This topic is at the forefront right now for a lot of people partly because of the movie, “The Help,” and for those, like me, who are enlisting the service of “temps” to help them out in the office. It isn't actually me that's enlisting the help of temps, but rather my supervisor. However, I have been the one partly in charge of training them because they will be taking over my job while I am away from my desk – either while at lunch, or on vacation. Since about the second week of August I have trained at least three different women, all three of which lasted anywhere from a day and a half to one week. Two out of three had to leave due to illness. The third one just didn't work out. I can't help but think of the old adage that “good help really is hard to find.”
Lest you think I'm not being sympathetic, I don't mean to be. I feel bad for these women who were all downsized from their previous jobs through no fault of their own. However, having to run through the same spiel three times is a bit redundant (unless you're a school teacher), and one does wonder if you're just wasting your breath after awhile. Also, I can't help be a bit annoyed by the temp who came in sick. Although I admire your courage to work through your illness, if you have the least tiny doubt whether or not you can work, stay home. Not only are you needlessly spreading your germs, you're also inconveniencing the employer by having to find a last minute replacement for you. Sure, it may mean getting passed up for a job, but wouldn't you rather present your best HEALTHY self rather than the “seen better days” self?
A long time ago there used to be a show on Sunday nights called “TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes” hosted by Dick Clark (I think) and Ed McMahon. This was long before outtakes and dvds, and “Punked” and all that reality TV crap, but I digress. One week my favorite celebrity (at the time), Stephanie Zimbalist was on. Her best friend, Robin, was allegedly trying to help her find a new assistant. By the end of the joke Stephanie had interviewed three different ladies – each worse than the last. I distinctly remember Stephanie's comment (mimicking one of the applicants), “Well, I can learn!” I kind of feel that way about the trio of applicants I've seen come through our office. However, I wish them all the best.