Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Maybe Temp Town is a rodeo

Almost since the beginning of this blog, I have compared the life of a document review project to fishing for swordfish, where the swordfish starts out strong but  eventually weakens and is brought aboard the fishing boat and dies -- the end of the project.

Well, I think I have a new analogy that describes not the life cycle of a document review project but the process of a document review project. It is, I think, considerably less flattering than the swordfish analogy.

Every document review is a rodeo. As any rodeo fan knows, most rodeos start off with children attempting to ride sheep. In Temp Town, the sheep are the temps, dutifully going wherever they are told while constantly trying to put one over on their masters. I'm pretty sure the children are the agency's project managers "supervising" the temps. They don't really know any more than the temps, they were temps themselves yesterday and will be again tomorrow:

Next up we have the rodeo clowns, who are, of course, the staff attorneys from the firm who are there to provide guidance to the temps and project managers. They also are not told anything by the people who actually know what is going on, so their guidance is of suspect value. Many of them are people with no real connection to the case who need some billable hours and have nothing else to do. Most of them also were temps yesterday and will be temps again tomorrow, and consequently know fuck all about privilege, which is what they most often are there on which to provide guidance.

The broncos and the bulls are the government, proving impossible to ride and unpredictable:

You know what you won't see at a Temp Town rodeo? Cowboys. Cowboys are the heroes of the rodeo, and  Temp Town rodeo has no heroes. There are no cowboys, and, more important, no audience. No one is watching this shit. No one cares. And yet, they're still selling tickets, because the firms, agencies and clients involved all stand to make a metric shit ton of money. They care a lot. No one else does, least of all the people no the ground floor taking part in the rodeo.

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