At one of my temp jobs, I happened to see on a random computer an old email message from the temp agency to the company that eventually hired me. The temp agency email said, “we have received positive reviews about [Post-Academic in NYC] from previous clients.”
That sentence has stuck with me for a while. At first, I thought it was because I want to be liked, and so I was glad to see that the people who pay me low wages to do hard work on a temporary basis actually like me. Perverse, I know! Then I thought it might be because of the word “reviews,” which suggests I am like a bad movie that you can’t walk out of . . . because I’m your temp. Or, I’m like a product sold on late-night TV: “Customers love our spray-can toupée/nice lady temp!”
But today I realized the word “review” really sets up a whole new framework for answering the all-important question: is this temp worth your money?
I was browsing Amazon for books (which I cannot actually purchase due to a lack of money). At the bottom of the Amazon page, as everyone is aware, you can read reviews of the book you might buy.
I wonder how long it will be before temp agencies catch on to this. I expect, in the future (if it’s not already happening), employers will log on to a website to see a list of potential temps, along with resumés and photos. Then, next to each listing, there will be a place for employers to post a “review.” It’ll be like Yelp for The People Who Have The Jobs! Each temp will get a rating between 1 and 5 stars, and then there will be a place for comments.
I imagine some of the comments like this:
Post-Academic in NYC
Joe from Company #1
PAINYC was a very good temp. She showed up on time, worked hard, and didn’t talk too much. Then she left at the appointed hour. I highly recommend PAINYC for those looking to hire a temp without the hassle of actually having to talk to that person very much over the course of the day.
Susan from Company #2
PAINCY was a delight to have on the staff – briefly. She did not seem to have a chip on her shoulder like other temps do. To be sure, she performed her duties not exactly with a smile, but with an expression of detached resignation. That was just fine with us here at Company #2!
Mike from Company #3
PAINYC was not a very good receptionist/secretary. The multi-line conference phone seemed to bewilder her at every moment. She couldn’t tell the difference between two of the lawyers on our staff, which is really unfortunate even though they are both middle-aged white men named Dave. We suspect that she might have eaten someone else’s lunch one day, but we can’t be sure. There are a lot of lunches going in and out of the office. All in all, though, we will hire PAINYC again because she is the temp we know. Even if she refuses to learn how to answer the phone, we can hope that someday she will catch on, which is more than we can say for someone we haven’t met yet.
Nigel from Company #4
She was white. Not pretty. Not ugly. Not old. Not young. Not fat. Not skinny. You’d only notice her if you needed her, which is a good thing in a temp.
Donna from Company #5
She did not smell.