The Joys of Temping Part I

For the past month and a half during my job search I’ve been temping at a small property management company to pay the bills. I’ve done the temping thing before, and while it’s usually mind-numbing work, it can be fun to meet some really interesting people and see a business environment you might never have seen otherwise. Here is some of what I’ve experienced recently (This is gonna be long. WordPress needs to allow extended entries. Might do this in two parts instead.):

(For most of my time at the company, there were three other employees regularly in the office: the president of the company; her 8+ month pregnant daughter, the coordinator; and last but not least, the overly made-up, late 50-something bookkeeper. They will be referred to as, Pres, Coord, and Book.)

My main assignment is to help the bookkeeper with some regular tasks. I arrive the first day…
BOOK (opening the door): Hi! You must be Chazz. You’re not alergic to cats, are you?
ME: It’s Chase, and actually, I am.
BOOK: Oh, they probably should have mentioned that. We have two.

Names I was called multiple times during my first two weeks: Chazz, Chance, Scott, Todd.

The two cats in the office (Sophie and Jszciizzchellle (always pronounced in an exagerrated French accent)) run the place, and also frequently vomit/hairball wherever they want. The carpets are rarely cleaned more than once every two weeks. The office smells bad.

At one point I walked over to Book’s desk to ask a question, not realizing she was on the phone, so I did some filing nearby, waiting for her to finish. I noticed that she had a fully cream cheesed bagel on her desk and the phone cord was in danger of hitting the exposed surface of the cream cheese. She noticed this too, and slid her bagel further over on her desk. Then, with phone on her shoulder, she reached down across her desk in the same direction for a piece of paper. The phone cord, of course, landed right in the middle of the bagel and cream cheese. I was amused by this and went back to filing. A minute or two later, I hear her finish and hang up the phone. As I turn to ask my question, I witness her holding the stretched phone cord up to her lips, voraciously licking the cream cheese off the cord, coil by coil.

The sound of White-Out. Numerous times during the day, I hear the click-clacking of Book, shaking her bottle of White-Out. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems a little odd for a bookkeeper, the person who is supposed to be most careful and make the fewest mistakes, to be using her mistake-eraser, so often. But hey, at least she’s catching a lot of them.

To be continued…

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