This morning I had an appointment with a temp agency, and I was dreading it. Ten years' ago was the heydey for temp agencies in this area, and many of them had offices in my small town. These were comforting offices in small buildings that looked like houses. I didn't feel intimidated when I walked into them. There was the sense that the agency rep and I were working together to place me in a position that suited my strengths and presented the agency in a good light.
These days, however, most of the agencies have closed their local branches or gone out of business altogether. The responses I am getting to my online resume aren't coming from my old faithful partners like Uniforce. They are from international firms with sophisticated hiring methods and offices to match. Today I had to go to the 22nd floor of a fancy uptown building in Charlotte. The tallest building in my county only has five stories. All the glass and chrome and people walking around in nice suits! The agency rep who interviewed me was young and well-coiffed; I felt old and sloppy by comparison. At least I tested well. My scores were 10 points above the average for that branch. That made me feel a little less out-of-place as I walked out of the building. Hopefully those scores will translate into a placement.