Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Temp-ting fate... or, 'tis the season to be sessional (a rant).

I try to talk about work as little as possible in my blog.  This is simply because I like having a job and I am not very cleverly disguised, and many of my coworkers are (or are possibly) reading my blog too.  And I wouldn't want to write anything that would (A) cause them chagrin or (B) cause my online life to become a problem.  Because I am one of those people who very much feels that it's not particularly healthy to be a two-headed monster when it comes to your work versus home life personalities.

Left is all business.  Right likes to get loaded and run amok.

I much prefer to just be myself, rather than be someone different at work from at home.  As a result, I think my coworkers would call me quirky (or maybe that's too polite... maybe more like brash and tactless, whatever).  But hopefully still keep a good professional opinion of me.  And because it isn't particularly professional to bitch about one's workplace/boss/job/etc., I try not to.

BUT.  Today I feel like I need to say something specifically on the subject of temporary employment.  As my friends know (and now all of you know too), I am a temp.  I'm not supposed to call it that, as we have a fancy term that is supposed to make me feel better about the fact that I get laid off every year for anywhere from three months to forever.   Now in this economy I know I am supposed to simply be grateful for the fact that I do have an amazing, well-paying job that I generally like.  And generally, I am pretty happy.  But as every other temp out there knows, there is always that niggling, incessant hum in the back of your brain that quietly reminds you day-in and day-out that YOU COULD LOSE YOUR JOB AT ANY MOMENT AND THEN YOU WOULD BE TOTALLY SCREWED.  And there's nothing I've found (because drinking isn't the solution to life's problems) that shuts this reminder off.  Even when things are going perfectly well it's still there because you never know if the contract is going to end on time or if it gets extended or if they'll have you back for another go round pending budget approval, etc.

But everyone else who's not temp seems to have forgotten what it is like to be temp, if they ever were in the first place.  Because to them we are exactly the same.  Except for the part about not having control over my own life because of minimal health benefits, no chance of having kids in the near future due to the lack of maternity/parental leave, no vacation, no sick days and no guarantee that I won't be destitute in six months time.

Being a temp causes a deep, unsettling paranoia.

A recent survey of my grad school classmates found that only TWO PEOPLE from my class of about forty had permanent, full-time employment.  So much for re-training for a more-employable career (face-palm).  Which means I am surrounded by thirty-eight of my temp brethren (and some unemployed too).  Which would be great, were it not for the fact that we are all probably plotting ways to murder each other to get one of the very few jobs in our chosen field that is permanent.

Because there's no honour among the tenuously employed.

1 comment:

  1. I think it's good that you wrote about this, Leah. It is tough to be a temp. As you noted, it puts restrictions on your lifestyle and the decisions you can make. I just got a job covering mat leave so I'll be in a similar position. I'm really surprised that only 2 people from your grad class have permanent work... that's really depressing.