Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I understand the need for Temps. You use them when you have a temporary gap in manpower. The Temp acts like a sort of stopgap, until you either don't need them anymore, or they prove indispensible and you hire them full time (thereby paying them their worth and giving them benefits).

We like Temps. We like to employ them for long stretches of time, underpaying them and neglecting to afford them any kind of job stability or medical benefits. It's cheaper after all. For the most part, the Temps, as a collective, work out. But I have a few issues.

By their very definition, a Temp is a temporary worker. They are not official employees in any capacity. Usually they are used for menial grunt work ie mail. Occasionally they move up the food chain and have actual responsibilities -- but here is the beauty of the Temp: if they suck, you can get rid of them!

Apparently my office didn't get this memo. Because we have a couple (one in particular) that make more work for the rest of us, have not caught on at all (despite being given the benefit of the doubt AND a lot of time to learn), and are generally ineffective. And yet, we still pay them. We still give them work to do. We still expect them to come in every day. Why? They are useless. Set him free! Sorry **set them free**.
That's my first gripe.

This is the second. Although we have one, maybe two Temps that suck, we actually have had more that are amazing. Awesome. Incredible. We would be lost without them. These are the Super Temps. The ones that continue to amaze, to learn, to excel.

So what's my problem? I'll give you a hint: it's not the Temps that I have a problem with.

That's right- its John and Upper Management that I have a problem with. Because they take advantage.

If you are a Temp, you are paid an hourly wage by the Temp Agency. The Temp Agency in turn gets paid for lending you out. Typically a Temp Agency will get $21 an hour, and pay their Temps $13. Temps get no benefits, no sick days, no paid vacation. And no job security. They work week to week, could be let go any time because they aren't "needed" anymore. I'd say, Temps are already taken enough advantage of.

Companies like mine favour Temps because when its all added up, Temps cost a lot less.

I figure that they already get taken advantage of plenty. Which is why I was incensed to learn that once again John is offering some Temps "overtime". If I work any additional time, I have the option to "bank" those hours and take the time later, or get paid for the additional time at time and a half. A Temp gets the option of working an additional hour every day, at the same rate, for a total of 40 hours a week (they don't get paid lunches, not being salaried). John gets an extra 5 hours of work per Temp, at a lot less.

I just think that its really shady to take advantage of those that are already working at a disadvantage. The Super Temps work hard, do the same work, work the same hours- and just get so much less. I am disappointed that John continues to hire Temps, never giving them the opportunity to get hired full time. Those opportunities go to outside hires. That then have to be trained -- often by Temps.

How's that for a slap in the face?

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