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Archive for the ‘Jobs’ Category

I know there are many folks out there who aspire to temp when they grow up. Trust me, it’s not all glitz and glamor. Sure, you get to type formulas into Excel, insert slides in PowerPoint, and wrestle with the copy machine all day. But strolling through the fluorescent-glowing hallways of corporate America is not all that it cracks up to me, believe me. There are some notable downsides.

You Don’t Know the Office Politics. This may vary depending on your stay but you’re usually not there long enough to develop friends and/or enemies. Depending on how large your company is, you may not even know the people around you. I’ve just finished my first week on my first temp assignment and I’ve only met a handful people. The 3 other temps I work closely with, 3 supervisors, and 1 other employee. Okay, so maybe that’s not so bad. But even if you develop a bad rap with a colleague or two, you’ll leave before you do some serious damage. And if you make some friends, you’ll get references for future employment opportunities. Okay, some maybe this is a plus, after all.

You’re Getting The Grunt Work. This should be a no-brainer. How many doctors temp? Do you see astrophysicists or organic chemists temping? No, they “consult” and make a hell of a lot more money than us lowly temps. But of course they have that “fancy education” and brain power that makes their skills marketable. Unless you’re an accountant, computer science, or financial professional, most likely you will be doing admin work. Which means Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Right now I’m proofreading ads for a well-known supermarket chain in the Northeast. Not exactly the most glamorous work in the world but hey, it gives me a paycheck.

You Don’t Have Enough Time to Know the Layout of the Land. Thus far I’ve gotten lost trying to find my little workspace, though I’ve been finding it quicker each time. I barely know where the bathroom, the kitchen, and the egress are located, let alone navigating to where the merchandising or forecasting people sit. By the time I figure those places out (if I ever do) it will probably be time for me to leave.

In a nutshell, temp work is eponymous–it’s temporary. You’re not there to make friends, learn life lessons or advance your resume. You’ve been given a task or two and are there to see to its completion. I plan on getting in, collecting a paycheck, and getting out. But I’ll keep my head up and my eyes open along the way.

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My Seattle Trip Recap

When I spoke of my Seattle trip, many asked whether I was traveling for business or pleasure. Although I ventured to the west coast on the company dime, the differences between work and pleasure blurred as I had more personal time than originally imagined. Seattle is indeed an exciting Pacific coast town with spectacular views, the freshest seafood imaginable, and yes, soggy weather.

Considering that I roughly had only four hours to spare, I planned my site-seeing efficiently. Below are my must-see locations:

  1. Pike Place Market. Lying against Elliot Bay, this is the world-famous seafood market where the fishermen toss the freshly-caught fish of the day at each other. Today, the market is also known for its restaurants, French cafes, and street-corner musicians. There are also plenty of locals selling their trinkets and artwork for the tourists.
  2. Pike Place Market

  3. The Space Needle. Yes, it’s touristy but I just had to climb to the top. Or, rather, ride the elevator. At $16, Wikitravel calls this the most expensive elevator ride in North America. Unfortunately, an overcast loomed over the city so the view wasn’t as grand as it could have been. Still I thought it was worth the trip.
  4. Space Needle

  5. Pioneer Square. This, according to Wikipedia, is the location of Seattle’s founding. Reminiscent of Greenwich Village, Pioneer Square is lined with narrow streets, cafes, art galleries, and bookstores. Along with its downstairs café, Elliot Bay Bookstore also calls Pioneer Square home. A bust of Chief Seattle and a nearby totem pole memorialize the city’s founding.
  6. Pioneer Square

  7. The Waterfront. I didn’t have much time to spend here. Initially I planned to ride the ferry to Bainbridge Island, where I could capture some skyline views. Unfortunately I needed to return to the hotel for business purposes but I did get a chance to see a few of the piers.
  8. The Waterfront

Seattle is also stocked fresh with trendy restaurants. If your expense account allows for it, check out Palace Kitchen on Fifth Avenue. I recommend the olive poppers and the Idaho trout. If red meat strikes your fancy, El Gaucho steakhouse will fill your carnivorous needs. Though here your wallet will burst into flames so don’t go unless you can handle the fire.

In all, the business trip turned out to be a success and I took away some memorable experiences. Who knows if I will ever return to this urban area known as the Emerald City but I’ll be familiar with the territory if I do.

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I’m Off to Seattle This Week

This Wednesday I’m heading off on my first (and possibly last) business trip to Seattle, Washington. For confidential purposes, I can’t disclose why or what business I’m visiting but I’m a bit nervous about my brief three-day cross-country trip. I just hope I’ll see more of the city than the airport and conference rooms.

The home of grunge and WTO protests, Seattle conveys images of environmentalism and depressingly soggy weather. Hopefully I’ll be fortunate enough to see some of the sites in between rainstorms. At the very least I’d like to take some photographs of the city skyline and savor the Pacific Northwest salmon I keep hearing about.

By the weekend I should post a detailed narrative of my brief experience with Seattle. I doubt I’ll have enough time to climb the Space Needle but I should be able to stroll down some of the city’s more popular avenues.
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I need to get a hold of this book.

It’s called “The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One” by Margaret Lobenstine. It’s designed for people who just seem to have too many interests to focus. That points to me to a tee. I love writing. I love astronomy. I love history. I love political science and philosophy. I love science fiction. I love movies and TV. I’m interested in just about everything and if I’ve never explored the subject before, I find I can get intrigued about it quite easily.

If I ever do get a copy, I’ll be sure to write a review about it and post it here.
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