens of the things and burn them 24/7 to get at the rings, or even just bust open the lovely candles like the world's least convenient lottery tickets.

These days it seems like they don't even include the valuable rings physically, just the $10 rings, and they might include codes that you have to go to their website to reveal and claim the more valuable ring. Apparently now if you get one of the Actually Valuable rings you can customize the style and size so it actually fits you, but lol. They even promote "ring exchange facebook groups" in their official FAQ if you're not happy with the ring you get!

quote:

Our staff is unable to identify the value of your ring.You can figure your ring's approximate value by following these simple steps: 1. If the ring has '14k' or similar information imprinted on the inside of the band than you have a ring that is worth $100+. We advise that you take it to a jeweler to get a verbal estimate to see if it is worth $100's or $1,000's. 2. If the ring has 'Thailand' or something similar imprinted on the inside of the band it is most likely worth $100 or less. 

3. Unmarked rings are likely to be toward the $10 range but could be valued up to $100.



https://jezebel.com/the-silly-scammy-world-of-diamond-candles-1520153614

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Almost all of the major cable providers have MLMs as a core part of their marketing strategies. Look up Cydcor. They spam all the job sites using keywords like Sports Marketing and use a bunch of fake shell companies literally just to prevent desperate saps from googling them and figuring poo poo out before they've gotten a month or so of work out of them.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For That you Get the Head...

The Tail...

The Whole Damned Thing

Alkydere posted:

drat near ended up in one myself. Was something I didn't expect for an MLM: selling AT&T internet and cable. Living at my parents place and they're upgrading and just so happen to mention to the salespeople that their son needs a job and they mention they're hiring. I call the number/hit up the email and do all the usual pre-employment hoops, show up at my first day. It's an 8-10 hour day mostly on foot (okay, gotta hit the pavement to make the $$$, I get that), that starts with a 1.5-2 hour mandatory meeting/prep-rally (okay, creeepy) where they go over the sales everyone made, the cool events the money they make go to, and how much of a cut everyone's managers make off their work and how if you work for X long you get promoted, etc. Oh and their actual business name didn't match with what they had called themselves on the business cards they gave to people they were selling to. And they totally suggested I work 5 days a week and a "half day" on Saturday to meet my quotas.

Shadowed them for a full day and while they were actually selling an actual product (because they were working for AT&T as contractors selling fiber in an area) and they seemed more "shear the sheep" than "skin the sheep" but I noped out of there so loving hard after one day. I was desperate for a job but not that desperate. Helped that the next day I had a job fair to go to that I was planning on hitting up anyways.


BIG FLUFFY DOG posted:

Almost all of the major cable providers have MLMs as a core part of their marketing strategies. Look up Cydcor. They spam all the job sites using keywords like Sports Marketing and use a bunch of fake shell companies literally just to prevent desperate saps from googling them and figuring poo poo out before they've gotten a month or so of work out of them.


Ok, this explains the two dudes selling ATT cable/phone packages door to door that showed up to myself a while ago. It was so off putting and weird that I thought they were casing my house or something.

Others have pointed it out but the main thing MLM's do is basically brainwash you into being a loyal consumer of the products yourself. The "wholesale" prices are insane and there's no way you can mark them up enough to make any sort of profit and even your upline will tell you not to worry about selling poo poo. You get so roped in by "owning your own business", promises of wealth and independence and gradually get so cut off from the real world that the only people you know or are surrounded by are the true believers telling you and failures are your own fault and that you're just not working hard enough.

You're not a "business owner" or even a salesperson. You're just buying thousands of dollars of poo poo from Amway or whoever.

I have a special level of hate for Amway and MLMs in general.

subpar anachronism
Jan 15, 2005

...I can't!



Unless you have very little experience or have no other options, temp agencies are pretty much a scam. You'll get minimum wage, they'll get twice that for your time even though they didn't give you any sort of training.

hyperhazard
Dec 4, 2011

I am the one lascivious
With magic potion niveous

PhazonLink posted:

I forgot which video essay it was, but some MLMs also do their own version of loot boxes or other cultish things like telling your spose/SO to quit their job and help you.


(the lootbox one was some zuckbook clothing MLM that gave you like one nice legging in a box full of ugly rear end leggings or something)

Lularoe? You send then money, they send you whatever they feel like. Then you're stuck trying to figure out how to sell 5 medium and 20 XXS santa-themed leggings in June. They also require you to buy an insane amount of product when you join, we're talking multiple thousands of dollars for their smallest starter pack.

They're currently busy being sued into bankrupcy.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


lol, it's the MLM version of that guy who sold Mystery Boxes on SA-Mart and unabashedly ripped off a bunch of too-trusting goons

EL BROMANCE
Jun 10, 2006

COWABUNGA DUDES!



I wonder if that dude went on to invent Loot Crate, except the marks in that one didnít realize they were getting scammed.

azflyboy
Nov 9, 2005


I live in Idaho, and since the Mormon population loves MLM's, I don't think I can drive more than 3 blocks without seeing at least two vehicles advertising various pyramid schemes.

I have a friend who interviewed for job with Scentsy (an actual job at their HQ), and they were baffled when the interviewer kept asking questions about their "ward" in kind of roundabout ways.

They later realized that the interviewer was trying to find out how Mormon they were (which is insanely illegal to ask), so they've told anyone else interviewing there to try and surreptitiously record the interview (Idaho is one party consent), since that's probably going to get someone a good sized settlement if Scentsy HR is still that stupid.

Mouse Dresser
Sep 3, 2002

This isn't Middle Earth, Quentin. There aren't enough noble quests to go around.

hyperhazard posted:

Lularoe? You send then money, they send you whatever they feel like. Then you're stuck trying to figure out how to sell 5 medium and 20 XXS santa-themed leggings in June. They also require you to buy an insane amount of product when you join, we're talking multiple thousands of dollars for their smallest starter pack.

They're currently busy being sued into bankrupcy.

I see them pop up on Facebook marketplace from so many different people in my city. I was also gifted a pair a while back and they arenít even that nice of leggings. I got better quality ones at Target. And those were half the price my friend was charging for Lularoe.

Tubgoat
Jun 30, 2013

by sebmojo


azflyboy posted:

I live in Idaho, and since the Mormon population loves MLM's, I don't think I can drive more than 3 blocks without seeing at least two vehicles advertising various pyramid schemes.

I have a friend who interviewed for job with Scentsy (an actual job at their HQ), and they were baffled when the interviewer kept asking questions about their "ward" in kind of roundabout ways.

They later realized that the interviewer was trying to find out how Mormon they were (which is insanely illegal to ask), so they've told anyone else interviewing there to try and surreptitiously record the interview (Idaho is one party consent), since that's probably going to get someone a good sized settlement if Scentsy HR is still that stupid.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

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mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





subpar anachronism posted:

Unless you have very little experience or have no other options, temp agencies are pretty much a scam. You'll get minimum wage, they'll get twice that for your time even though they didn't give you any sort of training.

No.

Many agencies are hosed up in diverse and splendid ways, but that markup is legit. They're paying payroll and unemployment taxes on you, that right there is about 405 of your gross pay. On top of that they have to run an efficient and well-staffed HR/Payroll team to manage a rapidly changing workforce. The poor sap you actually dealt with gets paid, and possibly benefits too. All in all, they run at a mediocre margin made worse by having to put on a show for their clients (not you). I once had a recruiter meet up with me for an interview, and afterwards smile and shake my hand before getting in his car knowing I had an almost 2 mile walk back to a bus stop.

Now that I think about it, temp agencies are scamming part of the workforce: the recruiters. A recruiter who is actually good at their job is still managed by horrific metrics. And they're under an enforceable NDA. Ever wonder why the cool person at Agency X you dealt with never called you again ? They got churned out of their job for having a bad week, and the one element of a non-compete agreement that's 100% enforceable in 50 states is taking any kind of sales list with you. They can't re-use industry contacts and they can't re-use worker contacts. This makes it almost impossible for an actually good recruiter to strike out on their own.

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