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Friday, August 26, 2005

Please take a seat...

... and wait whilst we sit and do nothing. Because you are at our complete mercy!

Yes, I've signed up for a number of temping agencies. With my work almost done on the paper I am writing and with the offer of a stupendously well paid research job unlikely to appear in my mailbox anytime soon, it is time to join the ranks of the tax-payers again by temping.

I have submitted my CV to Kelley Scientific in the hope that maybe there will be a technicians job somewhere, but it looks unlikely. So plan B has involved signing up to all of the high street agencies. Randstad, Addeco, Blue Arrow etc etc to do admin work. Although I obviously knew that the hourly rate for these jobs was considerably lower than my calculated hourly rate as a postdoc (assuming that I ever worked a mythical 9 to 5 37.5h week in the lab - ha ha ha!), the prospect of earning half my usual salary is rather depressing.

Still, as I pointed out to the nice gentleman in Adecco - the last time I did temping work, the psychos I met kept me in amusing pub anecdotes for years, so it's not all bad. Most of the decent(ish) work, will start in about 2 weeks as the University starts to admit the new students. And I am already playing two agencies of against each other wage-wise (every penny helps!). In the meantime next week (assuming that I don't have to miss it to move house - I'll blog about that later), I shall be handing out leaflets in town for minimum wage... trying to entice students to come to my old university.

The irony that a recent PhD graduate from that university is now wearing a stupid cap and earning £4.85 an hour, escaped the recruiter. But sod it, it's £100 for frankly bugger all effort.

If there is one thing that hasn't changed, it's the waiting around. If you walk in the door to the reception desk, you are seen immediately. If however you have an apointment, you are told to take a seat and spend up to 20 minutes sitting on your arse, trying not to stare at your watch too often - whilst they deal with the people without appointments. *sigh* - I am remembering the lessons that I learnt a few years ago - never go into a temping agency without a good book.

Hopefully, things are a bit better than they were a few years ago since I will be mostly doing admin work (leafleting aside). Some years ago I worked for Target Parcel delivery on the night shift. These are the people who basically can't hold down a normal job. Seriously. Not only did I see several fights on the warehouse floor, on my first day I was greeted with "at least this one's the right fucking colour". I kid you not. When it came to lunch break (at 1am), whites sat outside (it was a lovely summer) telling racist jokes and the Asians and blacks sat inside. After being called a poof on the first night for reading a book whilst eating my sandwiches, I sat inside where I was taught how to make natural yoghurt by a guy who's father owned an Indian restaurant whilst I encouraged him to do a college course (he just needed a bit of a push - as if working in that fucking cesspit wasn't enough).

I'll keep you all appraised.



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