May 22, 2006

Get Ready for Your Close-up

Posted in Happy Hour, Office Hijinks at 3:44 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

So a lot of things change when you become a World-Wide-Web-famous columnist.  There is certainly a marked difference to how the attorneys are interacting with me.  They seem more calculated, very aware of their words and actions. Other assistants have approached me with their stories, some have even offered suggestions for their code names. My personal favorite is “Lolita.”  No real rhyme or reason for it, she just wanted to be called Lolita. 

Even my boss seems acutely aware, suddenly, of how much I suffer.  Every time I am exposed to what could be deemed inappropriate behavior, instead of turning a blind eye and a deaf ear, he looks me square in the face and says, “I had better not see that in the column.”

And since reading her debut in May’s column, Chatty Cathy has been giving me dirty looks.

As a writer I am use to some of this.  My roommate, we’ll call her Lauren, constantly complains that sometimes when she finishes telling me a story she can see a look in my eye and she just knows that the events she just finished relating are going to end up in a novel. 

A guy I was seeing told me he had a girlfriend. I guess my face expressed displeasure at this news because his response was, “You’re going to write about this aren’t you?”  His shoulders dropped and he added “Just don’t make me recognizable.” I guess he hadn’t planned on telling his girlfriend about me.

I imagine most professionals have these sorts of experiences.  L, explained it to me that there are only three types of responses she can expect after she tells someone for the first time that she is an attorney:  a request for legal advice, criticism of the legal system in America, or a tasteless lawyer joke. 

Of course sometimes the side effects are good.  Lauren is a therapist and for the most part when she tells people this, they start in on all their personal mommy issues.  However, once when we were in Block Island vacationing, Lauren told this guy what it is she did and his response had us laughing for the next couple of hours. 

He explained to Lauren that, for whatever reason, the girls he’s dated have all ended up crazy.  He wanted to hire Lauren as a consultant. She would meet his potential love interests and give him the diagnosis. We went on to determine that really Lauren should quit her day job so she could better spend her time issuing “Wicked Normal Cards” to people who met that standard. This particular gentleman was from Boston. 

Personally, I wonder why attorneys don’t lie about their profession. I use to do this all the time. I once convinced a very inebriated boy that I was former child star Tina Yothers.  Sure I felt bad as I was leaving a message on one of his friend’s voicemail, but it was certainly more fun than listening to this guy’s idea for a screenplay.

The key to lying about your profession is to say something so crazy and out of the ordinary that a) the person you are telling couldn’t possibly share the profession and b) they won’t know anything about said profession. Try telling people you are a trapeze artist, or if you happen to look similar to someone famous, a stunt double. Stunt double also works great if you have a lot of cool scars that you like to show off. 

A word of warning, do not try faking your profession in a situation where you will end up seeing these individuals again.  There is nothing worse than three weeks into a budding relationship having to explain that you aren’t really a neurosurgeon.  Trust me, I’ve been there.

However, if you find yourself at a bar full of people you can’t stand, bored out of your mind and faced with the dreaded question, “What do you do for a living?”  Lie.  Make something up.  Have fun at someone else’s expense and spend your happy hour blessedly free of tacky lawyer jokes. 



  1. Shirley said,

    Enjoyed this post tremendously. Thank you.

    Blessings…think you will need them. 🙂


  2. tyson said,

    Very Very nice information here… Thanks

  3. vinson said,

    Very needed information found here, thank you for your work

  4. Cash said,


    Very nice blog. I ll come back :]

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