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There’s slow at the office. Then there’s moribund. Like, stick a fork in it, parrot in the Monty Python skit, no longer viable, kaput, over and out, flat-lining…dead dead dead.

Like you haven’t recorded a billable hour in weeks. Like you show up at 10:30 am, slide your Kindle under your computer monitor and try to look busy while you read John LeCarre novels. Then leave at 6 pm – or whenever the coast is clear and you think you can get away with it.

We all know having nothing to do at a big law firm is better than being busy. Being busy is really, really bad.

When you’re really busy, you know you will have to quit soon because you can’t bear it, and when the loans get sufficiently below $100k that will be your cue to say fuck it, I need out.

But when you’re totally dead at the office, you think…hmmm…might as well wait on the bailing out and keep those delightful loan-reducing paychecks coming in, right?

No one ever leaves because it’s too slow. You wait it out. Pay off loans. And wait. And do nothing. And wonder if the partners are noticing – or whether they somehow don’t realize you haven’t billed an hour since 1971.

One of my clients was deep in a Kurt Vonnegut novel when a partner dropped by his office.

“Your billables are a little low this month,” the partner intoned.

My client threw on his “sincere face” – a complex intermingling of dignified concern at the immediate reality presented to him in the here and now and a more generalized melancholy at the state of the world as a whole, with emphasis on the wider suffering that exists everywhere – suffering he himself is helpless to address.

“Yes, it has been a bit quiet. I’m doing what I can to make myself helpful wherever I can, but…” He let his voice trail off, helpfully.

The partner frowned, apparently in deep thought.

“I’ll let the Banking Group know. They’ll be contacting you.”

(more…)

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You can order it on Amazon.  It’s also available on bn.com.

Drop by my office and I’ll sell you one in person, signed and personalized.

You can even purchase it as an ebook for the Kindle or the Nook or iPad .

Thank you, everyone, for your support of this project.

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