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Catching Out [Reading] ➷ Catching Out By Dick J. Reavis – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Reavis reported to a labor hall each morning hoping to “catch out” or get job assignments To supplement his savings for retirement the sixty two year old joined people dispatched by an agency to m Reavis reported to a labor hall each morning hoping to “catch out” or get job assignments To supplement his savings for retirement the sixty two year old joined people dispatched by an agency to manual jobs for which they were paid at the end of each day Reavis writes with simple honesty sympathy and self deprecating wit about his life inside day labor agencies which employ some million AmericansWritten with the flair of a gifted portraitist and storyteller the book describes his days on jobs at a factory as a construction and demolition worker landscaper road crew flagman auto auction driver and warehouseman and several days spent sorting artifacts in a dead packrat’s apartment On one pick and shovel job Reavis finds that his partner is too blind to see the hole they’re digging In each setting he describes the personalities and problems of his desperate peers the attitudes of their bosses and the straits of immigrant co workersThis is a gritty hard times evocation of the sometimes colorful men and women on the bottom rung of the workforce It is partly a guide to performing hard physical tasks partly a celebration of strength and partly a venting of ire at stingy and stern overseers Reavis wants to make the point that physical exertion even when ugly painful or unpleasant remains vital to the economy—and that those who labor though poorly paid bring vigor skill and cunning to their tasks.


5 thoughts on “Catching Out

  1. Ghojuh Singh Ghojuh Singh says:

    Great book really loved it Used to do manual labour for a long time so I can relate to the stories in here


  2. Ushan Ushan says:

    When the author a journalist and a professor of English reached age 62 he realized that his retirement income was too small to live on So he started going to the nearby labor hall of a temporary day labor company which sent him to various assignments working at a construction site driving cars at a used car auction lot moving furniture at a college dormitory standing with a flag while others were doing road repairs painting steel widgets at a factory As a rule the workers were the people no other employer wanted ex cons a hard drinker a college student who dropped out because he played video games all day long instead of studying The most pathetic day laborer was a nearly blind mildly retarded man who lived in a homeless shelter and had to sleep on the grass when the shelter was full; a few days before his disability check came he would acuire new friends who would borrow money from him on the check day and then disappear The workers were paid a pittance and in turn had to pay somebody to drive them to the work site In the last chapter the author describes the economics and legal issues of such work Apparently the profit margin of the temp agency is merely about 5%; the rest of the difference between what the agency charged and what it paid its workers went to unemployment insurance disability insurance taxes and the administrative overhead However the day labor agencies are a bonanza to the clients who have the work done but do not have to worry about health insurance or labor regulations I am reminded of a certain software company I shall not name about a third of whose workforce are technically not its employees The author argues for a law that would reuire day laborers to be paid as much as regular employees performing the same kind of work; he says that France has this law I know that for the H 1B visa holders this is supposed to be the case but usually is not but the differential is smaller than what this book says it is between regular employees and day laborers He also argues for the enforcement of existing labor laws using vice suad techniues


  3. D D says:

    This is an interesting book about day laborers a part of our society that most people don't think much about even though we are totally dependent on the work they do Mr Reavis a college English professor worked as a day laborer and documented his experiences Sometimes he gets so caught up in describing detail that his narrative gets a bit tedious however this is one of those books that will change forever the way a reader views those often faceless people who do the hardest and dirtiest work that there is for the least amount of money and benefits This book is a total eye opener It reminded me of Barbara Ehrenreich's books Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch although I liked Ehrenreich's books better Definitely worth reading


  4. David Ward David Ward says:

    Catching Out The Secret World of Day Laborers by Dick J Reavis Simon Shuster 2010 331544 is about life at a temporary employment agency for unskilled laborers The author who is actually a professor at North Carolina State University spent months working through a temporary labor agency and this is the story of the work he found the conditions and the company It was eye opening My rating 610 finished 21411


  5. Eric Black Eric Black says:

    For those unfamiliar with the realities of day labor this is an important story to read Day laborers are so freuently despised and taken advantage of


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