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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen this in several movies and I'm curious if this is true.

The small general contractor shows up to his local home depot. Buys all his materials, then on his way out of the parking lot, there are a bunch of foreing workers looking for work and he picks what he needs among them and just tell them to ride at the back of his pick up truck to the job site.

Is this just an urban legend in movies or legit stuff?
 

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Not here but i am told it is common practice in the bay area...
 

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It happens, not so bad here in the past few years, but they used to swarm your truck.

Most asking how much you pay, smart kid just jumped in, got paid well.

I don't tolerate that nonsense.

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I had never seen it until 2 years ago. We were vacationing in Los Angeles and we're in an Uber. The Uber driver went to Home Depot to pick up another date. About a dozen guys swarmed the suv, asking " how many amigos do you need?"
 

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GC
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Used to happen all the time around here. Most contractors don't know it's a $25k fine if you're caught.
 

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True and false... I live by the border in San Diego and yes, EVERY HD in the area has group of guys sitting in the parking lot, ussually at the entrance, that are looking for day labor. That said, i havent been actually approached by one of them in years even though im at HD a few times a week and even in the past it was fairly casual. So the whole "swarming the contractors" is total BS. Occasionally a guy would approach me in the parking lot unloading a cart full of lumber or drywall asking if i needed help but these days ive only had offers of help from other regular customers.

All that said, before this goes off the rails potentially, i will say that while the "day workers" are in absolutely no way aggresive, but they do try to haggle like trinket salesmen in tourist traps when approached. They know their oppurtunities may be limited so they try to get the most $ possible. All said, they are hard workers and hard salesmen, but definitely not skilled in the least bit so unless the job is the most menial task ever like unloading a pallet of concrete or trash/brush removal, ect. they are useless.

All that said, even with Mexico visible from my window, im far more likely to get approached by an American bum soliciting spare change than a foriegner soliciting work. That says something i suppose...

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At the San Diego sports arena HD there's been day laborers there as long as its been there, they're right at the west driveway. There's also a permanent row of demo and trash trucks.
Up in Ramona, which is a small valley in the foothills at the big grocery store there's a throng of day laborers for ranch, landscaping and construction.
 

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I can't say about now, but Dallas area no. They had city day labor areas you could go to to hire day laborers.
 

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Here they bend over for the law breakers and cater to them. They made a tax payer funded bagel joint for them.

In the morning you see the woman pushing strollers through the parking lot to drop them off at day centers while they work the nearby factories.
These jobs should be helping the local residents first but....
 

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I'll do my usual bleeding heart thing and say that I've met a few of the hardest workers I've ever encountered after they got picked up at the Home Depot. I was low man on the totem pole at my old company so I was pick up and drop off guy as well as lunch provider. My Spanish sucks, but it gets me by.
Good people just trying to make it happen for themselves in the land of opportunity is my official review of at least 75% of the guys I worked with. Some had a huge chip on their shoulder and you could kind of tell felt the whole experience was beneath them. You never know what they came from. Met a few who fled bad situations, but actually were working in pretty well regarded fields before they fled.

In case OP was looking for a guide to picking up day laborers, no they don't swarm around you unless you pull over near them. Then they just get up close and list their proficiency. Some have signs that state their trades. If you've got a big job, grab a van load of them. You'll know by lunch who's number to take down. Usually there's one guy that's the brains of the operation. He'll know who else is worth hiring. You ask for those guys. You'll end up with a decent crew by the end of the week.


When I was in California I heard that the city was forcing Home Depot to build them shelters to wait under while they got picked up. ****ing California, man.
 
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