23 Nov 2003

Consider yourself part of the furniture

Last week, a job lot of temps were herded into the Call Centre in preparation for the pre-Christmas rush of orders for novelty items from The Catalogue That Cannot Be Named. They preen and coo like those aliens in Toy Story. Everything fascinates them on their first day, like they have just stepped out of their flying saucer; after that they get bored and start abusing the other staff and customers.

This lot are a real bunch of ragamuffins. Pheobe, the training officer, has been overseeing their induction training like Fagin with a top-knot and Armani glasses: “Once you’ve been induced then you’ll be on the phones speaking to REAL people.”

“Coooooooooooo” the temps hum in unison.

“How often will we have breaks?” A scrawny lad, with an Eddie Shoestring tie and scar over his cheek, croaked at the back, “it’s illegal for people to be on the phones longer than three hours without a break.”

He crossed his legs and revealed dirty red socks.

“You’ll need to lyonaise with your Team Manager. Next week you’ll be distributed to different teams. They’ll sort out your breaks.” She said, dodging the Artful Dodger’s question.

I scanned my area: Manic Miner was gone; Joan was off long term sick and there were the desks next to ‘the cupboard that never opens’.

I quickly reached for the gnome with the scary eyes to keep cats off your garden, I put it on Manic Miner’s desk in the hope that its powers worked on Office Urchins.

I have a bad feeling about this…