Tuesday, 11 December 2007

If Temp Jobs Were Superheros

...I would have landed myself a week of being rescued by Super Trainspotter Man.

It appears I have managed to take on the most boring of temp jobs ever for the remainder of this week. Summoned to Theatreland in the heart of Covent Garden at 12pm this afternoon, I happily nipped onto the tube with much needed pound signs glowing in my eyes. I went to the building, 2nd floor and after waiting for 15 minutes in reception, was told to go to the 1st floor. This I did. Except, the people on the 1st floor had no idea what I was there for. I, in turn, had no idea who I was meant to see. What should I do? Go back upstairs, apparently, and find out who I needed to see. This I did, and returned downstairs a minute later with the instructions that 'I am a temp from Agency, sent to help with archiving'. Still no joy. Eventually Receptionist 2 stopped patronising me long enough to call upstairs herself to find out what the hell was going on. And so the job begun.

In short, this weeks job description? Cheif Photocopier. A menial task which I hate, not least because photocopiers and me...well, we don't get on. I use one, it breaks. Stops. Jams. Spits paper. Runs out of paper. Beeps at me. Drives me mad. In fact, the first thing I broke this afternoon was the stapler which I managed to put the wrong size staples in. The stapler rejected them fiercely. Ever had to tell someone that you need a new stapler because the one you were using broke when you forced the wrong staples into it? It's demeaning.

The staff in this particular media hive remind me of those rare times at university where I had the misfortune to get caught up outside the drama centre, among the gossiping, fawning, gay folk. The girls have names like "Kitty", "Lottie" and various other flowers of hyphenated joy. On handing me my highly complicated task which was then re-explained to me 5 times (I think they mistook my facial expression of 'That's it?' for 'Eh?'), one luvvie uttered the words 'Thanks, Ange', as if it was perfectly normal to a) call another female you've known for a minute 'Angel' and b) shorten it to 'Ange'. The men are, without exception, all gay. This would not be a bad thing, if they could manage to keep their voices down, schweety darling, fabulous, oh my hasn't she put on weight?, and not broadcast their phone conversation to the whole of W1.

The fact that I'm offered this job on a Tuesday afternoon tells me someone has already walked. However, if completing this week means I can a) be within sniffing distance of Karen Millen on payday this Friday, and b) go on a ski trip in January without feeling guilty, I shall stick it out.

Pray for me and my degenerating brain.


Reluctant Blogger said...

haha yeah I'll pray for you, Ange!

I think everyone has done that crappy job at some time or other. I was once a dogsbody in some Godforsaken place in Notting Hill and my main job was acting as skivvy to this woman (tempted to put her name in - she's probably googlable!) and she used to summon me to refill her stapler. Can you believe it -she'd sit there with stapler in one hand and staples in the other and I had to fill it!! And yeah, I used to put the wrong bloody ones in just to wind her up.

Photocopying is the pits but a good opportunity to get any personal copying done for free. You could produce free copies of your thesis as delightful Christmas gifts for all the family!!!?

James said...

Those jobs are character building (gee I sound like my Dad). During my University years I had a couple of stinkers. One involved phoning up companies chasing outstanding debt. Given they only gave me the amount owed and phone numbers I didn't do very well.
"We owe how much? What for?"
"I don't know I'm just a temp"
"Well I'm not paying nothing till I know what it is for"
"Okay, goodbye"
My plan of not being very good backfired when they moved me to a job stuffing letters in envelopes for a mailshot.

But the worst job has to be counting sheets of paper. It was a stationary factory and being the temp I got the counting paper job. "Just count that pallet of paper into sheets of 50". It gets very boring counting from 1-50 in your head for a whole day. Just think about that next time you buy a 50(ish!)sheet pad of paper from Woolworths.

China Blue said...

Oh God. Sounds awful! I too had a crappy temp job, working for a famous stationers in one of their ditribution offices. The other temps were cool, the staff were not. We lied on our timesheets and got extra pay.

It's true, though. They do build character, but 'bitter and twisted' wasn't quite what I was aiming for.

weenie said...

Hey, I've done the crappy photocopying temp job before! Do you have a desk? I didn't, had to balance everything on my lap...

There are worse jobs...just think of the pennies you'll get...

Alex said...

Character building? Character building my ass! These jobs are horrendously patronising, and should not be performed by anyone with brain power. We've all had them I suppose, and as you say, money is money is money. But I refuse to do demeaning work again.

I once had the job of selling crisps and chocolate at Man. City games. I've walked around the City of Manchester stadium hundreds of times, and my word, it must top my list of demeaning jobs, particularly as the company employing assumed we all had no braincells.

weenie said...

I once had the job of selling crisps and chocolate at Man. City games. I've walked around the City of Manchester stadium hundreds of times

When were you doing this? I've been going to some City games over the past few years...may have bought crisps off you! :-O

London-Lass said...

I shall pray nightly for you.

Am not sure where you see your career path taking you, but if you end up in the admin sector I dont think you ever truly escape from the menial. It will always be there trying to bite you on your arse, unless you put your pretty liddle foot down. Which I do, and often. Particularly when one boss (I work for FOUR you see) leaves an envelope on the side. For me to put sellotape on. And, although I am not an Office Junior/Girl Friday (and havent been for the last .. oo .. 15 years) but a high flying all powerful PA (o yeh) certain bosses will still try it on.

Jo said...

reluctant - Name and shame! And that idea is a very good one, although I even got demoted from photocopying towards the end!

James - Wow, that is a really shit job. I nearly got roped into stuffing envelopes yesterday. Fucking awful. I wouldn't mind but I signed up for secretarial work!

China - As I filled in my timesheet yesterday, the girl goes 'Oh you should have put more hours down, he wouldn't have noticed'..like, oh thanks for telling me NOW hes already signed it...

weenie - thankfully I had a desk and it even got switched on once for internet...wowwwww!

Alex - Patronising is the name of the game..I hate doing stuff that other people can't be arsed to do. For £8 an hour, its not worth the bad feeling it gives you.

londonlass - Its making me determined to find a job that I really like. I'm not settling for this shit, my mind can't hack it! I was suffering from boredom, like my brain was actually hurting from lack of use.


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