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If you’ve ever been a temp employee you have probably heard this at least once. If you work for a company that uses temporary employees, you may have been the one to say this.
Don’t be afraid to ask the person directly. Even if the position is not a temp-to-perm, they are here to help out, and they are a human being with feelings. Helping to make any employee, in any capacity, feel welcome, really speaks volumes about you and the company.
Having been that stranger, it is very awkward and unnerving to walk into the break room to have all conversations stop and everyone look at you wondering if you are a threat to their job or merely an outsider who doesn’t belong. I have felt very insignificant, despite the fact that the work I’ve been given during my assignment is usually integral to the operations. I don’t expect to be treated like “family” but a simple “Hi. I am ____” goes a long way. Additionally, it is refreshing to be asked directly “What are you doing here?” which simply gives acknowledgement of my presence.
I don’t expect to be taken out to lunch or even asked to join your table in the break room. I am not asking you to let me share my life story. I am not planning on grilling you about anything. I am here to help out and perform the work I am given. It is not acceptable for me, as a temp, to stand around and gossip. Don’t be afraid that by saying hello means I now assume you are my buddy. What it does mean is that each day I am assigned to work there, I get to smile and say hello back without feeling like the stepmom/stepdad/stepchild that doesn’t belong.
Finally, you never know who that temp knows and the impression given by the employees and the company will resonate professionally. If I am treated with an ounce of respect I will speak highly of my experience. In today’s world of word-of-mouth and social media advertising, impressions are everything.
Please don’t call me “Just a temp.”