Friday afternoon I moved into a new cubicle at work. I’d spent the past few months at a kind of walled off desk with barely enough room from myself, my CPU unit, my monitor, keyboard, and mouse. My phone? I didn’t really need it — who would call me? — so it was shoved behind the monitor out of the way and pretty much inaccessible. Friday afternoon about two I disconnected the computer, bagged up the wires, and waited for the movers to come and take my stuff away. (I had nothing else to pack, so my move was simple. Others in my department? They had filing cabinets, cork boards, boxes of papers. Not me. I’d have carted my stuff across the street to the new building if they’d let me.)
My new cubicle is roomy — two filing cabinets, shelves, an expansive desk. It has a fantastic chair.
I’ve started decorating. An electrostatic ball. A Rubik’s Cube (with Chex and fruit instead of colors). No Limits and Constellations. A book on writing in the workplace. Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur (okay, that was more to fill up the box). A University of Richmond mug. Pictures of cats. A picture of me and my sister waiting at the polling place, election day 2004. A replica seventeenth-century globe. Tomorrow I’ll try to remember to take my World War I Flying Ace stuffed Snoopy.
Yesterday one of the people in my department — someone I’d worked with pretty much every day my first six weeks at the company and hadn’t really seen since due to being moved onto other projects — asked me if I were still temping or if they’d made me a permanent employee at the company.
Still temping, I said. Seems like my agency’s forgotten I’m here sometimes.
After I got home from work today I got a phone call. It was from my agency. They haven’t forgotten me after all.
They wanted to talk to me about a job opportunity. It would be something very different. I’m not sure of the location — at various times she mentioned Timonium (two exits from Hunt Valley on 83, for people who attend Farpoint and Shore Leave) and downtown Baltimore.
She was honest why they hadn’t called me about other job opportunities before, though I had called them a few times when I’d seen something come up on their website or on Monster, and that was because they’d put me into a temp position their expectation was that it would have come to an end at some point when my duties were done, but as it seemed like my duties kept shifting as projects were completed and new projects needed done my end-date dwindled off into infinity, and they wanted to let me know that, yes, I hadn’t been forgotten about, and if the company I was temping for was making no move to make me a permanent employee then they would look to see what other opportunities they had that I might be right for.
I came away from the conversation feeling very good. Obviously, there are no guarantees — I need to spend some time tonight revamping my resume slightly, I need to make a phone call in the morning, there’s still an interview to go through, and possibly another round of computer skills testing. (“Good lord,” she said. “Did you know you type 71 words a minute? And you were 99 percent proficient on the Excel testing?” My reply? “I hate to tell you, but 71 words is actually slow for me — I wasn’t used to the keyboard. When I know the keyboard, I fly.” Natural keyboards will spoil you.) It’s something, though, and that’s a start.