Monday, July 11, 2005

Yee Haw

The temp job I started today was at the Houston Rodeo. No, I wasn't stomping around in the mud lassoing animals, I was in the corporate office, doing data entry. Forget Acewell & Julius, this is what temping is all about.

First of all, the office is palatial. The amount of money spent on the office furnishings was actually a hot issue in the editorial pages of the Chronicle a few months back: the rodeo is a charitable organization, supposedly raising money for scholarships -- but they spent exorbitant amounts of money decorating the corporate office, like $35,000 on a conference room table.

Besides the cushy furnishings, the office also boasts a grossly excessive amount of unnecessary space. For instance, in order to get from where I sit to the break room, I have to pass through about four enormous lounge-type rooms with couches, plush carpeting and paintings of horses that I imagine you otherwise only find in country clubs. At the end of my long walk I'm rewarded with free sodas and Dasani waters in the fridge, courtesy of sponsor Coca-Cola. F that hot chlorine mess in the Acewell water cooler!

The job itself is alright. There's actually work to do, unlike at the law firm, and data entry usually makes me want to kill myself. But having access to a computer makes up for that. Plus there are two other temps working with me -- Latasha and Angelina -- and we chatted all day and listened to music. The three of us are entering data from the thousands of surveys that were filled out after this year's rodeo.

We colluded early on. A ticker on each of our computers tracks how many surveys we've entered, but we all agreed on a lowball number to work towards for the day. This way we could goof off all day with the appearance that it was just honestly taking a long time to do the work. Our supervisor hardly checked on us and she said she won't even be in tomorrow or Thursday. These fools have no idea.

Now if I were hiring temps to do a project like this, I would implement some kind of incentive program. Like a $50 bonus to the temp who logs the most surveys. Or permission to leave early with full pay as soon as you hit X number of surveys. But I guess when you spend $2,600 per desk chair, you're not really sweating the $10.50 an hour for the asses that sit in them.