Act Your Wage
Veronica is my Gen Z stepdaughter. She knows a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff and is not shy to educate me on just about everything.
Most recently Veronica taught me the expression ‘Act Your Wage’ and then explained to me what it means.
That Don’t Impress Me Much!
I know a young doctor who I will call Stephanie, whose approach to her career impresses me quite a bit. She graduated at the top of her class, became a specialist, and had many choices open to her.
In Part One of The View From The End of The Road, Old Murray (“OM”) went back in time to speak to Young Murray (“YM”) about the beginning of his journey in the legal profession and concluded that Young Murray just did not get it.
Now, Old Murray is going to check in to see whether everything got better when Young Murray became a partner. To read part Two, click here:
Band-Aids For Burnout
My partner Gordon used to travel to Florida each winter on vacation with his biggest client.
Gordon would pay for every meal for both families and submit for reimbursement from the firm. When asked by the Managing Partner whether he had any friends who were not clients to vacation with, he answered rhetorically, “what better friend could there be than someone who helps me put bread on the table to feed my family?”
I have heard it said that “an expert is someone from out of town with Power Point.” This expression has some old roots. When I originally heard it, it was “someone from out of town with overhead slides.”
Apparently nowadays you do not even have to travel to become an expert. A young lawyer contacted me recently to ask me my views on the legal profession because he had been told by the Managing Partner of his firm that I was an expert on the profession, a status that I appear to have achieved by ranting on social media.
Doug was an Associate at my first law firm. Martin was our boss.
Just after lunch on my first Friday at the office, Doug said to me, “Any minute now Martin is going to come into my office with a file that absolutely, positively, has to be completed by Monday morning. He does this every Friday to be certain that I have to work on the weekend. He must tell the clients to hold off on giving us files until Friday morning.”
I like to bake bread. In my opinion, and in the opinion of a family member named Aidan, the crust is the best part of my bread. When he was younger, Aidan would sometimes help himself to both end pieces. I did not like that.
Once, Aidan asked if it was okay for him to take a slice of my freshly baked bread as it was cooling on the counter. I told him to take just one slice. The next thing I knew he had sliced the entire top of the bread off and was happily munching way.
When I confronted him, Aidan was not particularly remorseful. He said, “you said that I could have a slice. You didn’t say anything about how I had to slice it.”
You Can’t Fix Crazy
“Lawyers make wonderful (psychiatric) patients: they have excellent health insurance and they never get better.” Niles Crane on Frasier
As a completely unqualified, amateur mental health consultant, I have diagnosed myself with post-professional stress syndrome which I believe results from my forty-year legal career. My symptoms are not sleeping well and worrying too much, even in retirement when on any rational basis I have very little to worry about.
Sh*t My Partners Told Me
In some law firms there is the ‘Go Big or Go Home’ faction (and by “Home” I mean to a firm where lawyers work reasonable hours and people care about each other and their physical and mental health).
For this faction, it is all about improving earnings and damn the lifestyle.
There is often another faction comprised of lawyers who want to make a decent living but who also want to have a happy life. In a firm where the ‘Go Big or Go Home” group are calling the shots, nobody cares what these lifestyle losers think, so I am also going to ignore them in this post.