The Laid Off Diary: Dear Diary…this sucks.


Golden Handcuffs
April 21, 2009, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dear Diary:

Why do I bitch about having worked at BigLaw? Is it because every day I had to bow and scrape to partners who have had three affairs, two extra-marital love children, or perpetually bad breath, a large gut, and a narrow mind? Well, yes, but that’s only part of it. The other part is that I found my derriere squarely on the pavement after putting up with all that shit like a little  koolaid drinker. It isn’t our fault that we had no work to do. We associates have to suck on the teets of BigLaw and it’s your fault you guys ran out of milk.

But the real thing that pisses me off is that I don’t know how to live like every other young person in New York that isn’t on a 6 figure salary. I got used to those golden handcuffs. I got used to taking taxis. I got used to nice dinners. I got used to buying drinks for myself and for friends.  Now I have to spend 1 hour on the train if I ever want to go all the way downtown or up to Harlem where the unemployment office is.

Surprisingly, as much as I made, I saved very little. I bought into living the life as a “BigLaw” associate of expensive dinners, wool suits, and expensive habits, even though the truth, that no BigLaw associate in NYC wants to admit, is that the BigLaw associate salary really doesn’t stretch THAT much in NYC when you buy into putting up appearances as a successful and sexy BigLaw associate (even though we were a bunch of socially retarded egomanical suckers with six figures worth of debt).  The lie of being a powerful, admirable BigLaw associate was all we had to make ourselves feel better in the quiet of the night before dawn breaks about our lives of sucking up to assholes 60 hours a week while acting like we liked it and being treated like a peon.

If we didn’t get paid the outrageous six figures salary, very very few of us would have stuck around. Half of those people who would stick around would consist of assholes who enjoyed working with assholes so they could become partner assholes and throw their weight around (these were the same people who burned ants under a magnifying glass) and the other half would consist of meek, kool-aid drinking people who can’t think for themselves that can only understand orders that are barked at them and who can’t embark on a different path.

The rest of us would have done something meaningful with our lives–admit it.

Yes, those handcuffs were golden, but they also gave us the clap and I still haven’t decided if they were worth it.

–on a “budget”

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2 Comments so far
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I’m laughing at your posts, because I’ve been there. I like your honesty, because the truth is that being an associate at BigLaw is only impressive to everyone who doesn’t work there.

Comment by Elizabeth Zelinka

[…] of the rich and glamorous as a BigLaw associate as I explained in my previous Golden Handcuffs post) 2. BigLaw attorneys claim they don’t bill alot (I don’t know one BigLaw attorney, […]

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