A summer job that you can do hungover (sorry, I am obliged to stereotype you student body - by all means bring me in for a stern word with your student rep) means waiting is out. Handling food, carrying trays of drinks, writing stuff down on a tiny notepad? No, that's not doable on any of the usual hangover symptoms of sickness, shakiness and headaches.
To the trusty call centre then? Well over the weekend The Guardian published a What I'm Really Thinking article from a call centre worker. Do you really want a employment with a job description like this: "Soaking up all this rage for a salary of 17,000." Didn't think so. You can work in a shop but all that standing hastens the development of varicose veins.
However, while temping is a good and easy job where you have an agency that deals with tricky issues such as, uh, finding the job in the first place, holiday pay and sick leave for you it does mean everything is constantly new. There's only so many times you can ask if the photocopier is supposed to make that sound so here are some tips for the new to temping.
1. Hot drink
When you arrive I will bet you a bourbon (biscuit, go on take it I don't like them) that the first thing your line manager will show you will be the kitchen. This is not an invitation for you to put your sandwiches in the fridge.
Everyone will hand you their own personalised humorous mug saying stuff like 'You want it WHEN?!?!?!?!'
Now, the hot drinks machine. Like I said don't let it baffle you. Everyone will hand you their own personalised humorous mug saying stuff like 'You want it WHEN?!?!?!?!'. Put the mug wherever you see a spout. Open the drawer that has the picture of what they ordered (let's say a flat white, because you work in a fancy office), take out the sachet and then try to shove it where it seems to fit.
Not where the sun don't shine - you've got a long afternoon of sitting in your designated task chair. Press a button that has a picture of hot spurting water. HURRAH! You have probably made the requested drink!
2. The Printer/photocopier
Eurgh, the printer. I suffer from some form of photocopier amnesia. I worked in an office where the photocopier was in a quiet corner of the ground floor so could privately waste huge amounts of dead tree as I pressed all the buttons. I finally mastered it, but then at my next job the exact same model flummoxed me.
Nobody fully understands it and if you do something wrong it will bleep loudly drawing attention to it. Busy yourself with tea making duties to avoid being asked to photocopy or print anything. You will also need ninja abilities to chuck printing mistakes in the recycling bin on the sly.
3. The Device
There will come a time when you are casually asked to use some kind of machine that should be pretty simple to use, but let's say you have never had any call to personally laminate or shred anything in your life before BECAUSE YOU ARE A PRINCESS OK. And princesses don't waste paper like that. Anyway you will be asked to use one of these. Don't ask how to use it. Somehow it's funnier in later anecdotes that way. Make eye contact with the device, walk slowly towards it to give yourself time to work out which button you're going to press first. Press it. It's probably OK, it's a machine that's pretty simple to use.
4. Under Worked
Sometimes it's not quite clear why an office has got a temp in. The place is ticking over happily and everyone's drinking their tea. If you can get hold of a clipboard try walking purposefully across the office once or twice. Type furiously at your keyboard - like this: jhs\\/ugf?;@uwnlgdluihai'p\'o
Offer to make another round of tea. Man, everybody loves you.
5. The Joy of Temping
The joy of temping is that you develop admin, people and tea tray holding skills like no other. You also get to sit down all day. Take advantage of learning how to gossip office style and perfect chair spinning. Temping! We recommend it.