Party, Slackoisie Style

Adrian Dayton’s found his dream world :Dilbert

Generation X Shows Boomers How to Throw a Party (Conference)

-Free massages
-Video game station with a Nintendo Wii
-Flowers and grass displays creating a virtual arboretum
-Young energetic staff
-Great Chicago food
-The man in charge with his shirt un-tucked.

(see a video of the conference hall here)
[Ed. Note: Watch the video, it’s precious]

Does this sound like a nice place to hang out?

And he let’s me know that this world is far more desirable than what I have to offer.  Except for the video game station, which holds no interest for me at all if it doesn’t include Ms. Pacman or ‘stroids, it sounds wonderful.  But it’s a conference, not a job, kid.  And it didn’t work at that, given that there were only 110 paying attendees.  Other people had kids of their own, with mouths to feed.  Those darn hungry kids. 

I understand why this is much more fun.  It would be fun for me too, if only somebody wouldn’t mind being the grown-up and defending my clients while I was getting a massage and playing videogames.  Oh yeah, and paying me the money while I did so.  How cool would that be!  Awesome!  Awesomosity! Awesomositiness!  Or however you kids say it.

Sorry Scott Greenfield, but that type of success story is just far too appealing to Generation X and Y. And to reply to your post, the issue is not that Generation Y has a problem showing up for work; we just have a problem showing up to work for people like you.

And you don’t have to.  If you can find your dream world, by all means go for it.  But you can’t have it with me.  I don’t throw parties to appeal to children for a living.  My clients have more serious concerns. 

My favorite part of Adrian’s memory of a good time had is this:

I wasn’t just impressed by Edmund Scanlan as a person, but by his unique conference that was highly informative. There were awesome speakers like Stephen Fairley who besides being a really nice guy also taught how to build a 7 figure law practice,
I can’t wait to hear how soon you’re all making 7 figures the easy way.  But then:

In wasn’t all good however. There was one speaker whose unprovoked criticism of Twitter as a marketing tool caused audible gasps in the audience.  His recommendation to get free publicity? Use the telephone and just call newspapers. How 1970’s can you get? Actually, the unnamed person was Larry Bodine,

Someone always has to suck all the fun out of things.  He’s old, you know.

So far we have been through the Months of Integrity, Courage, and Gratitude and so I think it is fitting that this month, in honor of Ed Scanlan and to spite Scott Greenfireld, that we have June be the Month of Balance.
Perhaps the problem we have is that you were not yet ready to absord the lessons we tried to teach you, Adrian.  You’re older now, more mature perhaps, so let’s give it another try, shall we?  I’ve watched your video.  Now you watch mine.  Let’s see if this time around, you get the point:

Think about it. 

20 comments on “Party, Slackoisie Style

  1. martin

    I wonder if the young staff asks if the guest wants a glass for the beer eith the great Chicago food or just brings the bottle. Now regularly happens to me even in better places. Must be a gen Y thing. Who needs style? That’s so like
    old or something.
    /pet peeve

  2. SHG

    Absolutely.  Nobody should pass on the Get a Life Video, done by Alexis Neeley in all her glory.

  3. Dave!

    While I think you have some valid points (it is a conference, after all, not a job). I do think Adrian does, too. There is a happy middle ground.

    And “only” 110 paying attendees is not necessarily a mark of failure. Do you evaluate your success by the sheer volume of cases you handle? Or is it the quality of service you provide?

    You could host a conference with a thousand attendees, but if they only came because it was at Hilton Head and they wanted to get some golfing in, is that really a success over a small conference of people who are really dedicated to the conference and came away feeling as though they really experienced something valuable?

  4. SHG

    “[A] a small conference of people who are really dedicated” to what?  Massages and playing Wii while learning from marketers how to make as much money as possible doing the least amount of work?  And this is your idea of who lawyers should be?

    I never cease to be amazed at how the work/life balance crowd never seems to remember what it is that lawyers do.  The law doesn’t exist for you to make money or have a fun life.  It’s a profession.  It exists to serve the needs of clients, not the other way around.  Nothing about this movement has anything to do with quality services or clients, but all about making money while living the good life.  Grow up, admit it and deal with it.  At least be honest enough with yourselves to acknowledge, I’m just in it for some cash and a good time.

  5. SHG

    My bet is that she has a publicist and they are desperate for warm relatively attractive female bodies that emit sounds.  If there’s a camera on, she will be happy to jump in front of it.

    So what was your favorite part?  I really like the fabulous food portion, showing the single-serving boxes of breakfast cereal, but the part about her own picture on her sign was brilliant too.

    [Edit: It just dawned on me, I’ve never seen her on the Today Show.  As for CNBC, the qualifications are (1) breathing, and (2) that’s it, just breathing.]

  6. Dave!

    Be honest with ourselves? Mr. Greenfield, I wonder who exactly you are trying to convince, us, or yourself?
    “The law doesn’t exist for you to make money or have a fun life.”
    Oh, right. It’s all about client service. Really? When Mr. Hull says things like, “You should be coming in Saturday looking for work to do.” We’re meant to believe that is all about client service? Because *looking* for work to do isn’t about growing the practice or making more money for partners? It’s all about finding work to do that the client didn’t even know they needed done! Huzzah, now I see the “client service” light!!
    Let me put it another way: why aren’t you a public defender? You’re a criminal defense attorney, right? My (admittedly limited) exposure to the criminal justice system would suggest that the indigent are some of the most under-served clients out there. What could be a higher calling to the profession than that? And you cannot cite the low pay or the extreme workload as reasons for not being a PD, because you’ve made it abundantly clear that the law is a calling and those shouldn’t be concerns, right?
    As *I* stated–and which you apparently missed–is that there is merit in some of the work/life balance movement’s points. Certainly not *all* of them. Just like there are merits to some of your points, but certainly not all of them, either. Working harder doesn’t always mean spending more and more time on something; there are diminishing returns. Sometimes, working harder is working *smarter* and I fail to see how wanting to maximize your practice while retaining some semblance of a life *outside* your practice means that your client work has to suffer. It does not.
    I’m not a Gen-Y slacker. I’m not naive enough to think that there aren’t lawyers in the work/life balance “movement” (as you term it) who aren’t in it for the money. Duh. Of course there are. Just like there are PI, divorce, corporate, etc. lawyers who are, frankly, assholes just in it for the money. Whatever. A fraction of people who are only in it for the money is hardly a basis for condemning an entire “movement” anymore than a few unethical, greedy lawyers are a basis for condemning an entire profession.
    I’m also not naive enough to believe that your motivations for practicing law are entirely altruistic, either. I suspect you want to make a decent living practicing law and I suspect you like spending time with your family, too. So maybe you should stop playing the pariah so much and get honest with *your* assessment of the practice of law. Do you honestly think there is no room for improving our profession? I think that there *are* ways to make it better for clients *and* attorneys. At least the “work/life balance” people are exploring options, not just grousing about how we should all be grateful for the status quo and stop being whiny little bitches.

  7. Dave!

    Oh, sorry for the line breaks above (or lack thereof)… I cut and pasted my response from Word, and that munged it.

  8. SHG

    You actually took the time to compose your comment on Word and then cut and paste it?  And that’s what you came up with?  That’s pathetic.

    You conflate two separate issues.  No one says lawyers shouldn’t make money, and good money at that.  But not because of their marketing skill, or their zeal to skip out at 4, or their enjoyment of fine food and a massage.  They earn their money by providing excellent representation to their clients.  That is what client service means, not poverty.

    And finally, I don’t come into your home and curse needlessly for lack of rhetorical skill.  Don’t do it here.

  9. Dave!

    First, sorry if the language offended. Not my intent, if there were a way to edit the response, I would remove it. (And I write in Work because typing in a little comment box is a pain.)

    Second, I’m conflating two separate issues? You’re the one saying that enjoying “party” breaks at a *conference* equates to laziness and greed and implying that wanting “it all” is somehow a character flaw.

    Third, nothing is wrong with marketing the excellent representation of your clients. Just because you are embarrassed about self-promotion doesn’t make it evil. Marketing isn’t a four letter work.

    Finally, you didn’t answer my questions: why can’t you deliver excellent client service more efficiently and therefore gain time for your personal life? You keep dodging that issue and hiding behind statements like the “zeal to skip out at 4pm” with out addressing why, if the work is done and done well by 4pm it’s not OK to go home early.

  10. Rumpole

    Although the flower growing out of the right side of Alexis’s head was somewhat distracting, I thought the segment on Captain Patrick was very relevant and informative.

    You can see clips of Alexis on the Today Show and CNBC on her You Tube channel.

  11. SHG
    Well, you are tenacious, which is good.  On the other hand, you believe that because you asked a question you are entitled to answer.  Entitlement is bad.  Nonetheless, because I am a helpful sort of fellow, I will address your concerns.

    First, note that the points you seek to make have been made before, and have received responses before, numerous times.  Just because you are new here doesn’t mean that this isn’t old stuff.  But you really aren’t looking for answers, but rather to argue your point, as have others before you who each thought they came up with the concept  as well. 

    You’re the one saying that enjoying “party” breaks at a *conference* equates to laziness and greed and implying that wanting “it all” is somehow a character flaw.

    No, that’s not what I’m saying.  I could suggest you read it again, but I’ve no doubt that your second read will be as fruitless as your first.  I am saying that going to the Get A Life Conference reflects a misguided committment to putting oneself ahead of one’s clients.  It represents the wrong focus.  Being a lawyer is not about having “me” time, but about representing clients.  For those people who feel so strongly about their personal convenience, pleasure and freedom that they would go to a conference dedicated to it, they are dangerously misguided in their understanding of what it means to be a lawyer.

    Finally, you didn’t answer my questions: why can’t you deliver excellent client service more efficiently and therefore gain time for your personal life? You keep dodging that issue and hiding behind statements like the “zeal to skip out at 4pm” with out addressing why, if the work is done and done well by 4pm it’s not OK to go home early.

    Dodging that issue?  Do you seriously think that you are of such importance that I would “dodge” anything to avoid your disapproval?  That’s quite a commentary about you.  Now to your question, I can deliver excellent client service more efficiently.  That’s because my focus is on client service, and my skills, experience and work ethic allow me to provide that service to my clients.  My focus is not, “how do I get out of here earlier,” or “how can I do the same amount of work and make more money.”  Those foci never result in delivering excellent client service, but rather self-delusion  that provides the rationalization for leaving early without feeling guilty about the crappy client service you’ve delivered. 

    The result can be accomplished, but not when that’s your goal.  The goal is excellent representation.  In the natural course of development, you will have the opportunity to choose between leaving early, taking on more, more interesting, more challenging, more remunerative, work, when you are qualified and prepared to do so.  Until then, you cannot go to a conference about leaving early and think that you’ve been endowed with the ability to deliver excellent client service by virtue of playing Wii or getting a massage.  Ain’t happening.

  12. Dave!

    Entitled? No I don’t believe that I am entitled to anything from you, even a response. But if you do respond and pick and choose the issues–as is your right–I’m going to point that out. And yes, I am tenacious.

    “I am saying that going to the Get A Life Conference reflects a misguided committment to putting oneself ahead of one’s clients.”

    I think I’ll agree to disagree here. I don’t think attending one conference reflects a *comittment* to it, merely an interest. Sure, there are the hard-core devotees, but I think the majority of people fall into the, “how can I do things better” camp. I have no illusions about the conference (or virtually any conference, these days): they’re selling something. So what? I don’t think that makes anything inherently evil.

    “Do you seriously think that you are of such importance that I would “dodge” anything to avoid your disapproval? That’s quite a commentary about you.”

    The interesting commentary here is that you seem to think I disapprove of your views, or that by stating your views I would necessarily disapprove. When in actuality, our views are probably closer than you think.

    “The result can be accomplished, but not when that’s your goal. The goal is excellent representation.”

    We agree on that. If excellent representation isn’t your goal, it’s time for a new career. I just think that a component of excellent representation is a balanced personal life. I’ve seen many attorneys ignore their personal lives and then develop problems that ultimately result in poor client service. And I’m not saying that is you–obviously you have your ducks in a row. However, I think that a great many attorneys do not, and in the end, that lack of balance ends up hurting the clients even more than knocking off at 4pm every once in a while.

  13. SHG

    Perhaps I’m unusual then.  I don’t attend conferences on a whim.  I go because there is something that’s sufficiently important to me that it’s worth the cost of the freight, leaving my practice unattended, leaving my family and not earning a living.  For me, the cost of attending a conference is quite high, and I only attend those that mean a great deal to me.

    Perhaps others are more inclined to attend conferences on subjects that aren’t important to them.  Perhaps I’m the anomaly.

  14. Dave!

    Maybe with more efficiencies in your practice, you could afford to take two days to explore new ideas and still serve your clients.

    But maybe not, given the nature of criminal defense, maybe it’s harder for you to work from the road. You know what’s best for your own practice. One size definitely does not fit all.

  15. SHG

    I guess I’m still not being clear.  The problem isn’t taking two days off.  The problem is that if I took two days off, that’s not how I would spend them unless this was a focal point for me.  There are many conferences that I would consider going to.  This would not be one.

  16. Dave!

    Oh, no. That was clear, believe me.

    I was just pointing out that other types of practices/attorneys don’t necessarily consider the investment of attendance so high.

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