Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Such is the Life of An Every Day Temp

After three weeks of reasonably entertaining posts and a fantastic time with he who has now gone home, the doldrums have set in big time. I miss him, I miss being on holiday, I have no money, need a proper job and Winter's hit us with a vengeance.  I shouldn't complain too much,  since I managed to acquire a contract job the day after his irreverent loveliness went home but oh the banality of it all.

So for the next few weeks, I'm working for a major cordial/bottler of a high profile range of soft drinks - not quite the number 1 but a close second if you catch my drift  Although to look at the security around here, you'd think they were bottling Dom Perignon Front door is on an open on bell system, I have to lock down EVERYTHING before I leave. Everyone has a security tag to get in and out although every tag has the name of the company ON IT which I thought a bit stupid "Hey, Gazza, Look just found a (popular brand soft drink manufacturer's) security tag! Let's go nick some (not quite the number 1 soft drink)"  Of course I lost mine after a week and have to pay twenty buckaroos to replace it.

There are perks of course. I can help myself to the drinks fridge but I don't actually like it much.  The premium drinks aren't available to staff . .especially that energy drink that makes you fly and the other one that has you dancing to heavy metal bands in your lunch break. There is a little Iced Tea or that Water which is supposed to make you smarter.

Anyway. The job is half a day of Admin and relief reception while my partner in crime has a cuppa or a wee. Then reception from 1pm when the other receptionist leaves for the day and whatever admin I can squeeze in between calls, which isn't much.

In the morning I receive some emails with very pretty graphs and spreadsheets noting the sales teams efforts. These I dutifully cut and paste into A3 charts and hang on the wall that nobody ever looks at. Seriously, I could hang the same ones back up again and not a soul would notice. Much to the wonder and amazement of the girl who used to do them, she is absolutely flabbergasted that I can do this in about 20 minutes when it took her hours to adjust margins and change page orientation. Er hello darlin' just cut and paste special into a Word doc as a Metaphile and bring to front to adjust?  Apparently that's a stroke of genius. Yeh, imagine, me wicked smaht?

Then there's usually a bit of binding to do. Whenever anyone asks me though I remember that line from "The Craft"  and ask them which member of staff they'd like me to shut up with a spell.  Seriously, binding can be quite dangerous as I hurt my finger slamming down the guillotine handle and jamming it against the lever for the spirally thingamebobs.

Then I've had to do some really exciting stuff like check serial numbers on PDA's and accessories and ring a few reps to find out why they have so many batteries when the only have one iPhone and charger. So you see, this position is intellectually stimulating and packed with variety and requiring me to dig deep into the gamut of skills I have honed over the past umpty years.

At about 10:30am, I feel like a caffeine hit and wonder into the rather nice canteen where thankfully I can get an espresso, whilst perving at bunch of burley blokes in hi viz vests, hair nets and safety glasses. A rather rotund canteen lady with an enormous rack and netted white hair, grumpily makes me a flat white with one, and laments the fact that I only have a $5 note and she needs change before whining about how hard it is making corned beef and mash for 150 factory workers.

Then there's the big project. An Excel database of contracts, dates, orders and contacts because even though they have a very sophisticated SAP system with provision for all of this information (and much of it already keyed), it seems only a handful of people know how to extrapolate reports so we're going back to the 'old ways'. That sort of takes me through to lunch which at this point in my economic doldrums is a cigarette and a free Iced Tea or Smart Water (God knows I need a litre of that each day) which I hate but  . . . hello? It's free!

Then all afternoon on reception, fiddling with the database but mostly signing those funny little courier pads that make your writing look retarded, (What? You didn't expect political correctness here did you?) answering phones, guiding lost fork lift drivers to the right part of the building - one was rather gorgeous - and downing a double Twix at 3pm from the vending machine.  No wonder I'm breaking out in zits.

The most exciting part of the day happens from about 4:30pm when the Startrack dude comes to pick up the overnight envelopes. Yeh, he's cute, and chatty (Hmm seem to have a penchant for cute and chatty). Then, I lock the fridges and the storeroom because apparently if it isn't nailed down it will take flight, put the console on 'night mode' and trundle home.

So that's it. . . kinda sad innit? Over 50 jobs applied for, 5 rejected, the rest unanswered or in the process of being short-listed and me . . surrounded by huge stainless steel tanks of tonic water and creaming soda.


Soda soda everywhere and not a drop to drink. But I'm very helpful . . .


22 comments:

Kathy G said...

Since it's easier to find a job when you HAVE a job, maybe this will bring you luck.

hokgardner said...

Ugh. I temped for six months after moving to ATX. Some of the jobs were great, others were just demoralizing.

Hang in there.

Roy said...

Just be thankful for the income. I speak from hard experience!

Brian Miller said...

eh, could be worse...and just think of it as research...you are getting some good context for a killer story...

Janice said...

Ah well...at least you've got some bucks coming into your purse. Always nice since we like to eat.

"Irreverent loveliness" - I enjoyed that. What a great description. It matches all the fun pictures I've viewed of your holiday together.

nick said...

That sounds dire. I've done a few jobs like that myself and couldn't wait to escape. I hope some of the other applications bear fruit.

grannymar said...

Just think of the money at the end of the day!

Grannymar

Quickroute said...

Doesn't sound so bad - don't go giving away any of those techie tips unless a permy contract or lump sum is forthcoming

Betsy said...

yep, we knew you were 'wicked smart' haha. :)

kj said...

no no no hells. this is not for you.

shoot me for saying this, but i after reading this i think you should go back to school so you can do something that you truly LOVE and is reasonably marketable. i know there are a zillion reasons not to, billions of them because of money, but this job is not where your head and heart reside.

of course, i love you no matter what you do, as long as it doesn't interfer with a certain u.s. and provincetown visit.


kj

Isabella Golightly said...

Come to upholstery school with me - you don't need to be wasting your talents on a bunch of sugared up turkeys...

Alan Burnett said...

No it is not kinda sad because within that dull routine lies the blueprint and framework for that great novel we all know you have in you.

unstranger said...

Baino; you rock! Effin-brilliant take on the new job. Superb writing.

Mim said...

Hells dear - this made me giggle and laugh out loud. . Despite the absurdity of it all - you still have a way of putting things that hit it right on the nose. Have you ever read monica dickens book about when she worked as a cook for various families despite being "above" them on the social scale? Hilarious. Anyway - sounds like a sucky job but think of it as fodder for your "tell all" book about being a mature woman in the working world. Hey...sounds perfect for a miss em illustration.
Anyway - sorry the job is so silly. Keep your chin up

Tom said...

welcome back to the real world...no wonder everyone's always so depressed. bleh

blackwatertown said...

Don't give away all your genius secrets - let them be in awe of your magic for a while.

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Hmmmm,you ARE makin' the best of it AND cute and chatty isn't all bad. :)

Pam said...

Sounds like the drinks are the only things in the surroundings with a bit of fizz!
Good to know you have Startrack Dude to look forward to an 4.30 each night. That's a bit of incentive. A friend of mine used to live to see the agile easy-on-the-eye window cleaner at her work to brighten the day, but that was only once in a blue moon!

Kath Lockett said...

Helen
I cried and laughed reading this. The boredom, worry and heartache you feel is painfully evident and yet you can see that there's poetry and humour in the drudgery and idiocy that surrounds you.
This is a crapulous chapter in your life, but it will get better and, as other admirers here have said - keep those fandangled techie tips to yourself to get a promotion/raise/extension and use this material for your novel.

Hugs to you - even in this situation you inspire the hell out of me.

Megan said...

What can I say. I wish you didn't have to work at all. Oh, and I wish I didn't have to, either. I wish there could be a permanent floating house party.

xoxo

kylie said...

i just wanna know why they are wearing hairnets in the canteen?

PattiKen said...

I see the need for the security. I mean, what if someone stole the secret formula??? Egad.

I put in my time (lots of it) as a temp. My experiences whilst sitting on the switchboard for one company included both an obscene phone call and a bomb threat. Does it get more exciting than that? Well, yeah, actually, it does. My favorite temp job was at a brewery, where in the coffee room, along with the coffee maker and the microwave, was a working beer tap.

BTW, one of those temp jobs became permanent, lasting over 10 years. So keep on keepin' on. You never know where it may lead.