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?
Eternal bloom from the barrister
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