Power Play Confidential

  • Male photographer and his female assistant arrive at 10:00 A.M. They’ve come to shoot head shots of the new hires. The most boring website in the world is getting an update. The firm, once again, is reinventing itself.


The assistant sets up in the lobby. The Photog acts as if he’s the adopted brother of Annie Leibovitz. Hello. This is a law firm. He chats up the receptionist, a former model who still looks good from the neck up. They commiserate.

On the sidelines, the Photog’s first victim seems a bit nervous. She’s a female J.D., fresh out of law school. Standing alone in a dark business suit on a white marble floor.

Abruptly, he spins on his heels. He fashions an L-shaped viewfinder with his right hand and scans her from head to toe.

Photog: “Um, do you ever wear a necklace?”

J.D.: “Yes…”

P: “Do you have a necklace?”

J:  “I have a necklace. But I don’t have it with me.”

Audible sigh from the photographer.

 *  *  *  * *


  • Perky 20-something H.R. assistant is saddled with the chore of setting up interviews between male partners on the power grid and potential new hires. The most supercilious of them all, the partner with the ironic first name, as in: 1) a person hired to carry baggage; or 2) a dark bitter beerfloats into our section, buoyed up by his own wonderfulness.

Perky-20: “Where are you tomorrow?”

DBB: “I don’t know that you are on a need-to-know basis. I don’t know if you have been elevated to that status.”

 *  *  *  *  *

  •  A partner with severe corner office envy (imagine singer Paul Simon in an out of style serge suit) broaches the topic of hotel arrangements with the most powerful of the powerless female middle-managers. They are discussing the upcoming pre-trial preparatory weekend in Palm Beach:


He: “Is the room its own structure or is it separate? Is it a separate bungalow or part of a separate structure?”

She: “No.”

He: “Is there an upstairs or is everyone on the same floor?”

She: “Same floor.”

He: “I remember it. It’s like a little town. You have to walk everywhere. [Sigh] I don’t really care. It’s fine.”

She: “The work area is real small. They only have one extra room. I’ll try to get it. Only problem is, there’s a demand.”

He: “For one person it’s a good space. For 10 people…?”

She: “I made a video. It will show you how the rooms are arranged.”

He: [Sigh] “It is what it is.”

 *  *  *  *  *


  • Potential hire in the next stall:

“I’m actually in the bathroom right now. Can I call you in 3 hours?”



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