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Catching Out: The Secret World of Day Laborers

2.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  27 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
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, whic ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published February 16th 2010 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2010)
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Dec 27, 2010 Ilya rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
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 pe ...more
Apr 26, 2012 D rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Eric Black
For those unfamiliar with the realities of day labor, this is an important story to read. Day laborers are so frequently despised and taken advantage of.
David Ward
Nov 18, 2014 David Ward rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, business
Catching Out: The Secret World of Day Laborers by Dick J. Reavis (Simon & Shuster 2010) (331.544) 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: 6/10, finished 2/14/11.
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