The life of a temp

On just a regular Monday I got a call from a temp agency that I have done some work for in the past.  They wanted to know if they could put me forward for a position, I said why not.  I think the whole world knows that I have been on the lookout for new opportunities.  The following day, half an hour before I was to head to my usual job, I got a phone call to say that the company wanted me and I was to start on Thursday. The only problem was I already had a job, although I had only been getting limited hours, I think my employer was still expecting me to work for them.

With my resignation letter in hand I approached my supervisor who didn’t think it was necessary for me to resign and that I could just take leave without pay.  It was very kind of them. However I did warn them that I may not return, they didn’t seem to mind.

The life of a temporary staff member is interesting.  The new work conditions, the personalities and team dynamic. These are some of my recent adventures.

  • I have been laughed at.  Apparently I am really bubbly and have lots of energy and that’s funny in a good way….  Looking around my office I could see how one may think I have been sprinkled with a little crazy dust.  How dare I come to work happy and stay that way for the whole day  😉
  • I have experienced one-upmanship.  I let the baby have their bottle, but in my head I was singing ‘Anything you can do, I can do better’. ha ha
  • I have been given the crap jobs that no one wants to do, but that’s pretty standard for temping.
  • I have been allocated work from the student who is currently studying to obtain the qualification I achieved 10 years ago.  I was offended for a second and then remembered I was being paid contractor rates.  If the organisation thinks that this is the best use of my time, then I’m not going to complain.  That’s money for jam.
  • Within 5 days I was drawn into office politics. I was asked to redo  work done by someone else and wasn’t allowed to tell her because she will get upset.  I warned that this was only going to end badly.
  • There are so many chiefs. Everyone other than my supervisor has an opinion on what I should be doing.
  • People who talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.  I love to talk and walk 😉
  • I have not heard from my contracting company, but that’s not a surprise. They have their money from the client.
  • I have never worked anywhere where the hours have been so flexiable. Leave early if you want too, if you can’t work 38 hours that’s ok. We don’t need to know the days you are working, we will know when you turn up.

Overall I have been pretty lucky. All of my temp positions have been good placements with great co-workers. I currently feel a little under utilised, I could really tighten up some of their processes for them. I guess it’s hard for an organisation to trust someone with the hard stuff when they know very little about me. I should probably be careful what I wish for.

The words that are difficult to say

I haven’t really told anyone.  My husband told his parents, I told my employer and mentioned it to a friend in an email as a way of explaining why I didn’t want to commit to catching up.  I’m not opposed to telling people, but it’s like I can’t physically get the words out, my body won’t let me.  That being said I told my brother and sister.  You have no idea how hard it is to say the word Cancer when it means something to you.  Someone I love has the Big C.

I quite often get referred to as a strong person or a rock. I think I have always been mentally tough. On personality tests I rate low in emotion, so maybe that has something to do with it.  Or maybe it’s because I tackle issues head on because I don’t want them to linger. Or maybe it’s because I had good role models.  I come from a line of tough women who endured more than I could ever imagine and came out on the other side still standing and ready to fight again. I’m a believer in doing whatever you have to do in order to survive. My mental toughness is being tested, but I’m hanging in there.  Mums are special people.  I remember when I was a kid we would all get colds, but my mum never did.  Her explanation was that I am too busy to get sick.

I have entered this strange world. A co-worker whose father in-law was recently diagnosed with leukaemia told me that it is always there, the cancer.  Even when you think that you are not thinking about it, it is there in the back of your mind.  It’s like being followed around by a cloud.

My adult gap year, my year of discovery doesn’t seem so important anymore.