Monday, November 22, 2004

We had a little party in my practice area today at lunchtime, to celebrate Thanksgiving. What a waste. You don't think about this when you're an associate, but as a partner it becomes very clear that every dollar that gets spent on unnecessary frivolities is money out of my pocket. Everyone's going to have a big meal with their families later this week, except the ones stuck in the office, so why do we have to give them food today? They were all very greedy at the party, stuffing themselves with the little pieces of toast with the salmon and olives. At least it wasn't open bar. I sometimes see the spending reports that come through. Whenever we do an open bar event it's ridiculous. Lawyers are all drunks anyway. I'd bet there are less than a half-dozen partners here without a bottle of liquor somewhere in their offices. And some mouthwash, to hide the smell when you're drinking at ten in the morning. We had the toast pieces and other real food, but then we also had cookies and cake and dessert food. That's what really made me mad. If it's going to be lunch, we don't need dessert. And if it's just supposed to be dessert, we don't need lunch. It's just more money wasted. And then the leftover food, instead of letting us partners take it home, since we did basically pay for it, they give it to the secretaries and the janitors. Ridiculous. I hate all these benefits we feel we have to provide. Who needs subsidized gym membership and free real estate closings? No one else gets that. Health plans I understand. But we go overboard. People don't realize what some of these things cost.

You're short-sighted if you don't realize that incentivizing your employees to work out is good for your company.
What happened to your lame little attempt to initiate "book deal" talks? It seems to have been deleted. That was way funnier than any of this.
Blah. You lost all credibility when you revealed that you believe that you have some chance of publishing your drivel in book form. When I say you lost credibility, I'm not saying that I doubt that you're another boring, moderately intelligent, boring, uninteresting partner at a law firm in a major city. What I do mean is that you're just completely uninteresting now.
AL AL AL... cut your associates some slack. You have no idea how much of a thrill it is to do something totally unproductive on the company's time and dime. It has a balancing effect on employees emotionally so that they don't turn into cranky loonies.
Does your hyper-rational mind not understand the effect of employee morale on the bottom line? Perhaps a happy employee is a productive employee. Or perhaps one more likely to put up with your shit after being fed a few cheap pieces of toast. JMHO.
That seems fairly petty of you, AL. What would you do with the food, even if you did take it home? Something tells me you don't have a domestic bone in your body (despite your previous ruminations that all lawyers should go through military service, I doubt that you're really capable of producing any truly valuable good or service on your own...).

Just get over it. The time you've spent mentally throwing a tantrum of this food could have been spent generating ten times the food's value in new business.

chop chop.
"They were all very greedy at the party, stuffing themselves with the little pieces of toast with the salmon and olives."

Who are "they"? Associates? The problem is, your firm would not be having this Mandatory Fun if a partner did not make it happen. If I'm an associate at your firm and I get that dreaded email--"Firm Thanksgiving Party!--I'm sitting there, rolling my eyes, thinking, What a waste of time.

But you know what? I go. Because somewhere, some partner (for all I know, it's you) decided that this is what we do. And you pay me. So I show up. And I eat the goddam food.

Try flipping around your presumptions. According to your theory, the subordinates are just dying to hang out with the partners and eat food--just look at 'em eat! On the other hand, maybe nobody cares but people show up and eat anyway because a partner scheduled it and sent an annoying email suggesting that firm morale depends on everyone's presence.

Either way, don't bitch about the "greedy" subordinates who are merely complying with the firm higher-ups' bizarre wishes. Complain to your partners.
It's interesting to see into the mind of a complete narcissist. Although I've come to expect this superior attitude from your profession.

The only intelligent thing you said was...

" Lawyers are all drunks anyway. I'd bet there are less than a half-dozen partners here without a bottle of liquor somewhere in their offices. And some mouthwash, to hide the smell when you're drinking at ten in the morning."

You've just described yourself in about 10 years. Make it 5.

The reason they are all drunks is because they are the trained to be outwardly the vision of success and confidence while on the inside they are actually full of self loathing. Who wouldn't need to begin drinking each day at 10 if you had to deal with lawyers all day long?

I wonder if the suicide rate is higher among attorneys. Probably not but I would guess that statistically it is higher amongst paralegals.

Grow up.
Unhappy employees = increased turnover. Increased turnover = lost money and time on recruiting, training, etc. Since [cost of Thanksgiving food] < [cost of recruiting, training, etc.], your comments are short-sighted.
You have a $9,000.00 barbecue.
Dear 10:22 PM,

You need to see a psychologist. When you unknot your panties by unleashing venom at some anonymous blogger, you have issues. Did you get dinged by every major law firm when you were in law school so that you had to join some flower-necklaced, birk.-clog wearing public interest group or are you just angry about the wedgies you got back in middle school? Sheesh.
I personally laughed. Very hard.
What's the matter AL? Need a little extra cash to pay your wife to stay with your miserable soul-less a**?
Staff benefits, and the flip-side: cost-cutting are problematic in a law firm. In most medium/large corporations the staff do not know the owners and unless they are particularly interested in working out dividend streams of the company, are probably unaware of what the average shareholder makes. As such, when management makes decisions to cut costs and reduce staff benefits it (naturally) leads to discontent. However, this discontent is usually aimed at a general group (such as "the management").

In contrast, in a law firm, the staff know the shareholders personally, and given the wide availability of PPP figures, they know (approximately) what the partners are making. In most cases, partner drawings far exceed staff pay, and so when costs are cut and benefits are reduced, it is seen (correctly) as partners merely wanting to preserve their profit levels at the expense of the "underpaid" staff.

Now, this profit motive is exactly the same as any other business, and partners are perfectly entitled to jealously guard their profitability. However, I think the human contact between staff and shareholders makes such cost cutting behaviour far more contentious.
I second the holistic approach to office karma. The new guards of law-firms are more about horizontal equality and less about vertical, pedigree-based thinking.
Yeah freaking right. Maybe thats true in Fargo. In BIGLAW its all about climbing, sleeping, your way up the ladder.
AL, Isn't the idea of the subsidized gym membership to keep your lawyers "soft" but not fat. God fat just ugly and bad.

You should subsidize skin resurfacing / bleaching too. Look what it did for Michael Jackson.

Your whole office could be soft pasty lawyers, your clients would think your working your lives away for them.

There's dividends there,

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