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.

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.