I hired a day worker from Mountain View Day Worker Center a while back and mentioned it online. I was surprised by the amount of questions I received about how the hiring process works, so I thought I would address those questions here.
I filled out the request online. I found it’s better to let the center know ahead of time, as opposed to just showing up, so they have a chance to match the workers skills with what the employer wants. When I arrived, Victor was ready for me. I brought him to my house and showed him the specific areas in my yard that needed his help. He got to work on everything I pointed out, but he also made a few suggestions about how to trim a few plants that were out-of-control. Honestly, I’m not very good at figuring out how to prune some of the plants I have and I was happy to hear what he thought. I gathered up some gardening shears, several different rakes and a few yard-waste containers, even a pair gloves for him and he got started.
Victor worked unbelievably hard and did a spectacular job. I could never have accomplished everything he did for me. At the end of the day I paid him 17.50 an hour and offered to drive him to his house or back to the Day Worker Center, whichever he preferred. He said “no.” Apparently he lives in my neighborhood and he wanted to swing by the California Street Market to grab a few tamales for dinner and then walk home.
I went back the next afternoon and picked him up and everything went just as well as it did the day before. I showed him where the bathroom is and offered him a cold drink. If he had been at my house during lunch, I would have made sandwiches for us, but he arrived after lunch each day.
Maria Marroquín, the director of the Day Worker Center told me that it’s always best to fill out your request to hire a worker online, so their staff can connect you with the exact skills you need. The booming economy and rent prices in Mountain View has effected the day workers ability to stay in our community. Many of them have had to relocate to less expensive areas and travel several hours everyday. If you request someone ahead of time, they’ll find a perfect match for you.
Hiring someone to help you through the Day Worker Center is way more reliable and safer than the parking lot of Home Depot. I can’t stress that enough. They are registered with the center and they have a relationship with them. Some of them have worked there for many years. It’s not anything like inviting a stranger into your home.
The Mountain View workers come from all over the world: Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, just to name a few. They do much more than yard work. Their website says they can do: carpet & flooring installation, construction, childcare, cooking, driving, electrical work, moving, plumbing,and upholstery. With a list like that, it’s understandable why you should reserve someone online ahead of time so you get the skills that you’re looking for.
I’ve hired as many as 12 dayworkers at a time. I hired them to help clean Castro Street after the Art & Wine Festival. Once again, they worked hard and were reliable and I could have never done the job without them. If I can answer any more questions about the Mountain View Day Worker center, I would be happy to do so, or better yet, reach out to Maria Marroquín, the director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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