zot1 wrote:Here's the thing about class, it is very different to fake unless you've done a good deal of research about it and have been part of it. But then again, this requires being deceitful.
I had a lunch with some firm folks once and all they wanted to talk about was castles they've visited in Europe. I have never been to Europe, so when I was asked, I simply said I hadn't been yet, but I was looking forward to visiting some of the places they had mentioned. Needless to say this was awkward for them (and for me) and they don't want to be surrounded by that. Well-off people don't want to feel guilty about their privilege, so they don't want to be near people who reminds them of that (of course this is an overgeneralization and it mostly applies to those who've always been well off).
You're completely right. There is so much tone deafness among people--especially partners--in biglaw about class and privilege, which is revealed in a lot of ways. One of these ways is the topics of conversation they choose, as shown by your example. Another way is politics. At my firm Trump-bashing is the coolest thing to do, yet I've never seen one particular partner talk as scornfully about Trump as he did once about protesters who were advocating a minimum wage increase near a hearing venue. Another way is the way some partners treat pro bono clients as a nuisance and generally interact with them in a condescending manner.
I'm sorry you had this awkward encounter, which was made awkward not by your response but by the blinkered topic of conversation the associates chose. But frankly, you probably wouldn't want to work for that firm anyway if it is full of people like that.