I’ve been working for a temporary employment agency since the end of June as I continue my search for permanent employment in a field related to my degree. In that time I’ve been privileged to work in a wide variety of settings and do an interesting array of jobs.
Next week is National Temporary Employee Week (or possibly September is National Temporary Employee Month, I’m not really sure). Imagine my surprise when the branch office of the company I work for called me up this afternoon to let me know that they had selected me as their employee of the year. I was both pleased and shocked, and they will be featuring an article about me in their newsletter next week. (No, this is not an article about how great a worker I am. I’m actually driving toward a point.)
Later, my surprise grew as I thought about this honor. One of the primary reasons they gave me for awarding me this honor, despite my short time of employment with the company, was my willingness to take nearly any assignment (such as this third shift assignment I have had
all this week) and my availability to take said assignments. The way I’ve always looked at it is that I haven’t had much of a choice. The bills don’t stop coming in the mail and to turn down
an assignment seems like asking for financial trouble. Yet, the implication is that many temps turn down assignments until the one that appeals to them turns up. My thought is that beggars can’t afford to be choosers, but it seems that the idea of most people is that beggars not only want to be choosers but that they can afford to be choosers and will take only those jobs that seem best. We are a pampered and spoiled society when we can ‘afford’ to put off paying
bills (typically by going further into debt) just so we can work the sorts of jobs that either won’t be inconvenient or that have only the level of pay that we want. Personally, I would rather take any work that comes available to me, however inconvenient, in order to pay my bills and provide for my family. And apparently it is that mindset that gets an individual an Employee of the Year award. It is actually kind of sad that being willing to work is what makes a