July 22nd, 2004

Photo - leaves

So, here's what happened...

There was some miscommunication somewhere along the lines.  The woman who told me the details didn't have all the details, because she hadn't taken the contract in the first place. The post was actually for an experienced PA, but they were so desperate, they'd requested for anyone who could type - so as soon as she saw my speed, she thought I could do it.

Ha.  Big mistake.  Within ten minutes I was up to my ears trying to organise meetings and be a PA on no experience whatsoever; I managed to sort some things out and do the copy-typing and photocopying I was given, but everything else - complicated and terrifying things I had no idea how to achieve - kept on coming, so at lunchtime I went to speak to the person who'd organised the position and told her, in no uncertain terms, that there'd been a mistake somewhere.

So I stuck it out til 5.00, filing and making contents pages for things - except by then I was so flustered I'd forgotten how to collate, for God's sake - apologised for wasting their time and we called it a day.  Then I met my mum in the car park and broke down in tears because it was all so frustrating.  Word to the wise for any of you that might become employers at any point in the future - there's hurling your new employees in at the deep end, and there's drowning them.  Learn the difference.

Anyway, yesterday evening I was in no mood to explain, hence the cryptic.  I was pretty much upset all night, mainly because of the mix-up and because it was so horrendous, even though everyone in the office was really nice about it and understanding, probably because I was honest upfront that I couldn't do anything.  I think it was also just residual arghishness finally getting a chance to be vented, so in any case it's been mildly therapeutic.  I was still upset about it this morning, but mainly because I was so tired.

Pertemps sent my timesheet.  Since they've agreed to pay me for the eight hours I did, I have to take that in tomorrow to get it signed, then send it to Pertemps.  After I'd phoned to organise a time to go in, I phoned up the woman who'd seen me at the agency and asked why, exactly, she'd sent me to the job - she apologised and promised to keep looking, explaining that it hadn't been her contract and she was as in the dark as I was.  Well, whatever, but it reflects badly on them and the company, and also on me - how am I supposed to explain to the Jobcentre that I did one day of a temping job?

So, after that, I went back into town to find Key Personnel and look around a bit more.  I was going to try Office Angels, since they deal with more basic secretarial and data inputting, etc, but then I remembered they were the people who told me to bugger off because I'd not got any experience.  I checked Man Power's window and may go visit them tomorrow.  Extra Personnel had lots of immediate vacancies for secretarial, copy-typists, data inputting, etc, so I went in there.  Told them what had happened at Pertemps, and that I'd been tested and what my speed was.

Cue more tests.  I've gone down to 76 WPM (10,000 keystrokes per hour on data inputting with 10% error rate) but they were still impressed, so I'm now registered with them, or will be when I've taken my passport in for them tomorrow.  They work directly with Birmingham City Council and need decent typists for data inputting (apparently in the housing sector, but they couldn't get through to them today) and the lady I spoke to in there was adamant she could find me work, and refused to find me a bar job. ;)  There was also a rather amusing moment when their receptionist wandered into the waiting room and asked me how to spell 'literacy'...

So, my first day was my last day, and a complete disaster, but things are looking up again and are now at least, well, sane.  The entire thing was a complete farce.  Pertemps, incidentally, are infamous for sending crappy temps everywhere, so I shouldn't be surprised.

It's a rite of passage - everyone has to become the clichéd Useless TempTM at least once in their life...
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