Potential Temp Agency Faux Pas, or, PLEASE HELP ME STOP FREAKING OUT
March 14, 2013 5:52 AM Subscribe
I have been working with a staffing agency who placed me in a really great (contract) job last year, which ended in October. I have been keeping in touch with the rep who was working with me ever since, checking in once a week to see if anything had become available. Last month, my grandmother passed away after a very long illness and I got wrapped up in the various family-related things that obviously came along with that, and therefore I stopped checking in with the rep for a while (it became a much lower priority). At the same time, my friend offered me some extremely low-paying (to the brink of me basically doing it pro bono), intermittent consulting work on a project just to help me keep somewhat busy during the boring slog of unemployment, which at least allows me not to have a huge gap on my resume and my LinkedIn profile. Because this happened right around the time my grandmother passed, and because this consulting work is most definitely temporary and not income-sustainable, I forgot to inform my rep that I'd taken on this work. I am now concerned that I have committed a major faux pas professionally. Help me understand if I have or if I am overreacting.
posted by thereemix to work & money (14 answers total)
There is also an automated email reminder form I get from the agency every two weeks asking me for an availability update and a summary of what job searching tasks I have been doing alongside waiting for them to call (haha). I have been consistently marking my availability as yes when these reminder forms come and outlining what I have been doing, including explaining the consulting work (and how it's low paying/basically pro bono and mostly "something to do" while I wait for an actual job to come along). So, I have been informing the agency of what I've been doing; I just never bothered to pick up the phone or write an email to my rep directly to let him know. Is that not cool of me?
What makes me extra concerned is that I just saw that my rep posted a job he's recruiting for on LinkedIn two days ago, which is in my field and which I think I'd be a good match for. I also saw that he looked at my profile two days ago, where he would see my update that I was doing this consulting work for my friend. I am worried that he 1) thinks I have a full-time job now and 2) never told him about it and 3) therefore, because of 1 or 2 (or both) didn't contact me about this new position.
I sent him an email last night saying "Hey, it's been a while, saw the position you posted and think I may be a good fit, can you tell me more about the job?" And then gave him a general update re: the low-paying/basically pro bono consulting work and how I am still actively searching for new opportunities because it's not a consistent or long-term job. I didn't tell him that I had been out of touch because of my grandmother's passing because I generally don't think it's very professional to blab about family drama in a work context. But now I am extremely worried that maybe my falling out of touch for a while plus not directly, personally informing him of the consulting gig (even though I was updating my records with the agency through their automated reminder forms), might have pissed him off.
My email to him was late last night and right now it's not even 9AM here in New York, so I know that I'm probably jumping the gun in being like OMG WHY HAS HE NOT RESPONDED TO MY EMAIL OR CALLED ME YET OBVIOUSLY HE MUST HATE ME NOW. But that irrationality aside, overall, was my handling of this situation okay, or have I committed several professional faux pas (what's the plural of that anyway?) here?