An Agent of Agency – Life as an Office Temp

My situation has become desperate. I am sick and I am tired of the string of ridiculous employment assignments that make up my life. I endure lengthy commutes through grotty West Country ghettos only to arrive at some soul-destroying depot for the terminally disenchanted.

I have endured the look of disappointment from one too many managers as they realise their Office Angel is in fact a beardy bloke. One manager even went to the extent of describing the assets of all his previous secretaries from Office Angels with remarkable accuracy. He painted a powerful vignette of bulging cleavages, basketball arses, and flowing blonde locks. I noticed his eyes well up as he told me.

Last week I got a pay cheque for just thirty five pounds. It is time I took matters into my own hands. I will play recruitment roulette, pitting my employment agency, Office Angels, against its rivals, like a Cold War double agent. I will trade my limited expertise on the employment black market.

So it is, that still dressed in my finery from my role in the post room, I walk into Randstad. Straight away I realise that I reek of Office Angel; they can smell it on me. But I don’t leave; I go in and sit down. I complete their computer tests and eventually win them over with a passionate discourse on stapler maintenance and its relevance to the modern employee. They are happy to take me on. I’m in.

On Monday morning with the fumes of the weekend still suffocating me, fogging my aching mind, I call Office Angels. Adopting my best chirpy have-a-nice-day voice I speak to my recruitment buddy. What would it be this week? PA to Robert Mugabe, maybe. Filling in for a crash test dummy. Stool sample analyser for Johnny Vegas. Sadly, the answer was a slow purring, worming nothing. Diddley-squat.

It seemed inevitable that I would be living off whatever coppers I could find in my girlfriend’s old handbags. I slumped back into bed and pulled the covers up over my head. Ten minutes later I was awoken by a muffled ringing. I reached blindly for my phone and thrust it somewhere near my mouth. “Morning,” I croaked in my best having-a-shit-day voice. It was Randstad with a job for me – a so-called “secretarial” role. They gave me a code, a postcode. The location of my role was only a short walk from my flat. I accepted instantly.

Pushing my sleeping girlfriend from off my chest, I felt more than a little like James Bond. In my imagination, I heard her whisper seductively for me to come back to bed. Putting on my smart trousers, I told her that I had an important assignment, that someone somewhere needed my services. I would, of course, be some time.


More tales of woe from the world of temporary employment with the inappropriate cup.

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Tom Spooner

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