Monday, January 30, 2006

I've gotten half a dozen e-mails re: the previous post asking me where the good bagels are. The Bagel Broker is the place I was talking about. But if I'm missing out on something better, feel free to let me know.

I just got through destroying three dozen bagels. Ripped them apart, tossed them all across the conference room, threw a real fit about it. My secretary didn't order from the usual place. We had clients in there, and she gets these awful, stale, terrible bagels. They weren't even close. They were hideous. It's hard enough to find decent bagels in Southern California, but we did, and I'd told her that was the place, every time we get bagels, that's where we should get them from. And she didn't this time. One of the clients took one, picked at it, left most of it on his plate. Someone else tried to cut one in half but they barely cut. They were hard as rocks. There was hardly any onion on the onion bagel, hardly any poppy seeds on the poppy seed bagel, this was ridiculous. The cream cheese was weird too. It didn't taste right. So nobody ate these, and I felt like a jackass having client in here to eat garbage while we talk about the million-dollar business they're providing the firm, so after they left I called my secretary in, had her sit down, and made her eat a bagel. She said she wasn't hungry but I made her eat it anyway. I made her force it down. An entire bagel. "Did you like it?" I asked her. "Not really," she said. No, of course not. Because they're garbage. And then I took them and flung them around the room, ripping out the insides, tearing them into pieces, spreading the cream cheese across the walls, smashing the egg bagel with the leg of the table, really grinding it into the carpeting. And then I told her to clean it all up, and I didn't want to see her until the room was spotless. She's in there now. Then I called up personnel to tell them I need a replacement secretary this morning because my secretary was unable to do her job. And then I poured rubber cement all over her desk. She can deal with that when she gets back. And then I urinated on her coat. Okay, I didn't do that. I'm making that part up. I should do that. I won't, but I should. Okay, I didn't do any of this. I told her next time to get the bagels from the place we usually order from, and that if she wanted to give the remaining bagels to the homeless people outside, she could do that, this time, because they're terrible and I don't care if we give terrible food to the homeless, it's just the good leftovers we don't need to be wasting on them.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Anonymous Dog urinated on the carpet this morning. He's supposed to be trained not to do that. I rubbed his nose in it, just like I do with the associates. They're supposed to be trained to do good legal work, but it doesn't always happen. They're constantly having accidents. Not finding the right cases, not making the right arguments. At least the dog's accidents don't cost the firm money. I should hire my dog.

We're all going out to lunch but it's taking Anonymous Wife forever to get ready. She took a pregnancy test last night. Close call. It's bad enough we have two kids. Everyone knows a corporate lawyer should stop at one. One is fine. Two is redundant. It's hard enough to be a good parent to the dog.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Anonymous Wife and I had our first "date night" tonight. It's something the therapist says will be good for the marriage. That remains to be seen. I had one of my associates come to the house and babysit Anonymous Son. Anonymous Daughter was out with her friends, probably giving handjobs to the Boys Junior Varsity Basketball team, or whatever it is 15 year old girls do these days.

We went to see Match Point, the new Woody Allen movie. Don't read this post if you don't want to know what happens in the movie. I hear Woody Allen, I think comedy. This wasn't a comedy. We argued the entire ride home about the movie. I identified very much with the main character. He's in a loveless marriage, but his wife's family is rich. He's having an affair with a struggling actress. She gets pregnant. He doesn't want to risk losing the comfortable lifestyle he has with his wife, so he murders the actress. I think he made the right choice. He was trapped. What else could he have done? If he comes clean, his wife leaves him and he loses the nice house and the amazing suits. If that's what people are wearing in London, I need to order some. Beautiful suits on these actors. I should look into mail order. He had to kill her. He had no choice. It's not worth losing the lifestyle you've grown accustomed to just to indulge your passions and find happiness. Obviously, this was the message of the movie. Sometimes you need to kill people. Not rich people. But struggling actresses.

My wife completely disagreed. She said she thought the hero in the movie was the mistress, and that she probably got pregnant on purpose to force the man to finally leave his wife. She was bold enough to take a risk and even though it didn't work out for her, she's the one we should be applauding. I think that's an absurd interpretation. We fought all the way home.

She said at least now she knows I'm not having an affair, because if I was, I'd have killed my mistress already. And I told her I guess that means she's the one having the affair. She denied it. I suppose I believe her. She's too lazy to have an affair. Having an affair takes energy. We're both too lazy to have an affair. The last thing I need is someone else who thinks I spend too much time in the office.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

There's a paralegal hobbling around the halls the past two days. She broke her ankle over the long weekend on a ski trip. Why are we paying paralegals enough to go on ski trips? And even worse, why are we providing our paralegals health insurance? She had a perfectly competent cast on her foot, crutches, pain medication, everything. I asked her how much it all cost her and she said it didn't cost her a cent. This is ridiculous.

Paralegals are fungible goods. One is just the same as another, and it doesn't matter if they stay for a week or a lifetime. They're all equally unable to do anything. When something is fungible, we shouldn't be providing incentives for them to stay. It's bad enough that no one's moved to fire her now that she's broken her ankle and is clearly unable to do the job. She can't run down the hall to make photocopies, she can't race to my office to deliver documents, and she can't carry as much as we usually require. So the fact she's keeping her job is bad enough. But even worse, we're paying for her injuries.

If she worked as a file clerk at the city dump, or whatever she'd be qualified to do, I presume she would not have health insurance, since health insurance is a privilege meant only for those adding value to society. So why should she have it here? We pay her enough to go skiing. She can afford health insurance. If she can't, that shouldn't be our problem. If she wants a job with health insurance, she should go get a law degree and then we'll talk. I don't mean her specifically. We won't talk. She's not coming back here as a lawyer even if she goes to law school and finishes first in her class. Anyone who's too brittle to keep themselves in one piece and do the job they've been hired to do shouldn't be working for me.

I saw her stealing water from the water fountain to swallow her pain pills. That's another reason we should never have gotten rid of the partners-only water fountains. I'll set up a garden hose for the associates and that should be good enough. The paralegals can put a sponge on the carpet and wring it out into a cup to drink the soaked-up runoff from the hose. It seems only fair to let them do that. I don't want them to get dehydrated.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The annual exodus will start tomorrow. We're distributing the annual bonus checks. As soon as the associates get the word from the bank that the money's in their accounts, and we it's too late for us to stop payment on the check, we start getting the letters of resignation.

I have even less respect for the associates who leave at bonus time than for the ones who do it any other time in the year. At least they're courageous enough to make the biggest mistake of their lives on their own terms. As opposed to the cowards who bitch all year about wanting to leave, who make everyone around them more miserable than they need to be, and torture themselves for months, all because they want to steal as much of our money as they can. I have no respect for them. If the reason you're leaving the firm is so uninspiring that the timing can be determined by when we distribute the bonus checks, I hope you lose your health insurance and end up having to spend every last dime of your savings on experimental treatments for whatever coward's disease you get. Chronic fatigue syndrome. How about that one. That's a coward's disease.

I understand if someone's dream job comes along, and they feel like they have to leave the firm. That's fine. It happens. I know this isn't everyone's dream job. But then you do it like a man, and you do it in the middle of the year, instead of dragging it out over five months just so you can wring that bonus check out of our hands. That's dishonest and shameful. It's disgusting.

Everyone who gives notice this week is no better than a soldier who deserts the army right after getting a brand new pair of boots. Or a baseball player who leaves the team for "personal reasons" right the week before the biggest series of the year. Or James Frey, who isn't even brave enough to admit his memoir is a work of fiction.

Monday, January 09, 2006

There's someone new working in the firm's mailroom. Well, perhaps new. I think it's been four years since I had to go to the mailroom myself, so I'm not sure. But the point here is that this person working in the mailroom is surely either a man or a woman, but I can't tell. I think it's ridiculous that we'd hire someone so distracting. The associates and paralegals who go to the mailroom are there to deal with important letters and packages and legal materials, not to ponder someone's gender. I sent an associate to find out for me, and she came back and said she didn't just want to ask and didn't know what else to do. I told her I don't care how she does it but I need to know, for my own peace of mind. So she came back an hour later and said she waited around and eventually followed it to the bathroom and it's a she. I suppose that's the preferable alternative, although I'm not entirely sure. Doesn't really matter, since it'll probably be four more years until I visit the mailroom again, personally. But I'm looking out for my underlings here. No distractions.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I've been in the office since about 11:00 this morning. It's just me and the associates who actually want to make partner. The rest of the firm is at home, wasting their day as their prospects for career advancement wither smaller and smaller. I came in and went to the bathroom and saw an associate in there swallowing some pills. Asked him if he was sick and he said he wasn't, just taking some bootleg Adderall to stay alert in the office and get his work done despite the hangover from New Years. I'm not sure how prevalent things like that are, but anything that can help them get their work done, it's not for the firm to be criticizing productivity-enhancing lifestyle choices. I'd like to think we have the same attitude Major League Baseball used to have, before all this steroid testing nonsense. If they're doing something that hurts the firm, then, yes, we have to address that promptly. But if it's keeping the clients happy, I don't think we need to be paternalistic about it. These are adults, and adults can make their own choices, as long as they keep their Blackberries on twenty-four hours a day.

Oh, and Happy New Year.

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