I’ve come up with this term- it’s where your tmep role doesn’t have enough work to justify it, but you’re helping with the overflow from a couple of other people.  That spreadsheet or proof-read might be way too much for someone buckling under a huge in-box, but for someone with nothing to do it’s a 20 minute job.  If that.

As such I’m surfing whatever sites I can whilst trying to look like I’m working - strecthing that 20 minute job out across the morning.

The end of the world won’t be induced by horns and breaking seals, it’ll be the day a temp starts a new role and doesn’t spend half of it on the phone to IT and then watching remote access dance across the screen.

I’m sure some of the cave paintings found that look half-finished are actually those which a temp was meant to be doing but the berry-paint ran out.

So - I did the normal thing on a Friday morning and checked my bank balance.  Agency X paid me an entire week for a single day’s work.

Called in and told them  - screendumped my bank balance to pretend it’s real.  Would have been nice. 

Handover went well - office is nice though I’ve forgotten everyone’s name already.

These are never fun, no fun for the person handing over who has someone perched on their shoulder all day and can’t check hotmail or enjoy the shortcuts that come with a stable working environment.

No fun either for the temp who sits on edge hoping to have something to do and tip-toeing over the easiest of tasks.  Photocopy this?  Easy in a normal setting but during a handover the buttons change into hieroglyphs only to revert back immediately when help arrives. 

You stand there warmed by both the paper in your hand and the shame. 

I’ve got a handover tomorrow, the questions I genuinely want to ask “what is he/she like to work with” “can I check hotmail” and the like are relegated to the sidelines. 

On the upside I get to people watch and play Switzerland for the invariable office politics which will surface after the second day.

So I have been called a few times from different agencies over the same sort of role.  As ever the debil was in the detail and you can tell the minute you’re being sold a naff role by the fact that the consultant will take ambiguity to near olympic levels.

Unimportant stuff like salary, hours and such are waived in preference to “great fun environment” and so so.  Anyway, this role involves a selection day*. 


On the upside I’ve got a couple weeks of work and though it means donning more formal gear it’ll mean regular pay and a break from daytime tv.  Class.

(*selection day a paradox as the roles these usually occur in are the most basic of admin roles.  I reckon I could find 8 objects on the beach that would pass them)

A rare foray into something serious - a few weeks ago I replied to a job I’d seen on Gumtree.  My spidey-sense started tingling with the salary which was way above the norm but I applied anyhow.

Two days later I got a reply from someone who was recruiting on behalf of the client.  They had seen my CV and wanted me to fill in an application form. 

According to the email I would need to download these forms, they weren’t Word and I wondered if this person also recruited for the Nigerian princes who occassionally email me with offers of sumptuous fortunes.  Perhaps also the nice Ukranian girls who are looking to get married know her.  It’s a small world.

My spidey-senses had moved from tingle to concerning itch to A&E throb.  I did a bit of googling and it turns out that this download is no form (gasps from audience) but a trojan virus. 

Ironically the virus concerned looks to nab bank info off your computer, but surely robbing from those unemployed isn’t going to lead to an Aladin’s cave unless you mean one which is empty and has an IOU in it.

Keep ‘em peeled.

Part of the game is rejection and genuine honest feedback is deep fried gold. I was fortunate that the recruitment consultant dealing with my application for a role seems to be a Nice Consultant (see Origin of Species).

Apparently the fact that I held a couple different roles in my last company (due to relocation and reasons explained in my CV) meant rejection due to moving around too much was the soup du jour.

The consultant is narked with the organisation as they’ve been rejecting people left, right and centre for the most banal of reasons.  If you have the energy and enough caffeine read my page Everything you need to know and you’ll see how clients (the organisations who have the jobs) can be utter twunts sometimes.

Onwards and upwards (but sideways will do too).

Recent temp role saw me on reception in a health clinic. This wouldn’t be a problem but there was no handover, the experience can best be defined as minimalist.  Here are the toilets, the kettle and the reception desk.

On the upside I was given the log in details of the person I was covering so I could “browse the net if bored” (oh joyous words).  This also gave me access to the desktop including the email software the person used.

Tip: emails in ‘deleted’ folder aren’t deleted and may as well have a bullseye on them.  I now have a fascinating insight into someone I’ll never meet.