Your Obedient Serpent (athelind) wrote,
Your Obedient Serpent

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Temp Tantrum

For the last week, I've been working a temp assignment, doing "data entry" at a law firm. It paid the same (low) wages of my last assignment, but, whereas the last assignment was a simple "Organize These Work Orders By Date And Invoice Number", this was a much more complex task that involved hunting through three-to-four-inch thick folders of immigration documents in search of data to input into legal forms.

In short, I could do the last job by rote, while I listened to my MP3 player. This job required my brain.

As I said to quelonzia, my brain costs more than $11.98 an hour.

I've also gotten back in touch with the folks at Elkhorn Slough, and, despite being more than a year past deadline, they're still eager to see me finish off that erosion paper. As a result, I've spent a goodly percentage of the last few days asking myself, "what am I doing here? I'm a scientist. I need to get back to science."

I was already having second thoughts as early as Monday, and said as much to my contact at the temp agency. She convinced me not to bail on a job after a half a day, so I told her I'd stick it out for a week.

And I did. And found myself getting antsier and antsier. The job seemed less and less like "bringing in a little extra money" and more and more like "another way to procrastinate". So, yesterday, I called the temp agency, and asked  to terminate the assignment at the end of this week.

The response? "Gosh, they really don't want to let you go, after putting in a week of training already." Um... gee, that was kind of on my mind on Monday. It wasn't just wasting their time, after all. So -- since I'd presented the issue of it paying the same as the previous job for a whole lot more l33t skillz as my primary concern -- she asked if I'd stay on another week if she could negotiate a higher pay rate. Softie that I am, I said yes. And then my cell phone battery died.

This morning, my phone had a couple of messages from my temp rep on it, confirming that, yes, today was my last day. SO, I called to check in to confirm the confirmation -- I may be a flakey pain in the ass, but I'm a diligent flaky pain in the ass. I also explained that part of my dissatisfaction was that I had the Opportunity (magic golden words in the employment arena) to get back to the erosion paper -- honestly, I should have opened with that yesterday. The revelation that I've become a horribly negative person is something for another post, however.

It's obvious why she made manager. She managed to be chipper and cheerful and positive and upbeat -- even while she was lecturing me about how, in the future, I should only accept assignments if I intend to "see them through".

So, I wrap up the day's work with about half an hour to spare, inform my supervisor that I'm going to just call it a day there (since there's nothing productive I could have possibly have done in 30 minutes), and tidied up my cubicle. As I was going, I collected up my notes and some of the office supplies I'd been sharing with the other temp in this job, and brought them over to her, explaining that I wasn't going to be in on Monday.

She said, "Oh, neither am I."

"Oh?" I asked. "Did you find something else, too?"

"No, they just let me and a couple of other people go."

[insert that damned owl here]

So, let me get this straight.

I just got lectured for bailing on a job that was going to let me go anyway?

Or... given that I was, despite my lack of enthusiasm, picking up the job pretty handily -- were they going to let everyone else go and keep the guy who didn't want to be there?

...or did I somehow manage to get everyone fired?
Tags: temp work

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