This is very similar to my summer experience at the NYC Parks Department. In '76, when minimum wage was ~$1.75, I was paid $2.75 working in the Bronx Admin building, across the Bronx River Pkwy from the Bronx Zoo, for those who know the area. Showed up at 4pm with 3 others and a supervisor. We answered the phones til 5, then cleaned the building til about 7pm. Then 3 of us would go home and 1 would stay til midnight, watching the building, a watchman. We averaged working about 23-25 hrs per week and got paid for 40. Of course, the supervisor was permanent, with benefits, pension, etc. He would go out and drink and frequent prostitutes. I don’t remember much supervising. I got an attitude when the guy to stay Friday would call in sick so he would blow off his one late night, so I’d stay twice sometimes. Can you imagine being asked to work a full day twice? I asked and got a transfer to one of the city golf courses, and cut greens, watered them, etc. Much more honest work, IMO, and 40 hours. Afternoon beer and other items almost daily though. We’d get lost in the woods. And I played golf after work every day. Two summers later I got to drive a truck around the Bronx setting up a showmobile for city concerts, Co-op City, South Bronx, Hunts Point, etc. Some scary neighborhoods. That pay was $4.75 per hour as a Motor Vehicle Operator, a big step up(this was 36 years ago).We’d set up the stage in 30 minutes, get lost for 3 hours, do what college kids did, then pack up the showmobile and leave. Jeez, sometimes I wish I still had that job. No pressure. Wonder if Congress is like that, with better pay.
This guy’s story is about exactly what I remember. To this day, it’s no different in NYC, from what I’ve heard from contractors, carpenters, etc.