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Why is Temping a Bad Word?

Updated on March 21, 2010

Temp is a four letter word. All right, we all know that a lot of bad words come in four letters. I could list them all, but I have an image to uphold, so use your imagination! Some people think that "temp" should be on the list of bad words. I've had great experiences and a few not so great experiences temping. I have already wrote about the positive side of temping, so here is a look at some negatives of temping.

But, You're Just a Temp

If you are working as a temporary employee prepare to have some thick skin. Yes, most employers are going to be thanking you and kissing the ground you walk on because you help them out by doing the tasks they don't want to do. But then there are those people who, um, how do I put this delicately. There are those people who look down on you. In my experience these people usually need an ego boost. They use "I've got a permanent job and you're just a temp" as a way to feel good about themselves.

While temping on a long term assignment you'll make friends with your co-workers (even the "temp snobs".) This creates the following awkward scenarios:

You've been working with all the same people (you're friends with everybody----they may even like you better than the "temp snob" who usually isn't well-liked around the office anyways) and lets say one of them got a promotion. This promotion involves them leaving the department. The permanent employees (mainly the "temp snob") start planning a lunch for everyone involved. But wait, someone needs to stay behind and run the office, and you're just a temp.

Or, what about this one? You've been working at a company for awhile. It's summertime, beautiful, and the company is having a picnic. There is talk about games, prizes, hamburgers, and it sounds awesome. But the picnic is for employees only, and you're just a temp.

It doesn't sound fair does it? It happens to temps, because you know, you're just a temp.

It's a Holiday, and We're Closed

Most temporary agencies will give you vacation and holiday pay after you've worked a certain amount of hours. But, inevitably there will be a holiday before you are eligible for holiday pay. Everyone around the office will be excited about the upcoming holiday. The office is going to be closed and everyone is off with pay-------except you, because you're just temping.

It is frustrating to listen to people talk about benefits they are receiving, when you're not.

I Can Do That!!!

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Business. I had a temp job where someone was explaining to me (in detail) how to remove staples. Temping at times will insult your intelligence. There will be times when you watch a permanent employee doing something totally backwards and wondering why. You'll be given limited access and limited duties. Temps are often seen as limited. Trust me, at times you will need to bite your tongue to the point of blood to keep from saying some sarcastic remark. You will be unchallenged. You will be insulted. You will not be trusted. You will feel like you're in kindergarten (minus the snacks and nap time.)

Another View of Temping

I really am all for temping. I think it's a great way to find a permanent job and to find a career that fits you. You can read about the positive in 5 Ways Temping Can Help Your Career, and 10 Ways To Become A Better Temporary Employee. However, like anything in life there are two sides of the story. It can be a great experience, but it can have some unique challenges.

If you've been in one of the situations listed, or a similar situation don't give up on temping. The good thing about temping is it isn't a permanent thing, so you may have to bite your tongue for awhile in order to get a paycheck, but you can do it knowing it's not a forever thing. After all, you are just a temp.


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    • rocknrodeogirl profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from The Columbia Gorge

      I know, I've actually had a lot of success temping and when I was getting ready to move I didn't want to get a permanent job in one city just to quit and move, so temping worked really well. Thanks for reading and commenting! ;)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Temping isn't a bad way to go. I did that many years ago and sometimes it turns into the perfect jobs, or sometimes tempting fits a lifestyle better anyway. Good hub,

    • rocknrodeogirl profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from The Columbia Gorge

      I agree that temping will become a bigger part of our economy, but I'm wondering if it will still be in the form of temp agencies, or if workers will just become more of "independent contractors". Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Tom T profile image

      Tom T 

      8 years ago from Orange County, CA

      You have the right idea. It is all in how you look at it. I believe we are heading toward a more European economy and temping will become a bigger part of that equation. Keep up the good work.


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