Redacting in the Morning

Bitter Temp Guy Columns, Lawyer 12 Comments

“They should teach you to use a Sharpie in law school,” the well-dressed Tool jokes. Then he shakes his head, looks at the fortress of file boxes I and the other temps have made in the corner, and asks if we understand what we’re doing.

His supercilious glare lands on me, just when I’m wondering if those secretaries ate all the donuts.

“Well, it’s a little complicated,” I say, curious to see if Harvard Law teaches sarcasm. “Sometimes I push the pen down on the paper, but the paper doesn’t go black.”

I demonstrate, jabbing the Sharpie at a seemingly critical document.

The Tool looks horrified as I blot out random bits of information.

“Wait! Don’t do that . . . .”

I hold up a perfectly clean, white document.

“Sharpie no work. Sharpie broken. Temp need new Sharpie.”

Arms akimbo, I waddle to a table heavy with supplies of binder clips, Post-it note pads and Sharpies.

I take one Sharpie in hand. I study it like the caveman who first learns about fire in one of those Discovery Channel documentaries.

A light bulb.

I uncork the pen, breathing in the chemical fumes. I eyeball the black tip for a long moment before positioning my hand above the Sharpie.

I tap my finger on the Sharpie’s tip and examine the evidence.

“Sharpie work,” I say. “Sharpie make black. Temp resume redacting.”

The Tool disappears, shouting something about supper clubs to some passerby.

“You’re going to get us all fired,” whines one of the other temps.

He’s the one I’ve nicknamed 4L Gunner because he’s still trying to impress anyone he can.

“Relax,” I say. “You can’t get fired from hell.”

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  • Anonymous

    Me stick Sharpie up temp’s ass!

  • Recovering Contract Lawyer

    If this was 1986, that would be funny.  2008 it seems like a waste of people and money.
    When I did contract work, I used one of those common litigation support softwares that are in almost every law firm.  The idea of a law firm requiring contract attorneys and not having a LSS is just sad.  That firm would save a lot of money with doing document review with anyone of the hosted document review platforms with their contract attorneys instead of copy costs and space wasted with paper based review.

  • Temp Hater

    I’m just glad that guy isn’t my temp.

  • Damn.

    The life of a temp lawyer isn’t easy, and I know some people who’ve ended up temping that were bright, hardworking lawyers who just couldn’t stand the BigLaw BS any longer.  We’re talking about people from T10 schools and v20 firms – if you think it can’t happen to you, ask the guys at Heller or Thelen.
    Ignore the haters Bitter Temp – I (and I’m sure a lot of other readers) would love to see some stories about temp mismanagement in BigLaw.

  • Down with Temp


  • King of Redactions

    Having been a temp at one point due to the economy, I feel your pain.  Of course, now I have a permanent job, but still have to do redactions!  yes, I get paid more to do it, but I often wonder whether my time at law school would have been better spent leraning how to color!

  • Dickworth

    I love slutty temps!

  • Anonymous

    Temp is my hero!

  • Fraud Dedector

    Who redacts with Sharpies?

  • I am a Contract Attorney!

    I feel your pain bitter temp! I am a contract attorney and I know how the system has failed you!  Let’s unite!

  • Hell on Earth

    Can’t get fired from Hell is good stuff!

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