Tuesday, November 28, 2006

As I suspected she might, the associate I invited over for Thanksgiving ended up calling to cancel a few hours before dinner. She wasn't feeling well, or so she said. I think she just got cold feet about having to spend the evening at a partner's house, without any other associates to share the experience with and deflect some of the attention away from her. It could also have to do with the phone call I made to one of my colleagues earlier in the day, asking him to spring some "urgent" work on the associate, just to give her a little bit of added stress and tension in case she did end up deciding to show up. My spies in the office tell me she was at work for about 9 hours on Thanksgiving Day, and then 12 more on Friday. So at least she got a small vacation from the usual 16-hour days.

I happened to catch a segment on ABC's World News Tonight last evening. The piece was about professionals working longer hours today than ever before. They interviewed an attorney in Orlando, Florida who is trying to make partner at his firm and said he gets into work early in the morning and sometimes will work straight through until 9 PM, then go home for a short nap, and come back in at 1 AM and work through the next day. Only in a third-tier city like Orlando can someone go home at 9 PM for a nap. How ridiculous. The correspondent asked his wife if he's ever home for dinner or to tuck the kids into bed, and she laughed. The correspondent asked the attorney if he thinks he could keep this lifestyle up forever. He said hopefully he can. Well of course he can, with that nap every night! Naps are for the office, not for home. Home is for working remotely.

If I ever saw one of my associates on World News Tonight, I'd be pretty upset. They shouldn't be talking to the media. I bet his firm was not so thrilled to see him on TV. He might have to give up those naps for a few weeks if he wants to maintain a chance for partnership.

Without the associate interloper, Thanksgiving turned out to be excellent. I do an annual cranberry hunt with my kids. I hide a hundred cranberries around the house. Under rugs, inside the laundry hamper, in the pockets of dress shirts, behind the couch cushions, places like that. It's then a contest between my son and daughter to see who can find the most cranberries. The winner gets twenty dollars. But the real fun is watching the housekeeper's horror for the next two weeks as she finds crushed cranberries staining everything in the house and she has to clean it all up or she gets replaced. We also do a sweet potato fight with the leftovers. It's a lot of fun.


One of my associates e-mailed me this morning that she's leaving the firm to become a writer. Ha. She told me she's going to a free panel discussion in New York tomorrow evening, Wednesday the 29th, about lawyers-turned-writers (information here). Three people are on the panel, including the one who wrote my Anonymous Lawyer novel. I hear you can buy a copy for $5 off the cover price and get it signed by the author. Exciting. Hope to see a few of you there.

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