Saturday, January 29, 2011

Temporary Employment

Have you ever worked as a "temp"? By that I mean, have you ever accepted a temporary work assignment though a temporary employment agency? I have. In fact, I have had a multitude of temp assignments over the years.

My first one was back in 1995. For many years I worked in the hospitality industry...mostly bartending, some food service, some hotel experience, and some management. Subsequent to our Lynnwood High School 20th Reunion in 1994 I made a conscious decision to leave that industry and get into an office environment. I felt like working in a restaurant was a "fun" job and not a "grown up" job. After all, I had a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington. I should be working on developing a "career" – not creating new and delicious libations and getting home at 3:00 AM. But how to make the change?

I registered with three temporary employment agencies in downtown Seattle. I explained to each of the recruiters that I wanted only very short-term assignments – a week or less – so that I could "taste" the Seattle business world and see what type of company/type of industry I'd like to work for.

And that's when I should have started this blog. I had blog material galore. Even now when I sit here and start to think about all the crazy situations I found myself in I begin to giggle.

It was like starting a new job every few days…new names and faces, new buildings (where's the bathroom??), new drive/bus/walk/bike to work, new office machines, new software, new hardware…aye, yi, yi…the assault on my memory brain cells.

I remember walking around office halls looking for a particular person I needed to give documents to or even when I was just looking around for my own desk and I had no clue. My strategy was to hold my head high, keep walking, don't look scared or start crying, and I always (eventually) found my way. HA.

And that's another thing – as a temp, it was never "my desk" – yet I was privy to family photos, drawers stocked with candy and feminine products, electronic files and email that weren't meant to be reviewed by "the temp", and other personal things. (Just remember that when you call in sick or go on vacation or maternity leave and your company calls in a temp…)

There's another tidbit. Temporary employees are always referred to as "the temp". Even when people know "the temp's" name. Again, I have to laugh. As many temp jobs as I've had, even I still always refer to temps as "temps"!

And you may not know this, but often times temps are not allowed to go to company meetings. I presume companies are afraid that temps might learn some inside secrets or financial information or product details if they attend company meetings. Well, whoever made up that dumb rule never sat at a temp computer and had access to entire drives of information, as well as drawers and file cabinets overflowing with confidential documents. Plus, it makes the temp feel like an outsider when we don't get to go to meetings. ALIENATION! Whaaa…

So why do I bring up temporary employment? Well, my job at Nintendo is a temp assignment. It's supposed to last about eight months which means I should be there at least until mid-July. After that, who knows?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

And the Winner is…

Not Jan in Mississippi (although I thought "the cleared land at my old high school" was an excellent guess!)

The winner is Betty Derricott! Yes, the picture from Tuesday's post is a rooftop garden. And it’s a rooftop garden on the brand new roof of the brand new building for my brand new humble employer, Nintendo.

The 300,000 square foot, four-story building for Nintendo of America headquarters in Redmond, Washington, opened in May 2010. And it has one of the largest green roofs – 75,000 square feet – in the area.

The roof supports low-water vegetation that diverts rain water, shields the roof underneath to increase longevity, and insulates the building. Plus, it’s just cool to look at. The fourth floor of the building houses conference rooms and access outside to take in the view. And THAT is where I took the pic from Tuesday's post.

The roof is also home to several large skylights that bring natural light inside - some skylights are two stories deep so that even Floor 2 gets natural light. In fact, the lighting was constructed in such a way that indoor overhead lights adjust throughout the day depending on the natural light that is coming in. Very high tech and very energy conscious.

Nintendo believes in having fun. So much so that the original headquarters building was demolished and replaced by fun things.

Here we have fun things like a soccer field, tennis court, basketball court and even a volleyball court - with sand - well, I think it's sand. There is also a nice walking/running/skating trail winding past randomly placed benches and the landscaping is luscious.

One last picture. It's the front of the front of the building with the lights on at dusk. The quadrant you can't see is to the very far right and it is yellow. Do you like it?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Second-Ever Blog Contest

I have been goaded on by the last 4 commenters – ah, maybe that’s not such a good choice of words. I have been “encouraged” by these friends to write more so here goes...

Way back last June, when both Mike and I had every day to explore Seattle and enjoy the time off, we did just that. The only thing holding us back was crummy weather. And when the sun finally made an appearance I had a blog contest…to guess what the picture I posted represented. Go ahead. Take a gander. Make an intelligent guess.

So today I am having my Second-Ever Blog Contest.


Who can be the first person to tell me where this picture was taken???

Clue #1 – Yep, those are the majestic Cascade Mountains lurking in the background. Double click to enlarge - and, yes, it's worth the keystrokes.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Calling Antarctica (Again)!

Here we go again..check out my little Recent Visitors map to the right of the posts. See? EVERY continent except Antarctica has checked the blog recently. Who’s down in Antarctica that can read this blog?? Do YOU know anyone in Antarctica??

If I see a reader from Antarctica I may be motivated to start writing again...