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Temporarily Misplaced

| Working | May 7, 2016

(While I am unemployed and actively looking for a new job, I put my name down with a temp agency so that I don’t go broke. I’ve been with them, and have already done several placements, for over a month. I’ve never had a problem finding the location, or with any of the previous placements. My regular temp agency representative is on vacation, and I have one of the other representatives. I’m given a new placement, and told to arrive at Address #1 and talk to Boss #1 at 8:30. I don’t have the contact number for Boss #1. This position is as an admin/receptionist at a downtown university. It’s a large sprawling campus. I arrive at Address #1 early, and wait for the office to open. There are several other people there waiting in line to approach the counter. I join the line.)

Counter Attendant: “What can I help you with?”

Me: “Hi, good morning. I’m [My Name] from [Temp Agency]. I’m reporting to [Boss #1].”

Counter Attendant: *confused look* “I’m sorry, I don’t know who that is, or what you’re doing here. I can’t help you. Maybe another name?”

Me: *visibly confused; I pull out the email with all the information* “I’m supposed to go to [Address #1] and report to [Boss #1] in [Department].”

Counter Attendant: “Oh. You want the [Faculty Building] at [Address #2]. Leave this building and [go across the campus].”

(I leave Address #1 and head across the campus to Address #2. I call my rep at the temp agency and let them know I got lost. I leave them a message. I arrive at Address #2 which is about a 20 minutes’ walk from Address #1. I get a call from my rep at the temp agency.)

Temp Agency: “Hi, [My Name]. [Boss #1] called, and said you aren’t there. Where are you?”

Me: “Hi. I left you a message saying I got lost. I went to [Address #1], but they said that that wasn’t where [Department] is, and they said that [Department] at [Faculty] is across campus. I’ve just gotten here, and about to look for the department.”

Temp Agency: “Well, that’s strange. It’s the address in the system, and I’ve been there, and it’s been the right address. I never had to go anywhere else. Where are you now?”

Me: “Lobby of [Faculty Building] at [Address #2].”

Temp Agency: “Well, okay. I’m not sure then where you’re supposed to be. Maybe you should call [Boss #1] to get directions. The number is [number].”

(I end the call and call the number.)

Boss #2: “[Department] at [Faculty]. [Boss #2] speaking.”

Me: “Hi. This is, [My Name]. I’m from [Temp Agency] and supposed to be starting this morning, but I’ve gotten lost. I went to [Address #1] and they directed me to the [Faculty Building]. I’m in the lobby now, just trying to find your offices.”

Boss #2: “Oh. Well, that was the wrong place. You’re in the lobby now?”

Me: “Yes.”

Boss #2: “Do you see [Coffee Shop that’s everywhere on campus, in every office building, and on every street corner]?”

Me: “I do.”

Boss #2: “Okay. Follow the hallway to the right, to the end, and take the elevator to the second floor. The office is then down the hall on the left.”

Me: “Thank you. See you soon.”

(I follow the hallway that’s to the right of the coffee shop to the end, and there is an elevator, which I take to the second floor. I get off there, and there is no hallway to left, only the right. I follow that for a bit, but quickly realize that it’s only classrooms and laboratory rooms. I retrace my steps back to the elevator, and back to the coffee shop thinking I went the wrong way. I call Boss #2 back. By now it’s 9:15. I was supposed to be there at 8:30.)

Me: “Hi, [Boss #2]. It’s [My Name]. I’m really sorry, but I think I’m still lost. I went to the second floor, but there wasn’t a hallway to the left, only the right. I’m back in the lobby. Would you be able to meet me? I’m not sure where I’m going.”

Boss #2: “You’re back in the lobby?”

Me: “Yes. I’m looking at [Coffee Shop].”

Boss #2: *sounding frustrated* “Okay. I’ll be down in a minute.”

(I wait for nearly 10 minutes, when I get a call from the temp agency.)

Temp Agency: “[Boss #2] just called saying that you’re still not there, and that you said you were in the lobby, and asked him to come get you.”

Me: “Yes. I’m still waiting by the coffee shop in the lobby at [Address #2].”

Temp Agency: “Well, figure out where you are, so you can figure out where you’re supposed to be.”

(I call Boss #2 back, and explain again where I am. I ask him for the exact address where I am supposed to be.)

Boss #2: “You need to be at [Department] at [Faculty] at [Address #3]. We’re in the [new wing of Downtown Hospital].”

Me: “I’m in lobby of [Faculty] at [Address #2] on the campus.”

Boss #2: “Well, that’s not where we are.”

Me: “I’m leaving for [Address #3] now. I’ll be in the lobby there in about 30 minutes.”

(I practically run the distance, which is back across the campus, and a further few blocks away from the campus to the hospital. I eventually arrive at the lobby of the new wing of Downtown Hospital. Sure enough, there is the same coffee shop, with a corridor to the right, and at the end of that corridor is an elevator. But I can’t take the elevator. It requires a pass card. So I call back.)

Me: “Hi, [Boss #2]. I’ve found the elevator, but I can’t get to the second floor. It needs a card.”

Boss #2: “I’ll come down.”

(I’m not sure how we got all the way to this point, without it triggering to them that I’d gone to the wrong place, when they knew a card was needed for the elevator. Finally, I meet Boss #2, and am shown up to my desk. It’s nearly 10:30. After some orientation, I meet Boss #1.)

Me: “I’m so sorry I was late. I went to [Address #1] and [Address #2] before realizing that I was supposed to be at [Address #3].”

Boss #1: “Well, we’re not paying you for that time. We need you to be here on time.”

(I was there for just over a month, and wasn’t late again. I left the temp agency shortly after, when a friend of mine asked me to cover for them at another company. Before I left, I figured out that the temp agency had given me the address for the University’s Finance Department where all of their billing statements went. I highly doubt that my representative had actually ever been there.)

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