Saturday, February 16, 2008

Reality check

I officially started temping this past week. My current assignment is as a receptionist for a local hospital's visiting nurse and hospice program. I am reminded of the bridge in the Barenaked Ladies song "Never is Enough," wherein they sing

You get your Ph.D.
How happy you will be
When you get a job at Wendy's
And are honored with Employee of the Month

I'm not flipping burgers. However, I'm still not getting enough brain-cell exercise. I transfer calls, I open the mail, I operate the freaking awesome postage meter (this is the highlight of my day), and I sit around and stare at stuff. But hey. It's a job.

And I did actually learn something, which is that temp work is a fantastic cure for perfectionism. I will be the first to admit that I am a perfectionist. Many things have made a dent in my perfectionism, mostly having to do with grades which, contrary to my expectations, did not actually bring on the Apocalypse. But old habits die hard, you know, and I want to be the best damn temp there ever was.

Sadly, my efforts to be Super Temp were quickly thwarted. It is the nature of temporary work not to be able to get all the information one needs before diving in... especially when one is filling in for someone who's been doing the same job for almost two decades. Temps are expected to screw things up. (Indeed, I got blamed for doing something I couldn't possibly have done, as I was in the bathroom at the time.) And when there are pre-existing chronic communication problems in the workplace, the whole thing is even worse.

This is, like, totally awesome exposure therapy.

1 comment:

Lavender said...

Exposure therapy is certainly interesting at the least. My stint in the ER a while back was certainly an exposure the the patient side of things. Totally different world, it is. I hope it gets a little nicer for you!