Sometimes, I’m absolutely, effortlessly brilliant, and that was the case with the February 2011 Last Word, Hunting Season (Lexpert). The idea for this one was a gift from a XXXXXXX, partner at XXXXXXX. I don’t understand why none of you want to take credit for these ideas.
Excerpt that says it all:
“I don’t have to put up with this, you know. I have options. Just the other day, I was talking with Ed, remember him? And he strongly implied it would be nice if we worked together again. Yeah, I have options. If they don’t take care of me, I’ll leave. I don’t need to stay where I’m not appreciated it. Maybe it’s time for a change anyway. This firm’s just not what it used to be, you know. Remember what it used to be like? We used to take care of each other. We used to make room for each other’s foibles, bad years, dry spells. Now it’s like…
Last Word: Hunting Season
“Hey, you got a moment? Great. … I’ll close the door. Really, I shouldn’t be here — so much work right now, you know, but I had to come vent. Have you had your meeting with the Comp Committee yet? I just came back from mine, and it’s just … What do they expect? … I feel absolutely put through the wringer. And I really didn’t like the tenor of … it’s like they were trying to set me up … prepare me for a chop.
“You’ve done your submission and whatnot. Hate that, just hate that. Makes me feel like a friggin’ high-school student applying for a … After 20 years of practice, you’d think they’d cut you a little slack. We all want to pull our weight, of course — goddammit, we all do pull our weight! At least in this office. Have you seen the latest figures on New York? Thank god we don’t have a London office. And I bet those sons-of-a-son will be getting … while here I have to justify … Hell, I don’t think I can go through this again. How am I supposed to put the firm first, and cross-sell, and mentor, and support, and delegate and do all that stuff and then go through this … accounting for every second of every file? Man, if they could put a figure on the time I spend in the washroom, they would.
“I don’t have to put up with this, you know. I have options. Just the other day, I was talking with Ed. Remember him? And he strongly implied that it would be nice if we worked together again. Yeah, I have options. If they don’t take care of me, I’ll leave. Maybe it’s time for a change anyway. This firm’s just not what it used to be, you know. Remember what it used to be like? We used to take care of each other. We used to make room for each other’s foibles, bad years, dry spells. Now it’s like …
“Well, no, of course. I haven’t had a bad year. I’ve had a damn good year. I’ve got so many things on the go right now. … Like I said, I shouldn’t even be here. So busy. Well, as busy as I can be, considering. It’s not just me. And I’m way busier than, I don’t want to point fingers, but say Terry? Come on. What’s she done lately? And you’d think, after the year I had back in 2006, it would have an impact on … Well, yeah, I know that was five years ago, but … Listen, what I did for this firm, singlehandedly, in 2006, no one’s done before or since. No one. And if those bast — I mean, those people on Comp don’t appreciate that, well, like I said, I know where I could go. Maybe even in-house. Maybe it’s time to do that anyway, slow things down and …
“Yeah, come to think of it, David doesn’t exactly look like he’s slowed down any since going in-house. If anything, they’ve been billing more internally than they’ve been sending out. … But see, that’s part of the equation, right? The in-house departments are doing way more of the heavy lifting. There’s less of it flowing to us. So how am I supposed to hit targets set at a time when people like David just sent the bulk of every file to us?
“What? No, of course. Go ahead, talk to her. I’ll simmer down for a minute. … Good associate, that? Think she’s got potential? I’ve got to tell you, I just don’t understand these young people at all. I don’t get them. Remember when we were associates? How we’d do just about anything to get in good with a partner? Well, do you know what Jesse said to me the other day? Bob and I were having a brief powwow in my room. He’s been taking this whole points thing really badly this year, and he says he’ll leave if they don’t take care of him — but come on, this is Bob we’re talking about. Who’s going to take him, right? So, anyway, Bob and I are having this powwow, and Jesse knocks on the closed door. I say, “Just a minute,” and as I’m saying it, he opens the door. Bob’s in mid-sentence, literally saying things no associate should hear, and Jesse – two years out, maybe – just pops his head in, and gives us this look. And says to us – to me! – “The client’s waiting. Are you coming, or should I start the meeting myself?”
“Can you believe that?! Never, ever, would I have dreamed of saying something like that. I just about tore his head off afterwards, let me tell you. And do you think he blinked? Apologized? Nada. Just sauntered off. This is what I have to deal with. And Comp has the audacity to suggest I need to work on my bloody people skills. … Ridiculous. Ridiculous. I’m telling you, if they don’t take care of me, I’m gone. I’m gone.
“What? You’re late for your meeting with them? Let me walk you over, give you a few tips on how to get through it. …”
Marzena Czarnecka is a freelance writer with a fertile imagination. Because no real partner at a blue-chip law firm would ever talk like this, right?