Saturday, April 20, 2013

Maybe I was too kind

I admit it, I have, upon occasion, suggested that contract attorneys -- at least many of them -- have the emotional maturity of middle-schoolers. I stand by that position, except to the extent that I might have been too kind. I heard a story Friday that indicates to me that I might have been way too kind.

When I was leaving work Friday, a female contract attorney, likewise leaving work, got on the elevator with me. She said she was glad to be out of there, I said something like, "Yeah, really boring." Turns out, that wasn't what she meant.

She was complaining about the "drama" in her room. The person sitting at the desk across from her complained to the project manager that a piece of paper from this woman's desk was protruding onto the complainant's desk. And this woman was called into the project manager's office to hear about this. And this was the second time in two weeks that this had happened.

I'll be fair. Maybe there's more to this, and the woman who rode down in the elevator with me was actually doing far worse things to her neighbor, like shooting flaming arrows at her or something. But I will also be realistic, given my time with temps, and say that I have no fucking doubt that the woman across from her has complained to management -- twice -- about paper intruding on her desk.

The reason I believe it is because temps are shitheads. That is, in many ways unfair and untrue. I think most temps aren't shitheads. But I know that a higher percentage of temps are shitheads than you will find in the general population. I've spent most of my life outside the temp world. This kind of complaint would be laughed at most places. it would be dismissed as kindergarten-level behavior and laughed at.

Not in Temp Town. This goes back to the unwillingness of agencies to take a hard stand on anything. The fact that temps can complain about stupid shit like this and not get laughed at -- or fired -- means that they will. That means the project manager can't ignore the complaint. Instead, the project manager had to "deal with it" and call in the person who had been complained about, tell her to try in the future to keep her papers on her own desk, blah blah blah. This hands power to the person willing to complain about stupid shit. They know there will be no repercussions for a stupid complaint. Agencies -- and firms -- are much more afraid of "offending" someone than they are of doing something stupid or just flat wrong.

If I'm a supervisor and somebody brings a complaint like that to me, I fire them and tell them to grow up. Somewhere else. The fact that this never happens in Temp Town is part of the problem with Temp Town. People can do stupid, kindergarten shit and get away with it.

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