Before switching careers, I worked as a travel agent for several years. After a lay-off, I signed up as a temp for the AppleOne agency in Bellevue, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. They assigned me to American Express Travel in nearby Redmond which handles travel arrangements for Microsoft employees.
I enjoyed the work, and even turned down some full-time work offers from other companies to temp at American Express/Microsoft. On a Wednesday morning, about a week and a half into temping there, they sent me home. They told me that in order to continue to work at a Microsoft vendor, I had to have a Microsoft vendor e-mail address, which they did not yet have ready for me. This seemed a little odd, since I was communicating with Microsoft employees by telephone rather than by e-mail. My on-site American Express supervisor also told me that while they might have the account ready later that day, it might also take up to three weeks. I was not going to be paid during this wait, so I was quite anxious.
The following day, I tried to call my American Express on-site supervisor to get an update. Her receptionist answered and put me on hold, then told me to call AppleOne for updates. I couldnÃ¢Â€Â™t speak to the supervisor. (I just love how temp agencies and their clients shift responsibility between each other, but thatÃ¢Â€Â™s another rant.) I called my AppleOne recruiter Philippa Langebrink, and she said she didnÃ¢Â€Â™t know when the e-mail account would be ready. I asked her if she had any short-term assignments I could take during the wait, but Philippa said she didnÃ¢Â€Â™t want to place me in an assignment in case Microsoft suddenly had my account ready. I told her I was concerned because I was not being paid while I sat at home. I was single and lived paycheck-to-check, as many travel agents in the Seattle area do. The following day, I called Philippa again and got the same response.