Well well well, my mind is in a shambles! Today something happened. It wasn’t big, but it made me say to myself, “I am better than this” and walk away.
Since I quit my last job in December, I’ve been on a mad job hunt. Of course some times I have gotten frustrated and just thrown in the towel. One such time was in March. I woke up one day, read my emails and told my uncle, “You know what? I’m done!” I was on the verge of calling my mum to tell her I’m coming home. What kept me put though was the reminder that I chose to be here and I can stick it out. This is just a hiccup. I just have to go back to the drawing board and start again.
That’s when I decided to sign up with an agency. Now for those that don’t know how they work, you’re notified whenever they have a job and you go in for it. That means you can control your time and whatever you do. A good system, right? To an extent it is, you barely get taxed and you can get your days off without asking. Problem is, unlike a contract and salaried job, these are zero hour contracts, I call them “The Thing Created by the Devil,” where the jobs are not as frequent and your income flow isn’t constant either. Mainly because you’re as disposable as a paper cup. It’s a thing capitalists came up with to avoid responsibility. See, as an employee, they have to care for you but as an agency worker, you look after yourself. Took me a while to discover that but once I did, I knew I could also limit my care towards them. My motto for time has been putting myself first, and that is not about to change.
Back to today. So my agency sends me to a place to work. I don’t want to spend much on transport (it’s the most expensive thing in London) so I mapped out my journey the day before. I was to get 3 different buses to get where I was going. Crossing from South East to North West isn’t an easy thing when you travel by bus only. It took me 1 hr 45 mins to get there. There in time and when I got to the sign in desk, they told me, I was over booked! OVER BOOKED! And they had no where to put me till 3pm. Why ask agencies for staff you cannot cater for? Keep in mind, it is 12pm now. They then decided to call around and see where to place me.
When they found a spot, I got changed into the uniform off I was, happy that I hadn’t travelled for nothing. The transport to and fro is never reimbursed by the way so you’re always hoping that your journey is worth it. I get to the area and the manager there sends me back, apparently I was wearing the wrong trousers and shoes. These are the same black trousers I work in everywhere and same black lace up shoes. Worse still, I noticed him cutting my sign on time by a whole 45 minutes. Some places do this so that they pay you less. You’re told to arrive an hour early but they take that hour signing you in and allocating you. The hour, though spent on the premises, with your phone in a bag, already changed into uniform, or in the queue waiting, is not paid. You then wonder why you wake up early to be there on time and lose an hour of sleep and money too. A total lose-lose situation for you. What can you do though, Theresa May says you need to work to get out of poverty! What about the people that cheat us stop doing so?
I had nothing to do but go back to the sign in desk where I was told of course, to sit and wait again! I did a Netflix survey, deleted emails, replied messages, basically the stuff I do every morning (thank God for smart phones) but I was livid! It’s one thing to leave your bed in the morning and happily go to work. It’s a whole different story though when you get to work and they cannot find something for you to do. I felt like a person they’ve fired, doesn’t get the point, keeps going back to the workplace, and they decide to just ignore him and not give him anything to do. I felt like George Costanza at his Real Estate job. Everyone kept passing by me. The people at the sign in desk were not making any calls anymore to find me an area to work in. I checked the time and it was 1:15pm. At this point I was getting angrier and also where it dawned on me, they were taking a piss. I took off the shirt, folded it and placed it on the chair, changed into my trainers, and off I was.
Today I wasted 6 hours of my life,
6 hours that I will not get back
6 hours that I did not plan to waste,
6 hours that I could have found something better for
6 whole damn hours!
I wouldn’t have been hurt if I had planned to waste them myself. I usually do something fun when I do. Jeremy Corbyn should win and ban zero hour contracts! I’m tired of being disrespected!