The Negative Side of Temporary Employment

I know you’re reading this on Monday, but I’m writing it on Friday. I just don’t want to think about not being in this place first thing Monday when I hop on WordPress. I’ll try to keep myself busy until my night job shift, but it’s going to be weird.

You see, one of the biggest downsides of temporary employment is that…..well……. it’s temporary. No matter how much you absolutely love a place, or an office, or a group of co-workers, none of that is yours. It all belongs to someone else, and you’re just keeping their chair warm. Sure, once you’re placement is done you can start sleeping in again, and sitting around in your jammies. And the amount of laundry you’ll have to do will shrink like crazy, since you never have to put on real pants right now.

But there’s also a whole lot of negative sides to this temporary employment thing, besides the fact that you have to leave in the end.

-you have no security. The office I’m in is unionized. I’m not part of the union, since I’m a temp. This means lower wages, no benefits, no sick days, and definitely no job security. If the person who usually works here wanted to come back 3 weeks early, then I would have been out of a job 3 weeks sooner, no notice given. You’re just a disposable employee when you’re a temp. Some people won’t even bother to learn your name.

-nothing is yours. Your office, your desk, your chair…… they’re all someone else’s. You can’t decorate, or get a comfy chair, or move the computer to where it’s easiest for you to use. If there is something in that office (a filing cabinet, computer files everywhere, electronic chords running all over the floor) that drives you nuts, and that you know you could greatly improve, you can’t. You can’t change a damn thing.

-you’re not always going to get the best job instructions. I was lucky this time: I had a 3 page document waiting for me on the computer keyboard, outlining the most important things I needed to know. I’ve talked to people who were given nothing close to this. Some I’ve talked to were basically shown to their chair and told to start pulling up files, entering data, and were never even introduced to their co-workers.

-the pay isn’t the greatest. I’m lucky to make a few bucks over minimum wage here. The other office staff here make quite a bit more than me, though. Plus benefits, sick days, vacation time, and other perks. I’m doing most of the job of the person who is usually here, for half the price. Knowing that starts to make you feel used at times.

-you have to leave. I know I already said this, but it really sucks. As of today (when you’re reading this, not when I’m writing this), I will have no steady income, no way to pay my bills, and no clue when I will get an assignment again.

So, if I disappear for a week or so, it’s just the anxiety kicking in. One of the major triggers for me is my finances, so the next little while is going to be pretty rough.

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