Before we’ve even had time to drag ourselves out of the mud and slime of the all-but-eternal election campaign, the holiday season is upon us.
(It was convenient to have the election right after Halloween, as everyone had a mask and costume handy to wear as a disguise in which to go to the polls. God knows nobody had anything to be proud of enough to want show his face in that debacle.)
Now is the time to be of good cheer — or else.
Not to be Scrooge-ish, but if you don’t go around with a happy face from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, you’re accused of being, well, Scrooge. (Nobody expects you to look anything other than hung over on New Year’s Day, so that brings a natural end to the unnatural gaiety.) Moreover, and as I’ve commented before, there has been an annoying proliferation of holidays that just piles it higher and deeper.
If it’s not Thanksgiving, it’s Kwanzaa; if it’s not Kwanzaa, it’s Hannukah; if it’s not either of them, it’s Christmas (Christmas can even be a double or triple, as it comes in Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox versions, celebrated at different times and in different ways. That’s OK — what good is it being God if you can’t have three birthdays within a couple of weeks?)
Moreover, it’s usually not one of them, but all of them.
For a South Florida lawyer, whose clients span the rainbow bridge of modern diversity, it’s impolitic and dangerous to your livelihood to seem to disdain anybody’s holiday, even if it was invented last week. You have to send out carefully neutral season’s greetings cards. You have to have a cheat sheet of the dates of holiday observances cross-referenced with the clients who observe them. Worse still, you have to attend any and all celebrations to which you are unlucky enough to be invited. Worst of all, you usually have to sponsor (and attend and seem to enjoy) an office party for your own crew.
Given this mish-mash of merriness, wouldn’t it be nice if there were lawyer holidays that could regularize, rationalize and, best of all, replace the holiday madness we now must endure?
Here are some possibilities:
A/R Eve would be celebrated on the night of the full moon in October. All the billing lawyers would get together in the conference room with the Managing Partner, Firm Administrator, and the Financial Officer and go through outstanding A/R. Borrowing from Halloween, it would be like trick or treating — collect those A/R treats before the end of the fiscal year or the trick may be on you — looking at an empty bonus stocking. (OK, so I’m mixing holidays — sue me.)
Instead of Thanksgiving, lawyers at the end of November would celebrate just the Giving part. On this day of gratitude, each brick in the pyramid would pass up to each higher brick a token of respect and thankfulness for her place in the Ponzi scheme. It would be Firm economics distilled to its purest form, with the newest associate required give gifts all the way up his chain of command, from the barely more senior associate in the closet next door to the Managing Partner. At the pinnacle of the pyramid, the Managing Partner would be receiving from all and giving to none — just like every day.
The culmination of the lawyer holiday season, of course, would be Comp Day. All the little lawyer boys and girls would leap from bed in giddy anticipation of the promise of next year’s comp numbers. The Managing Partner, wearing a fake beard (to facilitate a quick and incognito getaway), would hand out the comp memos to the gathered multitude, then skip out before they absorbed the bad news of another round of cuts, thanks to the seemingly eternal national economic Troubles.