Thursday, August 11, 2005

Work Blows.

Two hilarious things are occurring with serendipitous timing (actually there is a third important factor that will occur in eight days; read about it then):

First Billing.

Billing is the bane of every private attorney’s existence. Quick: in six-minute increments account for all of the ‘work’ you did yesterday. Work does Not equal: surfing the web for fun, reading the news, lunch, peeing, emailing friends, blogging, going to the water cooler/pouring coffee or chatting with co-workers about non-client matters. Bitching about work, clients, opposing counsel, judges or fellow employees does Not Count As Work. Now try to account for eight hours minimum of work each day. Besides their self-selecting natural type-A, anal-retentive, perfectionist, assoholic tendencies–this is what attorneys are forced to do. Little wonder most of us are raging egotistical pricks or passive-aggressive back-stabbers. We steadily carve our lives away in unhappy increments. One of my friends billed 3400 hours last year--he told me this in the single time that I saw him in the whole calendar year. boss makes billing much, much worse than it already is. To sate his ADHD/OCD ego-driven, micro-managing craziness, he requires that we enter our time for the previous day by 4:00pm. This really blows. Most firms require this monthly, or at the most weekly–but daily is completely unheard of. I can’t count the number of times that I have been out of the office all afternoon and come back late to a message from him whining that my time wasn’t entered. Lately I have been completely negligent and go for days in a row without entering time, and just ignore his frenzied messages–he never tells me to my face, so I can ignore with ease. Other attorneys have apparently been doing the same thing. There used to be a battle-ax of a secretary who would call us at 4:10 when our time wasn’t in; but she left the firm months ago and we are all slacking.

On Monday I was in the office for over 16 fucking hours (6:00A.M.ish – 10:30P.M.), and I received a message from the boss to all of the attorneys stating that instead of him ‘chasing us down’ to get us to enter our time, he would begin fining us $5 a day when we were late, starting next Monday. We are fucking attorneys, not kindergarten children. I wanted to respond to the message with a suggestion that he run us through a ‘spanking machine’ instead. I curbed that inclination because I thought he might take it seriously.

None of the attorneys are pleased with it (actually Insulted and Pissed Off is more accurate)–and looking at the TimeSlip program, we are all independently, silently refusing to enter our time since this message was issued. Now each day he continues to send increasingly peeved messages to us demanding that we enter our time. Quite hilarious. As stupid as it is, this is what has actually made me decide to definitely start looking for a new job. I have a few cases heating up in the next few months that I don’t want to deal with, so the timing is really sweet. Treat me like a child, lose an attorney. Pretty simple.

The second thing that is quite interesting is that we received a message requesting that we update our resumes for the firm website and client packages. Gotta love that timing. The assistant will even help us format our resumes to ‘make them look really sharp.’ Oh yes–I am totally going to update my resume in my office, on the firm computer, with the help of firm staff and bill the time as ‘administrative’ all for the purpose of leaving the firm. Lovely. But, hey–I’m just doing what the boss demands.


At 7:45 PM, Blogger equipoise said...

Wow, and I thought some of the ludicrous micro-managers at my workplace were bad - but your boss takes the cake.

So which are you turning into ... raging egotistical prick or passive-aggressive back-stabber :-)

At 7:09 PM, Blogger Frick said...

Ok, so what exactly is the prerequisits for opening a law firm? Apparently it doesn't seem like much if your assinine boss can do it. I think you need to open a firm with all you slacker friends. Only take on a third of the cases as you could, have everyone get paid dirt cheap but have lives.


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