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Tales from Temp-land

Following in the footsteps of my friends Annie and Juliette, I’ve spent three days this week working in an office as a “Temptress” (Annie’s term, which is so much sassier than plain “temp,” don’t you think?).

Actually, I was supposed to spend the whole week there, and next week too. But after I got through all the projects they had for me, and politely but firmly turned down their offer of a longer-term job (building and editing corporate PowerPoint presentations), I got to call it quits yesterday. So, once again, I am free – no more hour-long commute through highway construction to Waltham; no more blue-and-gray cubicle; no more solitary lunches at my desk, and awkward small talk with people who aren’t really my co-workers.

Of course, this means I am also again broke/out of work/back to sending out resumes. But you know what? I much prefer this reality to that one.

I’m realizing again (as if I didn’t already know) that I was not cut out to work in corporate America. I loved working at ACU because of the people, and also because I believe in the mission of the place. I believe in the power of higher education to broaden people’s horizons and change their lives. I believe in the place that gave me an English degree, my first semester in Oxford, lots of dear friends and so many new ways of thinking. On the other hand, I don’t possess an ounce of passion about supply-chain dynamics and office restructuring and editing 150-page documents (I kid you not) of corporate-speak.

So it’s back to the freelance life, back to running errands in Quincy and taking breaks to wander around Boston (while the weather holds) and sending out resumes for jobs I would actually enjoy. And I feel like a kid set free from school – only instead of “No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks,” it’s “No more commuting, no more cubicle, no more sad reheated desk lunches!” (I know that doesn’t rhyme, but does anything rhyme with “cubicle”?)

Don’t mistake me: I’m grateful for the opportunity to make a little money and a few connections, and I hope I land some more assignments through the temp agency I’ve signed up with. But I’m also grateful for a few more free days, and the chance to keep pursuing my writing dreams, exploring my new city and making my “one wild and precious life” just that.

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