Friday, April 21, 2017

First-World problems, Temp Town Style

Naturally, I am talking about smart phones and how they provide people to waste time on something other than their job (or whatever) every minute of every day. I have collected a few actual emails from my last project to illustrate just how inane project managers are about these sorts of things. Having already been fired (that's how every temp project ends, after all) I no longer need to worry about being fired for putting this stuff out there. Never being hired again by that agency -- well, different question. I'll chance it.

As a reminder, every time one of these emails gets sent, it means that someone complained about a particular behavior or that the project managers witnessed a particular behavior and didn't have the nuts to confront the actual guilty party and so burdened everyone on the project with the complaint, even if almost no one else is guilty of the particular offense. But that's the way Temp Town works -- we all suffer under the expectations of the lowest common denominator. And those expectations can get pretty low:
We would like to take a moment to remind you to limit your use of your phones while you are in the review rooms. It’s ok if you want to check your email every once in a while, but we have seen this practice flower out of control from time to time. Unfortunately it has not been unusual to see a significant number of people room to room looking at their phones at any given moment. Not only does spending an inordinate amount of time looking at your phone take away from your ability to review documents, it also gives off a negative impression to anyone that walks through the rooms. So, again, please limit the amount of time you are looking at your phones during the course of the day, and, as always, do not take any phone calls while you are sitting at your desks. We know that everyone is putting in long hours on this project and working hard to get through the documents. We want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to reflect that fact to the client.
Translation: Yeah, you're working 60-80 hours a week, shut the fuck up about trying to keep track of your life outside of work, mmm-kay? Naturally, these warnings never come just once:
Apologies that this is going to everyone since it doesn’t apply to most. We’ve sent around enough gentle reminders with regard to cell phone use and are now past that point. Ringers should always be off and the phone on vibrate. Dings from texts, email and calls are both distracting and discourteous. If you are going to take a call then leave the review room. I don’t care if it will be a 15 second call. Further, try to answer the call outside of the room. Should you not have time to do so, simply say “hold on” to the person on the other end of the line then pick up the conversation outside the review room.
No more warnings will be given and failure to adhere to the simple rules listed above will result in your removal from the review.
Big surprise, no one got fired for cell phone misuse. If the agency fires someone, that person's butt is no longer in the bleachers and the agency no longer gets paid for that person's time on the job, regardless of how worthless that time might be. As far as an agency is concerned, a person who does shitty work for 70 hours a week but manages to not get fired by the firm running the project is worth far more than a person who works 40 hours a week who does perfect work and the law firm loves. Follow the money, people.

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