Its kind of sweet how people at the companies I am temping for ask me “What are you going to do now?” Its almost as if they are worried or concerned about what happens when the temp falls off the face of their earth. They must think this is a very strange way to work, jumping from place to place.

When I got laid off last year, it was a giant kick in the teeth. I never wanted to depend on anyone else for a living. We let kids grow up with the idea that if they work hard, get good grades, and perform well in a job, they will be successful and promoted to do all kinds of exciting things. Sad to say, if you choose the wrong company and the wrong bosses no amount of hard work will mean squat. Especially for chicks, there’s danger in being too good at all those menial things junior office girls do to keep things running smoothly. And god help you if you want to get promotion with a company which is run by 3 or more people with the same last name. (Can you say “oligarchy”?)

So I temp because then I don’t have to care about it. When I love a project or a job, I care to the point of obsession – have fitful dreams about shelving books, do endless mental edits of letters that need writing, or forget to eat because I am determined to beat Pagemaker into submission.

Its no one’s ideal job to sit at someone else’s desk and try to look busy all day. But its a way to work without getting attached. Temps are a blip in the working lives around us. Its sweet of the “perms” to care, to make these inquiries into the rest of my life.

But I’m uncomfortable discussing why I am here in their space and what it is I really do. Next week I am gone anyway.

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