So Kirk Eggleston didn't like working as a temporary employee {"Working One Day at a Time," Outlook, Sept. 2}? Is that reason for him to insult an industry that employs more than one million people every day as well as the individuals he worked with at his assignments?

Fortunately, the typical temporary employee is not like Mr. Eggleston. An independent survey conducted in 1989 for the National Association of Temporary Services found that 80 percent of temporary employees chose temporary work for the additional income it gives them and 77 percent for the flexible work schedule. More than half (54 percent) said they had been asked to go full-time by employers who had hired them temporarily, and 67 percent gained new skills when working as temps -- certainly not indicative of the laissez-faire attitude Mr. Eggleston attributed to them.

Although "career advancement" is not often thought of when working as a temporary employee, 57 percent reported getting paid at a higher rate for subsequent assignments. For temporary employees, the national mean pay reported by the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics in October of 1989 was $7.59 an hour; for word-processing operators, $9.90. Although figures were not available for Washington, the average in New York for a person with word-processing skills was $16.14.

Further, if The Post had tried to corroborate some of Mr. Eggleston's figures, it would have found that those temporary-help companies in the metro area that offer benefits such as vacation pay and insurance eligibility only require 500 to 1,000 hours of service (1,500 at the most). Many offer additional bonuses for completing assignments.

The temporary-help industry has a good history of enforcing its own checks and balances. The system proved itself when Mr. Eggleston was no longer sent out on assignments when his attitude admittedly changed to one "of a drunken Soviet worker mindlessly toiling."

Mr. Eggleston's disappointment in his own career path should not have been taken out on an industry that has provided a start for millions of workers.

SAMUEL R. SACCO Executive Vice President National Association of Temporary Services. Alexandria