Friday, April 3, 2015

Wow. WOw! WOW!!

I really don't want to get into this and ruin my Friday night, so consider this the highlight reel. I had the face-to-face about not attending the social event on Tuesday. I just wanted to explain why I couldn't attend and some understanding from the partners would be nice to have. Instead I was blindsided by most of what was said in the conversation, because, well, who could be prepared for this? Actually said to me by the managing partner:

--"This firm has been very supportive of your maternity leaves." (By offering them according to the firm's policy and the law?)

--"First of all, you are not a single mother."

--In fact, you have more family in the area than just your husband to watch your kids. (This one is sort of a paraphrase. I responded to this, not apologetically: "You make assumptions that my parents will take care of my kids but they can't and they don't." )

--So-and-so who lives with her parents and does not have children went. (To which I replied, "she has a totally different situation than I do." She also was assigned to cover hearings in Phila that day. Guess what? If I had to be there for work anyway I would have stayed too!)

Mind you I have not asked that I not do actual work outside of work hours (e.g. I have been assigned to a doctor deposition at 5:30 next week about an hour from home/my office). Look, I would have actually loved to go to this thing. In fact just that morning on the way to work I was reminiscing about my childless days and what I would be doing after work, and how putting in a few hours on the weekend would be no big deal and would make me feel good about my effort and dedication to my work.

The first statement I did not address and just inwardly rolled my eyes, but I can say that I went into this conversation hoping to feel better about my responsibilities to my job, and walked out hating it so much more. It is bullshit like this from the managing partner that makes women with children just check out and leave the workplace altogether. He also expressed a great deal of dissatisfaction with my response to an email from my boss that asked who was going and who was driving together. I simply said "I am not going. Have fun, everyone!" and he took great offense. As if that were my official RSVP or something. I said I meant the words literally, and there was no intention to convey that I was being flip. He said I was being glib. Apparently he thought I did not mean it when I told everyone to have fun. My biggest problem with this, however, is that he never asked me to come talk to him, I took it upon myself. I didn't even know he was pissed about the email. Oh, yeah, then he said that my response should have said that I wished I could attend but due to family obligations I could not. Which he just explained to me was not actually an acceptable reason for not attending.

Last night I was texting with my friend in the Newark office to ask if he attended. he did not, because he didn't feel like dealing with the train and getting home late, etc. But he did not get shit for not attending. Maybe his managing partner cares even less about him. But what I really think is that my managing partner takes it as a personal insult if someone in his office doesn't represent him the way he wants to be represented. I mean, whatever that means, given that he can't actually say what he wants. Instead of sending me a bunch of emails telling me to make every effort to attend an-out-of-town social event, why don't you walk your ass down to my office and have a conversation with me about it? As my friend in Newark says, he's had it up to here with this place. What a colossal understatement.


  1. That freaking sucks. I just had a conversation with someone about volunteering for a fundraising committee. It's something I care a lot about, but I said, "It will be much easier for me to attend evening meetings when I'm no longer breastfeeding." When you look at the big picture, this is SUCH a small window of time in our lives, and yet it's such a crucial time in terms of career building. It freaking sucks that your boss is a misogynistic dick. And it's ridiculous that it seems like the easiest fix here for you is rhetorical--pretend that you desperately wish you could attend all these events, and phrase your regrets very dramatically, "Family obligations that cannot be rescheduled will prevent me from being able to attend this thrilling event and I apologize for my absence."

    I know jobs are HARD to come by, but there are law firms who are supportive of women and men with families. I hope you find a better place to be and tell your boss to take your job and shove it (in the words of an old country song).

    1. Thanks, Brooke. It's good to know that my thinking is not warped here. I was almost speechless during this conversation...haha, emphasis on almost. Pregnancy, maternity leave, breastfeeding...mere blips on the radar, and yet your employer would have you think you want to be treated like a queen just to get some temporary accommodations.