If you’ve ever experienced the belly of the beast that is temp work, or just had a job that you loathed, let me first say, “I feel your pain.” To all of us out there who have had to toil away hours for “the man”, I dedicate this slightly-fictionalized-yet-
based-on-true-events snapshot of temp life to you. Cheers!
9:03AM Arrive slightly hungover, but confident that this will not impede your ability to do a “bang up” job. After all, you’re not like other temps.
9:10 Realize you were mistaken and the hangover will absolutely impede productivity. Deeply sigh and realize that no college degree could have ever prepared you for coming face to face with your own shortcomings as a human being and undeniable mortality. You should not have watched “The Hours” last night. It is not helping.
9:12 Wonder if it’s too early to start thinking about happy hour.
9:20 Access your favorite website featuring kittens playing in a box. Your favorite kitten, which you’ve affectionately named “Snowball” is not there. You conclude life is filled with inevitable disappointments.
9:25 Three different people have called you “Lindsey.” This is not your name.
9:40 Feel crestfallen after you realize that what you thought was Thursday is really Wednesday. Tony in accounts receivable has already made a “hump day” joke. In an email. With an attachment. Of a kitten. Oh Snowball, where could you be?!
9:42 Draw a picture of a penis on a sticky note.
10:00 Data entry of data that does not seem relevant or necessary to be entered anywhere ever. You question the validity of this busy work, but marvel at your above-average typing speed. Your fingers fly across the keys. You are lightening! You are the wind! You dub yourself “the sonic torpedo” and determine this would also make a great cocktail name. Things are looking up.
10:35 You do not enjoy using public restrooms, but the office coffee does not care. You put paper on the seat. You are not a barbarian, after all.
10:50 Someone has taken your sticky note with the drawn penis on it. You will feign ignorance.
11:15 Visit the bathroom again and wonder if people are thinking these frequent trips are due to a bladder infection.
11:16 Wonder if you have a bladder infection.
11:17 Decide to order cranberry juice for lunch.
11:35 Someone announces that there are donuts in the break room. When you arrive, only the coconut munchkins are left. You are getting used to disappointment.
12:00PM You enjoy 30 minutes of freedom as you pay $13 for a salad and cranberry juice. You just ate one hour’s worth of work. It was mediocre.
12:47 You overhear Sean, a bookish-looking fellow, tell Carolyn that he really likes her gladiator sandals. This confirms your assumption of Sean.
1:46 Despite this morning’s hangover, you are ready to try your new signature cocktail, “the sonic torpedo.” You wonder if the regular staff will invite you to happy hour. You clear your schedule just to be safe.
3:00 Still have yet to be asked to happy hour. You admire how they play it close to the vest here.
3:14 Learn that apparently, you should have been filing invoices for the past hour. You blame this oversight on the fact that you do not have a direct supervisor. A woman named Marjory, whom you suspect has been drinking, gave you this new task. You execute it with aplomb. You’re a professional, after all.
4:17 Still no happy hour invite. You don’t need these people.
4:22 Find the crumpled penis drawing on the floor next to the recycle bin. Pearls before swine.
4:47 There is a chocolate cupcake in the fridge. You feel you are owed for the coconut munchkin incident. You plunge your finger into the cupcake’s gooey center sending the message that you are not to be trifled with. They must learn. And you are just the temp to teach them the lesson.
5:02 Marjory has invited you to happy hour. It is apparently her birthday, hence the daytime drinking…and the cupcake. You desperately want to share “the sonic torpedo,” but out of principle, decline. The chocolate residue under your fingernail reminds you there’s no turning back. This isn’t a game; this is temp work.