Thursday, May 25, 2006

It's been a long day. I've got a client with a document warehouse in Wichita, Kansas, and we may need some help out there this weekend. I did an experiment. I sent one e-mail to the associate list, asking if anyone would be free to spend their "holiday" weekend out there, and another e-mail to the summer associate list, asking the same question. Within four minutes, I had zero replies from associates, and fourteen replies from summers. That's fourteen out of twenty-two. The other eight will be seeing their lunch limit drop by $5 for the next week or so, just as an incentive to be a little faster on the send button next time. It's interesting. Summer associates will do anything for us, even though they're all getting an offer at the end of the summer, and they don't really have anything to be worried about. Associates, on the other hand, do nothing for us even though we're watching their every move to find reasons never to make them partner. The problem is that summer associates aren't going to be much good on this project, because they're not much good on any project, because they don't know how to do anything. So all those plane tickets to Wichita, and not a drop of work is going to get done.

There's an associate in the London office who's getting ready to transfer over here to do a rotation in my group. We've been exchanging e-mails. I told him that for a little while, when he still has some UK matters he's working on in addition to the domestic ones he'll be assigned, it'll probably be a good idea for him to be in the office for the normal business hours in both countries. Nine in the morning until nine at night, Pacific Time, and nine in the morning until nine at night, Greenwich Mean Time. He said he's not sure he can do it. I reminded him the coffee's free in the American offices, and I'll be happy to assign him a secretary who's especially good at carrying it down the hall. The foreign associates who come here for a stint don't have a very good work ethic. They think they're entitled to go home. I'm a big fan of London. They have wonderful office parks over there. Very modern buildings. That's all I saw when I was there. Canary Wharf, right downtown in the heart of the city. I don't know why people say London is full of culture and history. I didn't see any of it. I saw a shopping mall and some tall skyscrapers with offices. There's no culture in London from what I saw. No theater, no bridges, and no palaces. Maybe they're somewhere, but I didn't see them. All I saw were some strange varieties of potato chips, and some fake plastic trees in the middle of an office park. I didn't even see any orphaned children roaming the streets picking people's pockets, as I expected I would. London's changed. When I was there, the office cleaners were trying to hold a demonstration about poor pay. We fired them all. No one holds protests at the firm, or in our office parks. It's inappropriate.

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