So, I had been taking quite a few OnForce and WorkMarket jobs lately.  Anything that paid $50 an hour or more then $80 in total.  Yeah, I am a Technology Slut and whore my skills out at less then pizza delivery wages.  See, America has this whole huge network of outsourcing that lets people sit back and exploit those who are between jobs or lack recent applicable employment to seek other employment.  They often violate the Employee / Employer versus Contractee / Contractor relationship.  Very few of them calculate travel distance, time, gas mileage and wear and tear on a vehicle.  There are many situations where there are consumables that must be eaten by the contracted individual where there is no real mechanism for requesting repayment.

OnForce was the first, it basically acts as a middle-man between labor or people who are seeking work.  The buyer is a company that needs boots on the ground in a state and area where they have no other employees.  Most of the time the work is emergency break/fix of a production system.  In the majority of the work it is retail point of sale systems and the signature capture (Credit Card) machines.  Some buyers are better then others, some have gotten placed in a management position over a nationwide upgrade or roll out and just lost the ability to support people in the field.

I paid OnForce to do a background test and a drug test a few years ago.  Some buyers require this, others do not.  The contracts come through from the buyer and they often act as your support although sometimes they just act as a middle-man between you and the retailer you are performing the work for in house IT Department.  Sometimes they just collect pictures and signed worksheets to prove the work was done.  In cases like this, checking in requires two or three telephone calls and checking out requires two or three calls and as many e-mails containing the consumables. 

This is necessary because so many of the contractors were pizza tech’s, everyone knows one.  It’s someone who is “good with computers” and their solution to everything seems to be to reinstall Windows and not install updates.  It’s someone with no ability to function in a real IT department because they don’t understand production environments.  Many of them taking jobs where they barely understood the terminology being used and ultimately fucked things up more then they were before.  Suddenly the job comes through with a higher spend limit and a bunch more controls on the how’s and the what’s, often making it possible to work essentially for free.

So when the job says $50 an hour for up to 2 hours, at 2.5 hours the buyers get difficult about increasing the spend limit.  Even though their check out took half an hour.  Now, this $100 will get taxed about 15% by OnForce who take a fee like our cyber pimp and then fees for Workman’s Compensation and Liability Insurance in case I fuck some shit up.  Suddenly, it’s $85 and I have had buyers take two weeks to pay and the Pimp doesn’t do anything until it hits extremes.

WorkMarket is another and this one added the humiliating procedure of “applying” for work.  I think OnForce has added it as well. You have to submit in. writing why they should hire you.  There are more and more jobs that come through at less then $50 an hour that need a three or four hour drive one way.  It is only a matter of time before the California Department of Labor gets asked to handle a dispute between the contractor, OnForce and The Buyer.  Somewhere in there either the buyer or OnForce is going to be considered an employer.  Suddenly a lot of rules concerning pay and such come in to play.  The Labor Department is who handles contractor disputes like this.

Now, several larger companies like AT&T, Comcast, Charter and several other global companies send contractors in to people’s homes with just the standard background check and drug test.  Sometimes they don’t require it.  California requires you to have a license for small appliance repair appliance repair as well.  The problem is that these background checks can miss things in other states.  There are potentially violent criminals doing the repair work for these companies.  I refuse to do in home stuff as it always makes me feel awkward.

Seriously what if I have to fart or I need to go to the bathroom.  Especially having to take a shit.  I hate taking a shut unless it’s a private bathroom where I can drop fat man and little boy.  Bomb Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  That was a text exchange between MooSe and I one morning with him repeated saying TMI or Timmy.  He was looking for me on campus and I was taking a dump.  I explained that after dropping the little boy, another bomb appeared in the chute.  But I digress.  Yes, I made an atomic bomb poop reference.  You read it and laughed.  Don’t hate me.

So, this is the poverty indentured servitude I have endured of late.  I am reluctant to take even seemingly easy jobs because the middle-men are usually half-assing it.  They schedule jobs on California up until three PM.  They get to work at 8am EST, hour for lunch and out the door by 5.  That’s 2pm here in Sunny California.  They are nowhere to be reached.  You try the retailer’s help desk and they have no answer either.  The end user, the store manager begs you not to leave then fucked like this.

After half an hour of calling and adding notes to the work order and even emailing I call the appropriate pimp.  Some buyers use bother pumps often pricing differently through each pimp and placing different terms.  The pumps always do the same, leave a note in the ticket and try to call the buyer.  Now, sometimes the pimps act as agents for the buyers so they are the buyers and the pimps.  These are often the worst because I am not sure any agent I have ever spoken to has had an IT Support background.

Many times I am asked to present myself as representing another Company.  Sometimes I have letters I printed on my ink jet printer authorizing me to work.  I rarely get questioned and most take it at face value since the parts came from UPS and corporate office has emailed about it.  Sometimes I get overzealous managers who want to know the step by step details.  I have had others watch me like I am going to steal.  I usually ignore the employees and perform the functions I have been asked to do.  It is scary that there are so many people handling the financial security of major retailers and your information.  The Target breach was a man in the middle attack.

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