Earthquakes Are for Pussies

Bitter and Abused Columns, Lawyer

Submitted by “anon_in_LA”:

A little context: I work in a huge firm in downtown LA but am from the Northeast. We have blizzards, maybe the occasional hurricane, but that’s about it. No brush fires. No mudslides. No earthquakes.

From 8.30 a.m. on this morning, I was the designated first-year note-taking bitch on a horrible, long-ass page-through of the latest rounds of docs for this private equity deal my firm’s dealing with for this investment fund client. The partner on the deal—not a bad guy, but a total robot who has stacks of deal toys lining his office shelves, and not one picture of his wife or kids—made me take the call from his office. (Already a disaster, since I couldn’t even mute the phone and just look at the Internet while everyone else droned on about crap that I can barely understand.) A couple hours into the call, I’m trying to stay awake by focusing on things the partner has on his desk when the desk starts shaking. Along with everything else in the building. And the city.

So this is my first real earthquake and it’s pretty intense, at least for someone from the east coast.  Our firm is 30 floors up and after shaking and knocking things off shelves, the building keeps swaying and people are running into the hallways, pretty much freaking out. Everyone except the partner. Who doesn’t skip a fucking beat. Doesn’t even make eye contact with me.

I’m clearly freaking out and go to stand up, wondering if I should go in a doorway or call my mom or something.  But the partner, still without pausing the call, just shoots me a look like I am the biggest loser whiner in the world for being concerned about a little building shaking. He grimaces and motions for me to close the door, clearly annoyed with the noise from all those people milling about in the hallway going on and on about, oh, the fucking 5.8 earthquake that just happened.

So, I sit back down. About 10 minutes later, I’m actually motion sick, and one of the NY bankers pauses the call and interrupts my partner, telling us she just heard there was an earthquake in LA and is everything OK? Like the robot sycophant that he is, my partner starts laughing and grinning—and BTW, why the grin? It’s not like they can see your ass-kissing face over the phone, douchebag—and says something like “Ha, yes, ma’am. Looks that way.” And then he dropped the subject.

Almost four hours—and a blackberry full of emails and voicemails from friends and family on the east coast later—I finally got to call my mom and tell her I was OK.

Report your tales of Associate Abuse.

Share this Post