The plight of the temporary worker
This is dedicated to all of my temporary coworkers.
I should begin by saying, that in this economy, I know times are tight for employers looking to hire new employees. I understand the benefit of using a temporary service to screen potential new employees. I also know that typically a negative stereotype comes with hiring “temps” in the workforce. (This usually depends on the quality of the temporary service.) I would encourage any employer reading this column to see through the eyes of the “temp.”
I am a good worker. I take pride in my work whatever the task might be. I have 13 years of factory and warehouse type experience. I graduated college with a double major and a grade-point average of 3.6. I am a creative person, and have excellent critical thinking skills. I have some management experience as well. You might think that a company would be falling on themselves to hire me. For some reason, the best I can do is “doing time” as a temporary worker. So far, there has been no exception to this general rule. Every other “temp” I work with is holding on to the hope of being hired full time where we are working.
The only reason we apply at temporary services is that most companies only hire through them. The only reason I accept “long term assignments” as a “temp” is with the hope that it will become full time employment with the company. I worked and wasted nearly a year at one company and even the lady at the temporary service could not understand why they did not hire me. It can be very discouraging.
Working at most places as a temporary worker also brings with it some persecution. I have seen and heard the word “temp” roll off some people’s tongues like it is a dirty word.
Not all temporary workers are the stereotypical slow-witted, uneducated drunks who cannot hold a job. In this economy, an increasing number of highly qualified workers are forced to go through a temporary service to find a job.
It seems as if rather than using temporary services as a pool to hire potential employees from, that most companies take advantage of the workers for lower wages and no benefits.
I was thinking that I have the same frustrations in my walk with God.
As a Christian, I am usually persecuted based on the negative stereotype. I am anything but a traditional Christian as the stereotype suggests. I was not raised in church, and actually did not come to Christ until my early 20s. It did not take me long to figure out that not all people who call themselves Christians will extend Christlike love and grace to you. My heart and ministry is pressed towards people that “church is not even on the radar” for. Unfortunately, I have to work against the stereotype that people typically carry based on past experiences.
I am on “long term assignment” here on earth, but my time here is temporary. I also hold on to the hope that I will be brought on in heaven full time.
While I might get stuck in what I call the “temporary trap” (working long term as a “temp” for a company that will never hire you) in my earthly career, I am at least guaranteed my full time spot in heaven.
Companies can take advantage of my hard work until I get tired and frustrated and move on to try and get hired at a different one, but Christ sees all the hard work that I do for him and will reward me some day for that work and diligence.
If you are a temporary worker and reading this column I would like to encourage you that Christ loves us and hopes for us to come to him full time.
He appreciates all the work we do for him and promises a reward for it. (That includes work we do in the world as well as for the Kingdom.) If you are discouraged, try not to let it get the best of you.
Dennis McFarland is the pastor of the Plumwood Church of Christ in Christian Union, 175 Arthur Bradley Road. He can be reached at (740) 857-1714 or by e-mail at: