Pimps worse than actual pimps, maybe slightly less violence.
I am a contractor.
A contractor is someone who is perceived to have mad skillz that some company requires for a short period of time. If said company needs them for a long time, they will train up their employees, or hire a new employee with those skills.
When a company decides it has a mega computery project that it wants to get done, it brings in a heap of contractors and relocates a number of it's employees to that project. The contractors bring the skills, the employees learn and then maintain it in the long term.
Getting a whole stack of contractors in is quite easy for administrative purposes. No super, no unions, no probity checks, no internal then external application process. Ring a dude up, get him in the next day.
What companies have found though, if they force all their contractors to go through one company, then they just pay one company instead of 50. That company then divides up the moola. That company, often, can't be bothered with payroll tax, insurances, etc so force contractors to belong to littler companies to sort that stuff out.
So everyone takes their cut.
Not a problem, because I still get the rate I want, and everyone sorts out the rest behind the scenes. I get a daily rate (ie, a flat rate for everyday I work) and they have their cut on top of that rate.
When the industry is hot, I say jump, they say sir yes sir, when the industry is not, I'm beggin and pleadin they kick and laugh. It's all fun and games.
What I'm finding though, is that the inbetween companies (pimps we call them) are starting to run the show. On the last contract I was in, the was no work for me to do, I finished it all. I knew it, the project manager knew it and I was bored. My contract enddate was coming up so it was all good - except my pimp went above the project member and called the big boss and had my contract extended. Twice.
Me working gets him money.
To hell with whether I want to work there or whether they have any work.
With my current job, only a couple of companies have the rights to supply contractors and so they are making heaps. As much as I like Brisbane, I wouldn't mind heading back home to work. Also, I'm bored and they want to get me to train an internal person to do my job. It's smart of them and I support that. The other day my pimps (different lot from the example above) scheduled a meeting with my team leader and asked her to make me 'indespensible' so I could remain working here, so they could continue getting money.
I find that superwrong. They are supposed to provide a very simple service, not run people's lives.
Some of these companies make thousands every day off some contractors, purely because they brokered the deal in the first place and divide some cash up at the end of the month. People don't talk about their earnings very often, so it's hard to figure out how much these guys are making. Years ago, a mate of mine was working as an employee to one of these companies and was on about $57k a year. Except he was being charged out at $1400 a day. He was bringing in approximately $350,000 a year and actually receiving a 7th of that. The margin on contractors is lesser, but I can't seem to find out what kind of figures these guys are acting so desperately over.
I feel like learning how to be a project manager just to get to a position where I can get rid of the pimps. They really are getting an obscene amount of money for just making a couple of phone calls.