RE: Your inept attempt at camaraderie with the support staff
To: Gregory, The Clueless Associate
From: Your Faithful Paralegal
Subject: Wasn’t funny the first time
Remember last year, Gregory? You know, that time we were here until 3:30 a.m. working on that expert report?
You: Spending three hours tweaking the format of a brief because the partner likes his documents pretty and secretaries don’t work past 4:45 in the afternoon.
Me: Sitting here on my lumpy ass, waiting for you to finish because you’re too stupid and/or lazy to figure out how to call a copy vendor yourself. Yeah, that was the greatest time of my life too.
Remember when you made this shrewd observation: “Hey, man, at least you get paid overtime, right? You must make more money than we do with all that OT?” Yeah. That wasn’t funny.
It also wasn’t funny when you oh-so-cleverly brought it up again last week during Sunday’s doc review, which by my calculations was the 841st time you’ve made a remark of that kind.
So, if you insist on bringing up this old chestnut again and again, let’s do some math here.
In 2008, I worked at least 1,000 hours of overtime, which yielded me something close to $100,000. Now, a hundred grand isn’t anything to shake a stick at, and when you factor in all the weight gain associated with being imprisoned in an office for 14 hours at a stretch and the joy of smoking a pack of cigarettes every day, it seems like I’m living the goddamn American dream, right? Well, not really if you insist on claiming we’re on the same level here.
Let’s look at what a first year associate makes, shall we?
In spite of being grossly unqualified for practicing law, an associate at a big firm starts at approximately $140,000. If you want to add insult to injury, we can include year-end bonuses for meeting the firm’s ridiculous billable quotas. Then, you’re looking at an extra $20,000-$30,000. That’s $170,00 for a guy who needs to be shown how to add rows to a table in Word. Seriously, they don’t teach that at Stanford Law? And I’m not even going to count all the perks like floor seats to the Lakers or dinners at Mortons. But listen, I know you’re busy and that you’ve got hours to bill, so I’ll just bottom-line it for you: shut the fuck up.
While overtime may be the only reason I stay at this repetitive, mind-numbing, soul-destroying workplace, it certainly isn’t the key to upward mobility you seem to think puts me on the same level as you, my intrepid, young Esq. friend. You cruise in your Mercedes to and from your new condo in Santa Monica, while I chug back and forth in a Honda Civic from an apartment I share with three other dudes. You drop the firm’s plastic on hot summers who don’t know any better, and my game consists of saying things like, “Can I buy you a drink?” You just paid off your loans. Sallie Mae and me are looking at thirty-year relationship.
Living the dream, indeed.
You just got the memo. From: Your Faithful Paralegal