I'll wait (tables) in the pouring sun.
January 3, 2008 10:41 AM   Subscribe

I've just moved to L.A. and need immediate employment to provide some short-term financial security. Locals, who (or what) would you recommend? (e.g., What are the least insane and/or most humane temp agencies? What are some cool places to do menial, customer-facing work that actually pay a living wage?)

A few more factors:

- I live right in the thick of Hollywood near Sunset and Highland. I am one of the crazy few who choose to live in L.A without a car. This does rule out a few car-centered jobs, but I'll bike or bus it, regardless of the time involved. I'm a hardcore city biker, so anything within, say, 5-10 miles is a cakewalk. (Don't let distance stop you from recommending something, in other words.)

- I'd consider assignments up to six months, assuming it paid well enough and I had a little flexibility to interview and get my life together otherwise.

- I'm a composer, sound editor, and radio producer with music-industry, radio, and editorial experience, but I don't expect this short-term work to be in my field(s).

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
posted by mykescipark to Work & Money (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: On Sunday, go to the Farmer's Market. It's a block west of Vine on Ivar between Hollywood and Sunset. Walk along, suss out all the vendors, see who is big and gets a lot of business. Ask if they are hiring and what other markets they do during the week.

There is a market going on within 15 miles of you every day of the week. It is essentially 1/2 day work, a lot of fun, people oriented and you'll get a lot of high quality food from who you work for and the other vendors you have relationships with. The pay varies per vendor, whether you like it or not, you are doing some good for the planet and you may make some connections in your field.

I am working at the Organic Pastures Dairy booth. Come on by if you have any questions.
posted by goalyeehah at 11:05 AM on January 3, 2008

Starbucks/Coffee Bean?
posted by matteo at 11:25 AM on January 3, 2008

FWIW, I have found OfficeTeam to be the most helpful and humane temp agency in several different cities, each of which is at least two thousand miles from LA.
posted by winston at 11:35 AM on January 3, 2008

Response by poster: FWIW, I have found OfficeTeam to be the most helpful and humane temp agency in several different cities, each of which is at least two thousand miles from LA.

Haha! Well, I had some great ones in Boston, but they were all the smaller, boutique-type firms, which is why I was wondering about the "off-brand" agencies. I've had some pretty hideous experiences with the (inter)national firms.
posted by mykescipark at 11:40 AM on January 3, 2008

Can you do hotel front desk or pbx (operator)? The Renn may or may not hire you with no experience, but some of the other hotels might need help (Orchid, Best Western). You could work 3-11, leaving your days free for interviews. It's interesting work to do short-term.

I also suggest Trade Show Temps. Where you work events and trade shows. You can get to the LACC on the subway, and most of the other convention centers are on mass transit of some kind. The work is always changing, because the trade shows are always different. Pay is like $11-ish per hour I think? It is not consistent, it depends on the shows how many days you work, or if you work at all.

Also, a lot of temp stuff just ends up on craigslist. Moreso than in other cities. Keep your eyes peeled.
posted by Mozzie at 12:43 PM on January 3, 2008

Also, it'd be wise not to mention you're car-less during interviews. In this city, no matter how hard-core a biker you are, it turns off prospective employers. When you start showing up to work on a bike, no one will say anything so long as you're on time.

An aside:


Do you have a website that lists the locations of these Farmer's Market? I'm tired of the weak selection at my local Ralph's.
posted by ryecatcher at 12:48 PM on January 3, 2008

Similar to what Mozzie said, but people looking for a night auditor at a hotel (or just about any other graveyard shift job) will often hire anyone with a pulse and no criminal record. It's generally boring, but bring a book or a DS and it will paid the bills. Assuming you're down with sleeping through the majority of other people's waking day, that is.
posted by Nelsormensch at 1:26 PM on January 3, 2008

Best answer: We use AppleOne for our temps - you could try them.
posted by forallmankind at 1:43 PM on January 3, 2008

Disney Interactive is looking for video game testers for a few months to get the summer games out (but I don't know what they pay)...Appleone sends us good peoples.
posted by legotech at 2:27 PM on January 3, 2008

local.google.com/LA+temp agency usually works for me.
posted by Lizc at 2:41 PM on January 3, 2008

Seconding AppleOne. When I needed office work, they nearly always had something available, and my staffer person was always extremely helpful and understanding.

A tip if you go the temp route, though: simplify your resume. Lots of experience is great for permanent work, but it scares off temporary employers because they think you're not going to stick around for the length of the job or you're going to expect too much money. This was the one problem I ran into with temp work, and it went away when I dumbed down my resume.
posted by katillathehun at 3:08 PM on January 3, 2008

I've heard very very good things about working at Trader Joes.
posted by smoakes at 8:24 PM on January 3, 2008

ryecather: try www.farmernet.com
posted by goalyeehah at 12:47 PM on January 4, 2008

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