Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Working From Home

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Total Black: $511.87
Total Red: $229,875.12

Just one of those days.  Not much to report.  I picked up my suit from the dry cleaners this morning.  Figured I’d have it cleaned for Monday’s interview.  I worked at the contract attorney gig from 11am to 6pm with a break in between for the gym.  Then I worked the theatre gig tonight: the second night of my weekly weekend head usher shifts.  Even tonight’s show was uneventful—well, with the exception of two groups of about ten women each.  Aside: why must women get really drunk before seeing penis?  Is it like steeling themselves for the show?  Liquid courage, so to speak?  The only patrons who come to that show drunk are often, but not always, women, and often with bachelorette parties.  Or maybe that’s a correlation / causation mistake I’m making? At any rate, once the show ended, I debated walking back to the temporary attorney staffing agency’s space.  But then I turned the other way and went home.  I couldn’t bear another 1am or 2am night, and that late-night walk home through Times Square.  I suppose at some point in the future I’ll look back with nostalgia and a touch of fondness on those walks.  But for tonight, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  But once I got home, I hit upon an idea: work from home.

I’ve often wondered why this concept is resisted as much as it is.  The technology is already in place for people to work from home more and more.  Contract attorneys, for example, who review documents all day.  They can surely work from home.  Sure there may be a need to have everyone together for a few days or even a week or two, to learn the documents and ask questions—get everyone up to speed.  But for internet-based document review software—why not send all those awkward temp attorneys back home where they can dribble and drool and fart and quibble as much as they want in the comfort of their own living space.

As a self-admitted social butterfly type, who enjoys people and their company, I do appreciate “face time” and the need to interact with people.  And despite the best efforts of Skype or, they really can’t replace in-person meetings.  Certainly not yet at any rate.  Perhaps once internet speed catches up with the technology.  But as for tasks and such, there’s really no need to be in an office.  But management and other senior persons just won’t let go of their reigns to allow employees to work from home more.  While an associate at the law firm, we often worked from home—but on weekends.  Or we’d leave the office late in the evening to go work some more from home.  But you were still expected to be in the office each day.  For those not familiar with the term, “face time” refers to the sometimes-real, often-more-purported requirement that law firm associates arrive early and stay late—whether they have work or not—so that they’re seen around the office and present a happy, willing face to the partners and senior associates.  Supposedly face time sends the message that you enjoy the office and working there.  I never got it—and rarely did it.  So perhaps my BigLaw days were doomed from the start.  Had I known about the option to usher at an off-Broadway theatre, I might have picked up at part-time job and left each night.  No.  Actually I wouldn’t have.  I’m rewriting history.  I was too entwined in the firm to have had the balls to do something like that.  And yes, in retrospect, I did put in a lot of face time.  But I digress.

The point: tonight I’m working from home.  But don’t say anything.  See, the firm doesn’t know.  I haven’t received permission; I didn’t ask and I’m not going to tell.  Earlier in the week the firm’s document vendor sent me an email containing a link and the password to an external site where the defense trial exhibits are being stored.  When I arrived home tonight the idea hit me to connect to that site, download the files to my computer, pull up the exhibit list from an email earlier in the week, and then continue reviewing the exhibits from home.  It’s all available electronically; no need to be physically in the temporary attorney staffing agency’s site.

So now, in the comfort of my apartment and my sweatpants, I shall resume my review.  Tomorrow I work an off-site event for the Gazillion Bubbles Show.  It starts at 10am and runs until about 2:30pm.  I had been fretting about getting little sleep tonight, about what time I’d have to wake tomorrow so I could get to the contract attorney site and put in a few hours before needing to dart across town at 9:45am to arrive at to the theater for 10am.  But now, I can wake at 6am and work for a few hours before setting out on that three minute walk from my apartment to the theatre.  I like working from home.

One Response

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  1. Working from home is the ultimate bliss. When I was younger I loved going to work, meeting new people, hanging out, drinking cofee, discussing bullshit – now that I know most people are useless moronic bastards and backstabbers I prefer to work from home and focus on the actual work product.

    Great blog. I do wish you would post more stories of weirdos you work with like the Cookie Monster. It made me laugh for days — because I know it is so true! Good luck…you should eventually write a book!

    Prince Michael III

    March 28, 2010 at 22:01

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