Sunday, October 13, 2013

Why I Won't Be Your Manager, Being an Inadvertent Wingwoman & The Job I Want But Will Never Get From a BigLaw Employer

Lately, life has been rather busy with my freelance gig. I also went to a model casting I heard about on Thursday night, which I figured was going to be a short term type thing with no networking involved but ended up having free food that was pretty decent and led to my meeting someone in the talent management arena who said she recognized me. We had a lovely conversation & I've got more people to follow up with (likely now or sometime after my husband goes back to his dreaded job; at least he's been acting more like his normal self, though we still have that whole fiscal responsibility issue to address--today's my anniversary, by the way).

I also am no longer managing my first client. This is better anyway since she found someone more suited for the role, I am who I am and since being a manager isn't about promoting your own career, it was just too much anyway. We're still friends, though.

Since then, I've now vowed not to be anyone's manager again unless I retire from what I already do.

This means not doing any type of creative pursuit and certainly not being a partner in a film production company. Otherwise, I'm going to be way too focused on representing myself and getting ahead for myself.

Plus, I'm just worn down from being anyone's Mommy. I'm sick of doing that for my husband and have stepped back from things I would have done in the past. He even asked me if I networked for him at the event I went to on Thursday; I told him that since he doesn't want to work in the entertainment industry with its permanent freelance nature & is not into fashion, I did not. I also mentioned that he doesn't even know what he wants to do so how am I supposed to help him on that front? Plus, let me tell you self-sufficiency is a turn on for any mature, functional woman (me included). In fact, it's not just a turn on for me; it's a dealbreaker. I can't deal with that type of dependency. I heard a song by The Waitresses recently called "Go On." There are lyrics in there I'm sure many of you girls can relate to about guys. Particularly "another [guy] gets dependent" and "Am I a magnet for losers? A net for the helpless? I'm no social worker." Hear, hear! It also strikes me that a friend of mine was actually BEING a friend to me back in the day rather that just trying to break up my relationship for selfish reasons (or at least it was this friend not trying 100% to break it up).

The Waitresses have other songs, as I discovered in Song Pop. Go hear them. Just like The Specials, there's some good writing on issues that relate to things in life you don't hear about all the time. I also happen to like Mary J. Blige since she has some depressing songs but they have depth & I can relate to a lot of them having grown up where I did.

Yeah, I'm plain too worn out to do that so I think it's time I took care of myself & let my own career go where it goes.

On Friday, I went to karaoke with my husband as we often do. We have a karaoke place not far from our house that we've been to so much, they no longer check our IDs when we go in. This week, a friend of my husband's he's been trying to get there for ages showed up & brought his friend. My husband said this friend (who he worked with at another branch in the library) was proficient at getting women. Apparently, though I helped his friend get a hook up without trying.

Here's what happened.

The girl his friend was talking to gets up & sings a Talking Heads song. I'm a huge fan of their music & have every single song from that group. If Song Pop got a Talking Heads category, I could get 4 stars in it very quickly & kill most people in it. I also told my husband if I ever end up in a coma, he should make sure to have Talking Heads playing.

I don't feel I could sing Talking Heads well but this girl did it. She also happened to be the very first person I'd ever seen do Talking Heads at karaoke; no small feat considering I've been to karaoke tons of times in various cities along the East Coast.

I said "Points from me for picking Talking Heads." I also figure if you're going to sing something by them, you've got some taste. We had a brief conversation, I told her about my husband knowing the guys involved with the karaoke & giving them songs before. She said "We need to get all their songs in there." I said "Yeah," since I think that would rock especially if you see Talking Heads songs you don't see elsewhere. This place has a cool selection of songs & I have found a few that I've not seen elsewhere.

After I had this conversation, I legitimately had to use the bathroom. Lucky for me, there was no line.

I come back and my husband tells me his friend's friend and this girl are making out. He claimed that I apparently helped this guy get laid even though I didn't set out to do that. I just complimented the girl on her song choice in a spirit of sincerity.

This story confirms that I could totally do wingwoman work & should get paid for it. I applied at a few places and got interest in the past but nothing ever worked out from it. I'm not sure if you have to get licensing for it if you want to do it on a freelance basis by yourself. Getting a company name could help & I know that costs money but it seems like a possible avenue I should investigate. Plus, I've got the model cred officially this time.

So if you're going to karaoke & need a wingwoman, I can totally do it since I'm a semi-pro singer & know a lot about what makes it good or bad when you're in front of an audience. I also have the necessary stage presence because of my whole entertainment background & there's that model cred. Finally, I'm well aware I'm a rare breed (at least if the older guy I met while at karaoke is speaking accurately): a woman with good looks AND intelligence.

Speaking of jobs, I found a listing for the elusive one I'd love to do in a law firm. I actually saw a Craig's List post for it and had to wait until Friday to apply due to life happening. I also needed some time to craft my strategy.

Looking at the description I was thinking "I can totally do this." After all, I have been a partner in my own business for nearly 6 years, have had my law license for about the same time, managed to get some respect in the legal community by being me (and if you've read this blog, you know how hard that task is; I would have told you it was impossible a few years ago) & have had people from the traditional legal world listen to what I have to say, even though I'm not some BigLaw type.

I applied but in my honest view, I've got a better chance at winning the lottery or being abducted by space aliens than getting an interview for it. First off, this is at Morrison & Foerster LLP a.k.a. a BigLaw firm. They're part of that whole evil empire that shuns creativity, people who aren't from T1 schools/weren't on law review/don't come from millions of dollars to make either of those things happen, thinking outside the box, attractive women, assertive types & pretty much anything else you can think of that would describe me 100% accurately.

Second, I'm not impressed with BigLaw or anyone in it. I will not kiss your ass & I will not let you treat me like crap. I don't care where you went to law school, what your class rank was or any of that garbage. I care about how you act as a person & if you're a jerk to me, I wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire. Magnanimity is not a trait I have or aspire to. That would be my sister: she's far more magnanimous than I & clearly has a much greater tolerance for BS from others. It takes a lot to really get on my bad side but once you do, God help you. When I hear anything about BigLaw, I figure they expect some fancy little ass kissing presentation where you grovel at their feet and refer to them as "Your Excellency." Sorry, but that's not who I am.

Finally, from reading the ad I feel like they focus on creating client relations by technical measures & there's a director to report to. It feels like a conflict between book smarts & street smarts. I have the street smarts considering I've been networking on my own for free just to enhance myself and my business; that bridge isn't going to get built if you're just sitting on your butt & looking at the lumber, you know. You have to BUILD it and put in the work to make it strong. I also have yet to meet any successful networker who has developed rapport or built authentic relationships by using technical measures and sophisticated metrics. You build those relationships by being a good person: having empathy, doing things the other person would find helpful, inviting them to events you're involved in, talking about things other than their legal problems, being laidback but not too much. There's a balancing act involved & you need some warmth along with genuine affection/respect for people if you're going to do it well.

Guess that's also an issue I take: I don't feel the world of BigLaw has respect for me or my contemporaries.

Now I have encountered people who worked in BigLaw (even as attorneys) who weren't total assholes fitting my image of BigLaw. That was the spirit in which I chose to apply. There's also the idea of never getting things if you don't ask so I figured applying wouldn't hurt.

However, I did it by being myself & by pitching the idea that my being an outsider is the precise reason why you should be talking to me. My demographic is different, I have a different manner from your crowd & I'm better at creating authentic relationships. I hear things from people that they'd never feel comfortable telling you, I have likeability & if I'm working with you, that reflects better on you since perhaps a fellow BigLaw hater will give you a chance if you have a representative who isn't conforming to that mold.

Either these people will shock me & get in touch with me or they'll live up to my low expectations and do precisely what I expect. You can't make phone calls for this one & I have no direct contacts to this firm (though if I asked, I'm sure there's a contact someplace with some insight; wish I knew someone who had worked in the NY office to tell me if my negative views are accurate or about this particular Director of Client Relations since I have no time for incompetent blowhards who know less than I do, have zero imagination & would hate me on sight but for some reason would get to supervise ME).

Maybe knowing that I've done what I have but these people haven't & probably couldn't is another reason I have some clashes with that world. Who knows if some of them aren't the haters who bitched & moaned when I refused to kiss their asses or assume they were God while I was a poor, stupid simpleton?

At least I have a general title for it & know it exists but I don't see a BigLaw place considering me unless my best friend was a partner in the law firm with a huge share or a partner there was a huge fan of my creative output or my film company's creative output. Am I wrong? Prove it. You can offer to help me out on this or show me by word & deed that I'm wrong. Otherwise, you're not likely to convince me I shouldn't start expecting the spaceship to come take me away before getting a call from this firm.

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