Friday, September 30, 2011

They've extended the project, it must be Tuesday

When we started this project at the beginning of July, we were told it would last 2-4 weeks, or 4-6 weeks, depending on who you were. Four weeks seemed to be the concensus, though. Those four weeks passed 8 weeks ago. For the last two months, we've been getting extensions one week at a time. In an industry where it already is quite challenging to make any kind of strategic plan, since you really don't know what will happen from one month to the next, reducing that uncertainty to week to week makes it even worse. Pretty much 8 Tuesdays in a row, we've gotten an email or, sometimes, a live visit from the associate letting us know that they have work for us the next week if we are available. Nice to have work, but one-week planning sucks my butt. Fucking carnies working the county fair circuit have more predictability in their lives than we do on this project.

Want to make it worse? The market has exploded, and there are projects everywhere. Agencies are scrambling all of a sudden because there are way more projects than there are temps to staff them. Pay rates are creeping up because of the staffing shortages, and anybody who wants work can find it. I have no doubt that the Garden Gnome, the Bridge Troll and Tall Skinny Dude have all found work.  Moby and the Hobo probably have found work, too. Things are hopping. The need for warm bodies trumps incompetence, every time.

In light of all this, what to do? Having stayed long past the original time projections of the project, it is considered by many temps to be legitimate to bail. Agencies, as you might imagine, have a different view and think you should ride the Titanic down into the icy depths. Obviously, it's time to lie. Sticking with a dying project just long enough to miss other projects is not a viable business model. One of our number already has bailed. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Frankly, my mother is looking poorly.

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