Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Potential Doesn't Mean Sh#t

For example, this evening had the potential to be very productive with Senior and I going through our mail/paperwork and at least starting to prepare our taxes. I was also going to practice singing for an upcoming concert for 20-30 minutes, maybe squeeze in 20 minutes of yoga, and get to bed before 10. I have achieved none of those things and it is 9:54. I suppose I could still make it to bed by 10, except I will be wide awake for the next hour anyway due to blue light from the computer. Eff!

Well, before I go and get a new job and stop bitching about work (ha! am I just fantasizing?), I suppose I should throw out a few more posts here and there. Let's see...how about, if you have a few days of family vacation planned, maybe you could arrange for people to cover your hearings more than one day in advance. Or, from a new, senior hire, if we are all stuck in a meeting for 4 hours--yes, 4-- perhaps you might consider that I didn't get to do any of the work I had to do that morning so that if you did not do something for the following day, the meeting was not really a good reason to ask me to do that something for you. These are the little things. The big things are too exhausting to even talk about, but since I foreshadowed the "offer" that my firm made me last year, I will finally address it.

Because it dovetails nicely with something going on right now. Right now as I write...a firm social event in firm headquarters location. Normally a 60-70 minute drive, but could exceed 2 hours in traffic. As part of a group I had been encouraged to attend on multiple occasions. Then when I finally admitted to my boss and the managing partner that I was not actually planning to attend, I got an email that said, "You should really make every effort to attend these firm events in the future." OK, cool, like the future when I am not breastfeeding an infant? The future when I am not trying to maintain a marriage with small children involved? The future when those small children grow up a little bit to become even the slightest bit self-sufficient? I just found it so obnoxious that we suddenly have forced camaraderie because somebody finally woke up and realized the was hemorrhaging talent and that perhaps morale was part of the problem, and I'm supposed to take 7 hours out of my day and away from work and family to drink beer with people I don't know/care about so that I can spend more time away from my family on the weekend making up for lost work time because of billable hour requirements. I am going to have a face-to-face with the managing partner because if I just let this go I will feel even more lost than I already do about being a firm lawyer and a mother to young children. I think I mentioned before that everyone in my satellite office has teenagers or above, or no children at all, except for one paralegal with 2 grade school age boys. This is related to the prior job offer because even though the firm thinks it's offering you something, it is really showing how much it doesn't give a shit about you.

Last spring I was offered a position in the Philadelphia office, where starting salaries are typically almost double what they pay us "up here," (which is amazing considering it's a viable commuting distance away) for $5,000 more in salary. The city wage tax would eat up at least $4,000 of that pay increase. I had just put earnest money on the house and was pregnant with kid 2. I asked about relo, but was told that that would set a dangerous precedent for the firm. I was not allowed to work from my current location, even if the partner I would have worked for came to my office once a week and I went to Phila once or twice a week. When I said I was almost insulted by the offer everyone acted like I was crazy. The managing partner (same as above) called me into his office to encourage me to take the offer because there would be more potential than that in my current position (the one thing perhaps we could agree on). I just want to know, how did they all justify this? How do you ask someone: take this pay cut so you can uproot your family and move away from the grandparents so you can live in a smaller home that costs more money because...potential! Just thinking about it now gets me close to blowing a gasket.

I have recently been in talks with a small firm that is not quite ready to pull the trigger on hiring an associate. They used to have one but when he left they did not replace him and have been doing fine without him and all making more money that way. If they put a plan together and decide to make me an offer, I fully intend to tell them I will be having another baby at some point in the near future. I just can't keep separating my family from work as if my family doesn't exist. I don't care what anyone at the firm says about how important family is...that is all obviously lip service if no one can stop and think that maybe a nursing mother isn't going to drive to Philadelphia to go to quiz night. Or that I won't bleed money to take their stupid fucking offer of a "better" job within their asshole ranks. I spoke to a friend from law school recently who works in another satellite office. I helped him to get hired actually and I feel a bit bad about it. He is having the same experience that I am having, and he said it quite well that he thinks that the partners don't actually care if their associates are mentored and developed and taught how to become good lawyers. Couple that with an inflexible billable-hour requirement, even though half of the work I do is on flat-fee accounts, and I just can't take this. Next week I have lunch with a guy I recently met who has started his own firm. Fingers crossed!!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck! Job change is so stressful, especially when family planning. I don't envy you.