Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just call me "Marci"

One of the best temp jobs I ever had was through OfficeTeam, so when I was laid off in December, the first thing I did was sign myself back up with them. Last week they called and asked me if I would would work a short-term temp job this week. I jumped at the chance to get back to the top of their list, so I said yes.

The job is as an order taker (you know how I love taking orders...) at a convention in town at the Peppermill. But, I was warned that I was only an alternate. So, I was to show up this morning at 7, go through training and then wait around for two hours to see if I was needed. I hate to admit this: I was hoping I wouldn't be needed. Not because I didn't want to work - no I want to work. It's because this little piddly two-day job will screw up my unemployment. And as someone who hates dealing with those numbnuts, I was hoping I would get sent home.

But, Marci S. did not show up for work, so I was given her name tag and put to work taking orders. It was okay, but slow. So. Very. Slow. There were eight of us, and as we pretty much spent most of the day waiting around for people to give us orders, I am quite surprised they kept all of us there until quitting time.

As I wanted to work, I smiled at just about anyone who walked by the table. "Please sit down and give me some orders" I silently urged them. One guy saw me smile, and sat down. "Hello....Marci. Wait. Is your name really even Marci?" I laughed. "What makes you think it might not be?" "Oh, I go to enough of these things to know that someone always ends up with someone else's name tag."

Now, everyone at the table had the correct name tag but me. How he pegged me as wearing the fake one, I'll never know - unless it's just as simple as I don't look like a Marci. Anyway, we chatted a bit - he was there to talk to the Big Man at the booth, who actually wasn't there when he came by. But, for the rest of the day, he chatted me up on and off as he kept hoping to meet The Big Man at the booth.

I'll tell you, though, this guy wasn't the only person who liked Marci. As I mentioned, we were not busy at all. So, it came as no surprise when one of the booth guys came up to us and said that he wouldn't need all of us tomorrow. He told the woman sitting next to me that he would not be needing her, and then he pointed at me "But you! You I need. Can you come back tomorrow?"

Dammit. Yes, yes I can.

I'm not really sure how I was picked over the woman next to me. The only thing I can think of is that while wearing the mantle of Marci, I did a pretty good job. I didn't eat any of their samples. I didn't stray away from my station. I smiled encouragingly at people, hoping they'd come sit at my desk so I could take their orders. So, it turns out this Marci girl is a pretty good worker. And apparently fairly well-liked.

But she sure is going to screw up next week's unemployment claim.

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