Category Archives: Rants & Raves!

Yahoo! and the Robot (not Remote) Employee


Wouldn't the world be a perfect place if we simply followed every talking head who pontificates on a subject (yours truly excluded…)?  Of course, the goal doesn't usually involve the content of the story, but to create a bait headline that'll compel a reader to click-through (the shortest way to accomplish this: make them angry).  And what a perfect subject to select for this purpose; Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer rescinds remote privileges!

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Then, the experts swoop in to tell us what she's really doing:

  1. Implementing a stealth layoff by pissing-off employees, who will then quit on their own,
  2. Discriminating against working moms (what about dads?),
  3. Taking us back to draconian times!

You get the idea…and you know what?  Every one of these claims might be true!  But, perhaps she is:

  1. Putting her arms around a human resources issue that's grown out of control,
  2. Fostering improved inter-company relations,
  3. Trying to better-assess a situation she can't see.

Mix & match as you like.  Does that mean I support the decision?  It's not about that.  I, like you, can easily cite detriments as well:

  1. More hours/dollars wasted on fuel, time and wear & tear sitting in traffic (I've been wondering whether the increase in traffic would actually be noticeable to outsiders),
  2. Less quality/leisure time with family, friends or hobbies,
  3. More pressure on significant other/spouse/parent to 'pick up the slack' of the Yahoo! employee (i.e. What I'm getting at is, suppose this particular employee is also a caregiver to an elderly parent; it ain't only about children, is it?)
  4. More pressure on single, unattached employee for similar reasons (there are only so many hours in the day for grocery shopping, errands and of course, appointments).
  5. Don't even get me started on morale…at least in the short term.
  6. Higher costs for Yahoo! as well; supporting all of these additional bodies on-site will have a marked effect on resources, such as electricity, maintenance, space allocation, furniture & supplies, etc.

I hate to quote Facebook, but:  It's complicated.

This is why it's extremely difficult to be a manager; too many cooks and Monday-morning quarterbacks.  My favorite is the propensity to quote studies about the benefits/detriments of working remotely.  You know what?  It's irrelevant except as it pertains to Yahoo!! (So, when I want to add a 'bang' to a sentence ending in the word "Yahoo!", is that how I do it?).

Of course, there is a place for statistics and studies as a general guide.  But what matters most is, how do these statistics and studies relate to the specific situation at Yahoo!?  There are a lot of factors involved, and I don't see too many of these articles wading very far into the weeds.

Last point; substitute any other name for Yahoo!  Same rules apply.

P.S.  I've included articles from people who do know the subject well – a lot better than I do, anyway (e.g. Richard Branson) but I think his particular comments answer his own concerns:

"To successfully work with other people, you have to trust each other. A
big part of this is trusting people to get their work done wherever they
are, without supervision
." [Italics added].

Two questions:

  1. Is it possible that Yahoo! harbors irrational mistrust of their employees?
  2. Is it possible that some employees have abused Yahoo!'s trust?

It could be one, both or neither.  I wonder how this will play out in the months leading up to implementation?  I wonder what things will look like six months after implementation?

Rants & Raves! Recruiters: Keyword Search 1st, Document Review 2nd!!!

MP900448714 Coming to you from the 'cutting my own throat' department today…

Recruiters, you've proven that you're deft at performing keyword search for the word "eDiscovery".  Now, how about giving all of us techies and attorneys a break and actually doing some document review.  What do I mean?


For the (I kid you not) fourth time in a week, I've been appproached by a different recuiter for the same IT eDiscovery desktop support position.  One of them apparently continues to forget that he already contacted me – and received a polite response – and has contacted me two more times.  Never mind that the last time I did any type of direct desktop support was for Hughes Space & Communications in 1993, but my resume has a title.  It says "eDiscovery Attorney and Consultant".

Oh, the irony…

I have nothing against recruiters.  I've gotten lots of excellent work through many of them, and I'm certain I will in the future.  However, when they do these searches, then send an email blast to everyone with the term "eDiscovery" in their resume, they're telling us that we're meaningless to them – and they don't mind wasting our time.  Why?  Because, many of them also call, so I will always either return the call or email them back.  I will never ignore an inquiry from a recruiter because its unprofessional and just plain rude.  However, it doesn't exactly entice me to want to work with them.

You think I'm being too hard on them?  At least recruiter number one was honest about the position.  The others apparently could already tell it probably wasn't an appropriate position, so they attempted to 'dress it up' by changing it to desktop analyst and desktop engineer.  Shame on you!

There.  I said it.  I feel much better.  Now, where are those band-aids?!?!

“All I’m Guilty of is Bad Taste.”

Really??? Really!!! So, you're a nursing student and you think it's a great idea to pose with a placenta, then post the photo on Facebook?

Then, when they – shockingly – kick you out of nursing school, you sue?

Consequences. It's about consequences. That quote in the title? Larry Flynt (of Hustler fame) said it. Turns out, he was right, but he sat in jail and spent a fortune before eventually proving it.

He had the resources to fight. You don't. Maybe the students are re-instated and maybe not. But why put yourself in that position in the first place?

I'm going to invent a new software warning message. Instead of the usual, "Are you sure you wish to continue?" button, mine will inquire, "Are you sure it's appropriate to continue?".

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Not Again!!! Copycat #2!!!


I'm not sure if this means I'm becoming more successful, people simply don't check or they're trying to piggyback on my over two years of hard-fought SEO optimization, but for the second time, I've picked up a copycat.  On December 1st, 2010, AccessData registered the domain and on December 8th, 2010 announced the launch of their blog under the name "eDiscovery Insight".

Hey, there's room for all of us, but please, removing a '-' and an 's' doesn't eliminate infringement when you're using it for an identical purpose!

I've pointed everyone to you and wish you luck, but I hope you'll do the gracious thing and change your blog's name, as the folks from Catalyst did.

I must get one of these nifty banners…

e-Discovery LOL: A Narcissistic, Maniacal, Mental Case

MP900337277 I know what you're thinking.  Perry finally admits the truth.  I will only say this in my defense; in my line of work, those are all excellent qualities!

Maybe I'll be in a little trouble for making light of a serious issue, but it's the start of 4th of July weekend and we could all use a laugh.

No, the title doesn't describe me (unless you speak to some of the people I've worked with over the years), it's what an attorney said to a judge; resulting in sanctions.

You know that old adage; when upset, count to ten before you act.  Now, the attorney might as well count to six – that's the number of months of suspension he received.

Don’t be Fooled by Imitations!

From an announcement circulating on the 'net today:

"Three months ago, we
welcomed you
to the debut of this blog. Today, we are stepping it
up a notch. We are giving this formerly nameless blog a name,
“E-Discovery Insights,”
adding new profiles
of the authors
, committing ourselves to post more frequently, and
renewing our commitment to use this blog as a vehicle to share the
insights and expertise of Catalyst’s professionals on a range of
e-discovery topics."


Yo, Catalyst!  Nobody thought of Googling 'e-Discovery Insights' or typing "" into a browser window?

All kidding aside, good luck with your blog – and whatever new name you assign to it…

e-Discovery 101: A Three-Hour Boor

J0442299 Jurors were texting, making cell phone calls and discussing the case with a bailiff during deliberations; and if that wasn't enough, a prosecutor posted a poem on Facebook with details about the case which was intended to be sung to the theme song from Gilligan's Island.

Some of these shenanigans resulted in a mistrial.

This is a criminal trial, folks.  Somebody's liberty is at stake!  I'm by no means a bleeding-heart (after all, I clerked at the L.A. District Attorney's Office during law school), but place yourself in the position of the defendant.  This isn't a trial – it's a three-ring circus!

It also begs the question; who lost control of this situation?