# 53 (2013) Temper temper
I first started temping in London in the late 1990s when it was lucrative and you could get some very interesting assignments. It wasn’t always like that but generally once you’d got yourself into a big company and proved your worth they were reluctant to let you go and you could bounce from one short term position to another for years.
You felt valued for it because you were filling in an important gap in the machinery, quickly and with little stress. Because hiring someone, asking them to sit at a desk and do a job with no training other than ‘this is who you are working for, this is your computer and this is your phone’ was a standard introduction. And if you could instantly become good at your job based on that, you were in luck. I made it a specialty of mine and it kept me in work for years.
Temping isn’t quite what it used to be and I’ve just returned after a nearly four year absence. Maybe it’s because I am no longer working in London. Maybe things have just changed. These days you often have to go through an interview post agency sign up and the jobs can be less than challenging.
I’m still trying to work out why I was hired for my present contract. It’s a 37 hour week for 4 – 6 weeks but at a push I probably manage to fill the equivalent of just one day a week with useful work. I’ve not tried to pretend to be busy. I’d rather be doing constructive things than trying to look busy reading the company website for the third time in a day or trying to frank the mail as slowly as possible to make that last hour just a little bit more interesting. I work fast and efficiently. Maybe that is one of my problems.
I am exasperated. I feel like my brain is dying and I am wasting my life. I shouldn’t be. I’m earning money and paying bills. That has to count for a lot. And I always say I’d rather be in a job I hate than have no income. BUT when I think of all the other things I need to be doing it pains me. I do hope things improve. I know it’s not London, but come on guys.