Temp Diary, Day 2: Phones and How My Temping Experience Is Unlike That Of Melanie Griffith In “Working Girl”


Sigourney Weaver hasn’t told me to rethink the jewelry yet. So there’s that. In other news, that hairstyle doesn’t just crest out of one’s head by itself, let me tell you!

Harrison Ford just crashed his plane, so he’s not available for me to bang my way to an office. Actually, I DO have an office. I share it with the scanner and the paper shredder. But it is my own little area to rue the day and what not, even if people are coming in to shred documents that I can almost guarantee no one gives a whit about. Unless someone is embezzling or something. Hopefully. It would add a little color to this desolate corporate wasteland.

Here’s another daily detriment to my dignity. Phones. I occasionally have to “cover the phones.” Now, “covering the phones” and I are not as strangers. In my often odd job history in which I have circumnavigated the typical job track, I have worked as an office manager-type. It was fine. Working with sales people can be trying seeing as they’re a different breed of human and often need scourging. But in general, no problem. Unless you’ve got Ursula the Sea Bitch for a superior and she drives you back to therapy because of all the evil and spite that burst from her womb outward, exiting from her dirtbag mouth…where was I? Right, phones.

Call me a brat. Call me snobby. I had this rather visceral “You haven’t Googled me yet? I once interviewed the Jonas Brothers! I have now exchanged Tweets with the daughter from The Americans TWICE. RECOGNIZE.” reaction upon hearing I was the occasional phone girl. The current receptionist (we’ll call her “Candy”) is leaving this week and it appears I’m going to be the interim secretary.

It’s not that I’m above answering phones. I’m not. It’s just that I thought I had reached a place in my life where I wasn’t going to have to anymore. I thought I had ascended. My last position, the only phone I answered was my own (and I barely picked that one up). The phones is just symbolic of my dissatisfaction with my current situation. It feels like a regression.

Also, it’s super boring cuz’ there’s like 10 calls a day. Candy, who responded to “train Jason on the phones” by applying mascara, just sort of exists there applying makeup all day. She’s adorable and wears these really big cowl-neck sweaters that look like full-body infinity scarves. She’s also basically 5 years old.

“I majored in fashion merchandising. Look at me now.” she said, with a dark chuckle. She checked out her brows with her compact as she told me about her childhood, her college days, how the roommate she hates is moving out…

(“She practically moved her boyfriend in and he doesn’t have a car and lives with his PARENTS and that’s not my problem! They make these big dinners, and we share the kitchen and they leave huge mess! And once, I thought I was home alone. I WASN’T. HE was there waiting for her.”

“He sounds like quite a catch,” I noted, and then remembered I am the 40-YEAR-OLD PHONE GIRL. Thankfully, I already have a husband. No one’s going to want to date the 40-YEAR-OLD PHONE GIRL, are they?)

…how her mother wants to move to LA but doesn’t drive (great idea, Candy’s mom), how she never gets any phone calls, how she’s always freezing, how her boyfriend’s ex is crazy and ruining their relationship, the fact that her temping gig here is up and they didn’t keep her on and in fact, she is TRAINING the girl taking over for her, nice huh?

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE this kind of stuff. People’s daily dramas, if told in an entertaining fashion, feed me. Especially if it’s a virtual stranger or someone whose life will never again intersect with mine. This way, the gossiping won’t circle back and screw me AND I can give life-changing advice without finding out about the outcome so there’s very little guilt. Hopefully, no one’s been killed or become a Scientologist yet.

Candy is entertaining. It’s ok that SHE’S a phone girl. She’s just waiting for her TJX Companies boat to come in because she’s three. Me, on the other hand…

Want to know what makes the phones experience even worse? When a co-worker on the professional ledge above you (I know, it can’t be that much higher, boo.) strolls up and says this.

“Hi, I’m [whatever], welcome to [super whatever]. I’m going to need you to print a few things for me later…”

“Sure thing, [whatever that I hate now for his lazy insult to my ego].”

Yes, this diary entry could have been written by a sullen teenage girl. I’m owning it. Fuck phones. Yeah, fuck phones, even though I suck at them. I think I transferred someone to an insurance agency in Guam.


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