...To Temping (Guest Post)

If you think that temping is some glamorous scene straight out of Mad Men, hammering away on a vintage Smith Corona in your perfectly tailored suit, think again. Temping is the rough reminder that your education has gotten you either  one or more of the following: A.) not enough cred to find a permanent job  B.) laid off within months of being hired as an assistant at Broke & Co. on Wall Street or C.) no other suitable alternative to starvation. But you don't want to be 24, living at home and broke. Or worse... interning again. Through the course of temping at various companies over the last couple of months, I have begun to learn that everybody hates a temp. You're thrust into an office where you don't know what the fuck is going on or who anybody is. And after that - it's survival of the fittest. Does the boss like his coffee with milk? Should I bring the guest into the room or leave them at reception? Can I pull him out of a meeting without generating a roomful of dirty looks? It's all a guessing game because, no matter what the instruction packet says, the boss DOES mind being bothered with banal questions and he is not "a nice guy". After all, he has an assistant so he doesn't have to deal with this bull. And, more likely than not, he was an assistant at some point, probably not so long ago. He has earned his cred and doesn't want to sweat the small stuff. He doesn't even want it in earshot. So you're left with that glaring cornucopia of possibilities. But instead of getting nervous or freaking out, just breathe and remember - no matter what mistakes you make, the assistant is going to be the one who has to fix them on Monday. So fuck it.

Despite the torturous potential of being scorned, yelled at, and humiliated by your prospective temporary employer, here are ways to make a temp job bearable and worth your while.

Ways to milk your temp job:

LIAR LIAR J-CREW SUIT ON FIRE: I like to think that a resume is really just an outline of what you have actually done. Always base it on who you want to be rather than who you are. For example, inflate your work experience, rather than be honest about the measly little pittance of admin work you've really done. Let's face it, you were never Assistant to the Vice President when you were still in college. You were intern to the Vice President's assistant. But say it anyways! Who has time to do reference checks these days? Plus you're probably up against people with much more experience than you. So yes kids, I'm telling you to LIE.

TEMP LOOSE WOMAN (NOT "SLUT"): Look hot. If you can wear it to the club, you can wear it to the temp job (under a jacket, of course). Glam it up with some bright red Mac lipstick and boobage, I guarantee Mr. Married SVP will be staring down your chest within moments. It's like a foreign fling. You'll only be in Australia for a week, so why not have sex with a native? Well, don't actually sleep with him, or you might have some cloudy skies up ahead if his wife the agency ever found out. Plus, then you'll be a temp slut. But a little bit of harmless flirtation might give you a little shove towards a more permanent position with the company. Or, at least he'll be condescendingly sweet when you fuck up, rather than go batshit.

YOU'RE SMART-ISH: So use big words. Say things like, "I'd be happy to schedule that 2012 budget recap meeting for you", even if there is no budget, no conference room, and only one employee. You sound smart and office savvy. Or at least like those dinky computer tests they gave you back at the agency.
EAVESDROPPING: Read through the emails of the person for whom you're temping. They've left them wide open to you, and while usually they aren't terribly helpful or informative when you have to schedule that 11 person conference call in 5 minutes, they often make for some decent entertainment akin to a sordid version of a Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks storyline. AND if you work for a head honcho billionaire type, it's always fun to snoop around receipts lying about to see what kind of money they're stealing from the company.Work ethic? Be gone. Morality? Fuck it. Enjoy these times of pseudo unemployment kids, because they ain't disappearing anytime soon. By all means snoop around, go on facebook, steal sodas, run your small business from the computer (using, in-private browsing, of course)............. Just don't get caught.