31 March 2008

My Life as The Temp
by Mars

Day can-i-have-my-soul-back-now-please
Have recently discovered the joys of soup for the highlight of my day lunch. Which is okay. And this week, i had soup, with one of those small dinner roll things. So lunch time rolled around (snort!), i microwaved my tinned soup and went to the fridge to choose from the about 7 tubs of butter sitting in there, to spread on my roll.

And repeat, for a couple of days in a row.

Anyway, so my friend says to me one morning... "Oh, PS... i'd bring your own butter in from now on". Apparently i'd been using Les Paterson's butter, and he's had a moan about it. Fucking typical, he moans about everything.

So i bring my own butter in and carry on with my business. Till the topic of conversation arises again about people's food in the staff fridge, where i am informed that people do 'things' to their food, so other people won't eat it.

"What sort of 'things'?" says i, with images of carrots being violated, swimming through my mind. "Well, some people spit in their milk" i am informed. "And Les Patterson, has put chest hairs in his butter, after you got into it".

I liked my life better before i had this information.

Not one to just be told, i go into the kitchen and check out Les Patterson's butter... and sure enough, she was right. It was then i spotted an unassuming tub of Philadelphia cheese sitting there, with a post-it note stuck on top.


Fuck me side-ways.

26 March 2008


You will never guess who got on my flight back from Ireland on Monday night.

Guess, go on, just have a crack.

Meh, whatever... IT WAS 'KEITH'.

I averted my gaze and tried to 'blend' in the with crowd. Think he saw me though.

21 March 2008

My Life as The Temp
by Mars

Day Nineteen
They say lightening never strikes twice... but guess who's back! No, it's not Slim Shady, it's everyone's second favourite Supertemp... 'Keith'!

This week i got into to the work to find that someone had hijacked Temp4, and after not very much investigation, i realised with (let's be honest) some glee, that it was 'Keith'! See thing is, i actually know who the dude is now and he's really quite nice. So i went and said to him... 'yo, Keith, you've hijacked my emails and shit'.

WHICH MAKES US EVEN, as far as i'm concerned. I had Temp4 for like 2 weeks or something... that was two weeks of emails for Keith to read through! Anyway, so he knows i'm in there and can read his shit... but he doesn't seem to care. But i think he probably should.

We all remember 'Stephen' right...? 'Keith's' lurvhuuuuuur.

From: Temporary User 4
Sent: 19 March 2008 08:55
To: Paul
Subject: good morning

Im major peed off with Stephen now I really am having doubts about moveing in with him…

I need some advice

From: Paul
Sent: 19 March 2008 09:33
To: Temporary User 4
Subject: RE: good morning

Hey matey!

Oh no – whats happened bud???

From: Temporary User 4
Sent: 19 March 2008 09:41
To: Paul
Subject: RE: good morning


You know the way rob ripped him off the other week with some other bloke, well that's none of my business but now that rob is spending the week over in Dublin ste has being meeting him and going out with again, and he slept with him again on sun night. And they were out together again last night, I know its totally none of my business but all im trying to do is look out for me mate but its just getting throwing back in me face.

And well deep down I don't want ste over here, im happy enough without him.

From: Paul
Sent: 19 March 2008 09:53
To: Temporary User 4
Subject: RE: good morning

Hmmmm – I wudnt let it annoy u – at end of the day yeh – u lukin out for ya mate but if theres one thing ive lernt about people its that u cant change the way they act/behave no matter how much u wanna – and let them deal with the consequences – if it ends up all crappy then its their fault n u shud just be like 'yeh …woteva'

Also – u kno how desperate sum gays are –all theyre bothed about is sleepin with ppl and havin their ego fed – and it sounds like that's wot theyre doin – ste is obviously putting that above self-respect hehe

I thote u were lukin forward to havin ste liv with u?????

Aaaaaaand, i rest my case.

14 March 2008

My Life as The Temp
by Mars

Day Fourteen
I think i might get the sack.

My job over the last three weeks has pretty much been to 'check' other people's work. How was i supposed to know that someone else was 'checking' me?!

Turns out, while i've been thinking about what to have for dinner, day-dreaming about my holiday to Greece and staring at people and hating... i may not have been giving 'the job' 100% of my attention. Thusly, of the (quite literally) thousands of papers i have 'checked' someone has chanced upon two (count them - TWO!) mistakes i've made.

But they're not even really mistakes, it's just shit i was supposed to enter on a spreadsheet... but for one reason of another (concentrating on 'muffin time'?) i didn't.

At first i was all like 'whoa... this is a weird feeling i've never had before... so this is what it feels like to fuck up...' But now i'm all, 'whatever, i hate that shit job anyway'.

I've never had the sack. Wonder if i'll laugh or cry.

12 March 2008

Is there a more welcoming sound to wake up to than hail pelting against your bedroom window at 7am? I mean, really? Especially knowing you've got to catch the bus to work. Officical forecast is: hail, some snow and strong winds.

I must be a mentalist.

11 March 2008

This is your life…

Mike Munroe (host): Hello and welcome to Melbourne to surprise one of Australia’s true unsung working champions. And to think, she almost didn’t enter the workforce, because her best subject at school was ‘drawing’ and her first degree was a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Art History. Now, some people say, she has the 2nd most important job in this country. So, come along as we surprise this great Aussie hero… the Temp!

Cut to office where Dot is staring at her computer screen, unaware what is happening. Mick Munroe taps her on the shoulder.

MM: Hello Dot
Dot: Ohhhhh no.
MM: Dot the Temp, This is your life! (Man sitting in the cubicle next to Dot turns around and applauds)
Dot: (muffled comments)
MM: That’s right, tonight we’re gonna celebrate you as one of our great Australian temping legends.
Dot: Um, thank you.

Commercial break.
Now in TV studio in Melbourne.

MM: Ladies and gentlemen… Dot! (Dot walks in, audience applauds)
Dot: Hi everyone.
MM: Dot, you’ve had some highs but mostly lows through your working life, it’s been an amazingly second-rate career, and during those lows, there’s been someone in particular, a champion, a true champion who has inspired and helped you. Her name is Mars. And here she is. (Mars walks in)
Mars: Maaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyte!
Dot: Hi. (Dot and Mars don’t hug)
MM: Now Mars, you sent Dot a few emails over the years, didn’t you?
Mars: Yeah it started in high school… messaging each other on hotmail during English class. We were suppose to be ‘typing up our essays’. It carried on after high school. I was dropping out of uni and Dot was doing an arts degree so we both had a lot of free time. But we didn’t have any money or ambition, so we started writing emails and stories to each other a lot. Then, after Dot graduated she got a temp job, and I was working a crap job fulltime and then our emails really got serious.
Dot: It worked out beautifully because I really hated my job, and so did Mars.
MM: Thanks for joining us, Mars. Would you please take a seat. (Mars sits with Dot on the special couch, up the front where the ‘life partner’ always sits)

MM: So, let’s begin! Dot. Born in Melbourne, almost a bastard, almost a love child, but at the last minute you parents got married heralding the start of something much more average. You grew up, managing to get through primary school, high school and university with barely anyone noticing your presence. Mars?
Mars: Yeah, we went to high school together but I didn’t notice her until year 12. No one did.
MM: Then in 2003, armed with an Arts Degree, you got your first temp job at Origin Energy. In search of some ‘office experience’ you were placed in the gas department doing data entry for customer accounts. Dot, what was a highlight of your time at Orgin?
Dot: I set up Vince Colossimo and Jane Hall’s gas bill. (audience applauds, Mars rolls her eyes) MM: Well, we've got a surprise for you now Dot. Guess who we've got on the phone?

A picture of Vince Colossimo and Jane Hall appears on screen, accompanied by crackling audio.

Vince and Jane: Hi Dot! You little bugger, we didn't get a gas bill for 6 months and when we finally did Origin back-billed us, even though it was their fault! Ah, you have to laugh... goodluck with the temping!

Visual cuts back to studio.

MM: Let's continue. So, after three months in the gas industry you set your sights in a different direction, didn’t you?
Dot: Huh?
MM: The Temp always has bigger plans, the Temp thinks they are somehow better than the rest of the office, even though they have the worst job… and you were no different. At the start of 2004 you quit working at Origin Energy to become an artist.
Dot: God… (Dot looks embarrassed)
MM: That’s right. This attempt at a life lasts for about four months before you return, humbled, to your second temp job. This time you are working at the Government Superannuation Office. As a result of a computer glich several thousand jargon files are created by the organisation’s system, and you are given the task of ‘checking’ these files just to make sure they aren’t anything important. After two weeks you conclude they are all junk. In this time you don’t have access to email, however you are entertained listening to your work mate retell her favourite CSI plot lines.
Dot: It really wasn’t too bad.

MM: Resolved to avoid temp work for a while you return to university, once again na├»vely attempting to achieve something better. However, after a couple of frugal years working part-time, consumerism beckons and you return fulltime to your dispassion of data entry in 2006. Working from a generic factory in South Melbourne you are given the task of entering pension forms for the allocation of ‘Sunday Free Public Transport for Old People’ cards. What did you take from this experience, Dot?
Dot: A lot of old women are called Margaret or Patricia.

MM: However, this job doesn’t last long for you Dot. With a gruelling ‘100 forms per hour’ quota, at a rate of $19 per hour, you quit after a week to fill a less challenging role at Australia Post.
Dot: This was the best job; data entry with an emphasis on accuracy rather than speed.
MM: For a month you enjoy taking your sweet time entering data. Upon completion of this role you are rewarded by being offered a short-term job in the company’s call centre for their courier division. Working in Customer Enquiries, AKA The Complaints Department, you spend your days assuring angry customers their courier really is coming soon. You also deal with angry drivers and angry despatch crew who are sick of being hassled by angry customers.

MM: After wasting more of your youth travelling, studying and working volunteer positions, you return with gusto to temp work in 2007. Only this time it’s a little bit different, isn’t it Dot?
Dot: Reception.
MM: That’s right. Firstly you are placed at an IT Consultancy company. How did you find that?
Dot: I like that on reception you get to know everybody’s business and it’s really easy to sit online all day. But I hate how on reception you are the person every one comes to with the stupid tedious questions and jobs: file this, fax this, order this, post this, reserve this, cancel this, eat dirt.
MM: Well, after a stint in the IT industry you worked reception for Covert Fashions for a while. Was that any better?
Dot: Same shit, only people dressed different. The joke was I was told to ‘dress trendy’. I learnt pretty quickly that, having hung around university for a few years, my ‘trendy’ meter was a little off. I assumed ‘trendy’ meant dressing with a sense of style, turns out it means bleaching your hair and dressing with a sense of Sportsgirl.

MM: Now, in 2008, you’re back as the temp. A new role, a new company…
Dot: Sorting mail for BP.
MM: So it’s really full circle for you Dot. Back in 2003, you sat at a desk emailing Mars all day, pretending to work, pretending to care. Now here you are again. How’s it going for you Mars?
Mars: Well, I’m temping in Manchester, so the different time zone makes it a little tricky.
Dot: Yeah, I only really get to instant message Mars in the mornings. So in the afternoon I have to find something else to do with my time. Sometimes I sort mail, sometimes I write blog posts.
MM: So, what does your future as the Temp hold?
Dot: Well, actually I finish my current assignment this Friday. So after that I’ll probably NEVER WORK AS A TEMP AGAIN.
MM: (laughing) Sure, sure. Don’t worry, if life doesn’t work out you can always return to temping.

The End.*

*Seriously. Last temp themed post EVA... I'm moving up and out and on and off to... Arnhem Land!
The Life and Times of a Time Wasting Temp
by Dot and Mars

Time Wasting Techniques
Drink cups of tea
Offer to make cups of tea for everyone
Clean up in kitchen
Braid hair
Go to the toilet
Sit on toilet extra long
Get water
Loiter around water machine
Email Dot
Email Mars
Email anyone else who might respond
Re-read old emails
Check mobile for 'missed calls'
Check mobile for messages
Delete old messages
Check diary
Click send/receive emails
Peel banana reeeeeeal slow
Break banana into thirds before eating
Divide M&Ms into colour before eating
Toggle between documents
Open documents in the shared drive and nose through
Stare off into middle distance
Think about what you're going to have for dinner
Scroll through songs on Ipod
Give yourself something to aim for – At 3.37pm you can eat that muffin
Drag out the lunch half hour
'Sort' papers on desk
Check stationery cupboard
Butt into other people's conversations
Write your name in letter stickers
Practice making coffees using espresso machine
Line up all the items on your desk so they are all square and parallel
Look at what everyone else is doing
Practice using keyboard short-cuts (alt-tab is my new favourite)
Make archive boxes
Decide who wears the worst shoes in the office
Check to see if mail has arrived (even though you know it hasn't)
Empty paper recycle bin
Stare and someone and hate

05 March 2008

My Life as The Temp
by Dot

Day Nineteen

Damn, it's just not funny any more!
My life is retracting; it's becoming small and petty and obsessive. Here's why...

‘Dot, can you sort these statements into alphabetical order?’
‘So that’s all ‘A’s then ‘B’s then ‘C’s’-’
‘I know!’

'Dot, can you file these invoices?'
'Sure. So, do you want them in alphabetical order by company or site?'
'No, just in the filing cabinets.'

PS - So it's lucky I finally got my stupid American visa and can finally start thinking about the bigger picture!

04 March 2008

My Life as The Temp
by Mars

Day Seven
Nothing lasts forever (not even cold November rain)...

I wasn't busted for blabbing, however, i did go into work to find that i couldn't log on as Temp2 any more, yesterday though. Panic! So i went over to the computer chick and says i can't log on as Temp2 today and yo, can she like fix the fuck outta it cause i need to know what 'Keith's' thinking..

"Ahhh..." says she, as though it all suddenly makes sense. "There were three of you logging in using Temp2, and the system has had a melt down this morning".

QUELLE! I was not the only one reading 'Keith's' emails, it appears. Anyway, so now i'm Temp4, with my own emails. Must say, Keith's were far more interesting.

Was sitting there 'checking' again yesterday, and this dude comes over, not dis-similar in appearance to say... Les Patterson, and he's looking for a small set of shelves... rummaging around all over the office... anyway, he finally finds some he deems suitable for his purpose, over in our area. So he comes over, empties all the stuff off these shelves into piles on the floor and drags them over to where he wants them.

About 5 minutes later, Les Patterson has wandered away and this set of shelves decides to spontaneously combust and just falls apart there and then with a massive crash bang. So i looked around, and here comes Les with his face like thunder as he sees that his shelves are now in a heap on the floor. And i can't help but laugh. And giggle. And laugh some more.

Anyway, Les takes one look at me and says (verbatim)...

"Wipe that smile off your face, temp, you're not here to enjoy yourself!"

Oh no he di'nt! I hear you, i hear you. I couldn't believe it so told him that that wasn't very nice. He went about screwing his shelves back together and i went about hating on him... the nerve, referring to me as 'temp'!

Anyway, i got in this morning, and he says to me, nice as pie like... "morning Mars!"

So now i can't work out if he thought he was being funny yesterday... kinda joking or something. Surely someone wouldn't be that intentionally rude to another, would they?