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The Joys of Temping…Not March 19, 2010

Posted by Audit Monkey in Working Life in Britain.
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It is a ‘odd’ experience temping or contracting. You are expected to deliver the work but will never be part of the furniture. It’s an odd sensation as you don’t feel that you belong or particularly welcome, despite pretences otherwise. Worse, there are often periodic reminders that you are on the ‘outside’ rather than the ‘inside’.

A couple of examples. For instance, I will not be participating in any bonus payment my current employer is distributing. I’m not too surprised but it another ‘reminder’ you are not invited to the party or part of the club.

One of my favourite ‘reminders’ was while I was temping at a professional firm during the 1990’s and I was given an invitation to the firm’s Christmas bash at a prestigious hotel in Mayfair, London one Friday evening.  The usual affair, vol-au-vents, dinner and dance. Anyway, the Chief Partner got up to do a speech before the posh version of the Boomtown Rats started to play well-known, albeit, ropy cover versions.

First memorable comment. “I travel the world, and what greets me is the high esteem Farquar & Farquar (a pseudonym to protect the innocent) is held by our clients”. My immediate thought was ‘it would be’ as the clients never settled their accounts. The aged debtors report was so aged that it might as well have been written in Sanskrit and various debts had to be written off. The irony wasn’t lost on me….

The Chief Partner then dispensed a few bottles of champagne to notable individuals, including somewhat bizarrely, couples to whom romance had blossomed in the office and wedding bells beckoned. To make everyone feel included, there were a few bottles of champers for the minions, which were distributed thus.

Mr Chief Partner cleared his throat and crackled, “now, if you like to check your respective place-name card in front of you on your table, you will see there is a number on the underside….”

The clever ones among you will see what’s coming. Do you think there was a number on mine? Not bloody likely. Obviously, Mr.Chief Partner was having the last laugh.

Feeling like an unwelcome guest, I left soon after the band butchered some Motown numbers. I hardly knew anyone outside of the Accounts Department anyway and I didn’t fancy chatting to the incompetent member of staff I was covering for.  To add insult to injury, when I arrived for work on the Monday, I received a stern telling off from co-workers for leaving the party early. Sometimes you just can’t win…

“Got your number…”


1. ITaudit - March 20, 2010

I think I’m gonna have to steal from you again..

Boy, this hit home. Not only do temps/contractors/consultants have to work extra hard to show the added value, they get the watch the permanent employees gab around the office and do little.

In my latest gig, I also had the pleasure of training a staff auditor and SENIOR auditor how to audit. The senior couldn’t be taught anything, so the staff auditor outproduced her rather quickly. How did these two gals manage to keep their jobs for 2 years when they couldn’t write up a simple test?

When you see phrases like “reviewed documentation and I found no issues” you have to wonder. When I asked the senior, “What did you do to reach that conclusion?” the reply was, “I reviewed the documentation, just like I said.”


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