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Today's my last day of my current assignment.
As usually, I have mixed feelings. I enjoyed this job: the location, the hours, the work,
and most of the people. On the other side, I can't wait to set my own hours again, take a
large whack at the household chores (yes, I'm a 'domestic diva' type of guy), and write
hours on my works-in-progress (WIPs).
Temping is a large part of my work history. I started sometime in 1996, two years after R.
and I moved in. The first job was a three-day data entry position that literally made me go
blind with those old-fashioned green on black monitors. Ugh.
The first major position was working for a credit verification company. It was from that
experienced I learned about technical writing and specialized temp agencies. For the next
couple of years I worked in the IT departments of some pretty well-known companies as Hughes and The Getty Museum. The latter was an amazing place to work: all those multi-million dollar paintings casually hanging in various departments. And the view...!
Temping landed me my first perm job. I had just been let go from an aerospace firm. R. and I
had just had a party a few weeks before and one of our guest had discovered we had termites.
We called in Orkin who had to fumigate. We stayed at my sister's place while she visited her
(then) boy-friend up north. I was driving back to her apartment when I received
a call from an agency I had joined a couple of weeks before.
If you're not familar with temp agency, there is a category called "permanent placement." These are positions where the agency screens potential candidates for permanent positions in their client's companies. The agency who called me had such a position for (at the time) a major wireless telecommunication company. When the rep told me its name, I immediately said yes to a potential interview.
I started work a couple of months later, my first permanent job.
Alas, the position didn't last. Economic changes and company politics ("let's transfer an entire department to our state and combine them with technology they have no training in to save cost") forced me to leave. By then, though, I had already developed the mindset of "permanent temp": that all working folks are temps regardless if they're getting benies from their jobs or not. With this case, I got unemployment and other goodies (which I had been paying for, anyway) and got some substantial work done on my novels.
I did secure a perm job last year without an agency, the first since my college days. For a variety of reasons that didn't last and I went back to temping. The experience had changed me, though. One of the advantages of temping is the ability to "try" different jobs. I used this trait to go in a brand-new career direction: working in the public sector. I secured my current position in a local city hall* a couple of weeks after leaving the perm job.
Now it's ending and I'm in a tangled bundle of emotions. That's okay: it's only "temp"orary anyway ;-)
*I'll be back for another temp assignment at the same location but a different department. Yay!