Life of a Temp

As I sit here in the big conference room (not a cube, a whole big ass conference room, thank you very much), thinking to myself, I wonder where exactly did I go wrong. When I was younger, I used to be excited about working in an office, about driving in rush hour, about wearing skirts and lipstick, having a lunch hour, it all made me feel like such the grown-up. In short, I was an idiot. No, really. I no longer need those things to make me feel all grown-up, Iíve got the beginning stages of crows feet and enough bills to last me until the year 2168 - those Citibank people have some sort of unholy alliance with the Student Loan people to track my whereabouts as I crisscross the country and make my life a living nightmare.


When I started doing temp work, I had no idea that the temp agency would become my mortal enemy, I had no idea that people generally hated temp workers, that office workers, specifically temps, were bored-solitaire-playing-internet-surfing-cake-eating-paperclip-sorting-clockwatching-drones. Who knew?


Let me explain. Temping is little more than whoring without penetration (nice visual, huh?), unless you count sharpening pencils. Your pimp (the temp agency) tells you where to go, how to dress (the words business casual are the bane of my existence) and what to do. Then they take a sizeable cut of your pay (upwards of 40%), bitch slap you around and send you onto your next john (assignment), all the while smiling and perkily telling you, "we've got a great new assignment for you!"


Why yes, I love to file. It's a fascinating, fulfilling way to pass the time and an eminently worthy use of my talents as an individual. Would you like another cup of coffee?


Nobody really ever trusts a temp. They don't respect that you may be pursuing your dreams while temping. They assume there must be something wrong with you. Why don't you have a REAL job?


Boredom comes and boredom goes Monday through Friday. I sometimes do weird things at work to pass the time. I go to the bathroom at least eight times a day and steal toilet paper. I have a lifetime supply of paper goods, staples, post-its, a whole collection of staplers, band-aids, tylenol, rulers - hell, I could open my own office supply store. There is no fear of someone reprimanding me because it doesn't matter, I don't really work here.


Internet access and e-mail are the two key elements necessary to survive Temp Worker Office Boredom Syndrome (TWOBS). Without those, the temp suicide rate (TSR) would drastically increase.


Of course, the time in between temp assignments is a different kind of hell. Is the temp service going to call? WHEN's the temp service going call? Maybe their machine's broken and they doesn't know I tried to call them? I only left 37 messages. I want to go out, but I don't want leave the apartment and miss the call. What if my answering machine doesnít work? Maybe I ought to call the operator and have her test my line in case it's MY phone that's broken and they can't get through! Why aren't they calling?? Come on!! RING ALREADY!!! Stupid ASS PHONE!! Why aren't they calling? Itís like high school all over again.


I'm sure there's a moral, or some sort of wisdom I acquired at this point in my life, but I'll be damned if I can find it.


Excuse me, I think i have to go file something.



2002-10-25 at 12:16 p.m.