Thursday, October 26, 2006

The twilight zone canning

For about a month I've been doing menial work for a financial company (in this case the word "financial" is code for "a place for rich people to dump their money"). When I say menial, I mean requiring fewer brains and less skill than a data-entry clerk. My job was to pull some stuff out of a file, fax to the next room, put the file back, then repeat the process for 50 files a day. Despite the rotting braincells, I enjoyed myself. Most of the people I worked with were friendly and easy to talk to.

Fast-forward to Monday: the twilight zone events. I finished my work day, and said "see you tommorrow" to my coworkers. That evening I got a call from my temp agency lady. She said they didn't want me anymore! "Huh?" said I. I wasn't near done my extra-important monkey work.

"You're work was great, but you were a bit too chatty" was my boss's opinion of me, relayed third person via the British accent of my temp agency lady.

Okay, I freely admit I'm chatty. But wouldn't it be prudent to tell me that? I'm obedient to the point of self-deprivation and would gladly work in silence if asked. But nobody asked. In fact, the last time the supreme commander (VP with the authority to can me) talked to me at all it was my second week, to ask if I could stay until mid November! I rarely saw the woman, except the odd time when she came to use the photocopier.

Having said that, if she wanted me gone that's her call. It's the way it was done that has me baffled. I suppose it is the nature of temp work that supervisors can avoid unpleasant confrontations by simply asking the middleman to send in the next monkey. I couldn't believe anyone could be so cowardly and uncourteous. I'm not even saying that in a way that means: "That &$#@%! How dare she do this to me!" I'm thinking more along the lines of: "Huh? Do people in the real world really behave this way?" The whole thing was straight out of dreamland.

Luckily the folks at my temp agency were just as flabbergasted, and immediately got me set up with a new gig. Now I'm working in Oakville, in a warehouse full of Lego and porn, for these two supervisors who don't have time to do all their daily data-entry. Most of the time I'm alone in their office (no opportunity to be "chatty") but every once in a while one of them will come in and squeal with delight because I've finished all his boring work. It's nice to be appreciated.

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