Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What temp agencies SHOULD test you on

Temp Pimps put every candidate -- regardless of education or work experience -- through a battery of needless tests before sending them to their John. Know how to format a spreadsheet for the Mexican Peso? 5 points. Can you run a macro on MS Word? 5 more. Figure out where the error is in the following and you might be worth of tempdom...

$ cat main1.c
=pragma CCOD:script no
int main(

int argc, char** argv )
printf("Temping Rules!\n");
return 0;
$ chmod +x main1.c
s ./main1.c

The fact is you don't these skills as a Hollywood Temp. Your Pimp should test you only on the skills below, as they are totally demeaning or create the illusion that you're busy (thus helping you avoid the demeaning work). Learning how to sublimate your anger helps too.

Furniture Transport and Arrangement -- This skill requires the strength of Hercules, the speed of Mercury and the balance of a Flying Wallenda. Here's the test, it's 10 minutes until the staff meeting and you need to move 50 chairs into a conference room that's only designed for 25 (per the Burbank Fire Code). Think you're good at Tetris. Here's your chance to put it to the test.

Email Refresh -- Ever since potential employers started requesting interviews by email rather than calling, I've found my "Check My Inbox" click count has gone through the roof. Or perhaps it's a consequence of my desire for human contact? Temps need love too!! I probably checked my email 100 times yesterday. Can you top that count?

Web Looking -- There are more than 100 million websites. Assuming your work day offers you 32,400 seconds of computer-gazing inactivity, how many sites can you view during the allotted time? Are you the Usain Bolt of wasting time? Or, like convicted felon and U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, do you think the Internet is a series of tubes -- thus rendering any efforts to waste time...well...a waste of time.

Name that iTune -- Most assistants have iTunes installed on their computers. They usually play it to drown out the crying of the person one cubicle over. As for the test, set the play list to "Shuffle" and see how long until you can "Name that iTune." [Note: To add a degree of difficulty, only shuffle the following bands -- My Morning Jacket, Good Charlotte, Panic at the Disco and Taking Back Sunday -- and see if you can tell the difference.]

Predict the end of the print out -- If you know you're making 6 copies of a 118 pages script (one for your boss's office, one for your boss's home, one for the development exec, one for legal, one for the assistant's files and one back-up because someone's gonna forget their copy at Les Deux) that means you're printing 708 pages. High speed copiers are quick, so count along as each page spits out of the machine and turn around exactly when it's done. If you're wrong, start again. It's only a couple of trees you're killing.

Sergeant Hartman Drill -- Want an assignment at CAA? You'll first need to survive the a reenactment of this scene from Full Metal Jacket before qualifying for this $12/hr gig. Welcome to the Death Star Private Pyle. Drop and give me 20.

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