Wednesday, February 20, 2008

what a way to make a living

It's been a strange few months for me work-wise, marked by that most lucrative of theatrical ventures, the off-off-Broadway show, a couple of odd short-term gigs, some subbing, an ongoing attempt to reboot my career (more on that if and when I actually have something to show for it) and a whole lot of Law & Order reruns on TNT. Time to blog? Tons. Anything worth blogging about? Not so much. It wasn't a bad time, really. I was actually making ends meet, and enjoying fantasies of being a househusband who could keep the apartment clean, get to the gym every day, and try out all the recipes I saw on Martha Stewart. Sadly, I lack the savings, independent wealth or rich husband to make that lifestyle a reality, and my unemployment ran out. So I headed to yet another temp agency (my 6th or 7th in the 10 years since college - how messed up is that?), since the one I'd registered with in the fall had so far only managed to get me one day of reception work back in November.

So long story short (too late), I'm a corporate temp again, for the first time in over a year (longer if you don't count the extremely cushy time I spent with the Foreign Lawyers). I went to this particular agency because my friend who works for them routinely gets assigned to major media companies. She's currently working for a television network and has a TV at her desk.

So, naturally, I'm working at the corporate headquarters of an American sports institution. I don't mean a cable channel, or even a team; I mean the people who run the professional sport. I won't say I know nothing about sports, because I live in America and I listen to news radio almost every morning – it's not like I turn it off when the sports report comes on – but I not only have no interest, I have a pretty healthy disdain for professional sports. Aaaawkwaaard!

Normally when you're a temp, everyone expects you to be kind of an idiot. A temp who shows the slightest glimmer of intelligence and initiative is heaped with praise. If I worked for a real estate company, no one would assume I knew anything about real estate. But it's positively un-American to not know anything about, er, cricket. I'm actually surprised at some of the hidden knowledge deep within my brain for reasons unknown, but it doesn't seem to be very useful. They can't seem to decide how to sort anything - sometimes it's by team, sometimes by city, and sometimes by league – so even when I think I know something I never know where to look for it. Last week I was updating an old contact list by calling offices on a new contact list to confirm names, and I asked someone why I couldn't find the [City] [Team] on any of the new lists. "Um, because they don't exist anymore." But... but I'd heard of them! I saw the name of the city and magically knew the name of the team! How can they not exist? I have just proven to you how little I follow this sport, and how in your eyes that makes me less of a man.

Fortunately, the work is pretty typical temp stuff – copying, filing, data-entry, phones – and the people are far less frat-boy-ish than I expected, so it's not too bad. However, I live every moment in fear that someone will offer me tickets to a game and I'll have to go.