The university Temporary Employment Service might have some work for me, starting in the New Year -- working as a filing clerk for the Development Office, full-time for approx. 1 month in the first instance, paid £6.06/hr. Doesn't sound terribly exciting; on the other hand it wouldn't be ProQuest, which at the moment makes it a tempting prospect. I've told them I'll think about it & get back to them tomorrow; I don't really know whether I should take it or not. I guess ProQuest would probably take me back after a month if I decided the temp stuff was even worse, though.
As for ProQuest ... this afternoon they threw 900+ lines of somebody else's Perl at me and said "Can you look at this script and make it deal with a completely different dataset, please? Oh, and we want a different sort of output as well." No, I can't. I don't understand the script, I don't have time to learn the stuff I need to know because they want this done by yesterday, but they won't take no for an answer. ("It should be really simple, can't you just change the names of the fields in the script?") The reason they want me to do this in the first place? They don't want to have to pay for a software engineer's time for this work. (They don't seem to be listening when I point out that a software engineer could probably make the fixes in 10 seconds, whereas it'd take me weeks to get my head round it.) The guy who wrote the script in the first place got made redundant in September.
I hate this place.