Remember when people used to “get jobs” and then “start work” as a “new employee”? It was easy, except for the actual work. But these days, you’re not a new employee, you’re an organizational newcomer who has to be “sourced” and then “socialized” into your company by means of a process called “onboarding.”
And if you’re hired as a contractor, you can end up in a Kafka-esque castle, forbidden to communicate with your actual employer, while an agency badgers you with the demands of a third party, the “background check company.” Like this.
Letter from Bigguns, Inc.
Please consider this an offer of “employment” with us as a CONTRACTOR, not an employee, because then we’d have to give you benefits, and who can afford that in this day and age? Certainly not us, a big multi-national company with important offshore bank accounts.
Also, it’s hard to fire employees, but we can kick out a CONTRACTOR at a moment’s notice. This will come in handy if you turn out to be a criminal, drug addict, lying scumbag, or illegal immigrant.
You’ll be hearing soon from the Rod & Staffing Agency. Please direct all job-related issues to them, such as proof that a colleague is stealing your pickled-herring sandwiches from the 5th-floor fridge, or suspicion that the Marketing Director’s slurred speech and bloodshot eyes are not caused, as she alleges, by a rare genetic disorder. (Employee. Hard to fire.)
Just to recap: talk to the agency if you have issues with us, because although we’re going to give you a desk and a computer; tell you what to do and when to do it; and pay the agency that will pay you: you’re not actually working for us.
Now burn this letter.
Email message from the Rod & Staffing agency
Welcome, CONTRACTOR! Congratulations on getting a “job” with us!
To kick off your onboarding process, here’s a list of forms that you must complete for us and the background check company. Just for laughs, we’re only attaching some of the forms to this message. It will be up to you to figure out which forms are missing and write to us, repeatedly, to get them.
- Agreement that you’re fine with being “onboarded” and “socialized.”
- Resumé. List every job you’ve ever had. Did the employer provide snacks? If so, send samples.
- Tax form.
- Prove to us that you’re an American form. And, no, your accent and an enduring grudge that you weren’t popular in high school is not enough.
- Prove that you have a college degree form. Please do not respond, “But my job could be done by a reasonably bright 15-year-old.” So could ours, and we’ll be paying off our student loans til we’re 90.
- Survey on ethnicity/military service/eye color/favorite sleeping position/left-handed? Enclose DNA sample using the swab we may not remember to send you.
- List of every address you’ve had since you graduated from college.
- A reference from someone who can vouch that you’re who you say you are.
- A reference from someone who can vouch for the person who’s vouching for you.
- A reference from someone who can vouch for your skills.
- A reference from someone who knows whether you have any annoying habits, such as chewing tobacco, muttering to yourself, or calling people “Babes.”
- Signed and notarized acknowledgement that you have read a brochure called “Don’t Be an Asshole: If You Must Harass People, Do It On Your Own Time” that we’re not going to send you.
- Acknowledgement that you’ve taken training on a website that you won’t be able to access.
- Agreement that you’re just a CONTRACTOR and have no right to benefits, sick leave, or paid vacation, and can be fired at a minute’s notice and you’re fine with that, really.
You have 48 hours to fax these forms back to us. Then we’ll schedule your drug test.
A note on our fax machine
It’s been flaky lately so you may have trouble getting through. We had to fire our maintenance person, Adolf Jose Bushwara Marie-Celeste Olympia O’Leary, when he (she?) turned out to be a drug-addicted criminal illegal immigrant who was also (though this was not an issue) going through a sex-change. Though, happily, not a lying scumbag, because he was honest about all that on all her forms.