Life is Pretty O.K.
By Crystal Bahmaie
The first time that I walked into a temp agency, I thought, "this'll be easy enough," and by the time I left I was ready to slit my wrists with my resume.
I have a college degree that I worked very hard for (both in mind and in wallet), yet it was giving me no help in finding a job. If there were a job that required writing a thesis on Kantian Dialectic I would be prepared. I have yet to find such a job, unless you consider graduate school and being a teacher's assistant--and going deeper and deeper into debt--a job. Some people do. My dad does. I don't.
When I decided against an office job in order to work on movies my dad said, "what are you going to do when this one ends?" I said I'd find something else, and he said, "what if there isn't anything else?" and I said, "I'll temp." This is when my dad freaked out. He told me I'd be selling my soul. Then came the spiel about how this is how companies get around giving benefits and salaries and about how temping just perpetuates economic injustice. Long story short: he does not know about my recent trip to the agency.
While you're there they make you fill out a questionnaire with questions like, "What kind of job are you looking for?" simple enough. Then: "Why do you think you don't have a job already?" This is not an appealing question for a person without a job to face.
Then came the computer test, which asked things like "can you change the font size of this sentence?" When I got a 98% I was feeling pretty smart.
At the end you talk to a person for about one second who, without looking up, tells you you look creative and suggests a job working in accounts receivable at a finance company. You smile and nod, glancing from your wrist to your resume, and back to your wrists again.
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