Monday, December 11, 2006

Our own worst enemies

I don't particularly understand girls. I know I am one, but that doesn't really give me much insight. I just don't get how smart, pretty, sane girls can turn into pathetic, sniveling, shrieking, blind shrews when guys get involved (and I include myself in that generalization).

My boyfriend and I stayed with a friend of mine in Los Angeles this past weekend. (Note that this post is not about how insane Los Angeles is, but rather how insane my friend was acting. That should give you some perspective on how bad her behavior was, since LA is pretty low-hanging fruit as far as criticism goes and would make for a decent post by itself.)

My friend, E, is a very intelligent girl. I've known her for years and I admire her greatly. She's beautiful, smart, has a great sense of humor, and can parallel park like a champ. She's got everything going for her, but when it comes to dudes she is no better than Britney. At this moment in time, she is single, having recently ended a long-term relationship with an industry type much older than she is. Things went south pretty quickly when it turned out (over a year into their relationship) that he had a child from a previous relationship, was having obsessive cybersex with fat chicks (can't make this shit up, people), and generally had more issues than could even be listed.

Time to tell him and his old balls to hit the road, right? Well, sort of. They are now "just friends," except of course they are sleeping together, and since I was in town, she wanted him to come meet up with us. He didn't. I didn't realize this was such a big deal, since I think of him as her piece of shit ex, but at 8 o'clock Sunday morning I learned just how big of a deal it was to her. She freaked out on him for "letting her down" by not calling, and when I say freaked out, I mean she kept him on the phone for close to two hours, yelling, accusing, crying, a full-on breakup except that they've broken up already. Lucky us, we got to hear the whole thing but had to pretend we were sleeping. I kept thinking, if I were that guy, I'd have hung up on her. What good are exes if you still have to listen to the tirade at eight o'clock in the morning on a Sunday??? "If you hate me so much, why not dump me? Oh wait - YOU ALREADY DID!"

Why keep talking to this guy? Why continue to do it regularly stay friends with an aging hipster who is obviously in it for the 24 year old chach and shouldn't be trusted any further than people walk in LA? I have no clue. None. She could date anyone she wanted, normal people, good-looking people, smart people, powerful people, anybody! Instead, she gets super bent out of shape about this guy, and there's nothing I can say to help her see how she is wasting her time. I've done the same type of shit (though not on this level) and even that doesn't help me understand why we put ourselves through it. But watching it from ten feet away sure is bizarre.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I left my spleen in San Francisco

With regard to my last post - I am over it. In the short, short time span of 24 hours, I decided I actually like it here. While I would never, ever, eeeever live here, it is a place I'd like to visit again while not being aggressively tour-guided by someone else's family. It is clean, pretty, and the scenery around the city is really worth writing home about. If only I could take all the San Franciscans out of the city and allow people like me to invade it.

Another subject, however, has been interesting me of late. It is bonus season, as I'm sure all firm lawyers are painfully aware, and yet no bonus announcement has been forthcoming. I have been wondering what they would do about bonuses ever since all you overpaid biglaw people got your $20,000 raise this year - okay, okay, raise in salary, I can practically hear the chorus correcting me from here. It will be determined whether this was a raise in salary or really a raise in actual compensation when they get around to announcing the bonuses, which should have happened already.

But in their infinite wisdom, the partners who make the deals that drive our economy seem to have forgotten basic game theory. I didn't major in political science, but I did take a couple intro classes and I always found game theory particularly interesting. This situation is a classic example of it. No one wants to make the first move and announce bonuses, and who can blame them? Sullivan, Skadden, Cravath, whoever - all the traditional first movers have been deafeningly silent this season. Whoever moves first will set the tone for the rest, which is true every year, but now the stakes are higher. Will first year attorneys really be compensated $180,000 before taxes? Does anybody actually think this is a good idea? Or will total compensation remain the same as it has been the past few years despite the increase in profits per partner at many major firms?

It's hilarious to me mainly because the motivation behind all this nonsense is their mistaken belief that these firms need to fight over law students since there are supposedly fewer law students now than there were before. This belief, of course, is total and complete bullshit and has been since the beginning. There are now and always will be competent attorneys willing to work for them regardless of whether the starting salary is $125,000 or $145,000 (or, dare I say it, way less). There are still plenty of law students, plenty of smart, capable law students, and the minute these snotbag firms stop restricting themselves to the top ten percent at top-tier schools, they will open their doors to much cheaper labor who will likely be able to do the high-level adminstrative work that first-year attorneys at these firms perform.

My prediction is that the bonuses will be the same as they were last year. Why? Again, game theory. All it takes is one law firm that had a particularly good year to place bonuses at that level and then everyone else will look cheap. It doesn't matter if it's the first firm to announce or the fourth. If it's the fourth, then the three firms that announced already will likely have to match. If only one firm goes through with the raise, then that one firm really will have the edge come recruitment season. Nobody wants that. So I think it will be the same.

Mind you, I'd be happy if someone gave me a bonus of $50. I am able to keep in mind that a bonus is just that - a bonus, something you are not necessarily entitled to - and that it is the season of gratitude. I'm grateful for the fact that these idiots have to keep paying through the nose in order to attract the biggest d-bags from my school; it gives me something to laugh at. They are reliably good at that.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Are you going to San Francisco? Sure hope not

Leave it to me to go on vacation and have my stress levels actually go UP. Here I am in California and I gotta tell you that I totally hate it here. Today at lunch, my boyfriend and I were sitting with some airheaded Californians to whom he is inexplicably related talking about terrorism and the Golden Gate bridge, and seriously, G-d help me, I actually thought, "They'd be doing the world a fucking favor if they bombed this awful place!"

You must know that if I am silently rooting for a catastrophe like that, a place is pretty fucking bad. Oh, and it is.

I honestly don't even know where to begin. It seems like I landed in the place that time forgot, and then when it remembered, it beat the crap out of everyone. In other words, the ghost of the sixties, which seems to be its heydey, looms large, and so do the aging hippies who seem to have deviated off their former diets of daisies and sprouts or whatever and are now fat hypocrites who whine about emissions all day but own more cars than the number of people in their houses. As someone in Zoolander once said, "Am I taking crazy pills or is this place still tripping on acid?" Well, that's not exactly what they said but it's close enough. Leave me alone I'm under a lot of stress right now. I need a vacation. GET ME OUT OF HERE.
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