Today I am a temp.
I am temping in the Time Life Building as an assistant to the Head of Marketing for People Magazine. If you're sitting there thinking, "sounds like good times;" well, you're right. Things tend to get crazy in the Marketing Department. The way people just...market things with reckless abandon. The way they just randomly say things like "let's have a meeting" or "do you want coffee?"
The word "temp" is so strange to me. While it does obviously comes from the word "temporary," I'm certain you did not know it's ancient origin is derived from the Latin phrase "surfus internetus all dayus."
There's an incredible amount of freedom to being a temp. You have the stability of getting paid but without that uncomfortable itchy commitment feeling. If this project doesn't get done, the temp thinks, then someone else will just have to do it. Furthermore, the temp is allowed to "screw up" (like I have just done--jeeezus, these phone systems are so hard to master. Voicemail?!? What's effin' voicemail?). The people you work for, think; I mean, he is just a temp. He can't be that intelligent.
Which brings me to my next point: how shocked people are when you actually do something. Like, they completely lose it when you've done something like attach a document to an email. Or when you've forwarded a call to voicemail. You did that, they'll ask in astonishment, as if the person sitting before them was a retarded chimpanzee.
It's also interesting seeing myself through their eyes. I imagine what they think I must be.
I'm certain they consider me the stoner-type. Which is flattering but untrue. I wish I had the ambition to be a stoner.
Perhaps, they think, I'm a musician. Cool. Well then, when do I get "some?"
But that would be inaccurate, too. I'm just a "writer." (Oh man, another writer taking a temp gig--Can I stop being a cliche? Please?)
But I think the most important aspect to being the temp is that the temp is mysterious. The ladies always notice the new guy who drops in like a masked hero to fax and stuff to then leave the office with a trail of broken hearts. You could potentially be the ugliest guy in the office (which I'm not because the guy who sits near the water cooler already has that title) but your anonymity makes you at least 17% sexier. It's been scientifically proven. Just ask the girl sitting across from me who keeps taking off my shoes and socks with her eyes. Just what kind of a guy does she think I am?
The man who I am working for--let's call him Mr. Tim Lyffe Warner--uses the following words way too often: goofy, wacky, anal, and filing. Those four words need to be taken from Mr. Warner before someone gets hurt (most probably the shoe/sock girl because she uses too much hair spray). Warner also has a very soft demeaner, which makes it really hard to dislike him for asking me to do menial yet "wacky" things (do assistants really have to wipe thier boss' butt these days? I did not know this).
Also, it's disconcerting to see how many people have a picture of Cher in their cubes? Is this office protocol?
Well, from sitting at a desk for less than three hours, I've come to learn that I'm no corporate whore.
Well,actually, maybe today I am...but they do have free Diet Coke in the pantry.