A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

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joanneofarc
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A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby joanneofarc » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:43 pm

Please tell me this has happened to someone else. I cried right after I got back to my office. He later called to apologize. But seriously, how can I keep working with this guy? He's acting like nothing happened, but ... this was the WORST DAY I've ever had at any job, ever. And yes, I worked for five years before law school in a high-stress job.

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LaLiLuLeLo
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:10 am

Not normal or acceptable. Fuck that associate and do your best to never work for them again.

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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:34 am

This happened to me when I was a first year when I told a senior I was too busy to do something. Reality is around 50% of the people you work for in biglaw are assholes, some more so than others. And often you have to keep working with them because you're on the same deal or case...so cry, complain, etc. but in the future pretend like nothing happened.

Getting yelled at to your face is MUCH better than some of the other stuff that happens in biglaw. I've witnessed a midlevel throw a junior under the bus (without telling the junior) to partners - that first year ended up being fired after only one year in biglaw. So count your blessings - at least the guy has the balls to yell at you to your face. The worst associates are the ones who do shit behind people's backs.

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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:32 am

Agree with the post above. I've never had a screamer, but I've experienced (thankfully rarely) a couple instances of people being really underhanded in a way that surprised me. For example, a midlevel associate made a mistake himself and I found out later he pinned that mistake on me, in an email that I wasn't cc'd on. Only found out when another midlevel on the case brought it up offhand some months later.

I have to admit that I'm morbidly curious about the screaming that happens, because having never experienced it, I just can't imagine it. Are they literally screaming at you? What does a person even say while they're screaming? It's definitely not acceptable, IMO. I'm sorry you had to go through that. Some people are just assholes.

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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:10 am

I was *yelled* at once. I wouldn't say "screamed" at. The dude's voice was shaking though over a trivial and understandable mistake. I asked to be taken off the deal the next day. I'm not the most assertive person but I was insistent that I be taken off the deal. It shook me that much. It also ruined the working relationship entirely.

Sure you gotta be careful about your own reputation and put up with some shit but I definitely think life's too short to take that shit as acceptable or even a CODB really.

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runinthefront
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby runinthefront » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:17 am

I’m sorry you had to deal with this, OP.

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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:21 am

Isn't screaming harrassment and illegal?

EliotAlderson
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby EliotAlderson » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:Isn't screaming harrassment and illegal?


You are fucking kidding, right? Senior is a dick, but holy shit

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby SmokeytheBear » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:10 am

OP I’m very sorry to read. It’s not normal or acceptable, but it’s more common than is often discussed. Attorneys are bad managers and behavior like this used to be much more common.
Hopefully you can not work for this person anymore, but that’s often easier said than done. If you have to work for them, just do your best to stay calm and start looking to lateral.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby Lacepiece23 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:28 am

I agree with all the comments. I've been yelled at and cussed at actually. Sometimes though, people can have bad days. In my case, it was someone really important, so I didn't really have a choice but to suck it up and move on. I even apologized to that person. We're on good terms now and everything is fine.

For a senior associate, I likely would talk to that associate, tell them this isn't acceptable, but also be understanding that he/she may have just had a bad day. It's not right, but it happens.

joanneofarc
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby joanneofarc » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:I have to admit that I'm morbidly curious about the screaming that happens, because having never experienced it, I just can't imagine it. Are they literally screaming at you? What does a person even say while they're screaming? It's definitely not acceptable, IMO. I'm sorry you had to go through that. Some people are just assholes.


What do people say? The things you would expect: what's wrong with you, why can't you just do what I ask, it's not that hard, how could you screw this up.

Bonus: I'm in my stub year.
Last edited by joanneofarc on Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:49 am

I've been insulted and passive aggresively called idiot, incompetent, etc. Would have said something had I known the senior was actually being pushed out.

lawhopeful100
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby lawhopeful100 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:12 pm

joanneofarc wrote:Please tell me this has happened to someone else. I cried right after I got back to my office. He later called to apologize. But seriously, how can I keep working with this guy? He's acting like nothing happened, but ... this was the WORST DAY I've ever had at any job, ever. And yes, I worked for five years before law school in a high-stress job.

Deap breathe here. Someone yelled at you and then called to apologize. First of all, you shouldn’t take it personally and let it affect you emotionally. Most likely the person either had a really bad day or is an asshole. Almost assuredly, whatever you did, did not warrant getting yelled at. So just know it’s an issue with him and not you. Second, you know him the best, but as he apologized after, just forget about it and move on. If you know this guy has a rep for this kind of behavior, that is when you probably want to try getting away from him. But you’re in the best position to gage whether this behavior was out of character or is more the norm for him.

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LaLiLuLeLo
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:06 pm

lawhopeful100 wrote:
joanneofarc wrote:Please tell me this has happened to someone else. I cried right after I got back to my office. He later called to apologize. But seriously, how can I keep working with this guy? He's acting like nothing happened, but ... this was the WORST DAY I've ever had at any job, ever. And yes, I worked for five years before law school in a high-stress job.

Deap breathe here. Someone yelled at you and then called to apologize. First of all, you shouldn’t take it personally and let it affect you emotionally. Most likely the person either had a really bad day or is an asshole. Almost assuredly, whatever you did, did not warrant getting yelled at. So just know it’s an issue with him and not you. Second, you know him the best, but as he apologized after, just forget about it and move on. If you know this guy has a rep for this kind of behavior, that is when you probably want to try getting away from him. But you’re in the best position to gage whether this behavior was out of character or is more the norm for him.


Ehhhh. It *is* personal and it's not any better if they call to apologize. Someone like that will keep doing it because they are a miserable asshole.

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encore1101
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby encore1101 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:20 pm

People have gotten yelled at before you. People will get yelled at after you. That doesn't make it okay or acceptable, but it means that it happens to everybody and you shouldn't let it affect your self-worth.

If someone told me that they've never been yelled at, I'd call them a liar or sheltered. Either way, so what? You don't get a prize or trophy for never being yelled at.

If you're worried about how your co-workers perceive you, trust me that 99% of them are sympathetic towards you and, if anything, have reduced respect for the senior associate, not you. They recognize that the senior associate acted unreasonably and disproportionate, as evident by his apology. Only petty, small-minded people will experience schadenfreude about it.

As far as how to get over it, just put it past you. Again, he apologized for his actions, which, in all frankness, is rare from a supervisor. That indicates that it wasn't personal and even he thinks it was not deserved. If he doesn't think it was deserved, then you shouldn't either.

The only thing you should care about is how this affects your career. He may have had a valid message, even if it was delivered poorly.

lurklaw
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby lurklaw » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:42 pm

If it is inevitable that you will be working closely with this person, I'd set a boundary with him now. Let him know that his actions were unacceptable and that he cannot yell at you ever again. Make clear, however, that you accept responsibility for your mistake and that you will clean it up going forward.

The fact that he apologized is significant. Not because it is redeeming of him in any way whatsoever, but because it is an admission that he acted inappropriately. This gives you some leeway to level set with him for the future.

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sublime
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby sublime » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:14 pm

Kinda surprised about the responses here.

You shouldn't have to deal with that, but it happens and is a shitty feeling. Assuming the senior didn't say anything truly abhorrent, then called pretty soon after to apologize (which,wtf people, on a human level, matters - plus it is clear that they realize it shouldn't have happened. How is that not any better than not doing that?) My view is that you should accept the apology and move on. Unless it becomes a pattern, obsessing over this only hurts you. Also, this whole thing will be less painful if you are able to not take work shit personally. Natural to do and hard not to. Just be sure not to care too much. Or to let it define you as a person.

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LaLiLuLeLo
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:21 pm

sublime wrote:Kinda surprised about the responses here.

You shouldn't have to deal with that, but it happens and is a shitty feeling. Assuming the senior didn't say anything truly abhorrent, then called pretty soon after to apologize [b](which,wtf people, on a human level, matters - plus it is clear that they realize it shouldn't have happened. How is that not any better than not doing that?)[\b] My view is that you should accept the apology and move on. Unless it becomes a pattern, obsessing over this only hurts you. Also, this whole thing will be less painful if you are able to not take work shit personally. Natural to do and hard not to. Just be sure not to care too much. Or to let it define you as a person.


I've worked with a senior that would yell and then apologize after. The apology doesn't matter at all because the behavior continues. All it means is they're self-aware enough to know they are a malignant asshole. I'd be comfortable in assuming the senior who yelled at OP has done it before and will do it again. After the first time the apology rings hollow and really doesn't change the fact that they treat people horribly.

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sublime
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby sublime » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:27 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
sublime wrote:Kinda surprised about the responses here.

You shouldn't have to deal with that, but it happens and is a shitty feeling. Assuming the senior didn't say anything truly abhorrent, then called pretty soon after to apologize [b](which,wtf people, on a human level, matters - plus it is clear that they realize it shouldn't have happened. How is that not any better than not doing that?)[\b] My view is that you should accept the apology and move on. Unless it becomes a pattern, obsessing over this only hurts you. Also, this whole thing will be less painful if you are able to not take work shit personally. Natural to do and hard not to. Just be sure not to care too much. Or to let it define you as a person.


I've worked with a senior that would yell and then apologize after. The apology doesn't matter at all because the behavior continues. All it means is they're self-aware enough to know they are a malignant asshole. I'd be comfortable in assuming the senior who yelled at OP has done it before and will do it again. After the first time the apology rings hollow and really doesn't change the fact that they treat people horribly.


I acknowledged that if it becomes a pattern that changes things, but from the information we have is there any indication that it is a pattern? If so, I missed it.

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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:29 pm

Agreed that lawyers are shitty managers, and I'd just add that there's something about BigLaw (probably the stress/demanding clients) that amplifies this.

I also wonder (based on a very sample size) whether this continues after BigLaw. Here's an anecdote: I work at a government office whose staff consists of lawyers who have spent time in private practice, lawyers who have spent their entire careers in government, and nonlawyers. The only people that have ever criticized my work in a way that felt personal are the lawyers who have spent time in private practice.

kakistocracy
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby kakistocracy » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:37 pm

encore1101 wrote:If someone told me that they've never been yelled at, I'd call them a liar or sheltered. Either way, so what? You don't get a prize or trophy for never being yelled at.


Haha well, I wouldn't go that far. Most of the people in my office have never been yelled at in a work setting. It's not because we don't make mistakes (I make plenty) or deserve any prize, it's just a function of the office culture/environment. Probably a west coast or small satellite office deal.

Anyway, I agree that there aren't enough facts for us to know if this is a reoccurring issue for this senior associate. It's a shitty thing either way, but in different degrees.

joanneofarc
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby joanneofarc » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:38 pm

kakistocracy wrote:
encore1101 wrote:If someone told me that they've never been yelled at, I'd call them a liar or sheltered. Either way, so what? You don't get a prize or trophy for never being yelled at.


Haha well, I wouldn't go that far. Most of the people in my office have never been yelled at in a work setting. It's not because we don't make mistakes (I make plenty) or deserve any prize, it's just a function of the office culture/environment. Probably a west coast or small satellite office deal.

Anyway, I agree that there aren't enough facts for us to know if this is a reoccurring issue for this senior associate. It's a shitty thing either way, but in different degrees.



He sends the occasional harsh email (and later apologizes) but this is a first on the yelling front. We haven't been working together that long.

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LaLiLuLeLo
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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:08 pm

sublime wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
sublime wrote:Kinda surprised about the responses here.

You shouldn't have to deal with that, but it happens and is a shitty feeling. Assuming the senior didn't say anything truly abhorrent, then called pretty soon after to apologize [b](which,wtf people, on a human level, matters - plus it is clear that they realize it shouldn't have happened. How is that not any better than not doing that?)[\b] My view is that you should accept the apology and move on. Unless it becomes a pattern, obsessing over this only hurts you. Also, this whole thing will be less painful if you are able to not take work shit personally. Natural to do and hard not to. Just be sure not to care too much. Or to let it define you as a person.


I've worked with a senior that would yell and then apologize after. The apology doesn't matter at all because the behavior continues. All it means is they're self-aware enough to know they are a malignant asshole. I'd be comfortable in assuming the senior who yelled at OP has done it before and will do it again. After the first time the apology rings hollow and really doesn't change the fact that they treat people horribly.


I acknowledged that if it becomes a pattern that changes things, but from the information we have is there any indication that it is a pattern? If so, I missed it.


It's an assumption I'm pretty confident making because people that are willing to yell at a subordinate at work don't just do it once.

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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:09 pm

I get yelled at for $hit that is not my fault at all, often. I work in biglaw in Boston at a 4th tier biglaw firm. One of the partners in my group regularly makes staff cry, and often throws shit against the walls. A few years ago, he was reprimanded for punching a hole in a wall. Needless to say, I'm looking for a new job, even though I just finished my first year. #assholes.

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Re: A senior associate screamed at me at work today. I'm devastated.

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:11 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:Kinda surprised about the responses here.


I've worked with a senior that would yell and then apologize after. The apology doesn't matter at all because the behavior continues. All it means is they're self-aware enough to know they are a malignant asshole. I'd be comfortable in assuming the senior who yelled at OP has done it before and will do it again. After the first time the apology rings hollow and really doesn't change the fact that they treat people horribly.


THIS. THIS. SO MUCH THIS. It's really a lot like the DV we studied in crim. Heck, the yeller in my office often buys apology "presents" for people. Then things are just weird.




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