On Wednesday I returned to the world of office temping after a seven-year hiatus. I find myself with a renewed desire to do a good job — a need that had faded during the time I spent with my previous employer. When the daily tasks your position requires are completed before ten o’clock in the morning, after a while it’s hard to dig up to motivation to do anything more than the bare minimum. The full work day is something I have not experienced in quite a while.

I have gone from a situation where there was nothing to do and find myself on an assignment where there is one thing to do, but that one thing needs to be done over and over again for eight hours a day. It is monotonous, yes, but not as bad as you might think. There is a sense that what I’m doing is necessary, and important. I’m temping in a human resources department, going through checklists to make sure employee files meet certain criteria. People’s paychecks depend on my accuracy. It helps to keep that in mind at around 11:30 when my eyes start crossing for the first time. (They get a break at lunch, and then start crossing again at around 3:00.)

This assignment is only set to last a week or so, and then I’ll move on to something else. It’s taking a little getting used to, this being busy for the full eight-hour day, and I’ve been pretty tired upon my return home in the evenings. I’m sure I’ll get used to it soon enough. Plus, one of the perks of temp work is that when you complete an assignment, you can, if you are so inclined, take a day or two before calling in for the next one. On the down side, you can’t really take a day off in the middle of a gig like this. Not that I’m itching for vacation time already, or anything like that. But if, say, you needed the cable company to send a repairman because your internet connection went down yet again, you can’t just take a morning or a day off to get that done. You have to wait until the assignment is over. But that’s a complaint for a whole different blog entry.

I’m still on the hunt for something permanent, because I’m uncomfortable not having health benefits anymore. But in the meantime I think I’m gonna enjoy the freedom of temping in a way I never really appreciated back when I was doing it before. I realize now that I’m actually very lucky to have the skills that allow me to get this kind of work — especially now, when, frankly, everything related to the economy really kinda sucks ass.