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The Week of the Excuse and How to Not Miss out on Jobs

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by Sam Palmer

about 3 years ago

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The germ season is upon us and, in my experience, last week may go down in history for the most excuses for someone not attending work I have received in one week. I love temp recruitment, as it is fast paced and you deal with a million different personalities and problems each week. When Friday arrives, I'm satisfied with the enjoyable roller coaster ride of being a temp recruitment specialist. However, I will remember this past week for a lot of the wrong reasons. It was a week where most of the reasons for not attending work assignments were from very experienced temps who frankly should have known better.

  Sick day

Now, please don't misunderstand me. People get sick, and they should – and do – take time off to recuperate. There are also people who soldier on through their illness and should actually stay at home. However, we can all relate to when we were children and we didn't want to go to school. We told our mothers that we had a stomachache (or insert relevant malady here) to get out of doing the spelling test. Then, if we were persistent enough, our mothers eventually caved in, and we got to watch some daytime TV. 

Last week, I was on the receiving end of that type of call no fewer than eight times (and, yes, I did count them all). I heard everything from toothache, headache, face ache and dengue fever to the bubonic plague. One temp said she couldn't come in because she was suffering from a mild headache. I asked her if she had taken anything for it, such as paracetamol, and she replied that she hadn't thought of that and would be okay to return to work the next day. Of course, a temporary worker doesn't get sick leave, and so they aren't paid for their day off. But the frustration is not just felt by me, but also by the company or firm they are assisting. My word of advice would be that the hiring companies and firms have long memories, and so do recruiters. I would also add that temp markets can be very small, and the talent pool becomes very well known. 

I will always go above and beyond for people who have completed outstanding work for me, and it gives me great joy and a sense of satisfaction to keep these people working in interesting assignments. The legal market in which I work is very short of candidates at the time of writing, but the time will come again when the firms with which I work will have more choice of who to employ and who is called first. Make sure you are one of them.

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