I just wrapped up a whole 40-hour work week, my first eight-hour-daily-for-a-paycheck stint since getting my pink slip. Unbelievable. And eye-opening. Working as “the temp” inside of a years-old company culture is … interesting to say the least.
My job, of course, was to work on a project nobody else wanted to do and I did it proudly, with gusto. Basically, my “technical writing” expertise was refined and reduced to typing up a quality manual for the steel enclosure industry, complete with many intricately-fashioned form templates. Fascinating work, but hey, somebody had to do it and I’m just glad nobody else wanted to!
But work, schmirk, what was really fun was getting to know my three trailer-mates (the office is inside a construction trailer, a first for me): April, Cindy and Gomer. Well, in a week’s time you don’t really get to know someone — it’s more like a fly-on-the-wall experience. But that’s a plus to typing along at 55-60 wpm in a 15-by-20 foot room divided by wobbly cubicle walls: you can pick up on some pretty juicy office talk.
One day, for instance, a delivery guy came in looking for the person who’d ordered gopher food. Almost lost my coffee on that one. Cindy, limping all week from too much dancing fun at last Saturday night’s trek to the Buffalo Club, regularly updated Gomer on her Facebook friends’ witty updates and sweet April slipped me a printout of inspirational Christian quotes and invited me to church. I tried not to read anything into that. Gomer (yes, that’s his real name) took the prize for most entertaining temporary office mate, though, when he downloaded the Hamster Dance ring tone on his cell phone. It rang a lot.
It was a great ride and for a few days, it felt so… comforting and safe. To have some place to go to, a reason to get up and on the road to Caldwell by 7:20 a.m. I packed lunches and took a book to read at lunch. And my office mates actually started to see me by the end of the week, saying “good morning, Jeanne” and asking me if I wanted something when they went to the convenience store up the road.
I’ll miss that.