We had some drainage issues in the side yard caused by the crazy-hard Concord soil (aahem, clay) and the slope. Not that it was a house-issue (a good feature of being on a slab several inches above the ground), but it does make for a soggy pathway come rain-time (aka November - March) -- especially in one particular spot outside the bathroom door.
I started the project the other day and discovered the digging holes is no fun. In comes Labor-Ready. I drive by their offices literally every day (en route to BART), but just stopped by the other day. For $25/hour per person, you can hire labor that comes pre-screened and insured... much safer than picking up someone form a hardware store parking lot.
Chris and Bruce showed up on time (8am) and started digging within minutes of arrival. They worked until they'd excavated a 4X20X2 trench that we filled with better draining material and a french drain to better distribute the water.
So, if you've a project you'd been dreading because of the toil it will take, give them a call (925-827-2352 in Concord). For folks in the South Bay, there are locations in Redwood City, San Jose and Mountain View.