Agency madness

I’ve been working through, among others, two agencies of late.  Recruitment agencies, if you will, although rarely do they seem to recruit me—often they’re merely a means of contracting.  I’ve suffered two experienced which to me are unfathomable.

First, on enrolling with an agency, they informed me that they would need to perform a check with Companies House, a process that cost them £1 (one Great British pound).  They informed me by letter and by email that the cost of the check would be taken off my first day’s charges.  And sure enough, payment against my first month’s invoice was £1 short.

Second, I received a call the other day from someone who I’d never dealt with before in an agency through which I was already working.  He asked me whether I was looking for work.  I truthfully responded that I wasn’t.  He asked when my current contract was due to expire and I suggested he asked his colleague, my contact within the agency.

Both of the above examples showed the value that the companies placed on the individual.  My immediate experience of the former agency was one of penny-pinching madness.  Yet it probably cost more to process the £1 reduction than they saved by making the reduction in the first place.  As for the second, three and a half years of unwavering commission was reduced to my being a commodity, one who had not been de-duped properly from one database to another.

I know I’m a commodity, a dispensable one at that.  But it’s nice not to have this pointed out to me, particularly when I’m helping pay your wages.


One Response to “Agency madness”

  1. Alan on February 15th, 2010 23:34

    A commodity is some good for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market. It is fungible, i.e. the same no matter who produces it. Examples are petroleum, notebook paper, milk or copper.[1] The price of copper is universal, and fluctuates daily based on global supply and demand. Stereo systems, on the other hand, have many aspects of product differentiation, such as the brand, the user interface, the perceived quality etc. And, the more valuable a stereo is perceived to be, the more it will cost.

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