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Friday, August 31, 2012

We're No. 2! We're No. 2!

Not exactly the chant you hope to hear as your team takes the field, but in this case it is appropriate. Continuing a four-month upward trend (now five months), August surged on the last day to become the second-best month ever for Eff You. Thank you to all of you for overcoming the summer doldrums and propelling Eff You to new heights, or something like that.

Closing strong?

Looks like August has a good chance to move into the No. 2 spot on the "best traffic month ever" list for Eff You. Less than 30 hits away. With summer trailing away, traffic has been sluggish the last couple days. Hoping for a big finish. As always, thanks to everyone for dropping by, and I'll try to make it worth your while.

Return of the Zombie swordfish

The project continues to stagger along, dead on its feet but apparently unaware of its own death. Definitely not the strong and vibrant swordfish we all love to see.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

China, suckaz!

Got me some China on the line! First visitor to make it through the Bamboo Curtain -- probably chasing the two visitors we had this week from Taiwan.

Traffic update

August has been a solid month and appears to be on track to move into the No. 2 slot all time, second only to the second month of this blog when traffic was really high because of factors no longer in play. This will continue an upward trend in traffic that started in April. Since then, each month has been better than the last, and the trend line has been up since November 2011, the low point for a full month of Eff You. Thanks to everyone who checks in. Lots of countries still haven't checked in. Where's Argentina when you need them?

Monday, August 27, 2012

And they call me Raised by Wolves . . .


Apparently the vaunted reverence for social norms that marks Temp Town has been violated recently at the agency where I’m working. In locations throughout the review facility, memos recently appeared addressing a recent rash of thefts of a particularly lowlife nature:

There have been several complaints from team members that others have been helping themselves to food that is not their own.  Please be considerate of your fellow employees, and take care the the food you are eating is the food that you brought and does not belong to anyone else.
Can we get serious for a minute here? No one, ever, not once, ever ate someone else’s food and did not know they were doing so. They don’t care. To even suggest they don’t know is not being charitable, it’s being insulting to the people whose food is being stolen. Insult is added to injury later when the memo asks temps to “continue to conduct themselves in a professional manner.” Professional what? Food thieves? Gimme a break. Call them thieves and be done with it. In fairness, the memo states that future violators will be fired.

Unfortunately, this is not uncommon behavior in Temp Town, where social standards can be such that our leper status with the rest of the legal community is understandable. At another agency where the same problem was rampant, a much more direct (and shorter) notice was posted: Don’t Eat Other People’s Food.

I can’t believe I work in an industry where signs like that are necessary.

Impending Doom?

We had pizza on Friday, served with assurances that this was not Pizza of Doom. Even so, we might be done Wednesday, assurances notwithstanding. On the other hand, we might not be. As usual, reliable information is in short supply. I guess we'll see.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Just a traffic update

Traffic on the site is looking good -- well beyond my immediate circle of friends, I think. Especially considering that my non-lawyer friends never visit. Or, more accurately, my non-temp friends. Or, even more accurately, my non-temp aquaintances. (Let's face it -- if I am not even willing to learn peoples' names, how likely is it that I have any temps as actual friends?) In any event, August is shaping up nicely. I'll keep you posted.

You knew this was coming

I'm sure most people have heard about the Russian all-female punk band that got arrested for protesting Putin in a major Orthodox church. Three members of Pussy Riot recently were sentenced to two years for the act; two more are being sought. Naturally, this leads to images like this:



Which means it was only a matter of time before we got to this:

Human rights and freedom of speech are serious matters, but that shit's funny.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Must be some Doom in here somewhere

Looks like we're in the last couple weeks of the project. Not sure what will be out there when this ends -- market hasn't been real good, but it is August, after all. Not the greatest month, historically. September usually perks up, so we'll see how it goes. Got so much non-Doom pizza on this project, not sure if we'll get the real thing when this does end. Sure hope so. Free pizza is good.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Actual temp quotation, the sequel

Upon coming to a document with more than a hundred recipients:

Temp1: Never in the history of document review has a document with this many recipients had any importance whatsoever.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Actual temp quote number sumpthin

A discussion is taking place about reunions, figures from your past and whether it is wise to revisit old flings.

Temp 1: You don't want to make the same mistake twice.

Temp2: If you've already been there, it's not low standards anymore.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Just an observation

Listening to the radio, advertisement for a "sedation dentistry" practice, where I guess they put you out completely instead of just using novocaine or gas. Sounds great, but I don't think I want to go to a dentist who puts you out and brags about his "amazing staff" in his commercials. Just sayin'.

Actual temp conversation number whatever the fuck it is

Temp1: Let's face it we're sluts.

Temp2: Not me.

Temp1: Yeah, we're all hours sluts.

Temp2: Not me. I'm a whore. You gotta pay for it or it ain't happening. We've set the price, we've established the parameters of the engagement.

Temp1: Parameters?

Temp2: Yup. I get my hourly rate to click. Extra services have to be negotiated. No kissing. And don't expect me to remember your name.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Take it while it's there

Normally, I am not one to leave money on the table. If there are hours available, I work them. Most temps do (though by no means all). This project has been a little different lately. Last couple weeks, we've had a 60 hour cap, which is no big deal, since 60 hours is pretty close to the perfect project under normal circumstances. Two things make this one not normal, though. First, we don't get time and a half over 40 hours. We get a good rate, and the gross at 60 hours matches what it would be at what is right now the standard rate with time and a half over 40. Still, when those hours over 40 are at the same rate as before, the incentive is lower.

The second factor is more important, though, and much more limiting. We are capped at 10 hours a day. To get to 60, you have to work at least one weekend day, and that assumes you got in 10 Monday through Friday and are willing to completely kill one of your weekend days. Thus far, I have not been so willing. I was planning to go in today, but instead I slept until noon, went and saw The Dark Knight Rises and then cooked General Tsu's chicken and watched Zombieland. Not gonna lie - enjoyed it a lot more than I would have working. Would the extra money be nice? Yes, but I gave up 50 percent less than I would have at overtime rates. Not sure why firms and/or clients don't realize this. If they let me get 60 hours in five days, they'd get 60 hours out of me and end their project sooner (meaning, of course, cheaper). Shortsighted.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Preparing for the TempBots.

Got an email from an e-discovery firm the other day letting me know I could get in on a three-part webcast series on predictive coding. They seemed very excited to tell me that I could listen to their "panelists discuss the results of a recent study about the use and adoption of predictive coding technologies by Fortune 1000 companies and their law firms." Want more? Sure! The webcast "includes practical tips to help you prepare for meet and confer discussions about predictive coding and other machine learning technologies." Still not satisfied? No problem! Because the "final webcast in our series helps you better understand how to measure, test and defend predictive coding results."

Great! Can't imagine what temp wouldn't be overjoyed to learn more about the technology that is going to have us shaking cups of coins, begging for spare change on the sidewalk before this is over. I, for one, welcome our new artificial intelligence overlords.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Time for merch?

I sometimes think about ways to drive more traffic, other than dropping a lot of eff bombs and otherwise trying to dupe search engines into thinking this is a pron site with lots of pictures of people nekkid and enjoying food in deviant ways. (Hope that works.) But what is it that all the big-time blogs have that I don't? That's right -- branded merchandise. So here's the question -- would the readers of this blog be interested in Eff You tee-shirts? Respond in the comments or to raised.by.a.wolf@gmail.com. If there is sufficient interest, I could post samples.

Pizza wars

The debate that took place yesterday over the makeup of the pizza order was kind of funny to watch. DC being a liberal magnet, there is a higher percentage of vegetarians here than in the country at large (I'm not saying conservatives are never vegetarians -- I'm saying liberals are more likely to be vegetarians). In any event, this higher concentration tends to lead to an assumption, certainly among vegetarians, that they are a higher percentage of the population than they actually are, even in DC. Their wishes with respect to the pizza order reflect this. Faced with a plan to order 12 pizzas, the veggie crowd insisted that half be vegetarian -- two veggie pizzas and a staggering FOUR cheese-only pizzas. A 13th, meat-centric, pizza was added to the order, and one of the cheese pizzas was changed to pepperoni. I predicted at the time that the only pizza left over would be cheese.

The reason for this is simple: there is pizza you want, pizza you'll eat, and pizza you don't want. You will always first choose the pizza you want, be it vegetarian or meat. For that reason, these two kinds will always be gone first. Once you've had the pizza you want, whether two slices or more, you find yourself debating whether you want one more or whether you've had enough. You look, it's just cheese pizza, you're already kind of full. If you hadn't had any pizza yet and there was only cheese pizza, you'd eat it. If you're borderline full, though, you won't. Sure enough, even though the veggie crowd insisted I was wrong, at the end of lunch today, a full cheese pizza was left over. And nothing else. Vindication, baby.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Doom ahead?

The Pizza of Doom is coming tomorrow, but apparently is leaving the Doom at home. This pizza apparently will just be pizza. Nice to get a free lunch that doesn't come with a pink slip attached. And we all know how much temps love a free lunch.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Update, in which my cynicism takes a hit

Right before I left Sunday, still in the dark, a sixth person arrived, saw five of us sitting happily in a dim room and asked if it was OK to turn on the lights. Everyone agreed, and on came the lights. None of the people I believed would engage in premature illumination showed up Sunday. Not sure if I'm disappointed or my faith in humanity is restored.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Experiment in progress

I'm at work early on a Sunday morning, and to keep things interesting I'm conducting an experiment. As I was the first person to arrive, the lights were out in the workroom. It's not pitch black or anything -- one light fixture remains on at all times, and the double doors are open to the well-lit hallway. Plent of light to see and work in, but a more subdued lighting environment than the usual flourescent nightmare.

The experiment is this: how long before somebody walks in and turns on the lights without asking? This is Temp Town -- it will happen. It becomes more interesting and temp-like, though, the more people there are already in the room who obviously have chosen not to turn the lights on. Three other people have arrived so far; no one has turned the lights on. My money is on the large woman who sits across from me -- no nickname yet, although I think the Spin Doctors have met her.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

That was a vacation?

I just returned from Florida and what was purportedly a vacation. I guess it was one, and it was the first time off I've taken voluntarily in about four years, which timeframe meshes closely with when the market turned to shit and never returned to what we now think of as the good old days. Temps always used to tell me that they like this kind of work because of the flexibility -- they could take time off whenever they wanted. I guess that used to be true, but it isn't any longer. In the "good old days," you could schedule vacation time well ahead, go on vacation when the time came, and find a new project quickly when you got back. The first two elements are still true; the third, not so much. On the other hand, as Meatloaf said, two out of three ain't bad. Unless the third one is the one that makes the first two possible, which is of course where we are. No work, no pay. And leaving a project means coming back to massive uncertainty as to whether there will be another project soon.

It's a tough gamble. Fortunately, I left for only four days, and when I got back, the project was still going. I continue to click for the foreseeable future. Beyond the next few weeks, who knows?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Boom goes the dynamite!

We just hit 10,000 visitors. Thank you all for your support, and someone in the last hour or so was Number 10,000 and is in line for major gifts and prizes. Not from me, of course, but maybe later in your life. Personally, I have no way of identifying Visitor No. 10,000. Anyway, I'm sure you'll win a door prize or something sometime in your life. In any event, thank you all for visiting, please keep it up. Now that I am back from my ever-so-brief vacation (more like a long weekend), I'll be posting again. Thanks for your patience, and keep on clicking.