Review of "Blue Arrow"
As a soon to be graduate with no imminent job lined up, off to temping agency, Blue Arrow it was!I live in Manchester, and having no office skills or experience to speak of, decided to hit the catering branch of this agency.
I walked in, was kept waiting an interminably long time (but hey, that's okay - I'd keep my prospective employees waiting while I sat chatting to my friend at the next desk too...)"Suzy" eventually calls me over, and she's actually fairly nice. Has me fill in a plethora of standardised forms (name, address, qualifications, work experience etc) and photocopies my passport and national insurance card.
She gives me two multiple choice test papers. The first is very basic food hygiene stuff. Seriously easy stuff, like
"1. you empty the waste bin, 2. you cut up some raw chicken, 3. you handle some cooked chicken. At which point(s) do you wash your hands?"
(answer at bottom of page - haha!)
So those two tests convinced Blue Arrow I was up to the job and really, I have no (nada!, zip!) experience of either waiting tables or catering, or anything to do with food for that matter. This is something I glossed over in my work experience recounts!Suzy tells me that the pay is usually in the realm of 4.85 (minimum wage apparently for a 23 year old like me) to 5.50, so really rather shocking when all my office-skilled friends agencies pay in excess of 7.00. This agency has stopgap (and nothing more!) written all over it.
The drill is that Blue Arrow will call me as and when they have work available. I can always decline to work if I don't fancy it, and they encourage me to ring them too to enquire after bookings etc.
So, I leave. I'm registered. I ring Blue Arrow the following day and speak to the joyless being that is "Kieron". He has work for me that weekend. I'm to turn up at Blue Arrow at 3.45pm on the Saturday, bussed out with other temps to some function in warrington, and then bussed back to the office for round about 11pm.
I ring him back. Someone else answers. It's 4.45pm they say. For sure.
Ten minutes later. Text message. 3.45pm it says.
Arggghh!!! I say!
Nice one Blue Arrow.
Anyway, after eventually sorting out that its the earlier time , Saturday arrives, and there I am in the office waiting for the bus. Of course we can't go until everyone else has arrived, and its only at practically 5pm that that happens (most probably due to that dumb texting and the even dumber staff) Incidentally, this is one whole hour I am NOT getting paid for.Anyway, the function is fine, just plate service, clearing tables, a monkey could do it. Just as well really, because some of the other staff are pretty unevolved.
So, to sum it up:
1.They offer you all kinds of free training, such as silver service etc. This just takes the format of an hour in the office on a weekday afternoon, watching someone do it. But its not brain surgery, a quick practice does suffice.
3. Its a job. It's money.Awful because:
1. The staff (admittedly not all of them) can be complete simpletons. Highly frustrating when you're relying on them to keep you informed of work and times and whatever else.2. The wages (compared to say, office temping) are dire. Really, really abismal!
3. Often, as was the case for me, they have no work available.If you're desperate for cash, can start right away and will get out almost as quickly, I recommend Blue Arrow.
Otherwise AVOID, AVOID, AVOID!!!!
Product Information : Blue Arrow
Manufacturer's product description
Listed on Ciao since: 30/07/2000