Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Is a Temp the New Perm?

My dear friend Ivy sent me that pic and I let out a little gasp.  Is this my future?

While Obama is covering my health insurance, I suppose I can live on the horribly methodic, brain dumbing work--but is this present slowly turning into my future?  I read the article in Businessweek and I felt no better.  Upon evaluation, it is clear that I am now a Disposable Worker.

A "Disposable Worker": "no health insurance, no retirement benefits, no sick days, no vacation, no severance, and no access to unemployment insurance."

When it's put that way, doc review sounds pretty horrible, doesn't it.  Yet, piles of attorneys are being fleeced from law firms every day and dumped into document review projects; where you are no longer a professional.  You are an hourly wage worker. If you don't work, you don't eat. If you get sick, you suffer financially as well as physically.

"You know American workers are in bad shape when a low-paying, no-benefits job is considered a sweet deal."

I have received two offers of employment since being let go.  Both were laughable.  So, I continue to click away at document review.  Temp attorneys are made fun of constantly, but facts are facts. I may not have vacation pay or stability.  But , with a semi-decent rate, I will make more as a temp attorney than I will at either of the companies/law firms that offered me a position.  The only advantage a low paying job offers is stability, and even that is questionable. ""When I hear people talk about temp vs. permanent jobs, I laugh," says Barry Asin, chief analyst at the Los Altos (Calif.) labor-analysis firm Staffing Industry Analysts. "The idea that any job is permanent has been well proven not to be true." As Kelly Services (KELYA) CEO Carl Camden puts it: "We're all temps now.""

And when is this likely to change?  Or will this be life from this point forward?
"The forecast for the next five to 10 years: more of the same, with paltry pay gains, worsening working conditions, and little job security. Right on up to the C-suite, more jobs will be freelance and temporary, and even seemingly permanent positions will be at greater risk."

This gives me pause. I find myself thankful to be in a large urban center that offers temporary placements.   I definitely consider myself lucky.  I've landed on my feet, for now.


  1. Oh man, suicide is really start to look good. This is very depressing.

  2. And as this work goes off shore in our wonderful, flat world, we'll see just how disposable we all are.

  3. Knute Rife! I've missed you. Where have you been?

  4. Angel - what hourly rate are you getting at doc review?

  5. Low 30s... which is about going rate now. Why do you ask?



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