Welcome to the Bungle


A BigLaw tool sporting a Harvard tie is trying hard not to cry about just getting canned. Some associate chick who looks like Sarah Jessica Parker (when she was hot) tries to console him.

“You’ll find another job,” Striking-Distance SJP says, as the elevator takes us all down to Earth.

“Downsizing income partners,” Harvard Tie says with a stiff upper lip he practiced at some place like Phillips Exeter. “It’s not fair.”

“Baby,” I cough, barely obscuring the insult.

Striking-Distance SJP shoots a quick glare in my direction. Then looks away.

“I don’t know why we need these loser temps,” she says.

“They should just leave the law to the real lawyers,” Harvard Tie says.

“What do you call a tier-two law school graduate?” Striking-Distance SJP asks.

“Tempting,” Harvard Tie says as they both share one last workplace chuckle for old-time sake.

With a swipe of my hand, I press every button on the elevator—all twenty-two remaining floors.  I couldn’t resist.

“Thought you might like to prolong your stay at a big firm,” I say to Harvard Tie as we stop at the first of many empty elevator banks.

“Asshole,” grumbles Striking-Distance SJP.

We stop and start. In silence. Giving me ample time to study the face of entitlement. This morning, I suspect Harvard Tie knew the universe revolved around him. By this afternoon, he learned the truth—everyone is expendable.

We travel down for what seems like an eternity, and I suspect that Harvard Tie is quietly saying goodbye to each floor.

“We could have you fired,” Striking-Distance SJP says as the doors open for the umpteenth time.

“He doesn’t work here, and you’re a first-year associate—you couldn’t even have me do your Shepardizing without permission,” I say. Silence.

We finally exit the elevator, and I break it down for them: “Temps don’t cost BigLaw money. BigLaw only pays temps when it’s making money.”

“Jerk,” Striking-Distance SJP says.

“The guy who owns the agency that placed me used to be an income partner here,” I say. “He got blown out during the dot-com bubble. Now, he works out of a strip mall. True story.”

“What’s his name?” Harvard Tie asks.

“Why? You want a referral?”

They stare at me blankly—carving me up with their eyes.

“Listen, I’d love to chit-chat all day, but I’ve got a ton of work to do, and I’ve only got a ten-minute break.”

I hold out my hand to Harvard Tie, but he doesn’t return the gesture.

“This economy is tough,” I say. “Even for Harvard grads. Welcome to the bungle.”

Read more from Bitter Temp Guy.

12 Comments

  1. Bill Dugan

    January 13, 2009 at 3:28 am

    Yes, we all have to realize that we are expendible; and that we can be replaced.  We have to stop thinking our shit don’t stink, because it does.  We need to be nicer to our fellow man/woman, because for all we know, we could get called into the MP’s office and told we had 10 minutes to get our stuff out of the office.  Hey, that happens, even to the best of us (confidentiality concerns they say).  So, as bitter lawyers, when we start bitching about tough hours, girls with sagging boobs or something else that gets up our keesters, lets just remember that today we have a place to go and get paid (if not laid), and to be glad for it, because tomorrow could be worse.

  2. Alex Hump

    January 13, 2009 at 4:16 am

    Why didn’t the Temp offer to bang the SJP in the pantry for the Harvard guy after the Harvard guy went off to apply for unemployment?

  3. Lady of Law

    January 13, 2009 at 5:51 am

    1) Temp is mean; 2) It’s news to me that SJP was ever hot; 3) Waiting for BL1Y to publicly lie to himself about how many hot women he’s fornicated with in an elevator since passing the bar.

  4. Anonymous

    January 13, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Lady of Law has it all figured out–I agree with points 1, 2 and 3.

  5. BL1Y

    January 13, 2009 at 7:23 am

    1) Temp isn’t mean, he just writes about the stuff he wished he’d do if he ever had the nerve; 2) agree that SJP was never hot; 3) do you count from when I took it, or only from when I learned that I passed?  Either way: none in an elevator.  3a) I’m terribly afraid to push the emergency stop; 3b) my home and office both have security cameras in the elevators; 3c) I’m not that coordinated.

  6. Anonymous

    January 13, 2009 at 7:58 am

    And it’s hard to fit BL1Y and any willing water buffalo in an elevator–other than grain elevators in Iowa, where BL1Y has not yet visited, but may if he can’t find suitable water buffalo locally.

  7. Ex-BigLaw

    January 13, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Of all the d-bags in all the world, I’ve never seen anyone wear a school tie to work (or anywhere for that matter).  That would be way over the top, everyone from the lowliest first year to the most pretentious of partners would make fun of you… and your secretary might leave you for BL1Y…

  8. PepeSilvia

    January 13, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Wow, that was even worse fiction than the last time Temp posted. It would be great if he would at least try to make the scenario plausible

  9. E-Monster

    January 13, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Agree with Lady of the Law.  BL1Y’s schtick is so pathetic and transparentl

  10. Anonymous

    January 13, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Give the a-hole a break.  He’s just got out of law school, is drowning in female attention, and is drunk over the fact that he never would have attracted any attention if he became an insurance agent with a B.A. in psychology from Boise State.  Now that he has a J.D. from Podunk Law, he believes there will be a never ending supply of willing pussy for him.  Atter about a year, he will realize it is all just a nightmare that he can’t wake up from.

  11. BL1Y

    January 13, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    @1:53: Just to keep the facts straight, I went to a T5 law school.  Undergrad was Podunk State University though.  And yes, I am an a-hole, and I wouldn’t say I’m drowning in female attention, unless I can count attention from the girlfriend.

  12. Anonymous

    January 16, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Dude, Temp is nuts.

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