Friday, May 9, 2008

The Few, The Proud, The Temps

Temp X realized he's ignored a critical piece for his readers - the process of becoming a Hollywood Temp. Each temp must pass a series of rigorous tests to qualify for these coveted positions...Ok, perhaps I've overstated this. These tests aren't as difficult as the Labors of Hercules. But there are similarities. Who knows about the Cleaning of the Augean Stables? Err...let's come back to that.

First thing to do is find a Temp Agent (Pimp). There is no shortage of Pimps in Hollywood. And like their sex-trade equivalents, Temp Pimps come in all types. There are those who run the Escort Services (they have the $18/hr jobs). And there are the back-alley businesses run by a guy with a gold-tooth and three baby mamas (they have the $10/hr jobs). While you want to work for the Escort Service, these jobs are limited, so sometimes you end up working for Ramon. Just remember, either way you're getting screwed.

Once at the temp agency, you will fill out a tome of an application. (Hint: Usually you're just handwriting what's already on your resume.) Then you take a test on Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint where you'll be quizzed on things Bill Gates doesn't even know. For as much of a pain as this process is, it's smart to register with a few Pimps because:
  1. Like a bi-sexual on a weekend night, you double your chances of getting a "date."
  2. Actually I forgot the second reason, so let's go to #3.
  3. Whether they know it or not, the skills test is the same at each agency. (There aren't too many companies that develop programs that test on Microsoft Office.) So it's a little like the movie GROUNDHOG DAY. You get a second, third and fourth chance to achieve perfection. But after taking it a couple too many times, you search for ways to kill yourself.
On to the typing test. The is standard deal -- how many words per minute can you type. (One time Temp X scored 48 WPM, but it was wind-aided.) But the interesting part is what they have you type. The content is usually something like...

After your cover letter and résumé, the interview is your best opportunity to wow the employer-regardless of your background and experience. To do this, use every possible strategy to develop effective interviewing skills. The best way is to prepare a selective presentation of your background...

The irony is traditional job hunting and interviewing techniques are irrelevant in Hollywood. (for more information, see "Shit! Where are my interview jeans?")

Now to the interview round. If you've made it to this point, that means you've scored "Above Average" on your office skills test. Congratulations. At this point you will face a question harder than finding the other side of a Mobius Strip, "Why do you want to be a temp?"

Sadly, Temp X will not tell you the answer to that question. You see, he needs to protect his interests. If you know the answer and pass the test, you might end up with his gig. It's a matter of self preservation. Even the Temp world is cutthroat.

Well, you've reached the end of this simple process Now you sit by the phone and wait for someone to call.

Good luck out there. Happy Temping.

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