Law And Disorder

My first summer of law school I was excited to work in the “real world” and found a job in a small firm managed by “H”. I took the job despite warnings from classmates he was an asshole, but by the end of the first week I realized their opinions of him were tame in comparison.

My first day he asked if I was “fucking stupid” when I professed ignorance on a relatively rare type of legal pleading. On my third day, he and an associate got into an argument which ended in him stabbing a pen through his computer screen. Sadly, that wasn’t the last of the histrionics and the next six months saw the death of two more monitors, one laptop, (which met its end after an attempt at being the first frisbee/laptop hybrid) at least three coffee mugs and my soul.*

Most of these tantrums occurred during daily meetings where he would criticize each clerk, paralegal, and associate on their billable hours from the day before. (Billable hours are hours that can be billed to a client, they are not hours worked). Although important to review, his rants on the length of our restroom and lunch breaks would stretch well into the morning, gobbling up workable hours. Of course this led to anger the next day for not billing enough hours (and down the spiral we go).

He rarely used deodorant and rarely changed clothes, even for meetings with clients or opposing counsel. Never without a big plug of brown tobacco stuffed in his lip, his spit cups were left everywhere. Rounding it out was his habit of urinating in the bushes outside the building and images of him spitting brown ropes of tobacco juice while peeing in the pyracanthas are seared into my retinas. Not surprisingly, his digestive system was also off. Although housebroken for this issue, he would spend quite a bit of time in the bathroom adjacent to my work station. Apparently a modest man while perched on the potty, he would sing country western songs to (unsuccessfully) mask him doing his “business”.

The last straw was the Christmas party. Ten minutes before the party, he had another tantrum, and chucked an incense burner full of lit (cone) incense across the room. The sparks were pretty but showered down on a set of completed exhibits for The Big Trial. After ensuring the Judge wouldn’t get a singed copy of Exhibit A, we dutifully stayed for lame games and forced cheer. I managed a little excitement when he pressed a small but thick envelope into my hand. Unfortunately, the card contained no cash, no words of thanks, but a $5.00 gift card to Carl’s Junior.** I quit shortly after the new year. The sad thing is he honestly seemed surprised when I gave my two weeks notice.

* Who am I kidding, I sold my soul when I entered law school. As well as the soul of my first born, but that’s to the Federal Gov’t for student loans and is better covered on

** I was hoping to use a Christmas bonus to buy back part of my soul but I was informed the devil doesn’t take gift cards.

Comments (17)

CJune 9th, 2010 at 8:30 am

You’re trying WAY too hard to be funny…

rafboyJune 9th, 2010 at 9:06 am

I like the way you write. Maybe a new line of work is in order.

TheRestOfTheStoryJune 9th, 2010 at 10:22 am

It would have been a MAJOR affront if the gift card was for Applebees, home of the 400 pound family.

EJune 9th, 2010 at 10:25 am

I dunno, C, I kinda like the way it’s written…

That said, I’ve known people who are histrionic enough to destroy expensive stuff. It’s pretty trying, just to be around them – I can’t imagine working for them. Good to have gotten out when you did.

AndrewJune 9th, 2010 at 10:49 am

I also like the way OP writes. It kept me engaged well enough. But I also watch “Degrassi: The Next Generation” so I might not have the highest standards…

Homeboy sounds like a complete basket case. I commend you because I wouldn’t have made it as long as you did.

Also, @TheRestOfTheStory, don’t go knocking Applebee’s. Not EVERYONE who goes there is 400lbs. The vast majority are quite thin but of minuscule brain functioning.

TMSJune 9th, 2010 at 10:59 am

Maybe the Applebee’s where you live Andrew. Anyway to the OP, too bad you didn’t listen to your classmates, but hey, like the old saying goes: hindsight is 20/20.

AndrewJune 9th, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I work at Applebee’s occasionally which is why I said it :)

MaryJune 9th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Andrew, you’re funny!! I love DeGrassi! (I’m 42) *blush*

JaneJune 9th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Heyyy…there’s no such site as! Don’t get my hopes up like that lol.

AndrewJune 9th, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Haha! @Mary: I’m almost 24 & I have no idea why I like that show as much as I do. I definitely hide my 7 box sets when people are around.

rafboyJune 10th, 2010 at 10:25 am

Degrassi? Is that an Italian landscaping show?

NayNayJune 11th, 2010 at 1:41 am

This was hands down the best story that has ever been posted on this site. I’m so sick of “OMG I can’t believe I actually had to do work at my job!”

MeshellJune 17th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Well written. OP didn’t try hard to be funny; he was simply being candid which is the best form of lulz out there. This is the best post on the site so far :D

RachelJune 27th, 2010 at 9:06 pm

That was just darn scary for me. I am a fellow law school grad and am feeling pretty grateful for my unpaid non-profit summer gigs right now. I only earned a small stipend provided through my school but I had great bosses!

AshleyJuly 28th, 2010 at 10:07 am

Actually, I find the writing amusing and engaging, and the style reminds me of a lot of memoirs and books that I’ve read.

TamsynSeptember 2nd, 2010 at 9:06 am

Great work! I really enjoyed this one.

ChicletSeptember 15th, 2010 at 11:56 am

I liked this one too! Nice writing!

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