Administration Appreciation Association

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Apparently it is Administration Appreciation week, so grab your Assistant, grab your Receptionist and give them a big ol’ smooch on the facial area (don’t do that – HR will have to have a serious talk with you about boundaries, and there’s too much shit to catch up on facebook!) and tell them “hey there sweet cheeks, (don’t call them sweet cheeks) thanks for being awesome!”

Today I was invited to a luncheon held by the Temp agency that supported my (meager) lifestyle for a year and a bit (I refuse to say year and a half, it was a year and a bit OKAY!?). The luncheon was held to say thanks to all us Tempies (my word, not theirs) for everything that we do. There was a selection of free sandwich’s, cubed Canadian style cheese (which is very orange for some reason) desserts (goodbye diet) and little gift bags which contained a notepad, sticky notes and a free pen. To enter this hallowed luncheon, I first had to scribble my name on a name tag (can we take a second to talk about how awful name tags are for girls with big boobs…like where are they supposed to stick?! And WHY do they always curl at the edges and threaten to fall off?! Who invented this godawful contraption, I’d like a word), scrumple it up because my handwriting is worse than a left-handed blind guy, and re-write it smaller and not as disgustingly.

I entered the inner sanctum and mingled with other people who are on the Temp trail. I recognized a few faces here and there (people I’d worked with at various places) and was struck by the ratio of women to men. I think there were 2 dudes out of a possible 40 people in the room, who didn’t work for the organization itself.

There were two distinct age groups, the under 28’s and the over 45’s. And I heard a lot of accents, a couple Aussies like me, plenty of people who broke out into Spanish after a few exchanged sentences, and a hybrid of United Kingdom-style accents.

So who is drawn to Temping?

People like me, who struggled to find jobs and people returning to the work force after a break maybe?

There are pro’s and con’s to the Temp gig.

Con:
Unreliable hours = unreliable take home pay. – Some weeks you work every day from 8-6 with an unpaid lunch hour in between. Some weeks you’ll work a half day from 9-12 and that is it for the week. It is a hard way to live, makes it hard to budget, makes it hard to plan.

Pro:
A sneak-peak into multiple companies without the full-time contractual commitment. Would you want to work in an office like this, that, the other. Would you be interested in a certain industry you’d never thought of before? What kind of vibe would be perfect for you? And on top of that – flexibility to up and take off on vacation whenever you want! None of this 2 weeks a year B.S… you don’t have much money to do that (see above) but still…flexible! Yay-yeah.

Does Google have a TV department!?

Does Google have a TV department!?

Con:
Always being “The Temp” and five steps behind. “Where are there batteries for my mouse which just died?” “Where does XYZ sit?” “How do I fix the coffee machine?” – If you’re Temping it’s not because you’re a fucking idiot (I mean… maybe you are) you are smart enough to operate a computer and answer a phone (presumably) but you constantly feel like a moron because you can’t answer simple questions.

on the flip side:

Pro:
You are not held accountable for shit that gets fucked up because you have only been there for a hot minute, how would you know things?! Pass the buck!

Con:
Not feeling like you truly fit in with a company (what if you’ve been there a week or two and then it is someone’s birthday… do you sign the card?!)

Pro:
The potential to make new friends and contacts (one of my dearest Toronto friends is a girl who’s position I covered more than a year ago… how would we have met if I hadn’t been her Temp replacement?!) – I personally got the job I have today because I worked in this office a year ago and then got another Temp contract in January. So much of it is being in the right place at the right time.

If there’s one thing I have learned – and it is compounded by this week of appreciation, it’s that Administrators need our love and admiration. They do the shitty jobs that you don’t want to… so bring them cakes and such. You know where I sit!

When being a Receptionist sucks…

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2014 has been a pretty fantastic year thus far. I had the opportunity to go to Sundance Film Festival and Los Angeles, and when I got back to Toronto I had a number of awesome interviews for roles in the Film & TV industry (none of which eventuated into a job…but still! Interviews woo!). I then stumbled into a contract position at a TERRIFIC Film & TV company in a role I loved, and when that position was up, I told the company I would do literally any role they had going so as to stay in this multi-national Entertainment giant.

And Lo, a receptionist role was up for grabs – so I went for it.

While being a Receptionist is definitely not my dream job – if it pays the bills and I get to hang around cool people that may one day recognize my potential and hire me for other cool industry stuff all day, I say: why not? It’s better than sitting on the couch watching back to back episodes of Friday Night Lights (no it’s not, I wish I was doing that right meow!).

I’ve gotten to the point with this company though where I’m starting to really love every body here – and I wake up with a smile because I love going to work. The employees are fun and happy and everybody is in this business because they genuinely enjoy what they do (lets be honest… ain’t nobody in it for the money).

And yet…having said that… there are a few things I encounter on the daily which make me think:

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Here is a list.

1. Insane couriers…
Being a courier in this town is truly a calling/last resort. Why do I say that? Because haaaaaave you met Toronto?! This city gets down to the double negatives on the reg. Mother Nature is one bad bitch when it comes to this city by the lake. Most of the couriers bike our oh so important packages around. -15 + wind = you’re going to have a bad time. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when 75% of the couriers are batshit insane. From tragic life stories and clear social anxiety issues (I’m talking won’t look me in the eye/mumbling)  to: “look at this rash on my hand…what do you think?” (Hmmmm I think I need to douse this desk with hand sanitizer and/or light it on fire ewwww ew ew) I have met them all. I’ve had full blown disagreements with men old enough to be my grandfather because a box was actually 2.5lb and not 1lb as stated on the pickup slip. Listen dude, I’m just waiting til you leave so I can get back on Buzzfeed…

2. So my idea is…
Everybody has an idea for a Film or Television show – most people watch a lot of bad Film and TV and think that they could do better and while I’m not disputing that that is necessarily true – you can’t just wander off the street and sit down with someone to discuss your amazing idea. There is a process involved (that I’m still trying to work out myself!) and yet in come these uber confident wanna-be producers, with no meeting and nothing on paper – expecting…what exactly? If confidence and the balls to actually show up were all it took – you’d be in a corner office in no time. As it is…um I’ll take a message?

3. I want to be a star…!
The truth is that the company I work for does produce TV shows here in Toronto. Again, there is a process, there are casting directors, auditions, call backs, none of which occurs here. We’re the corporate office, not a sound stage or an agency. You can’t just drop off your showreel or headshot to me… I’m not sure what to do with it. Also, I’m answering the phones and sending the Fedex’s – does it seem like I have “pull”? Maybe… in how to re-arrange the contents of the fridge…otherwise sorry! Can’t help you.

4. How can I get in contact with…?
While I definitely recognize some of the faces that play in the loop of our shows (over and over and over and over and over…) I couldn’t name a quarter of the actors or tell you anything about them (except I’m getting sick of seeing butts and violence on repeat). This is not true of fans of the show – who assume (apparently) that we know them (intimately) and would willingly give up their personal information and details. Errr…. not so much.

#firstworldreceptionistproblems

No but seriously… go away so I can look at this Cat gif compliation

Temping, Prositution of the Corporate world

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Temping:

temp [tɛmp] Informal
n
a person, esp a typist or other office worker, employed on a temporary basis
vb (intr)
to work as a temp

Turns out Temping is better paid than retail (not by much, but enough for me to go buy those Croc boots which I swear aren’t ugly, just give me a chance to show you) and because I continue to be ignored by the world of Full Time work in an industry that I am dying to work in, I decided to give Temping a go. Since the beginning of the month I have taken on four different assignments, 2 x 1 day assignments, 2 x 1 week assignments, and learned about a whole new world that I never knew existed.

The world of the Temp.

Let me give you a little run down.

The world of the Temp is a place ungoverned by your average 9-5. You wake up at 7.30am with the hope that at 8am, someone (Pimp) will call you and tell you they need you at XYZ location, and the dress code is *blank*. You slap on some make-up, make sure you vaugely know where you are going and sprint out the door. On the train you wonder again what you are doing with your life, but the other part of your brain says “this is the last job, I promise you. We’ll get the money and then move to Florida.” You get to the destination, you make small talk, find out what the client (John) likes and what they need. You settle down, close your eyes, and daydream you are somewhere else (like at a real job). When it’s all over, they thank you plenty of times, and you shuffle out clutching your time sheet. You buy yourself a couple of drinks to try to forget the disappointment in your mothers eyes.

Temping is the Prostitution of the corporate world.

But you know what? I don’t hate it.

My first two assignments were in Film and Television production companies, and you bet your Chihuahua’s left nut that I worked it like I was on the sinking Titanic and had to get my third-class ass on a lifeboat. The one day gig was a bit of a bust, it was a monday and quiet as hell, but the week long gig yielded fun, a bit of professional networking with an awesome Aussie guy who took my resume and some new surprising friendships with girls my own age who worked in the company. Turns out some of them had been in the same boat as me and some of them even got their jobs after temping first.

Actually, when I started to look into it, Temping seemed to be one of the ways a bunch of people I know got their full-time jobs. They’d go for an assignment and the company would say, you know what, why don’t you stay on, or, why don’t you give us your resume to take a look at. It was kind of like a pre-interview. And hell with the number of resumes and cover letters I have sent off, any chance of getting into ANY company as more than just a name on a piece of paper is a big bonus.

So why did I always think there was such a stigma attached to Temping? I couldn’t even tell you. Maybe there is, but now that I’ve joined the ranks I just don’t care. The job market is so tough out there, and lots of people who want to do what I want to do are stuck in menial jobs, frittering away their youth and talent.

I’d rather wake up each day with the fresh and exciting opportunity of meeting someone that may assist with opening a career door for me, than be marking down sweaters for the third time this week.

End Rant