I hate Fridays because that means it will be Monday in 3 days.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 7, 2010 by hindsightbias

My father is probably the one man I have the most respect for.  He is the star employee employers have wet dreams about, yet for some reason he spent an entire career as one of the only government employees who actually worked his ass off AND cared.  When I was a teenager my dad joked every Friday that Friday just meant Monday was 3 days away.  At least I always thought it was a joke.

When I started my career as a software engineer I used to make the same joke purely because it always gathered a good laugh.  Then last Friday it hit me.  My dad was not joking and now I truly understand.

Lets face it.  60-70 hours in the office every week is exhausting.  When Friday morning rolls around I know I’m only about a 12-13 hour day away from the weekend. When Monday rolls around I’m about 60-70 hours of abuse and unproductive work away from the weekend… each and every single week…

Some try to make the argument that with all those hours, the week should go by quickly.  This may be true if this was a productive week full of lots of learning, great experience and awesome co-workers.  It is not.  Despite the long hours, I would probably be very happy with the job if this were the case because I do enjoy the work when I am in that 8% learning time.  The rest of the time my job is spent creating meaningless paperwork that the managing partner never actually looks at, but for some reason enjoys receiving.

My worthless paperwork is like my ticket to return to work each Monday for further beratings.  These beratings often center around my lack of work production, which is funny because he consistently rebuffs my requests for direction or instructions by making weird analogies about driving buses and sinking or swimming.  Okay, its actually not that funny.  The situation is so frustrating it makes me want to scream at small children and punch chihuahuas of all ages.

So here I am, dreading Monday when I will return to my typical week of productively creating worthless paper and killing thousands of helpless trees in the process… all so I can, maybe, keep my job and receive no direction or training for another 65 hour week.

You’re going to need to find a new job…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on November 7, 2010 by hindsightbias

This the sage advice I hear each and every time I describe my current job situation to EVERYONE.  Before I get started on the many splendors of my job, which Dusty briefly mentioned, I would like to give you a little of my background.

I gave up a very respectable and prosperous career as a software engineer at a San Diego company that Forbes lists as one of the 10 best places to work.  I worked hard and I worked fairly long hours, but I also worked with some awesome people.  I am no stranger to an intense, fast paced environment or long hours.

Background: In September I was fortunate enough to interview for a job with a boutique patent law firm in a ritzy part of Los Angeles.  My office is about 2 blocks from where OJ Simpson did not murder his ex-wife.  Throughout the MONTH LONG interview process I was provided with ample warning that the job will require long hours and the environment is intense, but the amount of on the job training is unsurpassed.  I thought no problem.  Its time to man up and take the abuse because the training will be well worth it.  Not to mention, given this job market beggars can’t exactly be choosers.  The pay is paltry, the benefits are none and 5 weeks later I have received a lot of beratings along with a number of “sink or swim” references and not a whole lot of training.  Each day I wonder, “Is this the day I’m going to be fired.”  And on some days, I think, “I hope today is the day I get fired.”  Yes, my friends, this job sucks more than a cheap whore missing her front teeth.

So far I would say my job breaks down to two disjoint sets of: 100% frustration, 0% satisfaction;  8% learning, 92% hating life.  I also discovered the managing partner left many pertinent details relating to the work environment out of the month of interviews.  I intend to use this blog as an avenue to share these details so that those of you who may be interviewing for or starting legal jobs in the future will think about these possibilities.  For instance, the email policy.

Rule: Never email the managing partner while he is in his office.

Analysis: A couple weeks ago my managing partner asked me to write a research memo.  This was a momentous occassion because this was and remains the one and only assignment that came with directions.  I was so excited that completed the memo in record time.  However, due to the managing partner’s unavailability (more on this in future posts) I emailed him the memo and also asked about an ambiguous item left on my desk that may or may not be an assignment.  Here’s a shocker.  It had no instructions.

About an hour of thumb twiddling later I was called into the manager’s office, but before i even got through the door he administered a public shaming for breaking the cardinal rule of emailing while he is in the office.  Perhaps this bright line rule should be added to some sort of non-existent orientation packet?  Apparently, I was supposed to leave the memo in his “inbox” that consists of an unmarked pile of stuff on a random desk in a common area. How could I have missed this random unmarked pile of an inbox?  I took the shaming gracefully and then casually ask about the ambiguous item on my desk, which resulted in a further nonsensical shaming that did not answer my question.

The next day I asked the managing partner an unrelated question while he was in his office.  His answer: Send me an email.  But he was in his office…

Oh now I am just confused.  And the ambiguous item?  Still ambiguous!

Stay tuned.  More to come!


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