Ah, the sykeout.

Quinn was correct that Ellie had four seasonal jobs, and since we’re on the subject (and I don’t intend on covering temps again) I’m showcasing what being a temp is like. I’ve never been one myself, but I’ve hired and trained my fair share, and seen exactly what they go through. Every state is different, but with the ones I worked in, temps are absolutely positively disposable. There are no write-ups or notifications on any job security or performance when dealing with temps. The only communication they receive is if they’re working or not. Even their schedules are subject to change in the middle of working. You either need them, or you don’t. Seasonal temps are especially subject to job insecurity. If there’s any weakness in sales for a season, they are undoubtedly the first thing to go.

Ellie’s first job at Kohl’s was her own fault, using it as a means to get holiday deals. That is not far removed from reality. I’ve seen it time and again. Don’t even question that notion. It happens. And I preferred using a generic clothing company for this job, but back when I was writing that story, I wanted real Black Friday doorbuster items, and what Quinn and Ellie are there to get, was actually doorbusters they were promoting. So I went ahead and ran with it.

The second job was a pet store, Pet Agreed. This is an example a company hiring temps based on the ‘unknown’ in terms of holiday sales. Companies would rather over-staff and cut hours later, then under-staff and lose profit. Pet Agreed didn’t need Ellie. If they did, it would’ve been during the initial hours of the Black Friday opening. Having a few temps was their assurance any extra flood of business would have a warm body there to greet it.

The third seasonal job was a craft store, like Michael’s or Pottery Barn. The sign is cut off, but the business doesn’t matter. This is what I call “peon avoidance.” The love is gone. Temps, they don’t need you. You’ve had your day in the sun with them, but they’re moving on. You just don’t fit their needs. You’re just TOO DIFFERENT. It’s not working out. Just collect your things and go.
The equivalent of a girlfriend or boyfriend who is the “relationship lightswitch.” There was a time you were their everything, and they really relied on you and loved you for what you could do. Then one day, it’s like they’re a different person. And they didn’t even bother to call.

The fourth and final job is Rick’s Sporting Goods. The ‘job-tease.’ Many companies do hire on temp staff after a certain period of observation. But after holidays?… not so much. Being hired on as a temp is much more likely when a company is acquiring them for some type of expansion. A permanent increase in business. There’s also the rare scenario when a company needs to shutter a group of employees for some reason or another, and find replacements. Instead of going through the arduous process of interviewing, drug screening, background checking, and orientationing new people who you don’t even know will work out.. let the temp agency do most of the leg work and just send bodies your way. Then it’s just a matter of who’s cutting it, and who needs to go back to the agency.
There is another rare scenario where an employee may crack during the holiday season and quit. That would’ve been Ellie’s best chance. But it didn’t happen. Now she’s going into the off season where NO ONE will be hiring anyone for anything. Now that’s not completely true. Someone’s probably hiring for something somewhere… but with Ellie’s experience and job tenure, she’s pretty screwed.

Now fortunately, I’ve always given my temps some form of notice or status on their departure. And if one was good enough, I’d still bring it to the attention of my superiors. Even if they had to go to another department of shift, a good worker still benefits the company, if not my shift personally. But I have seen these other instances happen. The only time I’d ever cut a temp with no notice was if they were hostile (fist fights,) reckless (broke tens of thousands of dollars of equipment,) irresponsible (showed up drunk,)  or stole. All of which have happened.