If you ever want to feel good about your life, however bad it is, read a blog by Tom the Temp, a New York based temp document review lawyer.
In Tom the Temp’s blog, which you can read at temporaryattorney.blogspot.com, I read about temporary attorneys slaving away in sweatshops, about cruel and inhumane workplace conditions including locked fire exits, filth, and blocked toilets. I also read that temp document review attorneys become stigmatized by their temp work—that once they’ve been temp document reviewers for a year or two, they can never move on to anything else—meaning they become an underclass of attorneys.
“The conditions were horrific. There were about 15 of us…packed into a small, windowless conference room,” the blogger writes. “It appeared as if the room had previously served as a supply closet.…Talking was forbidden. A heavy-set paralegal would periodically come around and bellow out in a deep, baritone voice to do, “more workin’ and less talkin’.” Like a child, you had to sign out to use the restroom.…One day, a middle-aged woman, who had recently been laid off from her in-house job, broke down in tears.”
About a project unexpectedly coming to an end: “Apparently, after having been promised six months of steady employment (many of us turned down other projects based on this assumption), over 100 of us were suddenly, without notice, dumped out onto the sidewalk just three weeks after the project had commenced…”
And describing a firm’s attempt to discover the identity of Tom the Temp and the ubiquity of same: “When you look with disdain at the ‘Temps’ or you encourage your employees to do so, you illustrate your morality. These ‘temps’ are people too, many of whom had dreams to be Perry Mason, Alan Dershowitz, F. Lee Bailey, Clarence Darrow or Marty Lipton and not Perry Doc Review.…Look in the mirror, Tom the Temp is on every project, he is sitting next to you, he is a paralegal, he is an associate, he is a she, he has a friend who is a temp, he is your friend and he is your enemy and he may at times even yes, be YOU. I pray for a world where Tom the Temp is not necessary but unfortunately that may never happen.…WE ARE ALL TOM THE TEMP.