Choose Your Own Temp Job Adventure

Flickr / William J Sisti
Flickr / William J Sisti
  1. Data Entry for HR at a real estate firm
  2. Front desk reception at a global marketing firm
  3. Boxing things for an ad agency
  4. Ignoring the call

The Attire:

  1. You arrive dressed in a thick turtle neck and ski pant-like slacks because data entry doesn’t require looking the part. From previous experiences, you know that the cube you’ll be set up in has a draft and not only will you be cold from the AC, but it is yet again 4 degrees in NYC.
  2. Naturally, you had about $12 in your bank account, and instead of dry cleaning your one “work blouse,” yesterday you chose to splurge on your sandwich with gluten free bread (extra $3—also, tasted like cardboard) So you have no choice but to wear your white blouse with an avocado stain on the left arm.
  3. Layers, layers. Aware that you’ll be lifting and packing and bending over the whole day, you decide on a t-shirt tucked into your pants with a sweater over that. If it’s hot you can wrap it around your waist, you remind yourself.
  4. Matching pajama set your mother monogrammed for you from Christmas—that you haven’t taken off in two days.

Your Commute:

  1. Reminder: it is 4 degrees. You live about 11 minutes walking from the subway. You decide to use the money from approximately the first two and a half hours of working on a taxi because it’s so damn cold.
  2. From your apartment to FiDi is something short of 3 subway changes, but you’ve got an old copy of Secret History, that you’d be pleased to read again. Anyway, your subway month pass ends tomorrow—better make the best of it.
  3. It’s conveniently fifteen blocks away. Go by foot, get a blister because you had an unnoticed hole in the heel of your sock.
  4. The commute to the bathroom and the coffee pot are reachable within 4 steps of your bed in your tiny-ass apartment.

Your Boss:

  1. A lazy HR person who is really just watching some sort of hockey game on his laptop. Your cube is far enough away that you won’t have to deal with him.
  2. Your boss is seated directly across from you at eye level at her desk. You can’t put headphones in because she’ll notice you’re not doing the work, but at least your computer faces away from her. You can tumble on tumblr all day long.
  3. Your “boss” a recent college grad who is probably your neighbor sets you up in a windowless room all to yourself. You can put your headphones in and pack away to the crisp voices of This American Life.
  4. Turn up the volume—you get to be the bad ass bitch bo$$ today.

The Lunch:

  1. You realize you have a therapist appointment at 1 o’clock, but you’re working until 5:30. You don’t mention to your boss where you’re going. He’ll assume you’re taking a lunch. No one really checks in on someone doing data entry because generally those doing data entry are cold and uninviting like you. A bit before 1:00, you dash out of the office and have your 50 minutes of me time and grab lunch on the way back. No one will notice your absence.
  2. They have group lunch. Hooray—you’ve made the right decision thus far. You’ve saved yourself roughly $9.97 on whatever lunch you would have picked up nearby. And since this office is in FiDi it would have been an expensive salad! You take seconds on the avocado spread because, hey – you’re already wearing it.
  3. It’s 11:45 and you’re already done with the task at hand. Looks like this wasn’t the best decision for you since you started at 9 and it is only paying you $9/hour.
  4. You’ve spent $17.00 on Pad Thai through Seamless, but at least you’re enjoying yourself 11 episodes deep into Freaks and Geeks on Netflix.

The Check:

  1. Two weeks later you get a check in the mail. $80. It will probably cover your days expenses and your internet bill for the month. Not bad, not great.
  2. You got a direct deposit from the temp agency the next day with $100!
  3. A few days later a check for $22.51 arrives. What was this from? You ask yourself.
  4. You’re on the phone with the temp agency asking why you haven’t received any payments recently. They (not so) sweetly remind you that you haven’t accepted any of the jobs in over two weeks. Time to move back home. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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