Monday, 12 September 2011

Wage Monkey - Part The First

Temp jobs have a special category of contempt reserved for them. Unless the temp job in question is covering someone on leave, the sort of work involved in the average piece of low paid contract work is generally a) so menial that it would be a positive affront to include those duties in a regular persons role and b) so mind- meltingly simple that you could shave a monkey and get said shaved simian to do it. I have, as have most of us at one point or another, been that monkey.

The most memorably depressing day of temping that I ever spent was as a cricket steward at the Oval. I won't name the company - admittedly mainly because their name is lost in the dim and distant haze of my alcohol-numbed student memory - but they specialised in staffing for events from a catering and security / stewarding point of view. It was in the twilight of my university days and I needed a bit of additional cash to see me through. My flatmates were working for the agency in question and doing silver service and bar work at events. I thought I'd get in on a bit of that action and signed myself up.

Sadly, my complete lack of catering experience meant that I wouldn't be landing any of those plum silver service gigs. No, I was only qualified for stewarding which was basically pointing at things that were further away and standing around in a high visibility jacket. My three years as a children's shoe fitter at Selfridges cut no ice here. Well, fair enough, I thought, a job's a job and money's money and various other tautologies.

I signed on for a day of stewarding at the races - can't remember which race course. It had horses at it, that's about the best I can do. We had to arrive early at the agency offices to be mini-bussed to the event and it was there that I met the people I was to be shackled with for the rest of the day. If hell is other people, I was in for a fiery day indeed...

To Be Continued


Pearl said...

As a banquet server, I await the next instalment.

You wouldn't mind running and getting me a drink while I wait, would you?


jenny_o said...

Pearl, he can't bring you a drink but he can confidently point you toward one :)

Waiting for part two also.

That Baldy Fella said...

I'm far better at consuming than fetching... although that does diminish the ability the ability to point at them after a while...