In the late Nineties, as the world teetered on the cusp of becoming a predominantly digital place, filing seemed to be a big thing for most companies. Paper was sprouting all over the place and no one knew what to do with it. Or, more accurately, no one wanted to spend time sorting it and shuffling it from one place to another. In this world of endless paperwork to be filed, only one person could help and that person was... The Temp.
I seemed to spend a lot of my temp-based involved in the marshaling of paper-based objects. And data inputting. Oh my yes, plenty but plenty of data inputting. I remember working for a governmental department and being one of two temps hired to sort through the many, many hundreds of applications for legal work experience then entering their details into the system if they met certain (extremely high) standards. So good was I at this menial work that I was kept on for longer to pass contracts around for signature, duplicate them and file them. A university education at work, there.
This was by no means my worst filing experience - on the contrary, it was a very pleasant office to work in. No, my least favourite filing experience was in a set of portacabins within a building site for a set of new offices near Bank.
My mission, which I had already foolishly accepted, was to file all the on-site architectural plans in order of revision. Pretty simple, you may think. Well, you may think wrong as these things were updated seemingly every hour in varying colours and codes. Not only that but they were also huge - it was like constantly filing posters. Except that they were really boring posters.
Added to this were two more elements - the dust and the noise. The dust was everywhere and coated everything. I spent the whole day feeling gritty. To top it off, at certain times of day, the whole place reverberated to the sound of pneumatic drills. It was a lot like working inside a tin can while someone banged it with a stick.
I lasted the best part of a week and a half before making my excuses and leaving. Apparently, there was a pretty high turnover on this assignment. I was more than happy to keep that high rate ticking over.