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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rum, Rio and vodka!

Welcome Barbados, Brazil and the Czech Republic to the honor roll of Eff You visitors. Who needs Canada with party animals like these?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The hills are alive . . .

. . . with the sound of mu-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-sic. OK, no hills, and it's not really music, no matter how many "u's" you use. (That rhymes.) Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself and should explain. Fine, I will.

The project I am on, pathetic and overtimeless as it is, has some interesting features. Even though we are at the firm, we are intentionally isolated from the firm. This actually is good. We are on a floor separate from the rest of the law firm and require no key cards to get where we need to be to work. We are unable to get to any other space the firm occupies, as we lack key cards, which means anyone at the firm who wants access to us (other than the two legal assistants who have offices on our floor and are tasked with making sure we don't steal the silver) has to come to us, as we can't go to them. Naturally, none of them want to come to us, so they don't, and we are left alone.

But I digress. The interesting part is the space we're working in. There currently are three projects in here, separated by movable dividers. The space itself is just a big room, with dividers turning it into three (unequally sized) spaces. This room has two exit doors, both of which lead to hallways that each have a set of double doors exiting to the elevators. On one of the hallways, between the door that exits our space and the double doors that lead to the elevators, is the men's bathroom and, directly across from that, some kind of locked maintenance/workspace that serves unknown building purposes. Bear with me, this becomes important.

Our workspace is ventilated in such a way as to create a fairly significant overpressure -- air flows out of our space at a pretty impressive rate. Naturally, it does this through the two exit doors. At one end, the single door leading into our space closes fine despite the overpressure, but the double doors on the hallway that exit to the elevator lobby are held slightly ajar by the outflowing air. At the other end, the double doors close fine, but this is because the single door leading into our workspace is held ajar by the outflowing air. (All of these doors have automatic return mechanisms intended to close them regardless of how thoughtless the person who just walked through them might be.)

For those of you who have stayed with this long enough, here is where things get fascinating. The workspace across from the men's restroom apparently has some sort of outlet that allows air to rush through it into a shaft or whatever. The air flows into the space around the door and whistles really loudly. If you move your hand up and down the door crack, it changes the pitch  of the whistle. You also can change the pitch and/or volume of the whistle by opening the door to our workspace, opening the double doors that lead to the elevator lobby and by opening the door to the men's restroom. All of these actions have a different effect on the pitch of the whistle. I swear, I've learned how to play "Ode to Joy" by opening doors and moving my hand over the door crack. My goal now is to figureout "Auld Lang Syne" by New Year's.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sweden is hitting it

Sweden is a solid No. 2 for this month as far as visitors go. Sure does my heart good to think about all those hot Nordic blondes trying to take their minds off the brutal winter weather by checking out my action. Sure, they have no idea what I look like, and they're probably actually just search engines looking for the word "fuck," but that's OK. Maybe hot Nordic blondes programmed those search engines. I can dream, can't I?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Actual temp conversation

Temp 1: I must say, compared to chairs I've had on other projects, this chair is pretty comfortable.

Temp 2: I would sit on a fucking stump if they would give us overtime.

Temp 3: I would stand.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Spanning the globe

Welcome, Colombia and Malaysia! Always good to learn that people in faraway lands are interested in the world of contract attorneys. Or that automatic search engines in those countries looking for websites with the word "fuck" have found me. One way or the other, welcome.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Maybe it's me

Sure, this could just be an unreasonable prejudice on my part. I really have no basis for it. But I don't think it's irrational. I really, truly don't trust a dude who has a full beard and is not engaged in a manly profession. To me, "manly profession" means something like fisherman, lumberjack, construction worker, something involving a factory or heavy machinery -- you know what I'm talking about. These are guys who don't give a damn about shaving or live out in the boonies and shaving daily is not really a big concern.

Which leads me to my prejudice. Any time I see a dude with a full beard on a project -- and by this, I mean that scraggly-ass, professor-at-motherfucking-Yale kind of beard, not the Van Dyke that everybody does now, or a Grizzly Adams or Paul Bunyan beard -- I figure I'm looking at a dude I can't trust as far as I can throw him. I don't know why this is, but it's the way I react.

Unfortunately, small as my pathetic project is (5 people) there is a dude with a scraggly-ass, professor-at-motherfucking-Yale kind of beard,  and ironically enough his nickname is The Professor. Talk about feeding your prejudices. There's another dude on a project in the same space but a different project who also has a scraggly-ass, professor-at-motherfucking-Yale kind of beard, and he tends to go to the bathroom when I do, so I hate him but don't suspect him of intentionally timing his piss trips just to see my schlong. I hate him solely because of his scraggly-ass, professor-at-motherfucking-Yale kind of beard, and write the rest off to coincidence. Doesn't mean I don't want him dead, but that's just me. Frankly, I don't think feeling this way makes me a bad person. Of course, I also don't think that not caring whether you think me feeling this way makes me a bad person is something that makes me a bad person, so I guess that kind of tells you where I'm staring from. Follow that?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Actual temp conversation

Temp 1: So, (insert name here), could you have been a floor trader at the exchange?

Temp 2: I --
Temp 3: No, he's too short. You need to be able to be seen when you're waving those pieces of paper over your head trying to trade pork bellies.
Temp 2: It's true. You have to be at least five feet tall.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Groundhog Day

I swear, I have left and come back to this project so many times I feel like Bill Murray. The difference, of course, is I will not be tapping Andie McDowell when this is all over, I will not be a piano virtuoso, I will not have had sex with every single chick in Punxsutawney, PA by the end of the project and nothing interesting will have happened to me. Other than that, it's just like the movie Groundhog Day. Everyday I wake up, I think I've moved on, and there I am again, back on the same fucking project, with Sonny and Cher singing "I Got You Babe." Jesus. And this time they made me promise not to go anywhere until the project is over. Notably lacking was a promise on their part not to leave me hanging for days on end without any word on whether any more work is coming. Hell, they wouldn't do that again, would they? Doesn't matter what they say. Remember, they're lying.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

You really can't talk about that

One of the things I have learned (yes, the hard way) in my years of temping is that almost no subject is too mundane to not piss somebody off enough to complain to the powers that be about the topic. In Temp Town, someone is "offended" byu everything. We are talking about the thinnest skinned bunch of assholes on the planet. Not all of them, obviously, but where more than two are gathered, one of those temps will be a sensitive fuck head who will complain. naturally, then, you cannot discuss politics, religion, the opposite gender or anything that could be construed in any way by the most twisted mind as sexual, or pretty much anything else on the face of the planet on which two people might hold differing opinions. This can be limiting on conversation. Obviously, our employers probably like that, and there are fringe benefits to having an excuse to not talk to temps (too many to mention, really), but I ain't no Benedictine monk or whoever the fuck it is that takes the vow of silence. Sometimes, people just want to talk a little.

Thank God for football, or else I'd never open my mouth. I was on a project once with this old witch of a woman who really wanted to get me fired and complained repeatedly about things she claimed I said. The HR person from the agency and the VP would come in, interview everyone to see if the complaints had any basis. Fortunately, after a couple incidents where everyone agreed in one case that the complained-of comments were never made, and in another case that the complained-of comments were made, but by a radio talk show host and repeated by someone else, not me, nobody paid attention to her anymore. I still call her Fab everytime I see her, even though it's not even close to her name, because I know she will never figure out it stands for Fat Ass Bitch.

But I digress. The reason I thank God for football, at least in this context, is I decided during that project that if didn't have anything to do with the NFL, I wouldn't talk about it. This gave rise to the expression, anytime somebody mentioned something the least bit risky, "That's no way to get an NFL franchise." That was usually enough to change the topic, as the other folks new that FAB would probably complain if the conversation continued, even if I didn't participate. I used to hope she dies a slow and miserable death, but I later realized, she already is. For some people, that's all life is. And misery loves company.

So come Monday, I will put in my headphones and do my best to get through this awful fucking project. And, when I simply cannot remain silent any longer, we will discuss the glory that is the NFL.

Like a bad cocktail party

The odds of there being anything good to talk about coming out of this next project are very slim indeed. This project is (before I left it) is one of the reasons my posts declined dramatically in number. It's only a 40-hour project (and they'll let you do it in four days, which is the only plus, as it cuts commuting costs by 20 percent -- and they said lawyers can't do math) so there's plenty of time to blog, but it is a small, boring group, at the firm but tucked away from everything with nothing going on. It's like trying to get interesting posts out of a quilting bee. Although, never having been to one, for all I know there's all kinds of scandal and mischief at those things. Mostly, though, you just sit, click and listen to people chew. I don't think contract attorneys ever stop eating. Probably to kill the boredom. Truthfully, it's not that everyone is always eating, it's that someone always is. So you sit there is dead silence except for the clicking and some fucker chewing on rocks, because nobody ever eats anything quiet. Sounds like the fucking Germans marching through Poland. Oddly enough, I never really thought much about the sound of chewing until I found myself in Temp Town. Thank God for headphones.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Jesus hates me

So I've been sitting home all week (since Monday, anyway) desperately trolling for a job. For most of the week, crickets. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's is the worst possible time in this business to be looking for a gig, good year or bad. Irony has raised its ugly head and bitten me on the ass. The only gig out there that I could get starting Monday was -- trumpet roll, please -- the one I bailed on. A terrible, no-overtime project that they now say will last two months and that they made me promise I would stay for the whole two months before they would offer it to me. Their position basically is we will cornhole you and make you like it. So I took it. Fuck me with a rock.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And still no Canadians

Truthfully, I don't much care about Canada, or the Canadians. They aren't driving traffic, and I need to look at ways to bump up the numbers. Sure, sex works, but how much sex is there in the contract attorney world? I am contemplating adding non-contract-attorney content to this blog, but as I am a conservative, I realize that if I went political in any way, I would be at odds with most contract attorneys, who for reasons unknown to me are mostly liberal. Comments?

Pissing me off

I won't lie, I had notes jotted down for blog posts related to this project that now make no sense, since the project is no more. We were jammed in like sardines, moreso than usual, leading me to wonder how the fire marshal would feel about the space. Also made me wonder if I was working for Nike in Asia. But hey, that's all gone now. As Aerosmith said, the past is gone.

That was quick

So there I was, on a new project, supposed to last about 6 weeks, lots of overtime, feeling pretty good about my decision to leave that sorry-ass 40 hour project and BAM the sucker just died. Monday, midday, the associates made an announcement that prompted someone (OK, it was me) to say, "Don't bring lunch tomorrow." Turns out I was optimistic. End of the day Monday, they said "Thanks for all your help, you've been great, don't let the door slap you in the ass on the way out." Done.

Naturally, this did not fit in with my plans. Now here I am, thumb up, wondering if a project will even come up before New Year's. Probably not. This is a shitty time to need work in this industry, even in good times. We'll see. In any event, just remember, when they tell you six weeks -- they're lying.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Just like old times

So I'm on this new gig, right? I swear, I've been on this gig before. There are about 75 temps on this project, but there are another 30 or 40 temps on another project at the same agency. They're in a different room, but you seem them in the hall, break areas, yada yada yada. Anyway, between the two projects, in just a couple days I've run into about 20 people I've worked with before, even though I've never worked for this agency before. Some of them are people I've worked with repeatedly over several years. So people keep coming up to me, calling me by name and talking to me. I make small talk back. Swear to God, I haven't known a single one of their names. That doesn't bother me, really -- my policy has always been don't ask, don't tell -- but it can be a little uncomfortable when somebody remembers you and acts like they know you, and you can't remember ever meeting them. Perhaps I should pay more attention to my fellow temps. Nah.

Breaking up is hard to do

So the crappy, no-overtime gig I was on got even worse. I got back from my unspecified personal problem -- no, I didn't tell you what is was because you don't know me that well -- and there was no work. Ended up sitting home all Thanksgiving week. Put out a lot of feelers for other jobs, especially overtime gigs. Monday came, we were supposed to go in. Got in, got an email saying don't come in. Fuck me with a rock! Things were going from bad to worse. Turns out the bird in the hand wasn't even crapping in my palm anymore, it had flown away and was crapping on my head. Fortunately, when I got home, I had an email letting me know I had landed another gig, this one with major overtime. There would be an orientation Tuesday, with actual work starting Wednesday. Unfortunately, at the same time, the crappy gig finally had stuff to do starting Tuesday. Went in Tuesday, and it turned out to be a lot of stuff to do -- could go through the holidays, which is just about all you want this time of year. "Just about," though, means you also want overtime. Still none on the table.

So now the problem becomes something like this: how do you jump from the shitty gig that just got a little better but still basically sucks, to something much better, at least financially, but not piss off the agency and/or the firm the shitty gig is for. I work with that agency a lot, and can't afford to burn that bridge, and the firm put me on their "hire this guy first" list -- mostly because of my dashing good looks, I think -- so I wanted to keep both happy with me but still ditch them.

In the end, I cut the baby in half. I told the agency the truth -- a shocker, I know, as my policy is lie early, lie often. Lying is an integral part of being a temp. Agencies don't want the truth. The truth will set you free -- they'll fire you for telling it. Nonetheless, I told the agency the truth. I told the firm nothing. Odds are fair I am no longer on that firm's "hire this guy first" list. Oddly enough, the agency understood. Go figure. So anyway, I have a new gig. More on that later.

Japan, baby!

Got a couple hits from Japan despite the fact that I haven't been posting at all lately. Sure, Japan, checks in, but fucking Canada? Too busy, apparently. Hey Canada -- when's the last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup? Actually, for all I know it was last year, so I guess that's not much of a taunt. Still, you LaBatts-drinking tools should check this out at some point. Seriously. Maybe I'll introduce more sex.