Being a temp is an exercise in manipulation. I should know.
My shift is 9 and ½ hours long, with a preposterous 1 hour break for lunch. Of the remaining 8 and ½ hours, I am tasked with maybe 90 minutes of actual labor. That, my fellow math-majors, leaves a full 7 hours of the clock to chew.
The thing about temp work, is that it’s so temporary. I know! While this seems immediately obvious to all of you, when I got this job I started spending money like my position terminated only upon my death, like a supreme-court justice. Now, I’m kind of broke again, and I can’t afford to lose it.
Temps are hired to fill a short-term need. Diane from HR is having a baby, Walter from accounting is having hip-replacement surgery, Morty from sales is entering a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation program. Whatever. The point is the temp is only needed until the regular employee can come back. After that, unless you can establish some sort of legitimate worth, it’s out the door you go. So it’s vital to always look busy.
Not an easy task for a temp. Fortunately, I have discovered several shortcuts. And I can think of no better use of this blog then to share my wisdom with you all. Not unlike what Jesus might have done.
Always take the long way. Let’s say you’ve just had a cup of water over by the copy machines. Now you’re only 20 or 30 steps from your desk, but we can make this journey take 40 minutes. First, remember the elevator? That thing is important, better make sure it still works. Go ride it up to the 11th floor. Get out and walk around, feigning confusion. Head back into the elevator, but don’t press for a level. Just stand in there and see what that hell happens. Maybe someone on a floor below will call for it and bring you down, maybe not. Life is a great adventure. Ok, you are back in the copy room. Relax, have some water. Now it's back to your desk to get some work done. Woah, not so fast! Make sure to tie and retie your shoes 11 times. Safety first, Commando!
Walk with intent. Sure, you’re just walking around the office trying to see if you can catch any thong-sightings. But do it like you mean it! People will be less apt to trouble you with actual work if you look like you mean business. Always walk with your upper body forward, never slouched back. Make sure your hands are clenched and your gait rapid. Every so often, stop in a random section of the office and throw your hands up in disgust, resting them ultimately on your hips as you shake your head. People will assume you were up to something important.
Always sit down to go. For ladies this is (usually) a no brainer, but men have a hard time with this. For some reason, it’s considered unmanly to sit while men do number 1, but believe me, men will embrace thier feminine side when they see how much time can be wasted on the toilet. Based on a recent University of Southern California study, a sit-down “go” takes an average of 42.4 seconds longer then a stand-up “go.” (Note: no such study exists.) Assuming you use the bathroom 17 times a day, that’s over 12 minutes of time wasted! Isn’t that worth your whole company thinking you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome? And while you’re sitting…
Text on the Toilet. My personal favorite. We all love to text. I’m constantly texting: I text my friends, my family, my pharmacist. But you don’t want the corporate brass to think you have all this free time on your hands. What better place to hide your texting then in the relatively private confines of the bathroom? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Fuck Reading. Texting is the new newspaper; the new bathroom reader. Get with it. But make sure you put your keys on silent, or people are going to think some weird things are going on in there.
Always act like people are wasting your time. While you’re constantly walking around, people will assume you’re not busy (the nerve!) and ask you to do them a favor. Master this reaction: Take your index finger and your thumb and squeeze the bridge of your nose, clenching your eyes. Look down, and if you can pull it off, grit your teeth. Tell them you’re really swamped, but you’ll get to it as soon as you can. Then go sit near the freight elevator for 45 minutes. When you return, act like it was a real hassle and your afternoon is ruined. Then give them the first-aid kit.