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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Doom Lite

So, today wound up being Doom Lite -- just one calorie, just no hours. The project has been winding to some sort of conclusion, and Wednesday we got told not to come in. Fortunately, I didn't check that email account before I left home, and I got put to work and got in 8 hours. Several other people did the same thing. Today, we were supposed to start a new phase of the same project, but got told to say home until tomorow. Not out of work yet, so it isn't Doom, but no hours, so I guess that makes it Doom Lite.

It's all about the clicking

Traffic has been good this month, and we're on track to have our second-best month ever (the best month was when I was on a 200-person project and everybody was trying to figure out who was doing the blog. It was only the second month of the blog. Important to remember, this ain't a high-traffic blog -- the numbers that excite me would drive the HuffPo folks to suicide, which would be a good thing. But I digress. In any event, keep coming back, y'all.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Giving new meaning to Doom

OK, like things weren't bad enough. What with jobs going to India, the Philippines, Charlotte and Dayton, with predictive coding making inroads, now we have what I have always feared most. Somebody did a study that determined that FUCKING MONKEYS could code documents better than temps.

OK, so they were high school students, not monkeys. Still, does this strike anyone as encouraging? Show of hands, please? Bueller? Bueller?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Now THIS is Doom

If you don't read the Tax Prof, you should. He's a tax guy, but he always has great commentary on the law and the legal profession. Well, he's out there confirming that our industry is changing in ways that do not bode well for temps or any other lawyers. This is really depressing.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Doom so soon?

Just 10 days into the new project and already rumors are flying. First, they scared the crap out of us last Friday by bringing in the Pizza of Doom That Wasn't. Kind of like the dog that didn't bark, I guess. Anyway, sometimes a pizza is just a pizza. Today, one of the project managers was coming around doing a head count (there are two parts to this project, in two different rooms, so the need to actually count is understandable) and the word "caterer" was heard passing between the two project managers. Naturally, this raised yet again the specter of Food of Doom. Maybe not. Maybe they just like us and enjoy giving us free food -- hey, it could happen! OK, more likely it's doom around the corner. I guess we'll see, but I hope not. I've got a pretty good seat, after all.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Come on, people

Oddly enough, I have had questions about why Plugs is called Plugs and what it means to suggest that he types like his keyboard is the chick who stood him up for prom. I am so disappointed.

In any event, here are the explanations. First, he pounds that keyboard like he is seriously pissed off at it, hence the prom date reference. K? As for the nickname, let's just say that it would be wise to be certain you have stopped going bald before investing in hair transplants, lest you find yourself with an island of transplants in the middle of a sea of bald where your hair kept receding after you tried to fill in the gaps. Not that I'm opposed to hair transplants.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New gig

The Pizza of Impending Doom kind of lacked any real punch this time, since we got rolled over to another project starting the next day. Boring project, but lots of hours, which is still kind of weird these days. Hard to get more than a 40-hour week anymore.  Anyway, this is the project my buddy emailed me about. When he found out I would be coming over on Tuesday, he let me know that I could look forward to a dude who is constantly IM'ing and a loud sleeper in addtion to internet chess boy.

Sure enough, the IM'er is at it, with great vigor and much enthusiasm. He types like the keyboard is the chick who stood him up for prom. Plus I've seen him before -- his nickname is "Plugs." Think about it.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Excuse me, sir, would you like a little doom with that pizza?

So, Friday they brought us pizza and swore it was not the Pizza of Doom. They didn't lie: it was the Pizza of Impending Doom. The project did not end Friday, as would be traditional with Pizza of Doom. Instead, it is ending Monday, which I would call tomorrow but is technically today, given what time it is. So, there you have it: Pizza of Doom in advance: Pizza of Impending Doom.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pizza of Doom?

They're bringing us pizza today, and the folks from the firm are coming to talk to us right before the pizza is scheduled. Don't know if this is the Pizza of Doom, but it doesn't look good. "Have a slice of pepperoni pizza, thanks for all your hard work, and don't let the door slap you in the ass on your way out." I'd say the odds are 50-50 at this point.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Must think she's chairwoman of the board

 On a new project not real interesting in most respects but we had an incident the other day that can only be described as Bizarre, with a capital B. That rhymes with C. And that stands for Crazy Temp. OK, enough Music Man. I love show tunes, but I digress.

One morning recently, at the beginning of the workday, I was sitting in our workroom with only one other temp with me. We basically were minding our own business and getting about the business of clicking. Without warning, in walks some chick, total stranger, pushing a chair. Chair had wheels, people, she wasn't working that hard. And looked like she never had.

So she launches into this long, bizarre explanation about how she and some other temps had been on a project in this room before us and they got shut down but now they had a new project and they had been promised that they would have the same room and everything and could she just exchange this shitty chair for the really good chair over there that she had during the last project and -- SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Fortunately, I said that with my eyes, not my lips. The other person in the room looked at this person and said,  "I don't know what to tell you." I knew exactly what to tell her, though, and that was GET THE FUCK OUT. Again, I used my eyes, not my lips, and she got the message. She turned around, still pushing the chair, saying "We lost our office, we lost our computers, we lost our chairs."

I really wanted to explain to her that none of those things were actually hers.  Temp, oddly enough, is short for temporary. Clearly, she doesn't get that, since she spent the rest of the day trying to take stuff out of the room my project is in. When we started to get hostile, she sent a surrogate to get a table. A table. This poor schmo walks in, asks if he can take this table. Small, like an end table. Not sure why she wanted it so bad. I explained that he was unlikely to leave the room in one piece if he tried to take the table. Principle had come into play, after all. That, finally, was the end of the madness.

There is no telling what leads to this kind of madness. I've said before, all a temp has is his chair, but I have never suggested you could keep the same chair from project to project. Apparently, this woman is an agency favorite and is rolled over from one project to the next. I suppose that could lead to a sense of entitlement. On the other hand, how is somebody too stupid to understand "temporary" competent enough to keep getting rolled over from one project to the next? Something to think about.

Unfortunately, the answer is yes

Got an email from a buddy that really needs no explanation:
I wonder whether I am getting paid the same as the guy playing online chess right now.
Can't imagine why they don't trust us.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The fuck's a durecho?

So apparently DC got hit Friday night by a kind of storm called a durecho, or a dorito, or something like that. Whatevs. I live far enough from DC that I got a really loud and colorful thunderstorm Friday night -- also really long -- but nothing to lead me to believe that God was watching, eating popcorn.

Saturday morning, I got an email from my dad asking if we were OK and if we had come through the storm all right. I replied, sure, no problem, not really sure why he had heard about a thunderstorm here, since he lives in Pensacola, Florida.

Then, Sunday morning, I had to go work for a few hours down in DC, and I realized that my dad was more in touch with DC weather than I was. Canal Road and the Clara Barton Parkway were both messes.  I think Canal Road was supposed to be closed, because I was not able to take it on my way out of DC later that afternoon. As it was, I was doing a slalom between and around trees Sunday morning, keeping one eye on the downed trees and the other on the possibility of oncoming traffic. Combined with the places out of power, including numerous intersections, it was an interesting ride in.

I think it kept a lot of people home today. since traffic was pretty light. All in all, I'll take that trade. A little widespread death and destruction (literally) in exchange for me having an easy commute? I know how I'm voting.