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5-25-01 - Kellyache

Detroit, Michigan.  1946.  William Russell Kelly starts a new company to meet the office needs of Detroit-area businesses.  He calls it the Russell Kelly Office Service.

In 1954, the first office opens outside of Michigan, in Louisville, Kentucky. A year later, the company has 35 branch offices throughout the United States.  Soon after, the company changes its name to Kelly Girl Service, Inc.

During the '60s, The Kelly Girl® becomes a nationwide icon, synonymous with high-quality temporary employees.


I'm gonna be a Kelly Girl®.

In fact, as you're reading this, chances are I'm over at Kelly Services (as it's called these days), being interviewed, tested, scrutinized, evaluated, poked, prodded, and possibly, if I'm lucky, hugged.  Er, hired!  I meant hired.

But, at the moment, I'm probably sitting in an uncomfortable chair in a poorly ventilated room, trying to remember how to create hanging indexes in Microsoft Word, or wracking my brain on how f-lookups work in Excel, or desperately trying to beat my typing speed high-score (previously 49 WPM, set in 1999).

I'm filling out paperwork, trying to think up a few professional references, those being tough for me, since all I've really done is temp in the short-term for the past few years.  I doubt most places remember me, and even if they do, I surely don't remember the names and phone numbers of people who might give me glowing recommendations.

I'm also trying to be confident, charming, and witty with the interviewer, which is fairly grotesque to watch.  I'm no good at thinking on my feet in these sorts of situations, so I prepare ahead of time, imagining various possible avenues of conversation, then thinking up witty anecdotes and comments to insert into them should they arise.  They never do, of course, so I wind up having to awkwardly steer the conversation around to the desired topic, then spit out my rehearsed lines in a rush, where they fall flat and draw blank looks.

So, in a nutshell, right now I'm nervous, sweaty, uncomfortable, and making an ass out of myself.  I hope you're having a nice day, though.

Why Kelly Services?  Well, they have history, a lot of local clients, and a good reputation.  But really, I'm hoping that calling myself a Kelly Girl® will be amusing enough to mention on the website every now and then.

Man.  That's something.  I'm 28 years old and I'm actually deciding the future of my career on whether or not calling myself a girl will be funny.

I am really hoping the interview will go well.  I'm really hoping for an agent with a sense of humor, and also hoping that my duplicating an image and plagiarizing copy from their website won't give me any (more) negative karma.

Another reason I'm joining is that my current agency, who shall remain nameless, sucks, and they just aren't coming up with jobs for me.  I don't have any sort of rapport with my agents, I'm still bitter about my job as a helper-monkey, and they haven't called me for work in two weeks.

Plus, with them, the calling-myself-a-girl angle is nonexistent.



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5-24-01 - Horoscopes For Temps

Aries: It's time to unleash your creativity on the job!  Get a pen, and your time card, and just go to work on those boxes marked 'OT'.

Taurus: Your boss's inappropriate touching may be easier to deal with if you just pretend he doesn't completely repulse you. 

Gemini: Romance is in the air!  And by 'romance' I mean 'stale pretzel farts from your cubicle mate.'  Enjoy!

Cancer:  Keep an eye on the fax machine this week! Some important information will be arriving for your boss, relating to several felonies you committed in six different states. 

Leo: Your feelings of intense isolation will ease today when you squeeze onto a commuter train packed with 4th graders on a field trip.  Hope you like the Pokemon song!

Virgo: A misunderstanding between you and a co-worker could have long-term consequences. Make sure you know what he means by 'reorganize my batch.'

Libra: Your emotional ups and downs will be noticed by your alert co-workers.  It's amazing how waving a gun around and shrieking really gets everyone's attention, isn't it?

Scorpio: You can't let go of the past this week.  Not that it's your fault, they've got you filing documents from the 1970's.  Ya poor bastard.

Sagittarius: Be careful messing around online today, for your boss could be standing right behind you and looking over your shoulder and READING THAT YOU, JIM, THINK HE'S A BIG ASS.  (Well, maybe I got one guy named Jim fired.)

Capricorn: Don't stress too much about the fact that your socks don't match today!  No one will notice, since you aren't wearing pants.

Aquarius: You'll be coming into contact with some serious money this week, but don't get too excited, because I'm lying. 

Pisces:  Generosity, patience, and understanding are your key words today!  Key in the fact that you have none of them.  Go home early.




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5-23-01 - Contact Worker

Er, so, yeah.  Hi.

I'm slacking a bit this week, obviously.  I'll have a Henchman and new Diversions and stuff next week.  Fer sher.

Went to the San Francisco production of "Contact" the other night.  I'm normally not much of a theater person, particularly when it comes to the whole singing and dancing scene.  Contact didn't have any singing, though, so that was nice, but it did have a lot of dancing.   Raunchy dancing.  It was pretty cool, even though it had nothing to do with that Jodi Foster movie.

It made me realize something about my life, too, specifically, my career.  See, I watched these artists on stage, putting every ounce of themselves into their performances, their craft... just like I do at my temp jobs.  Well, sort of.  Yes, I goof off a lot, but I have to work eight-hour days, and Contact was only about two hours long, so I figure it evens out.

By the end of the show, the performers were spent, exhausted, just like I am at the end of a day, though they have been dancing and jumping and flexing and grinding, while I usually just haven't gotten enough sleep the night before.

Also, their costumes were soaked through with perspiration, just like my work clothes are after being crammed on a hot, stinky bus with no ventilation on the way home.

So, what, exactly, is the difference between me and those dancers, I ask you?  I mean, other than the fact that they're all incredibly beautiful and have perfect bodies and faces and grace and dexterity and talent and muscle-tone and butts you could eat lunch off of.

Applause.  That's the difference.  At the end of their day, when they're done working, they get, by my estimation, ten minutes of riotous applause.

Me?  I get nothin'.

No one ever claps when I punch out for the day.  I mean, I type.  I fax.  I copy.  I file.  I mail.  I distribute.  I staple.

At five o'clock, I poke my head into my supervisor's office, and say "'Night."

Does my supervisor slowly stand, clapping, while the rest of the office workers do the same?  Do the waves of adoration and adulation sweep over me, while I raise my hands, beaming, and take a long bow?  Does the accounting department throw roses at my feet?  When I disappear into the elevator, and the doors close, does the applause continue, growing even louder, mixed with cries and shouts of gratitude?  And when those elevator doors open again, and I come bounding back out to take another breathless bow, are the cheers absolutely deafening?

Well, yeah.  But that was just that one day when I totally faxed the hell out of this big document.

Usually, though, I get squat.

Sure, temps don't dance, we're not graceful, and, as a whole, our butts are in terrible shape.  

Still, today, do me a favor.  Applaud a temp.

Not for too long, though.  The bus won't wait.

(Thanks to Scott for the free tickets!)



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All material © 2000 - 2001 by Christopher Livingston.  Yeah.  That'll hold up in court.