The Student Room Group

Fired from a new role?

I was working at a university through an agency. The agency was weird at first because the manager called me for another job role (for which I have experience) but later on emailed me saying she will push my CV for the role of the Receptionist/Administrator. I was reluctant and told her I didn't have experience as a receptionist but she got me the job and coerced me into taking it up.

I took it up thinking I can learn new things but when I went into work, I noticed that the staff don't work in the office but from home. One of the staff members was going on 1 month holiday, one of them was leaving the role and one works mostly from home

From the very first day, the reception manager kept pushing the narrative that I will be on my own for the next two weeks so whatever I have to learn, I have to learn quick.

I caught hold of most of the admin stuff but 3 weeks in, he left me all on my own and when he came in, he had to do the front desk work because I was still inexperienced with front desk. The staff and students asked questions about things that I was not aware about. One of the security guards also told the reception manager that I needed more time and training at the front desk.

Furthermore, I also work at a writing facility and needed to get a project done within 2 days. I asked my manager if I could take leave and she agreed to let me.

After the 3rd week, I suddenly got an email from my agency saying end of assignment. She was not telling me why the assignment was cancelled, kept disconnecting the phone until she said that the manager said he needed more stability and because of my absence due to tube strike and project work, he couldn't keep me.

On my last day, the reception manager ignored me completely and was only talking to the other colleague. Also, the colleague who went on a holiday will join them next week.

I dont mind losing the job because I never liked the role of a receptionist nor I wanted to do it but was this even fair treatment??
Or was this totally wrong and discrimatory behaviour ?
(edited 1 year ago)
The agency probably only wanted to collect their commission from the uni so pushed you forward for a last minute emergency cover receptionist assignment that you did not have the experience or skillset to effectively perform.
Probably knowing that the assignment would be terminated by the uni as soon as they found an experienced member of their own staff available to do the job.
This happens a lot with agency temping assignments.
As long as you were paid at the agreed rate for every hour that you worked there, seems fair to me.
Original post by londonmyst
The agency probably only wanted to collect their commission from the uni so pushed you forward for a last minute emergency cover receptionist assignment that you did not have the experience or skillset to effectively perform.
Probably knowing that the assignment would be terminated by the uni as soon as they found an experienced member of their own staff available to do the job.
This happens a lot with agency temping assignments.
As long as you were paid at the agreed rate for every hour that you worked there, seems fair to me.

What about the reception manager?
Original post by chicksinacup
What about the reception manager?


You don’t work for the company the manager is employed by, you are employed by the agency. Unfortunately this means you have very little power or control about what the company employees, including the manager, say or do.

If you complain to the agency, they’ll just say, “Well we don’t employ that person, so what do you expect us to do? We can’t do anything to anyone who doesn’t work for us”. I work agency shifts sometimes and mostly the permanent staff are nice. Some are not. You just chalk it up to a bad experience, draw a line under it and move on.
(edited 1 year ago)
As above, for agency work it's mostly "at will" so you can be dropped whenever for basically any reason (although equally normally you can leave without any notice period too). If it's a decent role, enjoy it while it lasts really - since you weren't keen on the role anyway I'd say just forget about it and focus on whatever the next assignment may be.

Also bear in mind you weren't fired, you were working on a temp agency role and the role ended. There may well have been factors outside of you that led to that (budget cuts in the dept, the person on leave coming back, etc). So again, don't take it personally!
Original post by londonmyst
The agency probably only wanted to collect their commission from the uni so pushed you forward for a last minute emergency cover receptionist assignment that you did not have the experience or skillset to effectively perform.
Probably knowing that the assignment would be terminated by the uni as soon as they found an experienced member of their own staff available to do the job.
This happens a lot with agency temping assignments.
As long as you were paid at the agreed rate for every hour that you worked there, seems fair to me.

Yes that's what I think too.

They were also cutting almost £200 from my weekly pay as tax and national insurance. Is thus even fair?
Original post by chicksinacup
Yes that's what I think too.

They were also cutting almost £200 from my weekly pay as tax and national insurance. Is thus even fair?


Depending on how much you are earning it may be that much.

If you earn over £190 a week you have to pay National Insurance, decided by the government.

If this is your second job then you will be on the BR (basic rate) tax code, which you have to pay 20% income tax on, decided by the government.

If this is your only job or you think you’re on the the wrong tax code, you need to check your tax code and get it changed, so that you pay the right amount of tax and National Insurance. You can then claim back anything you shouldn’t have paid from HMRC.
(edited 1 year ago)
The agency may just want to take their college commission, so they push you to a last-minute call receptionist job where you don't have the experience or skills to perform effectively.
Original post by chicksinacup
I was working at a university through an agency. The agency was weird at first because the manager called me for another job role (for which I have experience) but later on emailed me saying she will push my CV for the role of the Receptionist/Administrator. I was reluctant and told her I didn't have experience as a receptionist but she got me the job and coerced me into taking it up.

I took it up thinking I can learn new things but when I went into work, I noticed that the staff don't work in the office but from home. One of the staff members was going on 1 month holiday, one of them was leaving the role and one works mostly from home

From the very first day, the reception manager kept pushing the narrative that I will be on my own for the next two weeks so whatever I have to learn, I have to learn quick.

I caught hold of most of the admin stuff but 3 weeks in, he left me all on my own and when he came in, he had to do the front desk work because I was still inexperienced with front desk. The staff and students asked questions about things that I was not aware about. One of the security guards also told the reception manager that I needed more time and training at the front desk.

Furthermore, I also work at a writing facility and needed to get a project done within 2 days. I asked my manager if I could take leave and she agreed to let me.

After the 3rd week, I suddenly got an email from my agency saying end of assignment. She was not telling me why the assignment was cancelled, kept disconnecting the phone until she said that the manager said he needed more stability and because of my absence due to tube strike and project work, he couldn't keep me.

On my last day, the reception manager ignored me completely and was only talking to the other colleague. Also, the colleague who went on a holiday will join them next week.

I dont mind losing the job because I never liked the role of a receptionist nor I wanted to do it but was this even fair treatment??
Or was this totally wrong and discrimatory behaviour ?


Hi, what kind of admin and front desk work did you have to do in the role?

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