Thursday, July 13, 2006

The DUaB Guide to...temping

Go ahead punk...

After the mildly resounding success of my guide to hostelling, here's another in the series of DUaB Guides - this time, temping!!!

- The key to being a popular temp is to turn up on time, be polite, and do anything that's asked of you. Temps get the demeaning, mundane jobs; you just have to live with it. When you get back to your proper job later, take it out on any temps you have there - you'll feel better.

- Always make sure the timesheet is signed and ready to go by the appointed time on Friday, otherwise you won't get paid. Then pencil in another couple of hours work here and there, and fax it off. Go home early.

- Remember the best thing about temping is the complete lack of responsibility. Temps are the least stressed people in the office, as they know they are only expendible drones who can be replaced with a phone call. So if you knock a bottle of Tippex over your keyboard - don't worry. When everyone's gone home, swap it with that idiot who always talks about rugby, and then carefully blob white marks on a third person's desk. Sit back and enjoy.

- The temps worst enemy, their nemesis, their bete noire, is the photocopier. Treat it with scorn at every opportunity (and being a temp you'll get plenty of them). As soon as it senses you don't work there full time, it will jam and make painfully prolonged grating noises. Leave the room straight away - if anyone asks, say the last person to use it was "that bloke with the Simpsons tie from accounts".

- Find the person in the office that smokes the most, and befriend them. Go out of the building with them every time they go for a fagbreak. If you don't actually smoke, just say you recently quit and appreciate their support. Take a battered biro and chew on it whilst looking mournful - this will get you sympathy from everyone in the office and plenty of chances to stand outside in the sun.

- If someone sends you a long email you want to read, or if you find an interesting article on the internet - simply copy and paste it into a Word document and make the font smaller. You can read it at your leisure, you don't have the internet window open for all to see, and it looks like you're working.

- Go up to a random person and say "That was a bit of a shock from Head Office the other day, wasn't it? The bad news they said had been coming? Oh - you didn't get the email? Ah. What department do you work in?" When they tell you, breathe in sharply, shake your head, and walk away.

- Temps don't get time off or leave, so if you need that day off come up with a believeable excuse and call in. Make it convincing - as did the temp who worked next to me in North Sydney one day. However I'd seen him through a window, dancing in a gay bar, as I was walking to work that very morning (true story).