My work at The Guardian is called ‘casual’. Because I don’t go there every day, or regularly. I am in the ‘Night Uploaders’ team.

We quickly proof-read the articles, which are already being printed, in case some mistake has slipped the attention of the sub-editors that are specifically employed for such mistake-spotting among other things, and then add some basic html coding and some relevant, pre-determined links. It is done every single night, and every single article published on paper is uploaded to the website, but for these stable jobs The Guardian employs casuals who can not stay employed for longer than ten months in a row to avoid having to contract us as regular employees. So in ten months time, I will need to find income somewhere else, with the option to come back after four months or so.

In the meantime, I need to call every Monday to see what shifts there are available for me. So today I call at 8am or so as directed. Some one picks up the phone and points out it is not quite eight yet, so “Can you call in about five minutes?”

I call in five minutes and the line is engaged. For the next ten minutes I call so many times I stop counting and when at last I manage to speak to the manager, most of the shifts are taken up.

“Yes, sorry, I was on the phone to the other casuals, giving shifts and now only these are available”.

I take all the remaining shifts and write them on my diary.

“But you know, keep an eye on the mail list, people do get commitments elsewhere and you may well get more shifts”. Ok.. Thank you.

I look at my diary. It tells me that this month I will only work two shifts a week.