The life of a temp

(inspired by the folk song The Old Fashioned Cottage)

Like shadows that hover between day and night,
You’re sort of employed, but again no, not quite.
Forget health insurance, from that you’re exempt.
Pray God to stay healthy.  That’s the life of a temp.

They’ll give you the tasks that no other will touch.
And when there’s a paycheck, surprise!  It’s not much!
You’ll find disappointment wherever you’re sent.
Just thank God you’re working.  That’s the life of a temp.

There’s always the thrill of not knowing the score.
Official procedures and oh, so much more.
Bosses look at you darkly as if you smoke hemp.
“You must be a slacker.  After all you’re a temp.”

You come with a screw-up. They say, “Go away.”
And when it’s a crisis:  “Why didn’t you say?!”
You’re the lowest of life forms. You’re held in contempt.
Your dreams are all dying.  That’s the life of a temp.

You’re hoping to prove that you’re worthy of hire
So you work like a dog and you hold in your ire.
Just as you think you’ve made it, “Say have you met Bob?
He’s the boss’ grand-nephew and he just took your job.”

No matter your background, no matter your skills,
Unemployment’s cut off and you can’t pay your bills.
You’re never a Curly. You’re always a Shemp.
You’re the stooge of the office.  That’s the life of a temp.

— Ilze Vitands

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