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"A" Temping Company (Part One)

Lets talk more about the whole assignment I got in trouble for because at the end of the day what else do I have to do with my life right now, I have a big pile of ironing and some dirty dishes!

So I hopped onto an assignment it was a big assignment which needed 10 people for the day time and 10 people for the night time.  Neil suggested that I use the bus rather than the car to get to and from work and that should be a blog entry in itself.

I used to have to get up early, get myself to the bus stop that would just get me there in the nick of time, so I would have to run down the road.

My first day on the job was laughable, what should I call the client.....................let me think.  I'll call them Integrity.  Why you ask, well this is one of Integrity's "core values" there big on that sort of stuff in Canada but to be honest I'm not sure if Integrity knew what it meant.

So I press the buzzer to get in, the receptionist was sooooo slow at actually approaching the door.  I think in her past life she was a sloth.  She never smiled, I thought maybe I needed to see her a few times.  So I walk up to the counter and she asked to see my ID.  I looked at her and turned white, what the hell did she mean ID!  "A temping company" told me to wear blue or beige pants and steal toed shoes but nothing was said about an ID.   Was I going to be made to go home?  I was made to sit in a corner while I saw other temps come in and show their driving licences, my blood was boiling.  Before I got this assignment I had to have a security check where was that?  are you telling me there are lots of young ladies called Cassie from "A temping Company" trying to get into the building?

So I'm sat there while they are trying to get in touch with "A temping company" in order to get a copy of my passport.  Jesus Christ I felt like I was in customs.  After about 15 mins another temp from "A temping Company" came through the door she didn't have ID either because she had got there by bus.  Sloth told her that she needed it if she wanted to work.  I said "Come and join me, I wasn't told this either!"  The woman was just as annoyed as me, probally either worse she was mouthing off louder than me.  So this was the first impression of this assignment, totally disorganised and unprofessional,  this was the tip of the iceberg.  Now lets be honest here, of all the important things why didn't "A temping Company" tell me I needed ID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We might as well have been called the social misfits temping agency, the work ethic of these other temps I was working with was unbelieveable.  Was I seriously being compared to these people.  I found the majority of them to be quite odd, I tried to keep my mouth shut and just get used to them.

The first day was training day, we were taken to an upstairs lunch room and introduced to our supervisor now what can I call him that rounds him up nicely.................... lets call him Mr Scattered.  He didn't have a projector so he was off for ages to find that then came back then he didn't have this then went away and came back this went on for an hour.  Can you believe this, I was being paid to just sit there and do nothing.  Some people like that sort of thing but i'm a worker, I come to work and get paid to work, I hate the fact when I haven't got anything.  Can companies afford to loose and waste money like that and there was seven of us $98 down the drain on nothing.  If you knew you had a load of temps starting wouldn't you get your crap together and have everything you needed to conduct a meeting?  Is that not just common sense.......................... I often wonder about people I really do.

So when Mr Scatter got his act together there was a whole presentation on Integrity as a company and how to do the job.    We went from one room to the other Mr Scatter kept forgetting to bring things to be honest I was having to control my giggles, I was kinding it embarressing and laughable.  What a company Intgrity was turning out to be.

During all these meeting I noticed one of the misfits seemed to be falling asleep, i'll call her McSleep.  apparently she used to be a manager at a well known fast food company and she knew how to do tax, that's why she was working as a temp.   Yes McSleep was going to sleep, I ignored it and tried to keep my focus on the training.   The whole day was spent doing a computer test and reading paper, it was full on. 

The next day we were let loose on work.  So the first stage of the job was Archive boxes of paper, it was full of paper.  Within this box there were files and most files had there blue sheets, the blue sheets were the barcodes for the computer softwear.  The softwear seperated each blue sheet to make a file for the PDF, the end purpose for the client was to give him his disk and 1200 boxes were now going to be on a few disks.   It sounded fantastic, what a great idea.  Big oil company didn't have to hold all that paper and Integrity got paid lots and lots of money.

So our purpose was to sort through the boxes, take one piece of paper lift it up, check there are no staples, post-its blocking information, no dog ears which were turned over sides.  It had to be a perfect sheet of paper that could go through the scanner as easy as possible.  Small items had to be flagged with bright red cards, the job wasn't rocket sicence but it was repetitive.  There were a lot of boxes to go through.

The assignment started well, we got to know every aspect of McSleeps life, how she meet a guy over the internet from Africa and fell in love.  She went over to see him and he stole money off her.  It was quite the story, she had lots of them.  She always knew someone that was dying, had hip replacements, or some other form of sickness that they had to spend so much time in hospital.

We spent two weeks doing that untill one day Mr Scatter wanted two people for the scanning room  two people said straight out they didn't want to do it .  Now lets stop, as a temp are you not told what to do, can you really say no I don't want to do this that or the other?  Miss Team Leader said she was not going to do it and firmly put her foot down.  Miss Team Leader is one of the other temps but she later promoted herself and I'll get to that story.   It put the fear into me about scanning, was it really that bad.  Most of the temps refused to do it and got on the band wagon.  Mr Scatter chose Doppledanger and McSleep.    McSleep was over the moon she thought she had got this big promotion but the sound of the scanner may have been like a lullaby to her and yes you guessed it she kept falling asleep.  She actually fell asleep on the job can you believe that?   Now let me tell you "A temping company" only deals in Specialized Administraion Professional remember that one.  Cough Cough.

So McSleeps days were numbers, she had to go home and count sheep there and that's when I was asked to become a scanner, I thought whatever, may as well.  Scanning wasn't that bad but everday I didn't seem to be getting the same numbers my doppledanger kept getting, I was getting about 5 a day but doppledanger got 10 maybe even 14 at times.  What was she doing that I wasn't and it turned out she was picking her boxes alot more wisely than I was.  I had this problem at the retail store, fudge the figures to make yourself look good!  My problem with that was all the boxes need to be done wheather there were half full or full.  As the weeks moved on I was still hitting low figures and needed to start "playing the game".

My figures started to increase, I started to find out what box number I needed to be at before lunch and if I needed a light box or not to get me there.  The tracking forms were based on box number not paper number so the whole tracking sheet information keeper system was floored.  How does Integrity know if it was a hard box or not?  So my integrity was being damaged, I was letting the system beat me!  no I wasn't proud of myself I turned myself into a cheat because I didn't want to look bad.  It was either jump on board with the tricks of the trade and look like an all star or quite possibly get fired because my numbers didn't look good "on paper"  What I normally like to do is fight the system and tell them their figures/targets are BS, there was no way you could do eight jam packed boxes in a shift.  You had to look in them in order to twick your figures.

The weeks went past and over time Dopledanger and I started to notice the quality of work coming to us was getting worse.  Staples were being missed, post it's were being missed our productivity was being slowed down so much.   New people were coming in and not being showed how to do the job properly the whole training we went through the new people were not getting.  The original misfits were leaving or being fired for crap work.  Every mistake that was being noticed was being writtten down by either doppledanger or myself, the worse of the bunch were now getting told to shape up or walk out the door.

It got so bad I had to e-mail "A temping company"  I wanted them to deal with the bad workmanship.  I didn't say anything bad just that some people seemed to be getting bored of the work and it was directly affecting both my work and doppledangers.   In the end "A temping Company" had to come out Mr Scatter started to get annoyed about the "useless" temps.  The day and the night team all got spoken to and told to shape up.

The night sanners were bad, they only ever pushed out 7 boxes between all three even till the end of the contract.  Both doppledanger and i tried leaving them the "easy" boxes but still the same totals were being done, there was no rush for them to finish.  I remeber one of them says "the longer the contract the more money I get"  Later I was to find out it's not just the temp saying this!

To be continued ..........................

Posted: 02:34, Wednesday 10 November 2010

Still Waiting

I have to tell you that what you have described is commonplace in the US. I find it difficult to believe that it is different in the UK. There will also be slackers and those that pick up after them. Complaining doesn't do a bit of good. You're dealing with work that is basically piece work and of course, there will always be someone who finds a way to work the system.

Posted by Rete at 04:04, Saturday 13 November 2010


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