Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Is Anita Back?

I received the following e-mail yesterday from someone on my project. It concerns an e-mail that he/she received from one of the agencies regarding the project. Tom the Temp's comments in bold.

Tom the Temp,

Anita may have been gone physically today but her handiwork is alive and well as evident by the below email from her agents at one of the agencies (looks like the old Anita is back).

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all well. {doing okay aside from my mild case of carpal tunnel}.
Thank you again for weathering what I know has been a rocky month {more than a month, it is March already} or so on this project. I understand from the folks who are running the site that things are about to pick up however, and I thought this would be a good time to remind you of some general policies {rules} that must be followed:

First, make absolutely sure that you sign in and sign out accurately, and that what you record on the sign in/sign out sheet is consistent with what you record on your timesheets. {don't overbill - I hope the "vanishing princess" isn't on this project}.

Second, cell phone use, internet use, {we don't have internet, remember?} and other personal/recreational activities {we weren't playing squash or anything} like puzzles – other than when you are on your breaks – must be kept to a very bare minimum. {not just a bare minimum, but a "very" bare mininum} We have received complaints about excessive {that is a strong word} amounts of all three activities. This policy may have been relaxed during the slow weeks, but it is VERY important again starting now and going forward. {sign that "lockdown" is coming}.

Finally, just a reminder that the attorneys managing the site do have the ability to track exactly what work you have done on a daily basis and when. {big brother is watching} If they feel they have any reason to question your attention to the work, they will verify your productivity, and low numbers combined with things like cell phone use, etc. will be a basis for being removed from the project. {this is fair - hopefully, however, no more public executions for people caught with a game of minesweeper}.


Thank you all for taking note of these policies. We reiterate them not to harass you, but to make absolutely clear what is expected, so that no one is asked to leave the project for failure to follow them out of lack of notice. {thanks for the heads up. I just wish that all of the agencies would have informed their candidates. I didn't receive any notice}.

Please be in touch and let us know how else we can support you throughout the project.
Again, with many thanks.

Is this just a friendly reminder, or a sign that we are on the verge of another "lockdown." Only time will tell.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

good grief i feel sorry for ttt and the rest; 4 yrs of college and 3 yrs of law school for this? what a joke

DC Metro Contract Attorneys Weblog said...

DC temp attorney projects have really picked up. There are several projects starting with several agencies.

See:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DCMetroContractAttorneys/

Good luck!

-DC Metro Contract Attorneys

Anonymous said...

what's wrong with that email? it sounds reasonable enough. if you think you deserver better, get a better job.

Anonymous said...

Tom,

This entry was actually pretty funny. I have seen letters like this before. It is not that they are unreasonable demands, it is just the fact that it comes across in such a patronizing way.

Anonymous said...

And how do you want them to come across? Oh pretty please with sugar on top don't use your cell phone? So what that they are enforcing policy. They're running a business and covering themselves by giving a heads up. This is exactly what anyone would do. Here's a story that may help a few of you think, but will fly over most of your heads. Kids fall down all the time through a combination of their own doing and circumstances (attorneys who didn't get what they wanted or all people for that matter). The kid isn't damaged, just a bit hurt and maybe humiliated (being a doc reviewer or worse). The kid cries out for someone to hug them (attorneys whining about being told what to do so they're seeking comfort from others and promoting self pity). GROW UP!!! You're not kids. How can you represent someone else when you can't stop talking about something that isn't really important. Go do something else. That's right I said it. Go do something else with your life. The greatest change will occur when there is no supply for the demand. Oh, you can't make rent? Get a freakin roommate and stop paying $1500 for rent. Those who whine and want significant change are the ones who have given up and will stay document reviewers. Listen to those losers of life if you want, but I'm not into making a safe haven out of something that's a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

Hi Update.

Anonymous said...

"Go do something else. That's right I said it. Go do something else with your life."


Every American citizen has interest in this subject. Discovery is expensive, inefficient, and results in higher consumer prices. Anyway to make it more efficient and cost-effective should be looked into. Simply telling the people who are doing the work now to leave won't solve the problem.

Anonymous said...

"Go do something else. That's right I said it. Go do something else with your life." 1) For the anonymous comment implying I am from Update, I am not a document reviewer, just like you, unffiliated with Update in any way. Just like you, I went to a great school and have great qualifications, but engage in document review. Unlike you, I don't complain about it or blame others unless I want to have a rare moment of insecurity, and get a hug from my significant other. 2) The meaning of the quote has nothing to do with the expense of discovery. I know far too little about the complexities of the costs of discovery to render anything more than a worthless opinion about it. 3)"Simply telling the people......to leave won't solve the problem." I don't know how you figured I'm saying people should just leave. That's like telling someone to just move to another country without planning. Leaving means leaving the field of law or leaving document review by creating a long term plan. How many people really have a long term plan? I'm not talking about buying that house or retirement, both of which rely on more document review. I'm saying, how many people are putting aside $1,000/month to open up that store or law office? How many doc reviewers are putting off that vacation? How much do you have in your 401k? Do you know what the 401k can do for you as far as lending opportunities? I could go on and on to cover all negative criticism of my words, but this is TTTs blog, not mine.
***I see that the biggest issue is that most people are employees by nature. That's cool, but with that comes the price you're paying now. There is no out unless you start learning to be an employer. I say learning because research shows, thinking like an employer is not just a trait you are born with. It's something you can be taught. All of the successful partners, associates, recruiters, etc., put their pants on the same way a doc reviewer does. They eat, sleep, spend time with their families. They must pay taxes. They must go to the doctor when they are sick. They must answer to their boss. They must abide by the traffic laws. Some, if not many, doc reviewers came from middle class families+. Many of those who have it better played the same game we did. Those who are here complaining about it are, in all likelihood, too dishonest to admit to themselves that they got beat fair and square. As TTT once said in his postings, you're either in our you're out. And I don't see anyone standing in my way at least.

Anonymous said...

To clarify my previous comment because it is grammatically imperfect and ambiguous: "implying I am from Update, I am not a document reviewer, just like you, unaffilitied with Update in any way." I am trying to say: Implying I am from Update and that I am not a document reviewer like you and unaffiliated with Update in any way. You can see I'm long winded. It would have been better to just say I AM a document reviewer like you and I AM NOT affiliated with Update in any way.

Anonymous said...

Just to let everyone know, everyone staffed by my agency who is on my project just got a raise. It happens. I don't think the people staffed by the other agency did.

I'm not going to say which agency or which project, but there are some good agencies out there. I'd say more, but I'd be accused of being from an agency or some other crap.

The only thing I will say is... try to get legal document review somewhere other than a law firm. That is all.

DC Metro Contract Attorneys Weblog said...

new project:

online doc review starting this Monday, March 13th. The pay rate is $40 hr (flat rate, no OT) and will be 7 days, 12 hours a day. In fact, it may run over 12 hours a day.

Car service and meals are included.

If you are interested, contact:

Sean Luke Curtin
De Novo Legal, LLC
Director of Client Services
511 5th Ave, 2nd Floor
S.E. Corner 43rd & 5th Ave
New York, NY 10017

Tel 212 353 9005
Cell 347 782 1375
fax 212 353 3342

www.denovolegal.com

-DC Metro Contract Attorneys

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DCMetroContractAttorneys/

http://dcmetrocontractattorneys.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Tom - I thought you sould post this, and this serves as my good deed for the day. Hopefully this can help those in the Baltimore/DC area looking for contract positions. I know what it is like to do temp work and get the short end of the stick with agencies taking half of your money. Well, on my alumni website, here is a posting from a Baltimore firm looking to directly hire a contract attorney. Good luck!

Employer Name: DeHay & Elliston, LLP - Baltimore, MD
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Job Title Contract Attorney
Job Type Attorney
Job Posted By University of Baltimore School of Law
Contact Jamie B. Seward - Esq.
Address 36 S. Charles Street, Suite 1300
Baltimore, MD 21201
Country United States
Phone (410) 783-7013
Fax (410) 783-7221
Email jseward@dehay.com
Web Site [www.dehay.com]
Job Description Employer Information: Our firm specializes in complex civil litigation.
Position Description: We are seeking an attorney to perform document review. This is a long-term project.
Class Yrs Requested 3L
Time Period Temporary
Materials Requested Resume, Cover Letter
Response Method Mail directly to contact, Call contact directly, E-Mail contact directly, Fax directly to contact
Deadline Date 04-APR-06
Compensation $60.00 Hourly
Paid/Unpaid Paid
Date Posted 02-MAR-06
Job Number 312562

Anonymous said...

4:31pm - I believe I know where you work (because I used to work there) and I know how much heeing and hawing had to be done in order to get that raise. If this is the same place, you guys have been there almost 2 years and to put up with the crap that has been going on at that place it is definitely not worth it - that client is a CHEAPSKATE and is laughing behind the scenes knowing they are getting sucker lawyers to slave around for pennies! Whatever paltry raise you must have received I am sure does not even compare to what you can get at a firm. You can get more and be happier somewhere else, 'cause believe me, I am! Your law degree is worth more.

Anonymous said...

I would be careful with Curtin at De Novo. Based on experience. Don't get too chummy with him. Just get the job and go.

Anonymous said...

Oh, oh, the project is going into lockdown, judging, by the warning this morning.

Anonymous said...

to anon from 10:30 pm. What does "lockdown" mean?

Anonymous said...

To anon from 10:30pm: Did you flunk grammar? You have a big problem with how to use a comma.

Anonymous said...

6:55pm: It's yesterday's 4:31 poster. We've only been here three or four months, and we didn't ask for the raise. It was really unexpected and weird. But hey, I'll take it. It's enough to make my entire loan payment.

And hell no, I wouldn't stay here two years. Only until I get admitted (which is coming up soon) and then it's job search time!

Anonymous said...

"It's enough to make my entire loan payment."

Okay, that should say my entire *monthly* loan payment.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the person who criticized "Curtin at DeNovo" didn't get too "chummy" with him to know his style. Sean Curtin is a straight-forward guy unlike some other people in this profession.
He keeps it real so stop hating on him like a beeyotch!!!!

Anonymous said...

Some whine. Some dine. And some get f'd over. The latter are not usually the ones who whine or dine. Hence, they get f'd over. This perpetuates the myth that you have to act like an ahole to get ahead. So, the uglier the project, the more aholes you find. The sad part is that they often choose innocent people to pick on. And everyone gets hurt.

Anonymous said...

Remember when they went around calling someone autistic?