Thursday, February 09, 2006

Just A Note

2/9/06 - 8 p.m.-

I just had to respond to this comment.

"Everything you say may be based in reality but like a bad made for tv movie you like to stretch the truth to make your plight seem more dramatic."

Is it not true that someone was publicly humilated and fired for playing a game of minesweeper?

Is it not true that at 7 p.m. one night someone came out, told us to be quiet, and tried to pick a fight with us? How about that?

What about the supervisor telling people to sit up straight?

What about the "watch-list" that Anita admitted to?

Remember when the new people arrived on the project? Is it not true that the belongings of the old people were just tossed off the table like trash?

What about all of those tables stacked in front of the fire exit by the women's bathroom?

Is it not true that the project closed down for a week without notice, depriving people of the ability to land other projects so they could feed their families? Am I also making that up?

These are the facts. Deal with it. I would love to report on the improving work conditions on this project or any other project. All I see now, however, is a calculated public-relations campaign designed to uncover my identity and distort the truth.

92 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't take any shit from these people, the group threatening legal action (I am guessing Update) cannot be allowed to intimidate you!

Anonymous said...

scare tactics, whatever let them make their threats. this one goes down, 5 more pop up in it's place. If U.S. servers censor this blog, sign up with a foreign free host. No matter what, they will not be able to put an end to the criticism that is getting all of our attention. Obviously they are either upset because they know it's all true or they geniunely concerned with losing business. Or it's the law firms that are getting wind of the site and want to stop it before it hits the papers and attracts public attention:)

lawyers vs. lawyers - this is what it's come to instead of decent people interested in making employment conditions fair and reasonable. Tsk tsk...

Josh
http://legaltemp.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

Tom - check out 47 USC 230 and read the following cases in particular: Zieran v. America Online, Blumenthal v. Drudge, Batzel v. Smith, and Donato v. Moldow. They might be of some use to you. :)

Keep fighting!

Anonymous said...

Thanx guys! I am going to need your help! We can do this!

tom the temp

Anonymous said...

How come nobody has discussed E.P. Dine, Inc's policy of making their temps sign an agreement to forfeit two weeks wages if they resign from a job before their commitment is up? Ironically, EP Dine is the oldest name in the legal staffing industry, except that they bought the name from Elaine P. Dine who was one of the most prolific and well regarded recruitment professionals in New York City for two plus decades. There is NOBODY with any connection to her at that agency. She is retired, living in California.

I personally think that there is a bigger class action possibilities of attorneys who have been blacklisted by UPDATE going after that firm for defamation. But then again, what do I know, I never did an employment law document review....but I do know two amazing trial lawyers (see: Law Offices of Rosemarie Arnold) YES, that is a plug. She is based in New Jersey with office here in New York and made a name for herself taking on Management Labor Employment Firms. Oh and she actually tries cases, something lots of big firm lawyers do not always do.

Anonymous said...

Tom- get a Pay-Pal set up on your site. Freedome of speech matters to this MASSIVE working community so much that you will definitely get donations from your (quickly and massively expanding) readership. The funny thing here is that **if** you get sued, whomever is threatening legal action shouldn't forget that the voices that are upsetting them are Attornys at Law expressing personal and professional opinions grounded in truth. I would not be surprised if you had a significant number of (admitted) attorneys who would be willing to help you pro-bono, should the need arise.

Anonymous said...

Everything you say may be based in reality but like a bad made for tv movie you like to stretch the truth to make your plight seem more dramatic.

And you seem like you've been temping for a while. Why do you feel the need to bitch about it like a 13 year old girl with a skinned knee. You know what you are getting into when you choose to be a temp. You've been on enough assignments to realize the kind of stuff you have to deal with. If you are so oppressed in this line of work don't do it anymore. Meanwhile you stir up crap and cause trouble for the rest of us who don't mind what we are doing.

No one is forcing you to temp, you have an obvious need for attention that borders on pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Truth is the best defense to a charge of defamation. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I also think you should call/email the ACLU, the NY chapter of the ACLU, and the Center for Constitutional Rights, and People for the American Way.

If you need us to back up your account by calling them, we could do it.

Anonymous said...

Anyone that can help out with scouting out freedom of speech groups, labor lawyers, grassroots, etc., I would greatly appreciate it! The more help the better.

Anonymous said...

I think in their arrogance they have forgotten that we are all ATTORNEYS!

Anonymous said...

If Update comes out of the closet at this entity threatening you, I will cease posting anonymously and work aggressively behind the scenese to put together the list of "blacklisted" attorneys who have been abused, harassed and intimidated by that firm.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't even get all up in arms about this. Just laugh it off. This ain't Europe. The burden is on them to prove fallacy, not on you to prove truth.

Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile you stir up crap and cause trouble for the rest of us who don't mind what we are doing."

How exactly is TTT making your life worse? This site is exposing the way these agencies act and the complaints people have, legitimate grievances.

Anonymous said...

To the commenter who mentioned that EPDine makes you sign a contract to forfeit 2 weeks' wages for leaving a project early: Do you remember law school at all? How about contracts? It's called liquidated damages, and they are usually unenforceable clauses, void as penalty unless they are carefully calculated to approximate the actual damages the agency suffers. Since it's so easy for them to replace one temp atty w/another, I doubt they'd suffer any damages at all. I certainly doubt it would take them 2 weeks to find a replacement, in any event. EPDine people: Get together and sue. Joinder would be easier since courts are reluctant to certify a class. Don't let the doc reviewing let you forget the fact that you are LAWYERS!

Anonymous said...

Agencies prey on the ignorance and fear of the desperate, i.e. the people they employ. What everyone should realize is that, they need us just as much as we need them. Contract Attorneys have become a burgeoning commodity. While the work is sometimes/most times bs, let us not forget that this is precisely the type of work first year asssociateso once did in the days of yesteryear at these big firms. Burning out after a year or two. The only difference being that their resume will read "associate" at BIGLAW, LLP. vs. contract attorney.

Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile you stir up crap and cause trouble for the rest of us who don't mind what we are doing."

NOW who's crying like a 13 year old with a skinned knee?

Anonymous said...

TTT makes life harder for everyone working at his site bacause his bitchfest makes all the supervisors think that everyone is unhappy and a whiny ungreatful temp. When the fact of the matter is this isn't that bad of an assignment.

Just today there was a survey taken by Update saying if you don't want to be at the job, please feel free to leave. Which is exactly the truth. If Tom is so oppressed why dosen't he just quit the assignment or stop temping altogether. Its no surprise what these jobs are like, they are all the same, yet he keeps taken them and gladly accepting the fat paycheck that comes along with them.

I have no respect for someone so hypocrytical that they spend thier time writing blogs mocking people and complaining when they could just walk away if they were that unhappy. Did you speak your mind at the Update meeting on Monday morning Tom or do you just hold your opinions for the anonymous world of your blog?

Anonymous said...

"Just today there was a survey taken by Update saying if you don't want to be at the job, please feel free to leave"

the only reason a survery was done and people were allowed to leave was because of the pressure put upon by this blog.

Anonymous said...

re: EP DINE. The clause is completely unenforceable and they know that, but again they are preying on your ignorance and reluctance to make waves. You have to fight to get your money though. They definitely do not make it easy.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tom, I emailed you earlier but if you do decide to pursue this action, keep me in the loop. I'd be happy to donate my legal skills to the cause.
Keep on truckin and keep up the great web site. Opinions like this should NOT be stifled!
-an Esq.

Anonymous said...

"the only reason a survery was done and people were allowed to leave was because of the pressure put upon by this blog."

I was just going to say that, and I'm not even there. On that note, have Anita and the Eunuch gotten better since this blog, or are they still not aware of it?

Anonymous said...

you have to love the power of the internet!!!

Anonymous said...

"Did you speak your mind at the Update meeting on Monday morning Tom or do you just hold your opinions for the anonymous world of your blog?"

With that blacklist everyone talks about? Please.

Anonymous said...

The simple fact that this blog will make law firms, their staff and contract attorneys aware of the hiring practices and policies of agencies in this space is enough to make some of them perhaps reconsider their abusive or at least less than earnest practices. If anything, there needs to be a duty of fair dealing. UPDATE has gotten too powerful in the marketplace. They are gatekeepers to many jobs in this town, primarily because they represent employers overzealously and marginalize individual talent, making the vast majority of lawyers nothing but human chattel to be exploited.

Speaking of hiring practices and E.P. DINE'S unenforceable wage forfeiture clause, the fact that they place this in any document as a condition of working through them is illustrative of a level of arrogance and indifference to human rights as well as the law. Secondly, what is also rather interesting is that EP Dine routinely asks for permission to submit your resume to employers who wish to have their search remain confidential. Interesting that anyone would have to (a) sign an agreement to forfeit wages to work with this employer and (b) they request your authority to represent you with regards to a fictitious employer or one who does not want to have itself identified to you.

THIS IS WHY I CHOOSE TO FLIP THE FINGER TO BOTH ELAINE P. DINE, INC, a fictitious company that bought the name of a legendary individual in the Legal Placement Business but has no soul and UPDATE LEGAL, which has a pretty web site but in the end both are pimps for their clients. Understand, you are NEVER their client. NEVER.

Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile you stir up crap and cause trouble for the rest of us who don't mind what we are doing."

It's because you can't do any better.

Anonymous said...

I do not think anyone is stirring up crap or trouble. Actually, there really are some honorable reputable firms who recognize and respect the challenges that many went through to get a law degree and pass the bar. Neither UPDATE OR EP DINE have any regard for dealing with people honorably. If word gets out, the marketplace will open up, and everyone will be treated more fairly. That is like telling the woman who gets beaten by her husband to keep quiet because she gets three square meals and a roof over her head. Someone should send an email to CRAINS NY BUSINESS Legal Beat writers about this blog or better yet, The American Lawyer or the New York Post. The bitches at UPDATE think they can buy people off with a few cocktails and some greasy grub at Christmas every year. Like it or not, this is newsworthy. But now getting sympathy for abused lawyers from the population at large? Not likely.

Anonymous said...

The entity that is suing to tear down this blog doesn't realize that our freedom of speech is a protected right and that the truth in the information here is what will cause them to lose this frivilous suit. I have personally been in this industry for way longer than I have wanted to, and I am the first to admit that I have enjoyed a very good income from it. However, I did not earn it without putting up with the shoveled crap from agencies, the fakeness during interviews, dirty looks from legal secretaries who knew exactly what my rank was at the firm and the snubbing from associates who immediately perceived me as a subcultural attorney just because I am a temp. Fortunately I will be leaving the profession, secure in knowing that I will be doing something better for myself and putting an end to this career frustration once and for all. I am glad that before that time arrived I have finally seen the beginning of a massive expose of the nastiness we contract attorneys have endured for too long and I can only continue to hope that it will create a favorable reorgaization that is fair for our future temping brethren. I have met many good and valuable contract attorneys on my assignments, most smarter and more qualified than certain associates in these firms - so guys let's stay the course and fight for the respect we deserve.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

You will learn one simple lesson and that is that there is an illusive Hierarchy of Status in the Legal Profession, especially at larger firms that lawyers buy into and unfortunately allow it to effect their self esteem. It goes in this order:

1-Partner
2-Counsel
2-Special Counsel (or slow Counsel)
4-Senior Associate
5-Junior Associate
6-Paralegal
7-Inhouse Trainer
8-Librarian
9-Secretary
10-Word Processing Staff Member
11-Cafeteria Worker
12-Car Service Dispatcher
13-Driver
14-Cleaning Lady
15-Shoe Shine Guy
16-LEGAL TEMP
17-Piece of Shit

Anonymous said...

LOL - very funny

Gabe said...

^I love that^

Anonymous said...

We can eat UPDATE LEGAL up for breakfast.

who are they?

Anonymous said...

You can control the comments. Just hide them. (See "Settings" under the Dashboard.)

Anonymous said...

some partners and associates might think more of a healthy bowel movement than a contract attorney.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hey Julie - how's Hudson treating you? Is it that bad that you need to bash Update so much?? Miss us???

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't the Update survey be done to get a handle on how many new people will be needed for the project?

Anonymous said...

we get your point TTT. you're upset, you're bitter, and now you're scared. You know the temp world has highs and lows. You know an assignment could get cut short or it could extend longer. You know that it is unpredictable and unreliable. You know that large litigation firms don't always have the nicest & most understanding people working for them. You know that thousands of people submit their resumes to these same agencies you chastise and yet someone fought to get you working, even though it is apparent you are undeserving. You know the nature of document review. But please tell me this...how come you do not know enough to get out of something you don't like? If the temp world is hell for you and causes you such misery (enough to create a blog where you whine and complain), then you know where the door is. I understand that it's not fair that you went to school for several years, earned a degree, passed the bar, and waited to get admitted just to end up spending all your time writing a blog on the internet. Also, it's understandable that you need to pay a mortgage and/or support a family. Such is life. That's a given. There are several ways to make a living. Obviously, the temp world is not for you. Don't work on the project and don't work for the agencies. Problem solved. Does that simplify things for you or would you like to bitch some more? My guess is the latter.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tommy Boy,
If your job is so awful, how come you don't just quit? It makes no sense that you stay at a job, a temp job no less that is so terrible. Pretty cowardly in my opinion.

suzyque said...

tom and the rest of you that keep bashing the temp world- get over it. some of s chose to do this because we have other aspirations and this is how we pay the bills. stop being so bitter. you signed up for this. we are not permanent associates but we can make overb $100k a year. not lose sight of that and certainly don't speak for everyone. personaLLY I think you are a low life loser who can't get a real job, if you don't like being a temp go get a perm job at baskin & robbins. you cleary don't have the temperment, intellect and drive to work perm at a law firm of ANY size. the truth kills doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

It's an all out blitz against TTT.

Anonymous said...

I heard from what i think is a reliable source that this site is made up of agency people going back and forth at eacvh other. i love a good fight.

Anonymous said...

TTT -
Are you actually still working for Update? Have you told them about the working conditions? Maybe it would help?

Sleepless in Seattle

Anonymous said...

Is everyone going back to the Kirkland project?

Anonymous said...

I work for Update Legal, and I am proud to say that. I think that each and every one of you who are bashing Update Legal should be ashamed of yourselves. You clearly have no idea how hard we work to try to keep you employed.

I am one of the cheerleaders that fights every day to make sure that you actually have a chance to make an impression at the firm I place you at. I am one of those blonde stuffed sausages that has actually shed tears for some of you. I am that robotic Stepford wife that has been in danger of losing my job for fighting for you even though you turn around and disappoint me. I am the same awful "recruiter" who works her hardest to make sure you can pay your electric bill.

I am also that everlasting optimist that will keep going to work every day to help you get a job. I have faith that there are actually some of you out there who realize how hard we actually work.

Tom, if the working conditions were so bad, why didn't you just call us to let us know? We would have done everything in our power to change things. You didn't even give us a chance to improve anything. We can't fix what we don't know about.

By the way, I am not a recruiter - I don't make commission. Not one person in the staffing department makes a single penny of commission off of any one of you. It doesn't matter if I place 1 person or 1000 at a job. I do this because I have a heart, and it is rewarding to help people.

I'm sorry some of you have such negative feelings about us. However, I don't think mud slinging and name calling are very effective ways of getting your point across. We work every single day. Have the decency to actually come forward and express your concerns to us.

Anonymous said...

A perception exists that if people raise legitimate concerns they will be "blacklisted." It's not just a problem with Update, but with many other agencies as well. We need agencies that can stick up for us. You have an employee on-site, you know what is going on. We are willing to work hard, but we shouldn't be subject to abuse and should be treated with some sort of respect and decency. I don't understand why there has to be such animosity on the project.

Just don't tell us you care but show us. Believe me if you (or any other agency) steps up to the plate, I will be more than willing to retract all former posts and be your prime cheerleader. Until then, I just have to report what I see.

Again, I don't hold a "grudge" against your agency. I just happen to be on a project that you are staffing. Undoubtedly, the same thing is going on in law firms throughout the city.

Anonymous said...

10:41 written by Tom the Temp

Anonymous said...

Tom,
I can promise you that if you had called in to express a legitimate concern, the issue would not only be heard, it would be dealt with to the best of our ability. We can't always work magic, but we can always try. I have been down to the project site delivering checks. I have walked around to each and every one of you introducing myself, asking how things were going, and reassuring you that if you needed anything, you could call me. I meant it. Not one of you has taken me up on that offer. Not one.

We do have an employee on-site. He is an advocate for you as well. To my knowledge, no one has gone to him to air concern.

The "blacklisting" perception is false. Have you ever met people on a project that you would never want working for you if it were your company? Of course you have. So have we. We do not make a game of "blacklisting" candidates. To be completely honest with you, there is no such thing as the mythical Update "blacklist".

Are there a handful of candidates that have done something horrendous on assignment causing our hands to be tied? Yes. Would we stop working with you because you had to leave an assignment for an emergency? No way in the world.

Have a little faith in the people who have had enough faith in you to put our name behind you.

I give you my word that we are doing everything in our power to improve that project.

Anonymous said...

Fine. As a gesture of my good-will, I will remove you from "My Two Cents" list. (for now). Continue to do more and I promise to do my part.

Tom the Temp

Anonymous said...

One more thing:

I understand that their are "lazy" people that make it onto these projects. We don't hold it against our employers when they get rid of unproductive people. We actually welcome it because those kinds of people make us look bad. It's the "group punishment" style of managing that makes for a hostile work environment, creates ill-will between employer and employee, and saps the energy out of the project.

tom the temp

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

We will do everything we can on our part to make sure that the conditions improve.

You are all individuals and should be recognized as such.

Your feedback is much appreciated.

The Update Staffer

Anonymous said...

are you hoping to get a book deal like Opinionista?

Anonymous said...

It sounds like all will be well on this project--call me in Update.

Anonymous said...

Will the K&E people be seeking a truce also?

Anonymous said...

"are you hoping to get a book deal like Opinionista?"

NO! If I can remain anonymous I promise to always remain so.

Anonymous said...

First one to call Update to express concern about the project will be labelled Tom the Temp and be fired and blacklisted.

nuts4nuts said...

TTT, no way no how are you a recruiter! LOL. Accounts like these could only come from a seasoned insider. So the question is: ARE you considering unionizing activities? I've long held that that is precisely what needs to happen, but there are so many sellouts in this temp attorney racket, it would be hard. Add to that fact that nobody ever intends to do this as long as we often do and that many people use this as a transition thing, and it's an uphill battle. BUT I'd support you 100%. Until there are big enough numbers to DEMAND better treatment, working conditions, and fair pay. The pimpin' shall continue. BTW...I'm starting my own blog--at your suggestion--it's bigtempin.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

If anyone tries to pull any of that crap, let me know. If they are serious, however, about meeting us half-way, if they are willing to listen to our concerns about making the project run more smoothly, if they intend to treat us as human-beings rather than as penned-up animals, I think most of would agree that we should give them another chance. Let's be honest, this project was on a "war footing" even before this blog hit the big leagues. The client was not being served in an environment poisoned by distrust and animosity.

tom the temp

Anonymous said...

As much as I respect what appears to be a sincere effort by the Update employee to express, in a very straightforward and direct manner, their business practices, there are existing and obvious realities about your Agency that will make your efforts fall on many a deaf ear. The allegations concerning your business practices, true or not, have been expressed by so many contract attorneys that it makes it difficult to believe that they are simply bitter temps or merelt making up stories for their own amusement. Let's consider:

* Terrible working conditions - garbage not cleaned up, dingy basements, nasty work areas, smells, etc.. are a common complaint. More importantly, there has been more than one Anita, more than one blatantly Abusive Attorney in Charge passed over for partnership, or one 1st year associate with a swelled head treating contract attorneys with 20 years experience like absolute garbage, that a collection of tales about temp projects would be both professionally horrifying for the agencies and a delight to read for anyone with even a remote interest in the New York legal world.

* Disrespectful customer service - "No Sarah is not available, but I can help you - we all work together..." Individual relationships are established from the intial interview; yet any attempt on the part of the contract attorney to continue them by asking to speak to a staffer directly is often met with hostility; additionally this removes accountability from any individual staffer being responsible for his temps, leading me to my next point...

* Lack of straightforwardness - This is perhaps the biggest problem area. If a client is unsatisfied with an attorney, or if a problem is observed, rarely if ever will Update address an issue with a temp unless the conduct is egregious. Similarly, if a temp turns down a job, I have heard many, many stories from Update staffers becoming rude and outright hostile on the phone towards the attorney in the manner of "What -- do you think you can do better than $25 an hour - in this market? How do you expect us to find you work if you don't take our jobs? You're working where? How much do they pay? Who staffed it? How dare you not want to tell me..." Maybe the answer is that by underbidding every other temp agency in the city to staff the most massive, high-volume projects, you send a clear signal that the individual does not matter, that it is all about volume and turn over. People make one complaint about wage, and they can get fired on the spot. It has happened. Temps complain in any respect and your solution is clean and simple: the phone stops ringing. Colleagues are called four to five times about a project, while staffers play dumb and offer the usual "no, we don't have anything right now" routine.

The problem, not unique to Update, is that so many temps have been mistreated and/or directly lied to, that the old vaudeville act of "encouraging feedback," "working so hard for us," and "being open to any suggestions" is wearing out. Unfortunately, the 'net has allowed many of these attorneys who have gone through the exact same ringer to wake up and share each other's stories (given that they'd be unable to on the "no talking" projects), and what do you know -- so many of them are identical. So "down pat" are your methods of using, chewing, and spitting out contract attorneys whenever the mood suits or the occasion (even justifiably) calls for it, that the prospect of Update being "outed" is rightly causing a stir. The consequences of a virtual-union of temps gaining the strength and momentum to call their colleagues, law firms, law schools, and ultimately legal and non-legal media, could be dire in the most drastic ways. Words like "class action suit" and "New York Post" could hit where it hurts most - the bottom line, thus explaining the headless chicken about face of the past two days. One day of ripping apart Tom and the rest for speaking their minds, resulting to insults, diatribes and vitriole of the most poison sort, and a second day of virtual molly-coddling and tales of tears shed, scars endured, and battles fought for the Good Temps. I've done a significant amount of work for Update, and am even currently on assignment, though the number of colleagues that I've seen burned by the agency continues to grow. Your attempts to encourage us to speak up are akin to encouraging a dance with the devil. It is all too obvious that candidates are blacklisted or scored or reevaluated, and that preferences are made. But, you know, that's fine. People that are problems should be shown the door, it only makes good business sense. The problem, ladies, is the combination of false security and fear you instill in those working for you by failing to be truthful to individual "candidates" about their performance, and by blatantly penalizing those who speak out against, what appear to be, very clear violations of employment standards and business practices-- which is exactly wht Tom the Temp has done. It would not kill you to stand up to an employer and say "No, we require email and phone access and flexible working conditions for our indispensible employees; No we will not accept someone like Anita and her assistants treating our employees in this manner; No we will not require bathroom sign-outs" because more often than not, it is not about being truthfil and wanting to provide honest billing to the client. Even the simplest electronic Quality Control check after a week of work can reveal who isn't working, or is working poorly. It is about power, and the abuse of it by insecure and overworked attorneys who either have problems with "Contract Lawyers" or dislike their own situation for any number of reasons. You could say upfront "We will let go anyone who is performing 20% below the standard deviation after the first week based on our quality control test." You could be honest. But you won't because of the prospect of losing that business - to Dine, to Hudson, to whomever. So now we're in a bit of a catch-22. This old bastard of trouble, this purveyor of problems called the Internet, has virually unionized a valuable and frequently mistreated group of lawyers. And their united voice is, as you can probably speculate, strong and clear enough to completely sink your agency. Now you have to deal. But a little head's up before the shit hits the fan. Neither threats nor harassment nor those little American Express gift cards will silence this mass. Only action and a true reevaluation of your business methods will. I think there are good people that work both for and through Update. But the specific conduct I have personally witnessed by Update staffers, and the conditions that the Agency continues to allow on its projects, has played out. This blog will not die, and these lawyers, as you would know if you'd gone to law school, will not be moved by threats. That's all. I'm done for now. I have to get up in three hours to get to my assignment...

Anonymous said...

I feel this site and it's comments are appalling. TTT, it seems that you are "gunning" for Update, simply because you are working through them. You have the audacity to create a site and prompt other bitter temps to lash out at the same agencies who do everything in their power to get all of you placed. You rebuke these agencies and solicit others to do the same, yet your paycheck is coming from Update. Update went through the job twice with you before they sent over your resume, ensuring you knew everything they did. They got you that interview and were so excited to tell you that you were selected. They oriented you and told you if you ever needed anything that you should call. Many candidates have called in to Update through the years and told Update issues they were having in a mature and civilized manner. Those candidates are some of our best employees. They are not on any mythical "blacklist" as you suggest. With your education, you should know better then to bite the hand that feeds you. It is ungrateful and disgraceful. I will say the same thing I posted before (and all of you who did not see it can scroll up):

"Obviously, the temp world is not for you. Don't work on the project and don't work for the agencies. Problem solved"

If you are not satisfied with Update and the projects you are placed on. The answer is simple. Do not work them. No one is forcing you.

Anonymous said...

Union now.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. are agencies really necessary? Could firms and clients save money w/o them?

Master Clicker said...

If Update and other agencies and firms would clean up their act, the problem would be solved. Update has long been known to keep a blacklist. Its legendary! Everyone knows about it. They will never admit to it, but they will also NEVER call you for anything no matter how much you convey your availability. I have temped for 6 years b/c it works for me. I have been blacklisted at Update for 6 of those seven years. You don't need to work for Update to stay employed. I admit they have work, but they are NOT the only agency out there. We need to keep this site up and running b/c all temps need a way to share information going forward on all projects that are problematic. We have long been silenced by intimidation and fear of being labeled a troublemaker. Its high time some light has been shed on this.

ny doc reviewer said...

seriously. screw the middleman. agencies often take 50% of what the client firm is billed.

we should form an entity that contracts our **own people** out for 75% of what the agencies charge. and we get to keep everything. that's a 50% raise, folks. we can pool our resources and stop depending on agencies that take such a huge cut. :)

now that we have found each other in a virtual space, we can pool together our talents and resources and make conditions better for everyone.

maybe i'm just being naive, but the fact that we have a space where we can convene is a step in the right direction at least.

Anonymous said...

tom- from what I can see you were given plenty chances to call your agency with your complaints and you never did. You can't now cry like a baby. I've been following your comments for the last few days and actually sympathized with you until I learned that you had the chance to voice your concerns during the project and chose not to do so. You left that important piece of info out.

Anonymous said...

Let's clear up some b.s. floating around:

1. All agencies care more about the firms they staff then the temps they place. Simple economics, don't try to argue.

2. Some Agency reps make false verbal guarantees to hook you on a job. If you don't like the assignment and try to quit, they WILL mark it on your record when considering future projects. That may not sound like a blacklist, but it is. Being fired or bad work performance should be an agency's reason for treating you like garbage.

3. Agency's should investigate a SINGLE complaint at a job site once they are put on notice. If temps are faced with a "do this or quit" and need the money, that is not a choice. Hire undercover temps to evaluate a projet. Tell the firms you are doing this. I have never heard of an "on site" rep for any agency. Dropping off checks does not mean you are checking up on your contract employees.

4. Actions speak louder than words. If Update or any other agency feels compelled to stand up for themselves on this blog, then they are not attacking the problem at the source. Call up and learn the truth. Are you afraid of a backlash from the law firms for libel or just in denial that you are responsible for placing temps at a sweatshop project?

Josh

Anonymous said...

the 9:22am blogger is obviously not well versed in temp game. have u ever heard the phrase..."the highest blade of grasss gets cut first" or the squeaky wheel gets the boot". temps are expected to shut up and click. people who raise valid issues are considered troublemakers and are either fired or never staffed again (or both). tom and others are voicing their issues here where they can't be singled out by update. believe me, update is reading these comments and these issues are hardly news to them. if they want to address the issues raised here, the ball is in their court.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe people are trying to censor this. I haven't temped, but this site has helped me understand why my friends feel so dehumanized after temping.

Anonymous said...

If TTT calls his UPDATE or whatever agency he is working for and challenges the policies, he is probably afraid he will lose his job. He is expendable, and he knows that if he opens his mouth, causes even the slightest stir, the agency can replace him with another temp who will quietly work. For the most part, the girls at update are nice and just doing there job like anyone else, and probably do not agree with the policies set by the owner of update. But they have no control over that. The girls at update value there jobs, and work hard I assume by collecting and dispensing resumes. But no one wants to get fired, speak out and you will get slapped. The owner of these agencies and update is the guy who is accountable for these legitimate grievances.

Anonymous said...

the women at update are horrific. they are evil.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the "shut up and click" mentality that has to be adhered to as a temp. Open your mouth and you are gone - I have been victim to that treatment TWICE in my temp career and now I don't voice a thing except here where I am anonymous. Just go to work, make your money and lay low. I don't feel update or any other agency will go to bat for me when I tell them how I am looked down upon and treated at a law firm. Contract attorneys have historically been treated as second-class. One counsel on a project I was on called us beneficial to a review because we were "cut-rate attorneys". Even more insulting is Sullivan & Cromwell requiring us to identify ourselves as "JD Reviewers" and not attorneys. How is that for diluting the law dregree and bar admission we worked so hard to achieve? ALL AGENCIES listen up: you need to prioritize the humane treatment of your employees on site at these firms or companies. You should not tolerate the abuse we are enduring with these project managers and associates who immediately feel we are lesser quality and people than they are. Without us, the job will not get done. All we are looking for is respect and fair pay for what we do. This is why I don't pick up the phone to tell my agency what I put up with every day, because I know at the end of the day I will get the legendary phone call telling me that "the project is winding down" and I am no longer needed. We also need an assurance from the agencies that we won't get canned for voicing the injustices. That is the major concern as well. I am glad this is finally out in the open and I hope things will change. The 2:26AM poster took the words right out of my mouth - well done! Tom the Temp, I am behind you 100% in what you have exposed, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Not only are we expendable but we are fungible (remember that term from law school). We're nameless faces that they can just rotate in and out of projects at will. I do it because I'm not licensed yet and it suits my schedule. But I agree that nothing about any of these temp agencies foster a "come share your issues" mentality. That's just the sad reality of it. At the end of the day, I still need to work.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I am behind TTT. Keep it up. The unfair policies of these agencies will for no longer go unnoticed!

Anonymous said...

In terms of the Kirkland project, let's not forget that Lexolution also places a small number of people on the project. They need to step up to the plate.

Kirkland, by staffing multiple agencies on the same project, is pitting one agency verses another; the workers, therefore, do not have one agency that can speak in one solid voice on their behalf. It's the temp. attorneys who suffer.

This practice is common, most notably at the Paul, Weiss sweatshop. There are a handful agencies which willing accept "dirty" Paul, Weiss money. They are profiting off the misery of those new grads who are forced to work in sweatshop-type conditions.

Tom the Temp

Anonymous said...

note: this is a post written by satan himself. a reasonable prudent person does not listen to satan, but satan wishes to speak and inject bad thoughts into disgruntled temps' heads, because satan is satan and is bad. >:D

first, use technology to your advantage. the latest camcorders are tiny. even cell phones have camcorders and cameras now.

someone should take photos of all the fire hazards and health violations that firms like paul weiss seem not to care about.

also, most mp3 players (besides, ironically, the ipod) have voice recorders. the next time a slavedriver comes into the office, record a bit of the tongue lashing.

e-mail these to tom the temp or post it to another anonymous website. it's dirty, but so are they.

satan just made a lot of people paranoid.

*walks away whistling*

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI, the only reason why Solomon Page gets an okay is because they do not have enough experience in the Legal Temporary Placement biz. The firm has a nice rep on the permanent side and an extensive client base but no real substantial presence in the Legal Contract Employment arena. Rumor is that the guy who heads their group was an unproductive business developer at Strategic Legal, before they quietly cut him loose. Now he runs the Legal Temp practice with Chelsea, a cool chic who was formerly at Lexolution. Nice people but they need some clients and more projects. Nobody hates them because really they have not placed and or alienated the population at large like some others. EP Dine should close shop in my estimation.

Anonymous said...

While I do not hate the women of UPDATE LEGAL STAFFING, nor that of any agency, most employees at those agencies are merely following the directives of their management in how they handle temporary or contract attorneys, it is important to recognize that once one obtains a position as a market leader in a particular industry the DUTY OF GOOD FAITH & FAIR DEALING does not go out the window. Even Real Estate brokers who represent the seller are required by law to provide adequate disclosure to a potential buyer. Your need not run your business like MOTHER TERESA but operating like a profit driven scoundrel, engaging or encouraging human rights abuses or serving as a subterfuge for your clients abuses in that regard is unacceptable as well.

THE INTELLIGENT TEMP’S BLACKLIST should consist of the following:

1-PAUL WEISS: This is a firm that should be investigated by the Department of Labor, the Dept of Health or better yet HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH. While their practices might even raise the eyebrows of folks at the ASPCA or PETA, Paul Weiss might do well to remember that TEMPS are human and the TEMP ROOM is not GUANTANAMO. Temps are at least entitled to the protections afforded by the GENEVA CONVENTIONS (at least in terms of bathroom breaks, water and food). This is true even if a GESTAPO remains on guard to monitor Temps at all times.

2- E.P. DINE: This is a company that purchased the name of a particular individual who was viewed as an Icon in the Legal Placement Industry for her professional treatment of candidates and employers respectively, which is why she had one of the most prolific names in recruiting before her retirement. Ironically, the practices of this company are exactly the opposite of the principals by which the individual Elaine Dine ran her business. Ask yourself is it BAD BUSINESS PRACTICE to (i) seek as a condition of employment wage forfeiture from a temporary employee who resigns from a job when that employee can be terminated at any time for any reason? and (ii) to offer less than full disclosure of the identity of an actual employer but nevertheless seek your permission to submit your resume to this fictional employer or who wishes to consider your so confidentially that they need not tell you who they are? If wage forfeiture is your liquidated damages how’s about a reciprocal agreement that if said agency misrepresents the length of the contract that the employee is entitled to severance for the commitment that is unfulfilled?

3-UPDATE LEGAL STAFFING: This firm does in fact maintain a BLACKLIST. However what is inherently unfair about said blacklist is that it is largely comprised of individuals who have not done anything unprofessional other than leaving one of their contract/temp jobs for another higher paying, longer term or permanent job. If an agency wants to be able to lock in its candidates for a longer term than should not said agency also make certain that their clients are providing a similar guarantee? If not than candidates have but no choice to view the commitment as interim.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about that 2:08. Thanks for posting again.

Tom the Temp

Anonymous said...

How come if TTT has issues with agencies other than Update he doesn't mention them?? Yet, he chooses Update as the scapegoat. The same hand that feeds him. Tom, youre losing credibility.

AuntEdna2 said...

I totally agree. He bashes Update, does nothing about his issues during the project and now is going to show up on Monday with his tail between his legs. I hope that update finds out who you are, exposes and then you will never eat in this this town again.

Anonymous said...

you know what amazes me about this blog? the fact that it is not obvious to everyone that UPDATE has probably assigned someone to monitor these posts and to post responses as if they were fellow temps. I for one do not think that UPDATE is the most evil or incompetent, I just think that they have lost sight of the human component of the business, the people, in their aggressive pursuit of market share. The fact is that UPDATE does have a great many jobs, and is growing. Some firms rarely have jobs at all, like Solomon Page.

AuntEdna2 said...

I hope that people aren't reading these comments too seriously. I feel like Update is being bashed unfairly and unnecessarily. They are nice people. When I call them i feel like they are happy to hear from me. If they run a job by them I hear back whether or not I got the job. At other agencies, sometimes I never hear back. Everyone is always friendly-- yes, maybe a little too peppy-- but I never feel like i'm being misled. I feel like they try. Don't be so mean. Remember that what goes around comes around.

Anonymous said...

auntedna2: you make some compelling points that I would otherwise be inclined to agree with. I do not think that UPDATE is the worst. In fact, I do think that part of why UPDATE has many jobs relative to other firms like Solomon Page, Lexolution or Strategic is that they are efficient and run like a well oiled machine; everyone executes their role. The problem is that as long as you are down with that program and work hard you will remain in good standing with UPDATE. BUT if you deviate, consider other options or ever leave a job for another, you can be sure that you will be subjected to some rather impersonal and impolite behavior and they will quickly forget how much money you made them over the last x months. They have no room for the professionally opportunistic candidate. They are also not as responsible for the suppression of wages as some other firms are. And at least they seem to remember who you are. HUDSON people seem half asleep most of the time. Many of these firms now have alot of competition vis a vis one another.

Anonymous said...

8:46-- i hear your issues although I've never experienced them. Those running a well oiled machine don't need or want to take time out to re-grease the macine of those sucking it out in the first place. There are so many people out there looking for work. Why would any agency want to continue employing people who don't take their jobs seriously? If someone doesn't do a good job why would they place them again? I only ask because all this blame is placed on the agencies and not on th temps out there that give the rest of us a bad name. It's not fair. I go to my job everyday. sign in and out. do my 10 hour day. mind my own business and go home, Maybe that is why I am always working. Whether an agency is good or bad is irreleveant. It is up to me to earn my check and get called for the job. You have to be FULLY in it to WIN IT.

Anonymous said...

do you think temping is like winning the lotto?

Anonymous said...

My issue and that many have is with firms like UPDATE LEGAL STAFFING is that they often penalize and blacklist people who have worked hard for them for a good stretch but who attempt to leave on good terms, with adequate notice, for a better opportunity. Try doing that and see the resistance and the veiled threats that you are met with. There is no guarantee that a position will last indefinitely so the wise candidate must be open to alternative opportunities. To be penalized which penalize you for leaving a TEMPORARY JOB, even with adequate notice, after a period of time is completely unfair.

Anonymous said...

what other agencies blacklist?

Anonymous said...

Anita admits to a lot of things she should not admit to. She wonders why it took her twice as long to make partner than others. She announces to a room that she is resentful of the fact that first associates at co-counsel's firm makes more than her. Lloyd where are you when we need you? Your need is still on the records.