Our second story excerpt from The Dysfunctional Workplace: Theory, Stories, and Practice is “The Temps.” This story makes it clear that things are not always rational in the workplace.
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As the calls poured in the supervisors made their best effort to train and supervise the temps. However, this work was made much more difficult by the fact the temps only stayed a few weeks or months and were moved to other jobs by the temp agency. After all they were temps and not permanent employees. This continuous turnover undermined the ability to train them to meaningfully answer patient questions, because each new temp had to learn the job anew, “from scratch.”
After a few months of this the CEO understood he had to hire full-time employees. He had been avoiding doing this because of the expense. The temps and their marginal productivity were cheaper than recruiting and hiring qualified people. It was at this point that the poor customer support on the contracts began to attract negative attention of the two large employers. They began to threaten to pull their contracts. The fear of losing the contracts brought the hiring process to a halt before full-time employees were hired. The temps would have to do. This created a self-fulfilling prophecy and the contracts were ultimately lost.
THE DYSFUNCTIONAL WORKPLACE
Theory, Stories, and Practice
Seth Allcorn and Howard F. Stein
ISBN: 978-0-8262-2065-3 • Hardcover • 220 pp. • 6 x 9