Author Topic: Temp etiquette  (Read 2238 times)

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Betelnut

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Temp etiquette
« on: July 23, 2014, 01:24:09 PM »
We have a temporary worker at my job (my Department) who has worked here for more than a year.  We have finally decided that we no longer need his assistance and that next Friday will be his last day.  The protocol is to let the temp agency know (since he is their employee, technically.) The temp agency was informed and they said that they would let him know after his last day.   (!?)

So basically he would be working next Friday not knowing that it was his last day after working here for about 16 months.

My team has not been told that his last day is next Friday but they have all said that when the day does come, they would like to take him out to lunch that day to thank him properly for helping us during a stressful time in the Department.  But he won't know it is his last day unless I (or another manager tells him) rather than the temp agency telling him.

What to do?  What would you do?

I feel like he should be told ahead of time so we can thank him for everything but I'm stymied by the idea that's not how the temp agency works.  The situation is complicated by the fact that I will actually be out on vacation next week.
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QueenfaninCA

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Re: Temp etiquette
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2014, 01:29:32 PM »
I'd call the temp agency and ask for guidance. Explain that because he was there for so long your department would like to take him out to lunch. Just ask if they could inform him earlier or if you can't take him to lunch.

mimi_cat

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Re: Temp etiquette
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2014, 01:31:34 PM »
I'm assuming that may be their policy because if a temp knows they are done, there's a risk they might stop showing up or doing their job, etc.

However, since he's temped with you so long I'm guessing he's fairly reliable.  And would probably appreciate the heads up. 

I agree with calling the agency for some guidance, and also to let them know that you've valued his work for you. 

MrTango

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Re: Temp etiquette
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2014, 01:35:15 PM »
I think this falls under the category of "it's business, not personal."

My opinion is that you ought to follow his employer's protocol and let them inform him that his assignment has come to an end.  I know it sucks to be on his end of that conversation (I've been there personally).

Calling the agency for guidance is a good idea, but if they request that you follow protocol and not tell him, then you're obliged to do that.  Again, it's a business matter and he's their employee.

As for taking him out to lunch, would it be possible to take the whole department/team out to lunch?  You could call it a celebration of everyone's hard work.

cicero

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Re: Temp etiquette
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2014, 01:47:06 PM »
I'd call the temp agency and ask for guidance. Explain that because he was there for so long your department would like to take him out to lunch. Just ask if they could inform him earlier or if you can't take him to lunch.
i agree with this - hope it works out.

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peaches

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Re: Temp etiquette
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2014, 01:51:32 PM »
I'd call the temp agency and ask for guidance. Explain that because he was there for so long your department would like to take him out to lunch. Just ask if they could inform him earlier or if you can't take him to lunch.

I agree. It can't hurt to ask. This can't be the first time that a company has been grateful and wanted to show their appreciation.

If they insist that their established protocol be followed, perhaps you could contact the person after employment ends to set up a lunch or after-hours drinks.
 
I have to say I'm puzzled by the secrecy. I have some experience using temps, and being a temp. That rule is a mystery to me.

Lynn2000

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Re: Temp etiquette
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2014, 02:04:34 PM »
I think calling the temp agency would be good. Even if they really don't want you to tell him, would it be possible for him to be taken out to lunch as a thank you without it also being a farewell meal? Or a general appreciation for everyone type of lunch?
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Temp etiquette
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2014, 02:18:11 PM »
After working somewhere for over a year, I would be *extremely* angry to not be told that my contract was ending until after my last day at the job.

I can understand the agency's policy for short term temp jobs but for one as long as this?  The worker is obviously not the type to just not show up.

I'd call the agency and tell them that you aren't comfortable with not informing this long term temp of his status and that you will be telling him before his last day, in fairness to him.  And because, in recognition of a job well done, you will be treating him to lunch on his last day.  If he did decide to be a bacon-fed knave (which I doubt) and didn't show up on his last day?  Well, then, you don't have to buy him lunch.
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veronaz

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Re: Temp etiquette
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2014, 02:28:59 PM »
Agree with Outdoor Girl.  (I think we were typing at the same time.)

Iíve had considerable experience with temp agencies Ė as a client and also as an employee.

Usually the only reason not to tell the temp prior to their last day is if there is some problem with their work performance, attitude, attendance, etc.  Or there is fear the worker will blow up, steal things, or sabotage something.  Thatís not the case here.  This is a long-term temp who has done a good job.

The lunch is a dead give-away.  He would have to be pretty dense not to figure out whatís going on.  He should be told.  He needs time to try to line up another assignment, and he should have the chance to clear out his desk of any personal items on his last day.

I would tell him anyway, thank him for all his hard work, and tell him the department would like to take him to lunch.  If the agency doesnít like it, I would find another service to use.  If I was this guy I would not appreciate the cloak-and-dagger tactics and Iíd register with another agency after completing this assignment.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 02:34:24 PM by veronaz »

Arila

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Re: Temp etiquette
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2014, 02:33:43 PM »
I have a logistical question. What if the temp has things at their work station? If they leave thinking it's a usual Friday and they don't take things home? No badge to turn in, or work to transition to other people, etc?

In the temp situations I have been in, I frequently had direct communication with the people I was working with rather than used the agency as a middleman (though I knew that was against the policy). I communicated time off needs or impending end of contract and then simply informed the agency of the agreement afterwards.

Betelnut

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Re: Temp etiquette
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2014, 02:41:29 PM »
Thanks for the insights everyone!  We've decided to go ahead and let him know that his last day is next week.  We told the temp agency and they seemed okay with it.

I think everyone is right--if it is a person who is not working out, you wait until they have left; if it is a person you like, you do them the respect of giving them a heads up, even if it is just a few days.
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lowspark

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Re: Temp etiquette
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2014, 02:45:37 PM »
I'm glad you decided to tell him. After all, what's the down side? There's not much the temp agency can do if he already knows. I think it's the most courteous and grateful thing to do.

veronaz

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Re: Temp etiquette
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2014, 02:48:46 PM »
Glad to hear it, Betelnut. 

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Temp etiquette
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2014, 02:55:33 PM »
If a person is not working out, I'd still tell them before they left.  If their normal end time was 4:30, I'd tell them at 4:00 and then stay to escort them out of the building, after they'd had a chance to collect any of their personal items and say good-bye to anyone they worked closely with.

It would be incredibly inconvenient to both the employee and the employer to either have that employee come back to get their personal articles or for someone else to pack their stuff up and ship it.  Why wouldn't you just do the escort out of the building thing?
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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MrTango

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Re: Temp etiquette
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2014, 03:05:09 PM »
In my experience, when a temp assignment ends early or the temp is let go without notice (for whatever reason), the agency sends one of their people to collect the temp's belongings and then the temp would go to the agency's office to pick them up.