Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

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

Postby Holly Golightly » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:46 am

I have done some of the things mentioned in this article at pretty much every professional job I've had. Why not make my boss think I'm working my ass off by sending the occasional memo at 10pm? She doesn't need to know I came in at noon that day.

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

Postby Desert Fox » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:04 am

The skiing story wasn't meant to show you could be on vacation literally all year. But that you could take a vacation and fake your dedication.

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

Postby rpupkin » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:05 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

What is your basis for this? Based on my relatively limited experience in big law, I don't think that's true.

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AreJay711
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Re: Why Some Men Pretend to Work 80-Hour Weeks

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:09 am

Desert Fox wrote:The skiing story wasn't meant to show you could be on vacation literally all year. But that you could take a vacation and fake your dedication.


Even if you get called out, it shows you are actively developing the right skills to deal with clients.

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

Postby Desert Fox » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:11 am

rpupkin wrote:
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

What is your basis for this? Based on my relatively limited experience in big law, I don't think that's true.


I guess that depends on what "available means" and probably depends on the practice area and firm culture. If dixie means reachable in an emergency within a few hours? yea, but so do juniors. If he means answering a billion phone calls and mostly working while on vacation, that just isn't true.

But even in true emergencies--like a sudden TRO to embargo a billion dollar market of goods--partners on vacation would let someone who was still around take the lead.

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

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:13 am

Holly Golightly wrote:I have done some of the things mentioned in this article at pretty much every professional job I've had. Why not make my boss think I'm working my ass off by sending the occasional memo at 10pm? She doesn't need to know I came in at noon that day.


Actually, I have gotten kudos before for sending something out at midnight or 1am. When in fact the only reason I did that is because I didn't get to start on it til 9:30pm, because I put the kid to bed and then ate a leisurely dinner.

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

Postby KidStuddi » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:18 pm

JohannDeMann wrote: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.


I don't think people are trying to "teach you" how to work less, at least I'm not. I'm trying to get you to stop making it sound as though associates in Biglaw are chained to their desk and working 24x7 other than by choice. Whether it's your intent to do so or not, you're going to convince some impressionable law students that they have to walk into law firms and be available 24x7, never take a real vacation, and bill crazy hours every year or they're going to get fired or lose the opportunity to advance their careers. That isn't how it works.

And this whole "normal job" thing is utter elitist bullshit. The average American works well over 40 hours a week. Something like 20% report working more than 60 hours a week. You're better compensated than probably 98% of them. You're complaining about how demanding the job is because you feel obligated to answer some e-mails during your paid vacation unlike "normal" people, when 25% of U.S. jobs don't even offer paid vacation.

And the idea that lawyers work harder than people with "normal jobs" because we measure our time in billables? I mean come the fuck on. I bill hundreds of hours per year to be the 10th lawyer on a conference call; half the time I never say a word. How many hours per year does the average junior associate bill doing due diligence / doc review? You think that's harder work than normal jobs? Have you ever had a normal job? One of my pro bono clients works 35 hours a week sweeping floors at Walmart and 15 hours a week painting houses for a grand total of 50k a year. Pretty sure he works far harder and has less downtime in his day than I do. You can say I'm cherry picking an example, but that's not too far from "normal" in large parts of the country. Hell, I'm pretty sure someone working the drive thru at McDonalds does more actual work during their 40 hour work week than I do in my 60 hour billable weeks sitting on conference calls, mindlessly clicking through diligence documents, reading tons of pointless e-mail where i'm one of 20 people cc'd and doing incredibly repetitive tasks.

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

Postby Desert Fox » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:31 pm

There is Zero chance those self reported numbers are even close to accurate. Like how there are teachers who work "60 hour weeks" but arrive at school at 7:50, leave at 3:35, and spend 45 minutes grading papers while watching the bachelor.

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

Postby bjsesq » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:34 pm

There is a dude at my job who tries to make it clear that he is working long hours by only sending our emails around midnight and 5 am. I fucking loathe him for it.

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

Postby ymmv » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:35 pm

Desert Fox wrote:There is Zero chance those self reported numbers are even close to accurate. Like how there are teachers who work "60 hour weeks" but arrive at school at 7:50, leave at 3:35, and spend 45 minutes grading papers while watching the bachelor.


I know you're never going to give up beating this dead troll, but I definitely spent most evenings and usually either all of Saturday or Sunday developing lesson plans, reading or re-reading through materials to assign, etc. Average week was probably more like 50 "billable" hours but 60 was not infrequent. And I've known teachers who worked much harder.

But you definitely don't have to.

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

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:43 pm

bjsesq wrote:There is a dude at my job who tries to make it clear that he is working long hours by only sending our emails around midnight and 5 am. I fucking loathe him for it.


Just set some of the emails you send to partners/associates to respond at random intervals in the night, like 3am and shit.

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

Postby bjsesq » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:47 pm

FloridaCoastalorbust wrote:
bjsesq wrote:There is a dude at my job who tries to make it clear that he is working long hours by only sending our emails around midnight and 5 am. I fucking loathe him for it.


Just set some of the emails you send to partners/associates to respond at random intervals in the night, like 3am and shit.

Meh. I'd rather mock him than join him.

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

Postby Desert Fox » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:49 pm

ymmv wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:There is Zero chance those self reported numbers are even close to accurate. Like how there are teachers who work "60 hour weeks" but arrive at school at 7:50, leave at 3:35, and spend 45 minutes grading papers while watching the bachelor.


I know you're never going to give up beating this dead troll, but I definitely spent most evenings and usually either all of Saturday or Sunday developing lesson plans, reading or re-reading through materials to assign, etc. Average week was probably more like 50 "billable" hours but 60 was not infrequent. And I've known teachers who worked much harder.

But you definitely don't have to.


Probably shoulda picked a different example cause I wasn't trying to pull out this troll assemble topic.

I know people who are secretaries who bitch about working nearly 60 hours. But they count the 40 hours (out the door at at 5:00:00), plus lunch, plus commute, plus getting ready in the morning, and probably 20 minute wind down time.

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

Postby Desert Fox » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:49 pm

I set my emails to go off at 8:30am so it doesn't look like I pulled an all nighter to meet a deadline because I slacked off a whole week.

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

Postby rpupkin » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:53 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I set my emails to go off at 8:30am so it doesn't look like I pulled an all nighter to meet a deadline because I slacked off a whole week.

I do the exact same thing.

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

Postby hoos89 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:00 pm

JohannDeMann wrote: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.


Yeah but he also said that it wasn't vacation. As in, his superiors believed that he was working all day for those 5 days.

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

Postby wiseowl » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:21 pm

KidStuddi wrote:
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.


Do you even law, bro? I'm baffled that you continue to trot out family and child leave, which have at least some basis in statutory requirements, as a comparison to a millennial YOLOist going backpacking in a third world country for two weeks. "My firm" does in fact have paternity leave, and I used it. I also answered emails and produced work product.

Your constant citations to partners and to "your firm," really just have no bearing whatsoever on whether a junior associate can disappear without a trace for two weeks. Go ahead and try it. I just hope you backpack through a headhunter's office while you're gone.

Your firm doesn't sound like Biglaw (no Biglaw firm I'm aware of gives attorneys set amounts of vacation days, though I could be wrong) so I'm not sure why you keep stretching that experience to cover the non-analogous factual scenario.

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

Postby JohannDeMann » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:31 pm

I get the fact that so many lawyers are glued to their mobile devices and computers so much that they don't even view their chain as a chain. Just cause youre a dog with a 20 foot extendable leash but you never go past 10 feet of slack doesnt mean this shit is normal. All of my closest friends graduated in peak recession. Out of like the 12 who I know their vacay/comp packages, I have a better life than 3 maybe 4. All but one average under 45 hours at work per week. The onyl dude that oesnt is a neuroscientist whos a young dude locking up mad first authors on journals. They all have multiple weeks of paid vacation that is completely off - not one email, no need to check ever etc. The kicker - only 2/12 make less than 75k a year. The two that do work 35 hours a week outside. One of them has over $100k saved up including 2 years of post college life he was unemployed and no student loans. 3 of them make over 100k in low COL areas which according to CNNs bullshit COL calculator is over $250k in NYC (I'd prolly say more like 180/190k in reality). The other poor dude is sitting on skill where he can open his own consulting business and make $100k conservatively with a 40 hour work week and set his hours. If he really tried, $200k business. But he likes never worrying about work outside of a few hours a week.

Stop acting like educated people who are lawyers would be a fucking fllor sweeper if they werent a lawyer.

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

Postby JohannDeMann » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:37 pm

ymmv wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:There is Zero chance those self reported numbers are even close to accurate. Like how there are teachers who work "60 hour weeks" but arrive at school at 7:50, leave at 3:35, and spend 45 minutes grading papers while watching the bachelor.


I know you're never going to give up beating this dead troll, but I definitely spent most evenings and usually either all of Saturday or Sunday developing lesson plans, reading or re-reading through materials to assign, etc. Average week was probably more like 50 "billable" hours but 60 was not infrequent. And I've known teachers who worked much harder.

But you definitely don't have to.


please average that out with your 16/52 weeks off. Fucking teachers man.

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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 1:41 pm

You should even just start with - what percentage of jobs have a fucking work email tied to a personal device. That's something unique to the professional service industry. That shit is not normal. Less than 10%.

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

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:44 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
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

What is your basis for this? Based on my relatively limited experience in big law, I don't think that's true.


I guess that depends on what "available means" and probably depends on the practice area and firm culture. If dixie means reachable in an emergency within a few hours? yea, but so do juniors. If he means answering a billion phone calls and mostly working while on vacation, that just isn't true.

But even in true emergencies--like a sudden TRO to embargo a billion dollar market of goods--partners on vacation would let someone who was still around take the lead.

IME, junior partners/senior associates with some legitimate hope of making partner simply do not unplug. They go on vacation but based on the speed with which they respond to things you would almost never know they weren't in the office. juniors and midlevels seem more apt to check out, say, hey I may have limited email access between Tuesday and Thursday or whatever, and really be unavailable. Some folks don't do it, and they probably judge the ones who do. But personally I think those are the people who are ruining it. I would rather cover for someone who's out of office and have them cover for me next year, than have everyone always be 75% available.

Anyway point is I think being truly unavailable for a few days as a "non-partner track" associate is fine. There's no such thing as an emergency that someone else can't figure out, and they won't fire you for not answering an email during a period you told your bosses, and they assented, that you wouldn't be able to answer email.

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

Postby ymmv » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:44 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:
ymmv wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:There is Zero chance those self reported numbers are even close to accurate. Like how there are teachers who work "60 hour weeks" but arrive at school at 7:50, leave at 3:35, and spend 45 minutes grading papers while watching the bachelor.


I know you're never going to give up beating this dead troll, but I definitely spent most evenings and usually either all of Saturday or Sunday developing lesson plans, reading or re-reading through materials to assign, etc. Average week was probably more like 50 "billable" hours but 60 was not infrequent. And I've known teachers who worked much harder.

But you definitely don't have to.


please average that out with your 16/52 weeks off. Fucking teachers man.


Worked more hours in the summer/winter breaks, so, no. But I guess for those with livable salaries and no (or forgivable) debt it's a pretty sweet gig. Also who is even remotely claiming teaching is a hard or demanding job on the scale of something like biglaw, b/c just fucking lol if that has been forwarded.

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

Postby UnicornHunter » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:47 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:You should even just start with - what percentage of jobs have a fucking work email tied to a personal device. That's something unique to the professional service industry. That shit is not normal. Less than 10%.


Nah dude, my gf designs clothes for a living and they loaded her shit up with company e-mail and a way to access their servers remotely.

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

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:47 pm

wiseowl wrote:Your firm doesn't sound like Biglaw (no Biglaw firm I'm aware of gives attorneys set amounts of vacation days, though I could be wrong) so I'm not sure why you keep stretching that experience to cover the non-analogous factual scenario.

Dude tons of firms -- maybe most of them -- give set vacation days.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:54 pm

I also answered emails and produced work product.


Surprised they let you do this, especially the work product. The firm I was at when my kid was born had a pretty absolute ban on working while on parental leave. They didn't want to get sued by someone saying they were forced to work while on leave.




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