Friday, February 24, 2012

No Sister Sledge songs here

Seriously, I can't believe you missed the reference to "We Are Family." Whatevs.

In any event, the project I am on is direct hire, meaning we have been hired directly by the firm, with no agency involved. This has its pluses and minuses. On the one hand, we make more money, since the firm pays a higher rate since they don't have to pay an agency, too. On the downside, we are onsite at the firm, and there is no agency to serve as a buffer between Us and Them. The potential for abuse (and by abuse, I mean abuse of the contract attorneys) is considerable.

The folks at this firm are pretty decent overall, but the belief that contract attorneys are the garbagemen of the legal world dies hard, and clearly lives here. Mixed in with the announcements about substantive matters related to the case are much more numerous announcements about  what we need to not do so as to not disrupt the firm. "Disrupt" apparently means "remind the firm of our existence."

Yesterday was an excellent case in point. In a series of announcements, we were informed that we were not allowed to take phone calls (on cell or otherwise) in the conference room adjacent to our review space (the only private place to take a call), nor were we allowed to enter that room at all. Further, we were to stop taking sodas from the conference room (something I'm pretty sure only happened when we were in there for training, or on weekends when lunch was set up in there and we were encouraged to take sodas). Finally, we were to take our "private phone calls in the community room." Yes, that is an oxymoron, but the only place to take private phone calls is in public, apparently. Final insult: the community room (basically a kitchen with a large seating area with tables and such, kind of a lunch room) belongs to a community to which we, apparently do not belong, as two Fridays in a row now we have been told to stay out of the "community" room (the only place to get, for example, water) while it is used for the firm's weekly breakfast reception. Some communities are more equal than others, I guess.

Nothing egregious here, really. Just goes to show how even with the (fairly) good firms, second-class status (or third, or fourth) is rigidly enforced. Beats the (unemployed) alternative, I guess.

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