Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

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

A Nice Afternoon

with one comment

Total Black: $3,054.16
Total Red: $235,268.81

Work today brought a pleasant surprise that led to a very nice afternoon.  The firm took everyone out to lunch, including the contract attorneys.  Something unheard of in the temp attorney world.

We had a team lunch at a nearby restaurant: paralegals, legal assistants, associates, partners, counsel, and the contract attorneys.  I was quite surprised.  It’s one thing to invite the contract attorneys to a conference room and offer a few sandwiches.  It’s five horse of a different color to invite us out to a lunch at a fairly nice restaurant with wine and multiple courses.  And pay as well.  But it also underscores how integrated we are into the team.

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve dined with partners.  And I did feel a bit rusty this afternoon.  But it all came back to me this afternoon—especially after half of a glass of wine—but I had forgotten how tedious business meals can get.  Generally partners are, or want to be, the center of attention and focus of discussion.  You’re attention must be rapt on every word they say.  It’s much like a date.  If they don’t have a good time, they won’t invite you out again.  And people have a great time when they get to talk about themselves or their opinions.  Sadly, most people find you interesting when you’re interested.  Thus, the burden falls on the younger persons to keep conversation going and engaging.  And that nearly always means not talking about yourself or sharing your opinions.  You act like a knowledge-seeker and pepper the oracles around with you more and more questions.  Sure, you can toss out a declarative statement or two, but no one’s really interested in your take.  Generally, of course.  Exceptions must always be noted.

Despite this scripted nature of business dining, the meal today went well.  And I enjoyed the opportunity to revive my schmoozing skills, especially given the position I’ll be transitioning to in a few weeks.  And I’m fairly good at business meals because I see them for what they are, don’t try to “impress” the partner with my prescient questions or telling insights into the case strategy and rather use the occasion as a chance to drain my superiors of information and knowledge.  They want to talk; I want to listen and absorb.  Works out well.

Naturally, though, after one of those lunches, the remainder of the day is fairly useless.  Same today.  For all of us.  Even the partner quipped in the elevator that we shouldn’t make any decisions until 5:30pm.  The other contract attorney and I discussed remaining tasks for the weekend and then I pretty much waited around to leave for the theatre for a 7 pm shift.  And, of course, my Naked Boys at 10:30 pm.

Total black is steadily climbing.  Unfortunately so is total red.  But that’s just how it’s got to be until I get free of New York and relocated to the new location.

One Response

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  1. Thats ok, I’ve been reading through your old posts, you have a talent for writing, your writing style is sexy.


    May 8, 2010 at 05:31

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