Life at 51 WPM

Temping is the lowest form of academic existence. It is not nice, but sometimes necessary for the disillusioned Graduate’s survival.

How come there are more agencies than there were implants in Lollo Ferrari’s (RIP) chest, and they still fail to find people work? And who designs these typing and computer literacy tests? My theory is that somewhere out there lives a lonesome nerd (think the Wizard of Oz crossbred with Bill Gates), rubbing his hands with glee as he comes up with ingenious lines like ‘good spelling is highly beneficial for the call centre employee. Particularly in Hawaii is it necessary to receive the highest standard of homeopathic aptitude in order to maintain the separate entities of spiritual and psychological well-being’. You get the idea. Alongside these spelling and typing challenges, the nerd engineers spreadsheet and word processing challenges that only the toughest, most seasoned, brainless secsinthecity-in-waiting will ever master.

Keyboard and – God forbid – mouse shortcuts are the essence of evil, thus not allowed to be employed on such occasions. They make the lonesome nerd cry and our life easier. And what would be the point of that? It’s way more fun to let them suffer, let them fail and leave them feeling computerly inadequate because their Excel skills only came up as ‘very basic’.

Another favourite is doing the obligatory sit-ins. Armed with Heat and Hello! Magazines to get into the swing of a potential day in an office, you hang around the agency for two hours only to find there is no work available. In the meantime, you have a choice of studying aforementioned magazines (ie. hone your conversational skills for later in the day) or you could learn how to touchtype with a special program. SALAD LADS LALA DALA SALADS ADA SAD SAD SAD!!! VERY SAD …

Obviously, things get even more amusing when you actually go out on an assignment! This can go two different ways: either you are ‘the temp’ for the day (why bother with names, you won’t be there for long, will you) or you end up on one of those long-term assignments (where temps go to die, if you like) where there’s ten other frustrated temps already crouching over computer screens, desperately trying to hold a conversation about Posh and Becks and Jordan vs Jodie. Now aren’t you glad you splashed out on that Heat magazine?

And if you’re really lucky, you get to go from temp to perm. That only leaves one question remaining: Would that be a just-woken-up-perm or a poodle perm?

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One Response to Life at 51 WPM

  1. Anonymous says:

    I happen to be stuck in the relentless grind of temping in good old London and never seem to climb out of the rut – maybe its the allure of the people who work for them as they never fail to amaze me with their vacuous replies when you phone them up – I dont think i need to list them as doing so will only cause my eyes to bleed

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