Face time. It’s really just about control, isn’t it? Even if there isn’t work to be done, the boss demands that you be there, sitting at your desk, watching the minutes of your life tick away. The boss is paying you, and therefore believes he deserves you until late. How late? Late enough to prove your commitment to the company. Work Saturdays? You bet, at least half a day. Note to employers: this rubs Generation Y the wrong way.The source of Adrian's confusion is a definitional problem. He sees the act of physically appearing at one's place of work as a voluntary matter, subject to the employee's agreement that a physical appearance is worthy and necessary. What he calls "face time" is what others might call fulfilling the expectations of the guy who signs your paycheck. The Slackoisie believe that they are entitled to "mail it in" when they don't deem an appearance worthy.
I think that is the disconnect. Generation Y wants their life to mean something. They want to handle work that is significant, and they certainly don’t want to crank out the billable hours reviewing non-urgent documents on a Saturday afternoon just to line the pockets of the otherwise wealthy partners.
The attitude in years past to this sort of brazen attitude by young lawyers would have been, “tough sh**, deal with it.” Bosses, you should realize you could get away with that in the past, but I am going to let you in on a little secret.
WE AREN’T AFRAID OF YOU ANYMORE
Then comes the "line the pockets of the otherwise wealthy partners" issue. The wealthy partners are the owners of the law firm. Owners are, in a capitalist society, entitled to make money off their business. How much money is none of the employees business. The owners do not need their employees approval to become wealthy. It's just not part of the deal.
If the partners do not earn a premium on their associates time, so that they "line the[ir] pockets," then there is little purpose to taking on the additional work that clients bring to the firm. Law firms are not charities for their clients. Did you think otherwise? The partners take on new work for the purpose of increasing the profitability of the firm for the benefit of the owners of the firm. The owners, you may recall Adrian, are the partners, not the associates.
So each associate, if a firm is properly managed, should be a profit center for the partners. If an associate is not a profit center, then there is no reason to employ him. After all, it's not nearly as much fun managing whiny, questioning, demanding, complaining associates as you think. They are tolerated because they bring additional profit to the firm. Not because they are good looking. Well, for the most part, anyway. There are exceptions, though this is probably very wrong.
As for fear, which you emphasize through the use of all-caps and bold face type, I'm not sure what you mean. Slavery is no longer permitted in the United States. No one, even the wealthiest partner at a law firm, can force you to do something you don't want to do. You have nothing to be afraid of. Of course, you can always be fired, as you have no right to a job or paycheck if you refuse to follow the directions of your employer.
We can start our own firm, build our own company, or go work for someone that knows how to motivate us. We are the largest demographic since the boomers, and you raised us to fear nothing, and for that we thank you. Learn to live with us, or learn to live without us- either way, once you are long gone or retired, we will run this country.It's not quite that simple. If you think hanging out a shingle is all it takes to make people throw money at you while enjoying life on your own terms, most of you are in for a shock. It takes more, not less, time and effort to run a successful law practice. There's no guarantee that clients will flock to you, no matter how hard you puff yourselves on your website or blog or how many SEO words find their way into your every post.
Worse still, even if you get a client, your then stuck with actually having to represent that client. Oh My God! What do I do now!
When your client calls you in the middle of the night, will you tell them to go away? When your client demands to see you at the very moment you planned to have dinner with your girlfriend, will you tell him to get lost? When there is a do-or-die court appearance in the morning and you have just completed a night of serious partying with your BFFs, will you show up?
We can all understand how much more pleasant life would be if we could just work in our pajamas and bathrobe from home whenever spare time allowed. It's not that we don't get it. But when we took the responsibility of representing our clients, plus feeding our beautiful children who demand to eat day after day, we realized that we cannot have everything the way we want. It's time for the Slackoisie to come to that realization as well. We're sorry that it's not turning out to be nearly as convenient as you hoped, but that's the best we can do.