Thursday, April 21, 2011

Some Food for Thought & Yes, Attorneys CAN Be Pervs

This morning, I went to the dermatologist. Now I don't like reporting on my life exploits b/c usually they're not all that interesting. Plus, I really don't like stalking or stalkers whether they're mine or someone else's. Had some bad experiences with that & I'm not even famous.

Anyhow, the dermatologist asked me if I had experienced any recent stress. I talked a bit about my career experiences & she said that you can see the effects of stress on your skin as well as other places.

So in light of that, I have to mention a few articles I have bookmarked & prove that attorneys are indeed NOT exempt from being perverts. More on that shortly, though.

First off, this article on career lessons from the recession. They missed one important lesson: don't count on anyone else to do anything for you! Maybe that's also a good life lesson but it's been my experience that you shouldn't expect that you'll still have a job at someone else's company tomorrow or that a networking contact will help you. Be the steward of your own life & if you don't count on others, you'll appreciate them even more when they go out of their way for you. I never do things for others for any reason other than sheer kindness or to help, but I do know industry protocol in my field dictates that you put yourself at serious risk if you don't reciprocate, especially if it's someone who could really screw you now or later.

Second, there's no way in Hell I'd go back 10 years on a resume like this article advises. For one thing, I was in college 10 years ago. I had about 13 jobs when I was applying to the CT bar to become an attorney. I had to contact all my past employers so they could tell the bar examining committee about me. NY, mercifully, only asked for past legal employers (which was about 3).

If I included all my jobs from the past 10 years, you wouldn't have a resume. You would have a tome! At least I've never been fired from a job; I've just lost them due to lack of work, scam artistry & intolerable working conditions not caused by me. My rule of thumb is to only list legitimate jobs I've had since becoming an attorney & mentioning things I did before only if it was relevant to a specific job I'd applied for. A museum might care that I worked at the campus museum for 3 years on work study but no one in the legal field or entertainment world would base a hiring decision on that fact. For the record, that is an actual job I had in the past 10 years. No employer I know of has asked to see more than my past 3-4 jobs, certainly not more than 5 years.

Want the past 10 years from me? Prepare for a tome. You don't want to hear about my retail work considering I'm an attorney & I think it's highly irrelevant since my earlier job skills are largely integrated into things I've done more currently. I'm never returning to retail so how does it help you to hear that I did it if you're considering me for a job outside that industry?

Not to beat a dead horse here but I also saw this article & have some thoughts. If you've been reading this blog, you already know my views on the use of social media & how I think employers ought to be looking at it. That lawsuit I mentioned is likely a foreshadowing of what's to come when someone eventually sues on such matters.

Anyhow, I can sum up most people's career advice on such matters in one sentence: Have a bland, vanilla profile & never be controversial.

Thank God I get to speak my mind. How do the people working for Nazis & Stalinists handle it? Someone does something shitty to me, you're damn straight I'll say something. I have a public duty to warn people about that kind of thing, especially as an attorney. Also you know these same people will try buddying up to me later on & I'll need a record to make absolutely certain I know why they're on my blacklist.

Now, to explain attorneys being pervs. Saw this Craig's List ad today:

Hostesses (topless/nude) for small sports party (Upper West Side)
Date: 2011-04-21, 12:24PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Hi we are a group of friends having a small party (10 -12 guys) next week that is sports related. We are looking for 2 hostesses to help serve drinks and food and generally add to the fun while we are glued to the tv. And since this is craigslist, we are hoping that the hostesses would be topless or nude. We are a bunch of otherwise boring lawyers so this isnt a gropefest. We are well-intentioned , respectful guys who just want to have a little fun. We have done this a few times in the past and its been a blast. This should be about 4 hours and we will guarantee $200 each for that period amd $50/hr each thereafter. And in the past the fellas have also tipped the women as well. This is a good opportunity to make some easy money and have food and drinks as well in a fun environment. If interested, please reply with a bit about yourself and a contact number and we'll call and arrange to meet so you beforehand so you can see this is a good situation.

* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
* Compensation: $50/hr (4 hours guaranteed) plus tip

PostingID: 2338632406

I had to respond to this convoluted logic that attorneys are never capable of being filthy perverts. If you believe this convoluted logic, you don't actually know many attorneys or you're full of crap. Why do I say this?

For one thing, I've gotten hit on by attorneys at networking events. One actually invited me out for a drink after I was attending this job fair I didn't really need to attend since I'd already secured a legal client by the time it happened. I was just there for freebies like food, mints, etc. No attorney who's hit on me ever truly offended me since I don't offend easily but if one did, boy would he ever know it!

Let's also consider the experiences of female law firm associates and others who have been the victims of workplace sexual harassment & propositioning. You'd think they worked in the entertainment industry & were subject to the casting couch with some of the tales I've read. It's a huge reason I'd never bother working in some big law firm; if I wanted that kind of harassment, I could just become a stripper & make more money + have some work/life balance to boot.

Attorney doesn't always = upstanding person. There are some who take their ethical obligations seriously (I hope it's a large number) but there are those who don't. Some are despicable enough to where you'd be safer around a crazy homeless person who mutters. Read some stories about disbarred attorneys & law firm working environments. Even document review isn't immune from these scumbags so it's not just the attorneys pulling in $500K+ a year.

I also reminded the author of this ad that actress doesn't = slut. I think many actresses I know would be pissed if you called them that or thought they'd do something like this just b/c they are actresses.

Hope that's enough education to make you realize that being an attorney doesn't make you an upstanding, moral citizen who'd never harass, grope or bother a topless chick. If you were a scumbag before, being an attorney won't magically change you into an upstanding citizen.

Maybe this guy should just go to a strip club if he wants topless waitresses and nude women or hire a stripper that makes house calls. Just my take on it.

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