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Hey, new friends — welcome (to hell). Hell, that is, if you are a first-year working for the young gentleman who offered up that fun voicemail message that is making the rounds on lawyer blogs and through the legal e-mail circuit. In case you have not heard about it, an associate at a firm was apparently really pissed off at another associate at a different firm. He left him a voicemail that basically said if the associate continues to complain about some changes to a deal document that were apparently really bothering him, he would make his life very unpleasant. He proceeded to curse a few times and told him to act like a “monkey f**king scribe.” Now, what lessons can the virgin barristers among us take from this unique exemplar? First, monkeys can write. Second, some lawyers, like the guy who saved the voicemail, are pretty tech savvy. Third, somebody needs a headhunter. The real lesson is, of course, when leaving voicemail, be careful what you say. Or, if you are a monkey, be careful what you write. When you are new at a firm, it is always better to see people in person than to leave them a voicemail. It will help you get to know your colleagues, force you to avoid dressing like a slob and, hey, you never know — you may meet someone who can teach you cool tricks for screwing jerks who treat you like dirt. When you’re roaming the halls looking to meet people, speak loudly, and I mean LOUDLY, so that everyone can hear you. Also, carry a boom box radio at a high volume — people just don’t do that anymore. For those occasions when people come to see you, try to decorate your office with a theme. If you like animals, for example, consider arranging giant stuffed dolls neatly around the room and have a repeating CD of safari sounds playing all day (loudly, of course). Oh, and if you ever feel the need to leave a really angry voicemail, leave it for yourself first. Then play it back an hour later and see how it sounds. If that doesn’t work, just ask the “monkey f**king scribe” guy for advice. While words like “please” and “thank you” are always welcome in legal circles, the true watchwords of a successful lawyer are “clients,” “billing” and “busy.” Try to use these terms as often as possible. Might I suggest you start incorporating them into your conversations at home just to get comfortable with the nomenclature? You: “Hi, honey, how was your day?” Honey: “Wonderful, dear. Yours?” You: “Ah, you know, taking calls from clients, billing, keeping busy.” Honey: “Wow, dear, I am just so proud of you.” You: “Yeah, I am a real billing machine, but I’m so damn busy with these clients.” Honey: “Will you be working late again tomorrow night?” You: “Will I ever? These people think my life revolves around them. They keep me so busy, I barely have time to enter my billing, let alone speak to their clients.” Honey: “You sure do seem happy.” You: “Happy? Have you ever heard what happy sounds like? If I show you all of the r�sum�s I have sent out in the past week, will that make you realize that I am as far away from happy as possible?” Well, you get my drift on the home front. Now, remember, conversations at work take a much more professional turn. For instance: You: “Good morning, Mr. Smithers.” Smithers: “Who are you?” You: “I am a new associate. I’ve been working on the Jones account.” Smithers: “Oh. You keeping busy?” You: “Oh, yes. I’ve been busy, very busy.” Smithers: “Not too busy, I hope (insert disingenuous laugh here).” You: [to Smithers as he is walking away]: “No, Sir, not too busy at all. I love billing. Love it (insert under your breath mumbling toward Smithers here).” Now, just imagine how much more interesting that conversation would be if you had a boom box in your hands. Although you may get the impression from our friend’s voicemail (and from the expertly crafted dialogue above) that lawyers do a lot of speaking, you are wrong. They do far more writing, which is precisely why you should get a monkey. Your best bet is to check eBay. Best of luck in your new (and sure to be voicemail-laden) legal career. The Disassociate is an anonymous, irreverent look at the humorous side of life as a law firm associate. He can be reached at [email protected]

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