Start ASAP They Said
A contractor was very happy when an Investment bank wanted him to start ASAP. Here is his story.
A few years ago I worked for a very well known massive Investment Bank – a household name. You would have heard of them and the agency who placed me there. No name/shame possible due to libel laws obviously! They said that they did not need an interview. I have a lot of experience in that role. They just needed me to start ASAP. The salary was in the mid range of what I was used to earning so I accepted, despite being suspicious of the lack of an interview. II still have little mouths to feed and bills to pay.
There was nothing much to do. I met a few people. Some seemed very disinterested – more than usual (I will come to that later!). I was shown to my desk by the manager (he seemed like a nice guy). The office looked a little weird, very run down, and with a distinct lack of activity. There was very little IT equipment either. there were about 20 people here – no team leaders just contractors like you and me.
Today I want to do some actual work, get my fingers dirty and knuckle down and show what I am made of so they will renew when the time is right.
I’m starting to get a strange vibe from my colleagues whenever I ask about something to do. They palm me off and say they are waiting sign off on the project, so just chill out. With no laptop/desktop to use they want me to sit there all day at the desk and do nothing like they are!. I am a professional contractor not a layabout so naturally I am a little taken back by this. If I want to sit around doing nothing I can do that at home. Who cares about the moderate rate if your going nowhere in the role. It’s worthless being here surely.
I am starting to get annoyed and hacked off. Why on earth are they paying for me to be here? The money is secondary. There’s no IT kit to use so there’s no way to look for other work or internet surf in the downtime. It‘s becoming a nightmare. I have managed to learn from others here. This is the dumping ground part of the bank for contractors who have been hired but the projects are not officially signed off or there is some delay/snag with upper management, so it‘s on hold etc etc.
OK, so now is the crunch time for me. I am in an apparently hellish contract. It’s my own fault really for not being more selective. The agency are useless. They “just keep saying wait a few weeks this always happens with them it will get better” BS etc etc.
My immediate colleagues are hopeless wasters and happy to do nothing all day. It does not seem to bother them, in any way, about career development. They just read books or bring their own laptops in to surf the net whilst charging for it!
I’ve had enough. I’ve now decided to give it until the end of the day, then find the perm manager I met on Day 1 and ask what exactly is going on. He is on pub duty all day apparently on Fridays and has a drink problem anyway!
I spoke to the agency and explained that this is not my thing, doing nothing for weeks on end. They agree and allow me to leave immediately and still get my money for the full week. That’s even though I have only been here 4.5 days and done nothing work wise!
The motto of this sorry tale is, regardless of who the employer/agency is and how much/little they are paying you, if the actual role is no good or they expect you to do nothing, then it is time to leave ASAP as no career development is forthcoming.
Many companies hire you just to protect headcount budgets!
That may be the reason why they want me to start ASAP.