Interview(s) For a Temp Assignment?

United States
December 19, 2009 1:22pm CST
When I was starting out in the wonderful world of work, temp agencies were the best for upgrading my skills, getting long-term work and sometimes short assignments that required little commitment (meaning if you wanted to take time off, nobody acted out). Though writing has been good to me, I'd feel better if I had at least a perm. part-time job as well. So since my issue over the summer from my last employer (who wanted me to report at 3AM w/no promise that I would still have a job in 2010), I've been picky about going after long-term prospects. Occasionally, I would register online with an agency but wouldn't be too surprised if I heard nothing after a few weeks. One got me a short-term thing but I ended up reporting them to the Labor Comm. for not paying me. Others wanted online testing which I have no problem with but doing numerical (10-key) data entry on a laptop is easier said than done. Anyway, I got something in my Bulk mail about an assignment that seemed like a good match so I replied with immediate availability. The staffing person called my cell and asked first if it was a good time to talk. That was my cue that she wanted to converse so I called from home a couple of hours later. They asked some of the normal questions (Why did you leave,etc) but they really wanted to know my attitude about work in general and receiving accolades for secretarial/clerical duties. My response - we all have to work and if I relied on coddling every time I did something right or saved the company money, I'd still be waiting. No, I don't feel that if you're supposed to start work at 8am, you deserve a grace period allowing you to get coffee/snack, make the gossip rounds and check your personal email before starting a half-hour or so later. My point is that I felt a little humiliated being asked these questions. Then I felt worse because this was the attitude most of my co-workers had at my last two jobs (both in public education). I don't mind being sociable but I've seen a lot of time lost in the long run. Back to this work prospect. After 15 minutes of convincing the agency that I respect my work and have been in position where meeting deadlines is expected at all times, she tells me that the position is only for a few weeks and I have to do a phone interview with the client before anything is set. Hmmm. Seems like a lot to go through these days.
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