Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

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blsingindisguise
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:So I'm just closing in on a 180 hour month (so extrapolated out to about 2150 hours) in a second tier market where 1800-1900 is the general target.

To give some of you what sort of schedule that entails, this month I've done the following:

Generally worked 9-7:15 M-Th., 9-6 F.

Had two business trips -- one overnight, one day.

Prepared for and did two oral arguments (both only about an hour).

Had two fire drills (emergency 15 page motion prepared and filed in 48 hours and a 12 page memo assigned on Friday and due Monday COB).

Worked three late nights (10:00 pm or later).

Worked one full weekend day and two halfish weekend days.

Took off early to watch opening day (worked from home afterward).

Took off early for my kid's birthday.

Worked from home one morning and one afternoon.


This is a slightly-above-average but not unusual month for me in my major market non-biglaw job. I'd guess that maybe 4 months/year are like that, 6 months are slightly better, and 2 months are worse. Yet it's practically considered a lifestyle job by my market standards. Not knocking you at all, rather explaining how sad the expectations in this industry are. That HBR article made me feel deeply sad.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:53 pm

I'll never forget the time in maybe my first or second year, when I had just arrived at the park -- a 25 minute walk from home -- with my kid in the stroller, and the "nice" partner called me to look at some stip. I told him "I just got to the park with my kid, do you need me to look at it now?" figuring he'd say no, just get to it later. He said "yeah, I need you to make edits to it now and send it back." So I walked all the way back home with my kid. I read the thing as I pushed the stroller and edited it when I got home.

A dad in the park who overheard my conversation looked at me and was like "that's the worst, isn't it?" -- probably another lawyer.

But again, in my job this kind of thing only happens once in a while. In biglaw it's constant.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:56 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:I'll never forget the time in maybe my first or second year, when I had just arrived at the park -- a 25 minute walk from home -- with my kid in the stroller, and the "nice" partner called me to look at some stip. I told him "I just got to the park with my kid, do you need me to look at it now?" figuring he'd say no, just get to it later. He said "yeah, I need you to make edits to it now and send it back." So I walked all the way back home with my kid. I read the thing as I pushed the stroller and edited it when I got home.

A dad in the park who overheard my conversation looked at me and was like "that's the worst, isn't it?" -- probably another lawyer.

But again, in my job this kind of thing only happens once in a while. In biglaw it's constant.


and if you said, I got another call in 5, I'll take a look in an hour, you would have had the hour with ur kid.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:06 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
blsingindisguise wrote:I'll never forget the time in maybe my first or second year, when I had just arrived at the park -- a 25 minute walk from home -- with my kid in the stroller, and the "nice" partner called me to look at some stip. I told him "I just got to the park with my kid, do you need me to look at it now?" figuring he'd say no, just get to it later. He said "yeah, I need you to make edits to it now and send it back." So I walked all the way back home with my kid. I read the thing as I pushed the stroller and edited it when I got home.

A dad in the park who overheard my conversation looked at me and was like "that's the worst, isn't it?" -- probably another lawyer.

But again, in my job this kind of thing only happens once in a while. In biglaw it's constant.


and if you said, I got another call in 5, I'll take a look in an hour, you would have had the hour with ur kid.


We're too small to get away with that kind of thing.

desertlaw
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby desertlaw » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:11 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
blsingindisguise wrote:I'll never forget the time in maybe my first or second year, when I had just arrived at the park -- a 25 minute walk from home -- with my kid in the stroller, and the "nice" partner called me to look at some stip. I told him "I just got to the park with my kid, do you need me to look at it now?" figuring he'd say no, just get to it later. He said "yeah, I need you to make edits to it now and send it back." So I walked all the way back home with my kid. I read the thing as I pushed the stroller and edited it when I got home.

A dad in the park who overheard my conversation looked at me and was like "that's the worst, isn't it?" -- probably another lawyer.

But again, in my job this kind of thing only happens once in a while. In biglaw it's constant.


and if you said, I got another call in 5, I'll take a look in an hour, you would have had the hour with ur kid.


Found this to be true. If someone finds a window in which they can get you to work, they will feel like they can ask/demand it. If you just block out your hour with your kid/dog/hobby or say, "I will get you comments shortly/by 10", then usually everything works out fine.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:13 pm

desertlaw wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
blsingindisguise wrote:I'll never forget the time in maybe my first or second year, when I had just arrived at the park -- a 25 minute walk from home -- with my kid in the stroller, and the "nice" partner called me to look at some stip. I told him "I just got to the park with my kid, do you need me to look at it now?" figuring he'd say no, just get to it later. He said "yeah, I need you to make edits to it now and send it back." So I walked all the way back home with my kid. I read the thing as I pushed the stroller and edited it when I got home.

A dad in the park who overheard my conversation looked at me and was like "that's the worst, isn't it?" -- probably another lawyer.

But again, in my job this kind of thing only happens once in a while. In biglaw it's constant.


and if you said, I got another call in 5, I'll take a look in an hour, you would have had the hour with ur kid.


Found this to be true. If someone finds a window in which they can get you to work, they will feel like they can ask/demand it. If you just block out your hour with your kid/dog/hobby or say, "I will get you comments shortly/by 10", then usually everything works out fine.


Oh yeah, that's definitely true. I mean it was a rookie mistake. The best defense against work is other pending work, and I often use pending work as a shield for family time.

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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:17 pm

I'll never forget the time in maybe my first or second year, when I had just arrived at the park -- a 25 minute walk from home -- with my kid in the stroller, and the "nice" partner called me to look at some stip. I told him "I just got to the park with my kid, do you need me to look at it now?" figuring he'd say no, just get to it later. He said "yeah, I need you to make edits to it now and send it back." So I walked all the way back home with my kid. I read the thing as I pushed the stroller and edited it when I got home.

A dad in the park who overheard my conversation looked at me and was like "that's the worst, isn't it?" -- probably another lawyer.

But again, in my job this kind of thing only happens once in a while. In biglaw it's constant.


I've sat down with my family at a restaurant for an "early" dinner (read: 6:30) and had to get up to go back to the office.

I've had a number of out-of-town trips that have been scheduled day-of.

I once took my kid and some of her friends to the amusement park. We had to leave at 2:00 PM because an urgent work call came in. The kicker was that the partner was PO'd that it took me an hour to get everyone out of the park, dropped off, etc. Actually, no, the real kicker is that before I left on Friday I told that same partner by email that I would be unavailable that weekend day because I was taking a bunch of kids to the amusement park.

KidStuddi
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby KidStuddi » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:28 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:
KidStuddi wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:
“It’s very popular, the feeling that there are too many things going on, that people can’t get in control of their lives and the like,” Robinson says. “But when we look at peoples’ diaries there just doesn’t seem to be the evidence to back it up … It’s a paradox. When you tell people they have thirty or forty hours of free time every week, they don’t want to believe it.”



This is pretty much how I feel about people who say working 60 hour weeks destroys any possibility of having a social life.


you still single though dude.

Biglaw is fine for having free times and hobbies just you individually enjoy. The problem is your available hours to do these things are basically limited and hard to plan for with lots of other people. It's easy if you are playing a video game or watching a sports game to pause the game and respond to a partner. Its a lot harder if you are hiking with your spouse or at a teeball game without your laptop to be available at all times. Al the people in that article that have it figured out are still basically available at all times of the day. That basically precludes family dinners outside of your house, attending children events, and doing things with your SO where you aren't within 5 mins of your laptop and an electrical outlet.


Uh, I'm pretty far from available at all times. I turn down work all the time. If something pops up that absolutely must be done by 8PM and I just happen to have plans that night, I'll either say I'm unable to turn around the assignment in the time frame required which leads to the deadline getting moved (common) or the task being given to someone who is available (pretty unusual). If I don't really care about my plans and I get that ask, I'll sometimes cancel them, but that's pretty rare and pretty much always my choice.

The much more common situation for me having to work late is when something comes up that needs to be done "ASAP" or "overnight" or "by tomorrow morning," in which case I'll either (A) cancel the plans (again very rare) (B) say I'm unavailable for the assignment in the required timeframe (also pretty rare when I have that much notice / the deadline is soft), or (C) I get started and leave the office with the assignment partially completed, do whatever I had previously arranged to do, and then finish the assignment later that night (my usual approach). If I have an early morning or some other reason why I can't be staying up all night to get the work done, I'm usually going to say I'm not available for the assignment. I still bill plenty of hours.

If you're leaving your kid's events midway to answer a partner's Saturday / after hours / you've taken the day off e-mail, you're trying way, way harder to impress people than I am. I certainly don't give anywhere near that many fucks. I'm responsive via e-mail when I can be, but if I get an unreasonable last minute request on a Saturday when I've got plans? I'm just going to respond that I'm unavailable. If the partner / senior associate really wants to push the issue and asks why I'm unavailable, I have no issue explaining my choices.

zot1
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby zot1 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:44 pm

KidStuddi wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:
KidStuddi wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:
“It’s very popular, the feeling that there are too many things going on, that people can’t get in control of their lives and the like,” Robinson says. “But when we look at peoples’ diaries there just doesn’t seem to be the evidence to back it up … It’s a paradox. When you tell people they have thirty or forty hours of free time every week, they don’t want to believe it.”



This is pretty much how I feel about people who say working 60 hour weeks destroys any possibility of having a social life.


you still single though dude.

Biglaw is fine for having free times and hobbies just you individually enjoy. The problem is your available hours to do these things are basically limited and hard to plan for with lots of other people. It's easy if you are playing a video game or watching a sports game to pause the game and respond to a partner. Its a lot harder if you are hiking with your spouse or at a teeball game without your laptop to be available at all times. Al the people in that article that have it figured out are still basically available at all times of the day. That basically precludes family dinners outside of your house, attending children events, and doing things with your SO where you aren't within 5 mins of your laptop and an electrical outlet.


Uh, I'm pretty far from available at all times. I turn down work all the time. If something pops up that absolutely must be done by 8PM and I just happen to have plans that night, I'll either say I'm unable to turn around the assignment in the time frame required which leads to the deadline getting moved (common) or the task being given to someone who is available (pretty unusual). If I don't really care about my plans and I get that ask, I'll sometimes cancel them, but that's pretty rare and pretty much always my choice.

The much more common situation for me having to work late is when something comes up that needs to be done "ASAP" or "overnight" or "by tomorrow morning," in which case I'll either (A) cancel the plans (again very rare) (B) say I'm unavailable for the assignment in the required timeframe (also pretty rare when I have that much notice / the deadline is soft), or (C) I get started and leave the office with the assignment partially completed, do whatever I had previously arranged to do, and then finish the assignment later that night (my usual approach). If I have an early morning or some other reason why I can't be staying up all night to get the work done, I'm usually going to say I'm not available for the assignment. I still bill plenty of hours.

If you're leaving your kid's events midway to answer a partner's Saturday / after hours / you've taken the day off e-mail, you're trying way, way harder to impress people than I am. I certainly don't give anywhere near that many fucks. I'm responsive via e-mail when I can be, but if I get an unreasonable last minute request on a Saturday when I've got plans? I'm just going to respond that I'm unavailable. If the partner / senior associate really wants to push the issue and asks why I'm unavailable, I have no issue explaining my choices.


I'm curious what you're situation is like--are you first year? Second year?

KidStuddi
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby KidStuddi » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:54 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:For example, before I was in biglaw at another job I took a vacation to South America for 2 weeks. Never plugged in. No service no nothing. Completely unreachable. I was with 10 friends and everyone was able to do the same. All of these guys are mid to upper 20s guys and half had very legit careers just not in prof services. That vacation is not feasible for someone in biglaw to do every year. My friends can continue doing that shit. To some people, that's not a sacrifice at all. But I still think that's a pretty baseline thing to be able to do if you want to.


This would be very easily doable at my firm. Why do you think this isn't feasible in Biglaw? Do people not take maternity / paternity leave where you are? People are routinely out for longer than two weeks without difficulty. If I'm traveling, maybe I take an international blackberry just in case someone has a quick question I can answer, but it's sure as shit staying in the room when I go out and I'm certainly not taking a laptop with me if i'm going on vacation.

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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby ruski » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:35 pm

kid stud's method works to get you a better life, but it will get harder as you get senior. now you know you have a senior to fall back and you really take ownership of nothing. you just help out on discreet things here and there. once you move senior this will get harder to do.

more importantly, you become that guy in your group everyone hates. it makes group meetings and lunches uncomfortable. you sit there and smile at them, meanwhile everyone is talking behind your back at how sucky you are. you can definitely be that guy in biglaw and will last until midlevel at least. but its hard being that guy. if you have the skin for it kudos, you are the real winner here getting paid the big bucks for working less. but the vast majority of people can't be that guy. you spend the vast majority of your time at work. you want to get along with the people. being in an environment for 10 hours a day in a place that hates you is a sucky feeling, for me at least, and I imagine for most type-A people who populate the big firms.

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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:15 pm

zot1 wrote:Would you get that bonus/promotion if you're not going beyond what you're being asked to do? It doesn't help that if you don't go above and beyond, someone else will.

This is, almost exactly, what the article DF is about.

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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby los blancos » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:41 pm

While women, particularly mothers, were expected to have trouble with these expectations, and the firm offered women many types of formal accommodations such as part-time work or internal roles, generally, the firm expected that men were willing and able to comply with its demands that they be ideal workers.


This is so true. Women associates at my firm can (and have) got[ten] away with shit I could never dream of getting away with.

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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:42 pm

los blancos wrote:
While women, particularly mothers, were expected to have trouble with these expectations, and the firm offered women many types of formal accommodations such as part-time work or internal roles, generally, the firm expected that men were willing and able to comply with its demands that they be ideal workers.


This is so true. Women associates at my firm can (and have) got[ten] away with shit I could never dream of getting away with.


Except they don't get away with it, they get penalized for it. Or did you not read the article.

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los blancos
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby los blancos » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:47 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:
los blancos wrote:
While women, particularly mothers, were expected to have trouble with these expectations, and the firm offered women many types of formal accommodations such as part-time work or internal roles, generally, the firm expected that men were willing and able to comply with its demands that they be ideal workers.


This is so true. Women associates at my firm can (and have) got[ten] away with shit I could never dream of getting away with.


Except they don't get away with it, they get penalized for it. Or did you not read the article.


Not at my firm they haven't. Small sample size and all, and I have no doubt that they do elsewhere, but IME they haven't.

i.e., this hasn't been entirely true for me:

Thus, like women, many men in professional jobs also experience difficulties with demands that they be ideal workers, and like women, men who express these challenges and seek the firm’s help to redress them face resistance and penalties.


... and it's one of my least favorite things about my firm, because they can sell this work-life bullshit when it's only partially true (and implicitly sexist - I'm expected to work more because my wife's career is supposed to be less important than mine, nevermind that she actually works 80 hour weeks).

blsingindisguise
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:09 am

los blancos wrote:
blsingindisguise wrote:
los blancos wrote:
While women, particularly mothers, were expected to have trouble with these expectations, and the firm offered women many types of formal accommodations such as part-time work or internal roles, generally, the firm expected that men were willing and able to comply with its demands that they be ideal workers.


This is so true. Women associates at my firm can (and have) got[ten] away with shit I could never dream of getting away with.


Except they don't get away with it, they get penalized for it. Or did you not read the article.


Not at my firm they haven't. Small sample size and all, and I have no doubt that they do elsewhere, but IME they haven't.

i.e., this hasn't been entirely true for me:

Thus, like women, many men in professional jobs also experience difficulties with demands that they be ideal workers, and like women, men who express these challenges and seek the firm’s help to redress them face resistance and penalties.


... and it's one of my least favorite things about my firm, because they can sell this work-life bullshit when it's only partially true (and implicitly sexist - I'm expected to work more because my wife's career is supposed to be less important than mine, nevermind that she actually works 80 hour weeks).


But long term I would guess that the women in your firm who take full advantage of "work life balance" will take career hits for it, even if there's no open or obvious penalty right now.

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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby wiseowl » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:10 am

KidStuddi wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:For example, before I was in biglaw at another job I took a vacation to South America for 2 weeks. Never plugged in. No service no nothing. Completely unreachable. I was with 10 friends and everyone was able to do the same. All of these guys are mid to upper 20s guys and half had very legit careers just not in prof services. That vacation is not feasible for someone in biglaw to do every year. My friends can continue doing that shit. To some people, that's not a sacrifice at all. But I still think that's a pretty baseline thing to be able to do if you want to.


This would be very easily doable at my firm. Why do you think this isn't feasible in Biglaw? Do people not take maternity / paternity leave where you are? People are routinely out for longer than two weeks without difficulty. If I'm traveling, maybe I take an international blackberry just in case someone has a quick question I can answer, but it's sure as shit staying in the room when I go out and I'm certainly not taking a laptop with me if i'm going on vacation.


It's in no way "routine" for a partner-track Biglaw associate to be out of pocket for two weeks. One week? Maybe. I was too scared to do it my first year. Last year I took a week at the beach with family, but still billed 1-2 hours a day. Maybe this year will be different, but I doubt it.

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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby desertlaw » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:59 am

ruski wrote:kid stud's method works to get you a better life, but it will get harder as you get senior. now you know you have a senior to fall back and you really take ownership of nothing. you just help out on discreet things here and there. once you move senior this will get harder to do.

more importantly, you become that guy in your group everyone hates. it makes group meetings and lunches uncomfortable. you sit there and smile at them, meanwhile everyone is talking behind your back at how sucky you are. you can definitely be that guy in biglaw and will last until midlevel at least. but its hard being that guy. if you have the skin for it kudos, you are the real winner here getting paid the big bucks for working less. but the vast majority of people can't be that guy. you spend the vast majority of your time at work. you want to get along with the people. being in an environment for 10 hours a day in a place that hates you is a sucky feeling, for me at least, and I imagine for most type-A people who populate the big firms.


True that when you're senior, you'll have more responsibility. But you'll also have more control of your schedule, supervising the deal/case flow, and ability to foresee what is upcoming.

I also think it's an unwise move to say "I'm with my kids/spouse doing XYZ" unless someone specifically asks what you're upto. Telling them specifically what you're upto lets them judge it; if it's a priority to you, just say you're unavailable or have a prior family commitment. An e-mail comes in unexpectedly on Saturday when you're at the tee-ball game, you can wait a few innings, respond with "I am unavailable right now but will get started at X time". If you do quality work and are a hard worker for the rest of the time, you'll be okay. Obviously you use best judgment on this. You don't skip work on a Friday afternoon at 1 if the brief is supposed to be filed with the court at 4 p.m. There are moments where "all hands on deck" is exactly that, but those moments are actually not as frequent as partners want you to believe (and that junior associates actually believe).

To the last point about being "that guy" in the group, I think that's only if you're constantly pulling that. You can still bill 8-12 hours per day but carve out a few hours for family time (or exercise or whatever it may be) within reason. 1950's family dinners at 6:00 p.m. might not be realistic, but if you have good work product, a good attitude, turn things around in a reasonable amount of time, you're not going to have a bad reputation for spending weekend hours logged off with the family (or wherever it may be) or not responding because you're at the kid's music recital on a Tuesday night.

But yeah, the girl who constantly left at 6 and went home without her computer and treated BigLaw as just another job, she will be hated for years to come (even after she has left, her legend will live on in the halls). But I don't think that by carving out time for your spouse/faith/kids/hobby, you're automatically the slacker or "that guy" in the group. If you play it right, you're actually going to be more respected for not being the one who is constantly eager to be bent over.

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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby JohannDeMann » Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:09 am

KidStuddi wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:
KidStuddi wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:
“It’s very popular, the feeling that there are too many things going on, that people can’t get in control of their lives and the like,” Robinson says. “But when we look at peoples’ diaries there just doesn’t seem to be the evidence to back it up … It’s a paradox. When you tell people they have thirty or forty hours of free time every week, they don’t want to believe it.”



This is pretty much how I feel about people who say working 60 hour weeks destroys any possibility of having a social life.


you still single though dude.

Biglaw is fine for having free times and hobbies just you individually enjoy. The problem is your available hours to do these things are basically limited and hard to plan for with lots of other people. It's easy if you are playing a video game or watching a sports game to pause the game and respond to a partner. Its a lot harder if you are hiking with your spouse or at a teeball game without your laptop to be available at all times. Al the people in that article that have it figured out are still basically available at all times of the day. That basically precludes family dinners outside of your house, attending children events, and doing things with your SO where you aren't within 5 mins of your laptop and an electrical outlet.


Uh, I'm pretty far from available at all times. I turn down work all the time. If something pops up that absolutely must be done by 8PM and I just happen to have plans that night, I'll either say I'm unable to turn around the assignment in the time frame required which leads to the deadline getting moved (common) or the task being given to someone who is available (pretty unusual). If I don't really care about my plans and I get that ask, I'll sometimes cancel them, but that's pretty rare and pretty much always my choice.

The much more common situation for me having to work late is when something comes up that needs to be done "ASAP" or "overnight" or "by tomorrow morning," in which case I'll either (A) cancel the plans (again very rare) (B) say I'm unavailable for the assignment in the required timeframe (also pretty rare when I have that much notice / the deadline is soft), or (C) I get started and leave the office with the assignment partially completed, do whatever I had previously arranged to do, and then finish the assignment later that night (my usual approach). If I have an early morning or some other reason why I can't be staying up all night to get the work done, I'm usually going to say I'm not available for the assignment. I still bill plenty of hours.

If you're leaving your kid's events midway to answer a partner's Saturday / after hours / you've taken the day off e-mail, you're trying way, way harder to impress people than I am. I certainly don't give anywhere near that many fucks. I'm responsive via e-mail when I can be, but if I get an unreasonable last minute request on a Saturday when I've got plans? I'm just going to respond that I'm unavailable. If the partner / senior associate really wants to push the issue and asks why I'm unavailable, I have no issue explaining my choices.


and how many hours have you billed this year? your time sheets showed a shit ton last time. all of these people act lke you arent working hard, but you are. thats my point. the dude in the article claiming hes on vacation is in a room in the cabin shooting emails back and forth while his wife is sucking some dudes dick on the slopes.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby JohannDeMann » Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:12 am

KidStuddi wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:For example, before I was in biglaw at another job I took a vacation to South America for 2 weeks. Never plugged in. No service no nothing. Completely unreachable. I was with 10 friends and everyone was able to do the same. All of these guys are mid to upper 20s guys and half had very legit careers just not in prof services. That vacation is not feasible for someone in biglaw to do every year. My friends can continue doing that shit. To some people, that's not a sacrifice at all. But I still think that's a pretty baseline thing to be able to do if you want to.


This would be very easily doable at my firm. Why do you think this isn't feasible in Biglaw? Do people not take maternity / paternity leave where you are? People are routinely out for longer than two weeks without difficulty. If I'm traveling, maybe I take an international blackberry just in case someone has a quick question I can answer, but it's sure as shit staying in the room when I go out and I'm certainly not taking a laptop with me if i'm going on vacation.


There was no service anywhere. We were basically hiking through the Andes. International blackberry not an option. I mean I'm saying it's possible to take - but not every year before your bosses know you are full of shit and take you off partner track. The point of these things isn't " I can get away with this and still make lots of money" the point is "Many vacations and lifestyles are actually just 100% incompatible with being partner track or an all star in a professional services industry," which the article and everyone here is blatantly ignoring.

BeenDidThat
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby BeenDidThat » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:11 am

JohannDeMann wrote:
KidStuddi wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:For example, before I was in biglaw at another job I took a vacation to South America for 2 weeks. Never plugged in. No service no nothing. Completely unreachable. I was with 10 friends and everyone was able to do the same. All of these guys are mid to upper 20s guys and half had very legit careers just not in prof services. That vacation is not feasible for someone in biglaw to do every year. My friends can continue doing that shit. To some people, that's not a sacrifice at all. But I still think that's a pretty baseline thing to be able to do if you want to.


This would be very easily doable at my firm. Why do you think this isn't feasible in Biglaw? Do people not take maternity / paternity leave where you are? People are routinely out for longer than two weeks without difficulty. If I'm traveling, maybe I take an international blackberry just in case someone has a quick question I can answer, but it's sure as shit staying in the room when I go out and I'm certainly not taking a laptop with me if i'm going on vacation.


There was no service anywhere. We were basically hiking through the Andes. International blackberry not an option. I mean I'm saying it's possible to take - but not every year before your bosses know you are full of shit and take you off partner track. The point of these things isn't " I can get away with this and still make lots of money" the point is "Many vacations and lifestyles are actually just 100% incompatible with being partner track or an all star in a professional services industry," which the article and everyone here is blatantly ignoring.


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dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:11 am

You're not on "partner track" anyway, hth.

I think you can get away with a lot more than people think in biglaw. Do good work all year then take a two-week vacation where you're largely out of pocket? People might grumble or make a snide comment or two, but you're not going to get fired, so who gives a shit. Is it going to impact your partnership prospects? Maybe, but that assumes they weren't at zero to begin with.

If you actually want to make partner, then you probably do need to be available 365 days a year, 7 days a week, but if you're trying to make partner you should have already come to terms with the likelihood that you're going to get divorced and your kids will hate you, so no biggie.

KidStuddi
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby KidStuddi » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:58 am

wiseowl wrote:It's in no way "routine" for a partner-track Biglaw associate to be out of pocket for two weeks. One week? Maybe. I was too scared to do it my first year. Last year I took a week at the beach with family, but still billed 1-2 hours a day. Maybe this year will be different, but I doubt it.


This sounds like some serious striver bullshit that does not actually reflect reality. Plenty of people of all levels of seniority, including partners, take 2 week vacations where I am. I've seen people even do 3 weeks at a time. One partner took an entire month off last year. They give us 4 weeks and if you're not using it all, that's really just on you. Some people might choose to work during those vacations, but it's pretty rarely "expected."

Again I have to ask, do people at your firm just not take paternity / maternity leave? Or would that "put you off partner track?" Cus one of the guys in the latest class of partners here has 5 kids under 10 and took the full paternity leave every time. I only worked with him through the latest of those leaves and while he wasn't entirely out of pocket the entire time, he wasn't responding to e-mails more than like once every few days or so.

JohannDeMann wrote:There was no service anywhere. We were basically hiking through the Andes. International blackberry not an option. I mean I'm saying it's possible to take - but not every year before your bosses know you are full of shit and take you off partner track. The point of these things isn't " I can get away with this and still make lots of money" the point is "Many vacations and lifestyles are actually just 100% incompatible with being partner track or an all star in a professional services industry," which the article and everyone here is blatantly ignoring.


I think you're basing this on some misguided notion that making partner is a reward for working hard as a junior. Hate to break it to you, but that's really, really, not what it's about. Maybe if you're in your 7th-8th year making the partner push this kind of vacation wouldn't go over well, but as a junior associate? You really think someone is going to write in your "file" that you climbed a mountain and therefore should be eliminated from contention when it comes time to make a decision 5-6 years from now?

You're making the common mistake of thinking you're irreplaceable. You aren't. Especially in Biglaw. None of us are, from the most senior rainmaker on down. Your firm would survive perfectly fine if you got hit by a bus walking home tonight. They'll be perfectly fine if you take a 2 week vacation after giving everyone plenty of notice. You can be out of pocket for 2 weeks and there are plenty of other smart, capable people who get paid a lot of money just like you who can step in.

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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:01 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:You're not on "partner track" anyway, hth.

I think you can get away with a lot more than people think in biglaw. Do good work all year then take a two-week vacation where you're largely out of pocket? People might grumble or make a snide comment or two, but you're not going to get fired, so who gives a shit. Is it going to impact your partnership prospects? Maybe, but that assumes they weren't at zero to begin with.

If you actually want to make partner, then you probably do need to be available 365 days a year, 7 days a week, but if you're trying to make partner you should have already come to terms with the likelihood that you're going to get divorced and your kids will hate you, so no biggie.


The biglaw model pretty much runs on like 75-90% of associates not being on partner track, so I think it's fair to say you can get away with certain things as long as you're not even entertaining illusions about making partner.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby JohannDeMann » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:43 am

Thanks, but I don't need your tips on how not to work. I mailed it in from the start, and I'm pretty sure everyone trying to teach me how to work less is billing more than 500 hours more than me. I'm not talking about me so much as the article. The article says being an all star is possible without working that hard - only making it look like youre working hard. And my point is that's not true. I'm nto saying you have to be available all the time, but the senior associates here that take lots of vacation take 2-3 days here and there to go to somewhere where they can do 1-4 hours of work a day. They take a couple weeks around xmas and are still available. The people in the article talking about a Utah vacation are just working over their vacation. Add up the numbers of hours these people work and the number of hours someone is on call and you are getting an insanely high number. Meanwhile, people in normal jobs are available 40-45 hours a week, never available on vacation, and do the equivalent of 20 billables a week. That's my point.




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