Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hidden Adventures (and frustrations)

My first blog post for Nova is now live! You can read it here.

As always, any feedback is appreciated! I hope my entries encourage those of you that live here to explore here more, and those of you that don't live here to visit sometime!

Photo taken by me, Five Islands Provincial Park
Unfortunately I am still sick - although I'm feeling better, I'm still not feeling good. Throat is still sore, still have a fever and generally low energy but I'm back to work because I just can't afford to take any more time off. I hate to complain about temping because it's helping me pay the bills while I look for a permanent job, they have been good to me, and ultimately I am the one choosing to do it, but I have to be honest - I am getting really really sick of not having a job that gives me paid sick or vacation time. Or that provides any kind of stability whatsoever.

First, they do not provide direct deposit, so I have to rely on waiting for cheques in the mail or going out of my way to pick them up (which was super-fun during the month-long postal strike). I am not provided any sick or vacation time, so these past two days I had to take off due to illness are a huge hit to my paycheque. Plus, I realized today that I was not paid for Canada Day (last Friday) even though it's a stat holiday because I didn't work the first scheduled day after the holiday (which was Monday in this case). I had remembered you had to work 15 of the previous 30 days in order to qualify for stat holiday pay, but had forgotten this other rule. So, this means TWO weeks of short paycheques in a row (one day short from last week, and next week will be two days short). Great.

Maybe I'm being a baby about this, but I don't really get why it's ok to doc me money because I physically COULD NOT work the first shift after the holiday. I can't help that I was sick - if I could have gone into work, I would have, but I couldn't. Besides, I shouldn't have to go into work if I feel it's endangering my health - it's not fair to me, and it's not fair to my coworkers. There is something wrong with a system that means people are dragging themselves into work half-dead simply to put in time to meet archaic and ridiculous rules. I had to borrow money from my mother in order to get a prescription and bus tickets because I have been so short the last couple of weeks. I HATE borrowing money from my mother, even though she doesn't mind and I appreciate it.

I am just getting so sick of temping. It's keeping my head above water and I appreciate that, and I certainly make more money doing it than I would if I took a retail job. But I barely make enough to get by and I am so tempted to just say "screw it" to finding a job in my field and just look for something that is easy to get but at least allows me a stable paycheque and benefits, like a secretary or receptionist somewhere. I feel like I have my foot in the door (finally) to a permanent career in a field I actually enjoy, so I am reluctant to pull that foot out, but I am just getting so sick of the unpredictability and stress that temporary work is giving me.

Sorry to rant - opening my cheque this morning just put me in a bad mood and I felt I needed to write it out.

Am I wrong? I know I should just quit complaining and do something about it, but I'm sort of at the point where I don't know WHAT to do. I feel like I'm damned if I do something, damned if I don't. Thoughts? Anyway, I'll figure it out - I'm just cranky today and need a nap. Or a giant cupcake.

Thanks for listening, internet.


KG said...

I was a temp at my current job before I started full time. It definitely is tough being temp. Hang in there though. You should talk to your current bosses about the possibility of becoming a full time employee. If they give you shady answers, it might be time to move on. Taking that step is always hard to do. Good luck and feel better!

Jas said...

I'm so sorry! My temping agency is similar - you don't get any vacation time until you have workd 900+ hours with them.

Just do what you do and actively seek out better opportunities.

Kim Humes said...

Thanks! The job I'm temping in actually is posted for permanent right now, but the trouble is it's a unionized position, which means members of the union get first consideration (I am NOT a member). If no internal candidate is suitable, then external candidates (i.e. me) will be considered. So, it's not all bad but there's no guarantee that I will get the job either and there's not much I can do about it. Glad to hear there are other people temping out there and having the same experience though! Makes me feel better

Kim Humes said...

Yeah it's annoying. I have been doing it almost a year now and I really didn't expect that. I guess I thought since I have been there a while that maybe I would qualify for SOME kind of benefits but nope. Thanks for the advice - I am definitely putting applications out there wherever I think I might fit, I'm just not good at waiting lol

Sarah A Hildebrand said...

And the worst of it is they are taking close to 50% of your pay cheque. I know I worked with the same company that you do. I am now hired on full time at my current position. I spoke to the Director of my position, and he told me what they were paying the temp agency. I was being paid 58% of what was going to the temp agency. Fortunately, now that I'm hired on full time, I'm making 100% of that pay now - and it makes a huge difference! 

Kim Humes said...

Oh my god I had no idea they were taking that much! That's ridiculous. I have debated swapping companies, but I am thinking it would be the same no matter who I worked for. Plus I have a position that could turn into full time so I am better off waiting to see what happens with that first. I'm glad you got hired on at your position! I am hoping that will happen for me but unfortunately I have to wait and see if they find a suitable internal candidate first and I won't know that for at least another month. Stupid union bull. 

Sarah A Hildebrand said...

I know - I had a position with your company as well once, and I was facing the same thing. Didn't get the job - so I went on. The only thing is: that our temp agency has exclusive contracts with a lot of bigger business around town (i.e., where you work, and where I work now) - so if that's where you want in - you have to stick with them! Might be worth shopping around. Not sure if they actually tell you how much they take... I wonder if they have to if you ask? I THINK they may be exclusive with Government temp jobs too. 

Kim Humes said...

True. I definitely would not have gotten my foot in the door at Dal this quickly if I hadn't heard of this position through ST. And if I do stick with it here, it could become permanent so I'm reluctant to walk away now, esp since this job is actually related to my degree! Things could be a lot worse. I shopped around a bit before but most agencies seem to have the same wages, and others don't have contracts with as strong companies as ST does. Just have to stick it out and that's what I'm going to do, at least for the next couple of months. 

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for reading!