RE: Agency warning signs

Subject: RE: Agency warning signs
From: Christine -dot- Anameier -at- seagate -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2001 11:25:04 -0600

Re MODIS: "I'm told that my salary won't fluctuate everytime I begin a new
contract - I'll still receive the same base salary."

The word that sets off my alarm bells there is "salary." To me, one of the
good things about contracting is that you're generally paid on an hourly
basis--which makes it easier to take time off (it's your nickel) and
ensures that you are compensated for overtime. I wouldn't take a salaried
job unless I were desperate. And as Brent Jones pointed out, this thing
about your salary not "fluctuating" is a little fishy too. In my
experience--3 years and counting--your wage typically "fluctuates" UP when
you take a new contract.

Brent Jones wrote: "My experience with contract
agencies that offer benefits is that you get the worst of both
worlds--mediocre pay and mediocre benefits."

I have to disagree with that one--though, again, I'm drawing on 3 years of
experience, not twelve. The agencies I've worked for have had good medical
insurance (no deductibles, just co-pays) and one agency even had dental
coverage. I would MUCH rather get my health insurance through an agency,
since switching between group policies is simpler than trying to find
individual coverage (especially with pre-existing conditions). That's one
reason I have shied away from going the 1099 route. Other benefits are of
little interest to me, though. Vacation? Pfft. I'd rather take a higher
wage than get "paid vacation," which is a misnomer--you pay for the
vacation by accepting a lower salary. I've heard people reason, "It pays a
little less, but I get paid vacation!" when the value of the vacation
amounts to less than the wage difference. They aren't doing the math.


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