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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

Temping, I trust we're all aware, is a very dispiriting business, as well as one of great freedom and some hidden rewards. Today's adventure in the world of the temp was one of the former, rather than the latter. Sitting in an estate agents... I think that says enough. But I'll go on, because that's one of the things that I do.

Sitting in an estate agents, answering the phone to people who are getting increasingly desperate through the day to talk to the one person that holds their homes and livelihoods in their hands - or at least all the deeds to them - gets a bit boring. After a while, rather than feeling sorry for the poor sods like I did in the morning, I started to roll my eyes instead. By about 4pm, when the phone wouldn't stop ringing, I had knocked all the files off my desk and in to a great big mess of papers on the floor, when the fax wouldn't go through and the printer wouldn't work for reasons that none of us could understand, and my back was killing me through being croached in a bad position because of crap seating arrangements, I started to hate every stupid idiot that wanted to buy a house, or had bought a house but didn't have the keys.

The main partner was also quite snappish, probably because when an important or urgent call came in I would insist on giving her the message rather than following the office protocol of screwing up the pieces of paper and throwing them in the bin, and then setting fire to them, and doing to estate agents dance of the damned around the flames.

I discovered halfway through the day that the recruitment agency that had placed me there had lied to the firm and told them that I had extensive experience in conveyancing, when in fact I've never done it before in my life. I was quite surprised to hear that, but not as surprised as they were when I implied as much. I'd be interested to see what kind of feedback I'd get from them, because when the partner asked me to get such and such a form or request such and such a certificate, I think I pulled a face like a mong, rather than jumping immediately up and following through the request, which I would have done if I'd known which language she was speaking.

In short, a bad day. But not as bad a day as the idiot that placed me there is going to have tomorrow when I tell her just how much of an idiot I think she is.

Tomorrow: another interview with another recruitment agency. At the moment I'm a member of six agencies. It's common practice to join two when job hunting. I like to cast my net wider. Wonder what'll turn up.

If my luck carries on, it'll be another week off with no pay, and a chance to catch the new telly show every morning with Terry Wogan and Gaby Roslin.


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