History of staffing continued... Armed with the latest copy of PE Magazine or CE Weekly, the job shopper’s bible that listed all of the latest projects and how much money they could expect to earn, jobbers sold their skills to the highest bidder and chased projects from coast to coast. These “road warriors” lived out of suitcases in the cheapest hotels or rented rooms in a house, drawing a large paycheck and living on the road like vagabonds. It was a culture unto itself and unlike any other. It was nothing for them to work 60, 70 or 80 hours per week.

Managers often felt their contractors were more productive and eager than their regular employees and, at one time, paid far better than employees. This was to make up for the inconvenience and cost of being way from home, the lack of any benefits, the value of their skills and the disposable nature of their jobs. When projects started to wind down it was time to get on the phones and look for the next assignment.

More tomorrow...