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.

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For the first time in my life, I’m on the Naughty List

Throughout my life I have always tried to do the right thing.

I have always tried to arrive on time at school, work and functions.  I’ve never taken a sick day when I wasn’t really sick.  If anything, I would go into work even though I was feeling very ordinary.   I have always met deadlines and continued working until the job was done, regardless of whether I was being paid. My previous employers would all describe me as being very hardworking, loyal and reliable. One of my previous Manager’s would consistently tell me not to work so late, because it wasn’t worth it.  Somewhere along the way this year, I wandered off my straight and narrow track and have found myself on the Naughty List.

Maybe it was when I took time off work because I was bored and went and contracted for another company for a week.  Or maybe it was because I went into work one day and told my Team Leader that I was enrolled in fulltime study and my availability for work was very limited. Or maybe it was because a week later I went back to my Team Leader and advised I was now studying part time and I could work pretty much whenever.

I have seen my colleagues that I started work with back in April excel.  Receiving increased hours, opportunities for training and advancement.  My hours have seriously declined over the last 6 weeks.  There was a time when I was working almost fulltime hours even though I was a casual, but that has all changed now. I am being consistently rostered for 30 hours a fortnight.  The job I have found to be really boring has become even more dull.

The other week I received a call from a temp agency wanting me to do an assignment working 2 days a week for a 4 week period.  I politely declined because I thought that I should be a bit more loyal to my current employer.  I was really annoyed at my self when I went back into work and found yet again, I had only been rostered for 2 days a week.  I should have taken the temp job, clearly I had the availability.

I have asked my Team Leader a couple of times about my hours.  I thought that my changes in availability would affect my roster initially, but I had hoped it would settle down.  I have had consistent attendance and availability for the last 5 weeks and my hours haven’t change.  I approached my Team Leader about the Naughty List but apparently it doesn’t exist. I was told that if my performance was truly an issue I would be taken to a small office down the back ‘for a chat’.

There may not be an official Naughty List, but I feel there is a mark against my name.  I know that I have brought this on myself, but maybe this has all happened because I applied for a job that I was never destined to enjoy.  It was never going to be exciting or busy enough. I have far too much energy to sit around waiting for a customer to call.  Most people would enjoy the quiet time at work, but it drives me nuts.

This is my year of discovery and I have discovered that quiet office jobs are not for me.

Am I the only one without an end plan?

Starting a patisserie course has sparked many questions from the gallery.  Everyone wants to know what I am going to do when I finish my course.  Most people are not satisfied with my response when I say that I don’t know.

Questions like ‘You must have some idea?’ or ‘Why are you doing it then?’ have been thrown my way.

I am beginning to wonder whether most people have an end plan.  Do most people plan their lives, get jobs, and enrol in courses knowing exactly where they are headed?  Am I in the minority by not having an end plan?

My reluctance to plan out my life has brought me to this year, my year of discovery. It is likely that my go with the flow attitude will mean that at the end of my year, I may still not have an end plan and maybe I never will.

My lack of planning is intentional.  I want to leave myself open to experience everything that life has to offer and take advantage of opportunities that come my way.  I’m not sitting on the couch all day receiving an unemployment benefit, I’m keeping busy.

I work 4 days a week. I do yoga, boxing and running. I have one midweek class and an all day Saturday class.  I’m also trying to finish my agents representative course, keep up to date on social media and trying stay in touch with friends and family.  I’m also in the process of looking for a new job, because my current job is not challenging enough and I’m bored.  Sometimes I feel like I’m doing everything and nothing.

It’s possible that I will work in the hospitality industry when I finish my course, but then again I might run away and join the circus.  Anything is possible.

I guess when I think about it, my end plan is to survive and to get to the end of my life having lived the best possible life I could.

 

Creating a sweet life

This year my career journey has been a rollercoaster and has included thoughts of real estate, volunteering abroad, horticulture and property development. Only to end up back at the original idea I had more than 15 years ago.  My latest thought is to be a Pastry Chef.

I have always loved food. I love to eat and I love to cook, particularly sweet things.  I have been inspired during my life by the amazing women in my family who could captivate a room with their cooking ability.

My Nonna was a whiz in the kitchen. I experienced wonderful home grown, homemade Italian food.  We didn’t really do dessert; some biscotti, crostoli, zeppole and cannoli that was about it, but that was enough. I have inherited from my nonna the art of being quick in life and in the kitchen.  I’m always in a hurry to get things done so I can move on to the next task. I can still hear her sometimes in her own creative English language Quicka! Quicka!

My Australian grandma was the queen of sponge cakes, powder puffs and potent trifles, a treasure of the local Country Women’s Association.  She passed over 20 years ago, but people still speak of her glorious cakes and desserts today.  I still recall her afternoon teas and suppers with a smile.  The development of my sweet tooth started at her house.

And then there is my mum, she is perfection in the kitchen.  Everything has to be made precisely and cooked and presented beautifully.  Everything is made with love and care.  I wish I had some of her patience.

Recently I wrote about An interview that could change my life.  I heard back and I was accepted.  I start my Hospitality Patisserie Course next week. I have enrolled fulltime, but I’m trying to be a little smart about it and have enquired about part time, so I can work a bit more on the side. Living on love will not pay the bills or any upcoming travel adventures.

It’s a little scary how things can happen so quickly. I think I am on the right track with Patisserie. Although I haven’t decided whether this is something I am doing to feed my passions or whether I will make a career out of it one day. I have been asked by many people what I will do when I finish the course, I honestly don’t know and I’m okay with that.

Life is an adventure and I’m just rolling with it.

What is the smart thing to do

To recap my adventure so far: I left my career as an Environmental Health Officer (health inspector) because it was no longer enough. I had changed, the industry had changed, but in reality I never really enjoyed what I did for more than 8 hours a day 5 days a week. 2013 is about discovering myself and what I want to be when I grow up, if I ever grow up.

I’m currently passing the time working casually as an inbound customer service agent. People call me and I give them general information. It’s boring. What I have come to realise about myself is that I like to be entertained. I like to be busy, I like action and I like diversity and change. Everything that my current job is not, so I went looking for some action.

I found a temporary position advertised for an Environmental Health Officer. The position was for only a week and I thought maybe that’s what I needed to put some excitement back into my work life. Clearly absence makes the heart grow fonder, because there was a time when I was sure I was never going back.

Once I enquired about the position, things happened quickly and within no time I had advised my current employer not to roster me for a week and I was back inspecting.

The first half day was pretty tough. I could not believe I had gone back to a career I didn’t like, particularly after it had taken so much strength to leave. Had I sold myself out? What would become of my adult gap year? I was a little angry with myself.

Once I relaxed, I soon realised that I was enjoying myself. It was one week out of my life. I hadn’t changed my mind about a new career path. It was just nice to be back in a job where I knew what I was doing and I felt I was using my skills. Time flew. The job I was doing was easy and why wouldn’t it be easy, I had done it for nearly 10 years. Best of all at the end of the week, I could hand the files back and drive off into the sunset.

So back to the customer service job I went. When I was first offered the job, I thought it would be great for my adult gap year because it was casual and it would give me some money and I would have the time to follow my passions. But now I am working fulltime hours in a job that I don’t enjoy, I am being paid not much more than minimum wage and I have very little time to dedicate to my journey.

I find myself being drawn towards contract Environmental Health Officer positions. It’s not something I really want to do, but I’m wondering whether it is the smart thing to do. Being a specialist role, the money would be good and I could work half the amount of time I am now, allowing me to up skill in other areas to transition to a new career.

My week returning to Environmental Health has made me realise that I don’t have a desire to work in the field again permanently. However I could do it on a short term basis if I have too.

An interview that could change my life

I am still in pursuit of my dreams and in the process trying to work out what I want to do when I grow up. This week I took another small step towards something new and exciting. I had an interview. It wasn’t a job interview, but it could definitely lead me down a different career path.

As I sat on the train heading home afterwards, I reflected on my outing. That one little interview, that small amount of time out of my day could have just set things in motion that would change the rest of my life.

As I impatiently wait the next two weeks to hear whether I am in or out, I’m brushing up on some skills.

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Troubled by a dream

The other night I had a dream that I went back to being an Environmental Health Officer. In my dream I was happy. I awoke from my dream a little annoyed with myself. Do I want to be a Health Inspector again?? My immediate thought was NO!! So why am I dreaming about it with so much fondness. What am I missing?

I am at week 4 in my new job. Recently I completed my timesheet. Sitting at my desk, I peered down at my total number of hours worked for the fortnight. It was 42. Uncontrollably a broad smile filled my face which soon turned into laughter. This was crazy; I only worked 42 hours in two weeks. Before I had decided to take my gap year, I would work more than that in one week. I was stressed, grumpy and tired, uninspired and felt unappreciated.

Although my income is significantly less then it once was, I didn’t think it mattered because I am happy. But I am beginning to wonder whether I am missing some of the challenges that come with a higher paid job……