Tag Archives: timeline of a temp gig

Timeline for a Temp Gig*

Days 1-3
Look up new job site on Google Maps and calculate commute via public and private transport. Show up freshly showered in your best slacks 10 minutes early. Make small talk, try to learn names. Drink one cup of free coffee and avoid the candy bowl at your reception desk. You can’t believe they’re paying you to blog, read The Awl and answer the phone once an hour. What luck!

Days 3-5
Arrive at 9:00 am exactly. Pull hair back in lieu of washing. Say good morning, get second cup of free coffee.  Eat two miniature snickers bars from candy bowl. Deflect telemarketers with curt, but polite precision.  Enjoy growing pride in subverting their attempts to talk to the media buyers. Stop trying to learn everyone’s name and wait to be addressed directly. Post stunning new insights on the corporate world on personal blog, tweet excessively, revel in uptick in cleverness output.

Days 5-10
Push arrival time to 9:15. What are they gonna do, FIRE you?  Angle bathroom hand dryer to aerate the smell of last night’s five gin & gingers from under your rumpled 3rd generation officewear. Forget the name-to-face recognition you learned the first week, start identifying coworkers by their phone extensions. Open and read every link on your Twitter feed but find no blogging inspiration.  Use phone message pads to compose art haiku. Spend hours flicking through your own Facebook photos.  Increase coffee intake to four cups.

Third week
Arrive begrudgingly punctual after reprimand from supervisor. Ignore looks that indicate coworkers notice you’re wearing the same clothes as yesterday. Grumble about being grossly underpaid to deal with all these assholes on the phone all the time.  I mean, really, what are you, the den mother?  People can’t even answer their own damn phones? Coffee intake incalculable due to chain-sipping. Someone asks you for a band-aid from the first aid kit behind your desk; backs away from vitriolic scowl. Jesus Christ. Lose patience with media blogs for not posting frequently enough.

Fourth week
Start new allegorical blog about a poor pixie caged by ogres and forced to answer phones in capitalist palace dungeon. Wear sunglasses inside, citing the AC drying out your eyes. Leave for lunch at 11:30 and return at 1:00.  This is your last week, anyway. Drink all the communal milk from kitchen fridge and empty candy bowl into your gullet instead of $10 midtown lunches that have been cutting into the pittance they are paying you to shoulder this Atlas load of responsibility. Quit coffee when the shakes set in. Sigh loudly into phone receiver before delivering greeting. Engage telemarketers, become friends and scheme to fly to Tulsa or Mumbai to tie one on once this damn gig is over. Disable Facebook and Twitter accounts, think seriously about changing religions.

Final day
Show up ten minutes early, freshly pressed and blown-dry. Inform everyone in office this is your last day, put on wistful, frowny face and tell them what a wonderful experience this has been.


*Attention potential employers: This, being humor, is not a true reflection of my work ethic nor is it representative of what I may or may not be doing at your company, right this second.  My references will attest that I am wonderfully friendly phone-answering dynamo.  And I don’t drink milk.