The Opposite of Popular

The online home of alleged author Victoria Leybourne

Chaucer from "An Knight's Tale": "I will eviscerate you in fiction."

2016 Week Two: Employment


Late post is late. I probably won’t say that every time because I suspect that this is going to happen a lot.

So, it’s week 2 (ish) of 2016. I want to do this weekly (ish) post thing so that my blog actually says a bit more about me as a person as well as a collection of neuroses and stuffed animals. Although neuroses and stuffed animals account for around 75% of my personality so it’s all circular. Anyway, this seems like a good time to talk about what I do for money, because I got a new job this week.

I’ve talked before about how I’m officially “trying to be a writer” (with mixed emotional results) but “trying to be a writer” pays even worse than actually being one, so obviously I do other things as well. Basically, I’m a serial temp. And, in as much as I can like any means of making money that isn’t writing or maybe petting baby animals, I really like it. Here, let me lay out the details:

Pros of being a temp:

  • Get to learn new things. So far I can bore the pants off people whether the conversation topic is finance, really really complicated finance, HR, charities or the media. And the list is growing all the time!
  • Get to meet lots of nice, interesting people. On the flip side, if any people you meet are not nice and/or interesting, you don’t have to put up with them for long. And either kind are great for using as characters.
Chaucer from "An Knight's Tale": "I will eviscerate you in fiction."

This is from A Knight’s Tale. If you haven’t seen it, you should.

  • Interviews are approximately 89723462% easier than for permanent jobs. Sometimes (particularly if a lot of temps are being hired at once) all you have to do is turn up and appear to function (stop looking at me like that, of course I can do it… it just takes a lot of coffee) and sometimes there isn’t an interview at all. And the whole process is much, much quicker. I actually did have a fairly normal interview for this new job but I got a call from the agency not five minutes after I left saying that they wanted me to start the next day. And the company would have had to call the agency to tell them that, which they must have done… as I was walking out of the building, I guess? I didn’t even have time to over-analyse the interview and remember all the stupid stuff I said.
  • Sometimes I’m not working, and then I have plenty of time and nervous energy (Wheeeee I’m going to run out of money and starve to death!) to channel into my writing.

Cons of being a temp:

  • Mildly sympathetic facial expressions of people who have just asked what you do. (Usually not alleviated when you add that you’re also “trying to be a writer”.)
  • Deeply-held suspicion that you’re going to look very silly when everyone you know has something called a “career” and all you have is a big pile of unsaleable manuscripts and CV you can’t edit down to fewer than 30 pages.

Interestingly, I’m not that worried about the lack of steady money. I just talk myself out of buying things (unless they’re really awesome things). Occasionally I worry about the fact that I’m not paying into a pension plan but I reason that they’ll probably have put the pension age up to about 150 by the time I’m in my 60s and you probably have to eat kale to live that long so I don’t think I’ll bother.


Here are some other things that happened this week:

  • I read Bronwyn Green‘s Drawn That Way. It’s a really cool, feminist, spicy romance about an accountant for a video game company and her sexy, geeky boss. If that description appeals to you (it did to me!) you should check it out because it definitely delivers on those promises.
  • I continued to really enjoy the PlayStation backpack I got in the sales. It’s a backpack, right, but it it looks like a PS1. And it’s a backpack. If you say that’s not the best thing ever, I say you’re a liar.

It's a backpack that looks like a PlayStation.

See you next week!


6 thoughts on “2016 Week Two: Employment

  1. Pingback: 2016 Week Three: Anxiety | Victoria Leybourne

  2. I used to temp a lot. Once, I temped at the same place my husband worked. I’m not sure who was more relieved when that job ended – me, my husband, or his boss. We get a long great (husband, not the boss, he was a misogynistic jerk), but we weren’t meant to work together.

    Paul Bettany as Chaucer will forever be one of my favorite characters. He’s just so delightful. That movie tends to get quoted a lot around here. But I think my favorite line after “I will eviscerate you in fiction.” has got to be, “Uh… trudging. You know, trudging? To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on.” Makes me giggle every time. 😀

    Thank you so much for the shout out for DTW! 🙂


    • Yeah, I’ve wondered what it would be like to work with a partner, but I guess on balance I assume “not good”.

      And yay, another Paul Bettany!Chaucer fan! A Knight’s Tale is eminently quotable but he definitely has the best lines. (Also, is Paul Bettany in any movies where he DOESN’T take all his clothes off?)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think he’s got it written in his contract. I imagine him reviewing scripts and sending notes to his agent that say things like: “Not enough casual nudity for my character in this one. Pass.” Or “Please add a scene wherein I get to strip down entirely, and I’m in.” I also imagine that Sean Bean refuses to sign contracts that involve his character surviving past the halfway point of a movie or beyond the first season of a tv show. Sean: “I really like the looks of this project, but…I don’t know. It looks like a lot of work. I mean, my character survives until the very end.” Agent: “It’s a family movie, Sean.” Sean: “Right, how about if I just read for cab driver in scene three? His part’s pretty short.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha! Those are both very solid theories.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: 2016 Week Thirty-Two: Good news and a duck | The Opposite of Popular

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