Sunday, March 05, 2006

Stupid Policy

Everyone looks forward to mid-week. Every Wednesday or Thursday, a woman from the agency which owns the site comes around and hands out paychecks. Temp Attorneys, however, who are members of any of the "other" agencies that staff the project do not receive paychecks. Here is an e-mail that one of my colleagues (who works for one of those "other" agencies) received from his/her recruiter. The e-mail dates back to 1/20/06. Relevant portions are highlighted in bold. I thought I would leave in the non-relevant parts to give you a flavor of what was going on earlier on in the project.

Hi All,

First of all, Thank You for your patience with the {computer software} delays that resulted in the unexpected “days off” today and tomorrow. [
little did we know that in two short weeks we were going to have a whole week off! -ttt]. As you know, the first few weeks of a project are always the toughest, while systems are being put in place and everyone is settling in, adjusting to a new work environment and its unique culture.

Second, I just wanted to remind everyone of the importance of making a good first impression in these initial days in order to establish the client’s confidence in your reliability and commitment to the project. While the feedback we’ve gotten from the client has been extremely positive, we wanted to make you aware of one issue that did arise, so that you can avoid this problem going forward.

Apparently, within the first work week, there were a number of people with sudden needs to be absent, arrive late, leave early, or otherwise take time off. While most of these people were not members of {agency's} team, it was a large enough number of people overall that the client flagged it as an issue to raise with everyone.

Unfortunately, the nature of this project does not allow flexibility in the number of hours worked, or when you work them. As you know, the hours are 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., 6 days per week. While we understand that emergencies do happen and that things like doctor’s appointments are important, “eleventh-hour” notice of a previously scheduled commitment is not acceptable. If you know ahead of time that you will need to take time away from the project, you must let us and the site supervisor know as far in advance as possible. Just so you know, because of the size of the project and the fact that it is being staffed by multiple agencies, the client is being extremely vigilant, noting not only which individual contractors are the most reliable and productive, but which agency’s teams perform better overall than the others. We know you are head and shoulders above the rest!

Finally, we apologize that we have not come over to visit with you, which ordinarily we would have done by now. It turns out that {agency which owns the site} has a policy of not allowing competitors into their space [and if it were up to {Anita}, she would be happy for us to come by]. We are disappointed about this policy because, as most of you know, we do like to stay in touch personally as much as possible – to say hello, to hear about any issues or concerns you may have, etc. So since we can't come to see you, we will be finding other ways to keep in touch and express to you our appreciation of all your hard work.

As always, please call or e-mail us any time if there's anything you want to talk about relating to the project [or anything else] – We’re here.

Have a great weekend!

{Sally}

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here was the solution devised in response to the apparent lockout: {it seems as if Tom the Temp has created his very own lexicon. Please distinguish the term "lockout" from "lockdown"}.

2/28/06

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to let you know that I will be at the Starbucks on the corner of 29th and Park Ave. South from 3 – 4 p.m. again tomorrow, Wednesday, March 1.

If you feel like taking a break during that time, please come by for refreshments!

Have a great evening,

{Sally}


In order to pick up their checks, your telling me that a group of my fellow co-workers have to trek up to some street corner in Manhattan like a bunch of hookers? Oh, Give Me A Freaking Break! This policy appears to make no sense; it seems vindictive and mean-spirited, and it appears as if its only justification is to spite the other agencies. The temps, as they usually do, have to pay the price. It's freezing out -- many people risk becoming sick, and many of them do not have health insurance. The temps also have to put up with the added annoyance of clocking out and losing a half an hour worth of pay. It appears as if there are a group of people on my project who are being treated like second-class citizens. If this stupid policy does not cease, or if this policy is not justified in some way, I am going to publicly announce the name of the agency that is responsible.

This is something that Anita should have thought about before signing the agency contract. Once again, she was probably too entranced by the glass-encased cubicles to realize otherwise.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I work for "Sally's" agency...I always wondered why they were not allowed to visit the site and we have to take off time to meet with Sally. This is totally unfair and utterly studid. Sally's agency sent cookies last week and I noticed it was for everybody not just the people from Sally's agency and that was great. The other agency's ploicy is very mean spirited.

Anonymous said...

two words: direct deposit.

look into it.

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

hmmm... "screwed over"=not called for work by them because of unsatisfacory performance or behavior in the past. I guess it stinks to hear that your friends got called for work and you didn't? Your upset that your not top notch. Why else would you take cheap and dirty shots at people.

Anonymous said...

yeah anonymous 2:58. what about meeting in the lobby

Anonymous said...

Why all the secrecy? Why not just come out and say that many people working in the industry know that Update Legal is difficult to get along with and not an agency to go to if you want to be treated like a professional? Is it because the projects that they staff are not professional positions but rather profit centers for a few firms and Update itself and likely a violation of the rule against sharing fees with non-lawyers?

capitalist said...

i was on a project in dc that was staffed by 3 agencies. one of the agencies had a project and when they came to the site to deliver checks they tried to recruit me and some others from another agnecy. The supervisor found out and was really really upset. Out of curiousity who is paying for the space? I am assuming it is not the one who can't come onsite. if this is true, they shouldn'y be upset or rock the boat since they are saving a fortune on nyc rent. They can always ask to pay half.

Anonymous said...

I think ttt is getting paid off.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that Update is picking up the entire cost.

Anonymous said...

5:09- professionals don't go on blogs and trash people and their waistlines, especially when the blog is supposed to be a vechicle to ensure that we get treated fairly in this industry. be professional or stop posting, remember your comments reflect on all of us

Anonymous said...

"Finally, we apologize that we have not come over to visit with you, which ordinarily we would have done by now. It turns out that {agency which owns the site} has a policy of not allowing competitors into their space [and if it were up to {Anita}, she would be happy for us to come by]. We are disappointed about this policy because, as most of you know, we do like to stay in touch personally as much as possible – to say hello, to hear about any issues or concerns you may have, etc. So since we can't come to see you, we will be finding other ways to keep in touch and express to you our appreciation of all your hard work."

Kelly loves to use that jazz........

loves it

Anonymous said...

Loser

Anonymous said...

Let's lay off on the personal attacks. Call her "Melissa" instead.

Anonymous said...

Okay...
"Melissa" appeared today as mysteriously as she disappeared three weeks ago. However, with a new and improved attitude (I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is a permanent change).

Anonymous said...

Reminder: Anonymous personal attacks against individuals will be deleted. I know there is alot of pent up anger out there, but please keep the postings in line with work-related issues which are fair game.

TTT

Anonymous said...

yes, of course these people should be using direct deposit. however, that doesn't detract from the fact that the agency that owns the space, that knew it would be housing temps from another agency, ought to allow those other agencies face time with their employees.

one time, the women at the agency that owns the space your project is in came onsite to a project i was working on for the purposes of reprimanding the whole lot of us. they yelled at a whole conference room full of us, over a dozen of us, including about five people who didn't even work for them!! they actually didn't even know that they were scolding non-employees of theirs, even though they knew that there were temps there from another agency. or more likely, they didn't even care. it was hilarious! tacky enough to be scolding professionals en masse in the first place (for the transgressions of one or two people who easily could have been privately spoken with), but to scold professionals who aren't even your employees really takes the cake. the bottom line is that these women have zero class. zero.

TTT: i love that you are harping on these agencies and this one in particular. they have shortsightedly screwed over a bunch of temps in this town. continue to give them grief -- they of course never thought that any of their actions would come back to haunt them, but it appears that they have, and will continue to.

Agency Ladies: As you sow so shall you reap.

Anonymous said...

again, you are bitter because you don't get called for jobs. Maybe if you spent less time blogging and more attention on your work product you'd have nothing to complain about.

Anonymous said...

10:37 you messed up. move on and stop blaming others for your inadequacies. you're not a super star. the agency that you rag on doesn't stand behind you. don'y get me wrong. you probabky mean well but you're not credible.

Anonymous said...

LOVE IT!!!!

Anonymous said...

Let's do the math. Is it cheaper to buy you a latte and a slice of bunt cake one week or rent space? no biggie to meet up in the lobby. By not sharing rent thte agency has nothing to complain about,

Anonymous said...

10:37, now that is a classy and respectable blogger.gimme a break

Anonymous said...

I'M AN INSOMNIAC AND HAVEN'T HAD A SNOOZE IN WEEKS. THIS BLOG HAS HELPED ME. IT IS SO BORING AND REPETITIVE THAT I'M ACTUALLY TIRED! GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD RIDANCE.

Anonymous said...

10:37 here: i never "messed up", have never been without work in this town, get calls from agencies all the time for work, am continuously busy, work at top dollar, and the agency at hand still calls me. and, i choose to do this work for personal reasons. i'm not bitter at all, as much as the agency would like to paint me. i'm just trying to shine light where it needs shining, which is the point of this blog, TYVM. the business practices of this agency and its employees are notoriously awful and i have experienced them first-hand. i know from which i speak.

mea culpa: i'll refrain from cheap shots in the future -- my apologies to all of you who took offense to them, including the women from the agency, and to TTT for having to edit my posting. i know it does a discredit to all criticism of the agency's business model and practices to make personal attacks; for that i truly regret my words yesterday. this is not sarcasm -- i am serious. my intent was to illustrate the hypocrisy: this agency is more than willing to go bawl out temps who don't even work for them on a site that isn't theirs but won't even let a representative from other agency in to distribute paychecks. firms let them near the employees of other agencies all the time without a second thought. the double standard is hilarious.

to all of those of you out there who think that this agency is paying rent while the other agency is "saving money" on the rent and/or other overheap, i'd wager that the agency is actually subleasing the space to the firm/client (and possibly even marking up the rent). no one gives away real estate in new york. i am willing to be proven wrong on this.

i'm glad we could stir the pot a little -- makes it interesting on here.

Anonymous said...

well, my current working conditions haven't risen to the level where we have to liken our conditions to prostitution yet but they are rough enough to really push me into looking outside of temping. i've been searching for a way for some time now but due to some recent changes, i've started really dedicating myself to getting myself out. i guess this was the catalyst that i needed because before i was becoming too complacent with the money and such. while i do need the money, it's a only a matter of time before i trip out from working like this. people that i worked with are steadily feeling demoralized and one of my co-workers, who's actually one of the most diligent temps out there, is really feeling like the current agency's practices are getting worse and worse every day. he, too is fighting for a way out.

Anonymous said...

7:17AM - I hear ya! In a few short months I will be on my way out of the "temp brothel" and I am extremely excited. I have a plan to get out of this industry and it is working out great. YOU NEED A PLAN! My purpose right now in temping is to get CASH and that is all - I am putting up with the ridiculous office politics for now because I know in a few months this will be history for me. I have been doing this work for way too long - some current temps were not even in law school when I started temping - but the buck stops here and guys, a piece of advice: DON'T GET COMPLACENT! Keep looking for jobs while you are temping - you don't want to end up putting up with these agencies for years like I have. I am tempted to volunteer myself to a blacklist when it is all over ... ROFL!

Anonymous said...

Brother, sister, you got it. The bottomline is cash. Anyone who gets in the way of another's livelihood for self-serving reasons (e.g, self affirmation, ie, to convince themselves they are not losers) needs to get their head examined!