[Ed. note: This post is by EXLEY, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Exley's avatar (at right).]
As anyone remotely familiar with the law knows, the devil is in the details. Similarly, it’s the little things that can sometimes make or break a long day at the office. A mouse with a trackball that refuses to roll in a particular direction, for example, or harsh bathroom lighting that gives everyone’s reflection a sickly, ghoulish, glow can really mess a girl up. And a half-nod of recognition from a usually impassive lobby security guard can make a dude feel like the office is his second crib.
The dog days of summer present their own set of potential pet peeves.
The major complaint we’ve heard from female associates is that offices are too damn cold in the summer. Of course, offices are probably the same temperature year-round, but the coolness is more tolerable in the non-summer seasons when people wear warmer clothes. When it is as high as 90 degrees outside, however, it is impossible to commute to work in wool slacks and a sweater set without suffering heat stroke and/or being fingered as a crazy person (especially if wearing a pair of ostentatious cross trainers). Physical and mental health issues aside, it just feels good to be able to change it up sartorially once in a while.
Unfortunately, those who indulge in summer apparel sometimes need to store additional layers of clothing at work or snuggle under company-issued fleece at their desks. And forget about drinking an ice coffee or Jamba Juice inside! You’ll need a parka and a hunting cap to be able to do that.
Is your law firm unbearably cold or hot this summer, and have you been able to do anything about it? We’ve heard suspicions that the thermostats in individual offices at Skadden’s New York office don’t really do anything at all, and that the office is kept cold “for the computers.” Sounds ominous.
Any theories on why offices spend so much money blasting the AC in the summer and possibly lowering employee morale? (Perhaps it’s a way to awaken associates from the depths of summer associate food coma, or to indirectly discourage skimpy clothing.)
Summer attire can also chafe against firm dress code policies. Despite the perennial push for “city shorts” by what seems like every single women’s apparel retailer, are there any firms out there that actually allow employees to wear shorts to work?
Of course, even the uncontroversial short-sleeve dress shirt can raise issues if it reveals a tattoo, or three. A partner with such a predicament writes:
I’m a 50 year old lawyer in NY, a partner in a law firm. I have tattoos on my arms with images and the names of my two children and my wife.
Check out what happens when he rolls up his sleeves, and share your own summertime firm life experiences, after the jump.
Here’s how the tattooed law firm partner deals with his tats:
Of course, I wear long sleeves with many clients, and in court. But I have had clients come to visit me, or something, and see them. Uniformly, the reactions have been positive. Sometimes I tell people, I use the tattoos to scare or shake people up in depositions (nothing like taking off your suit jacket, rolling up your sleeves, and saying, “Now, would you like to reconsider the answer you just gave?”
I had one client stop by the other day, two guys, actually, and I had a short sleeve shirt on. They were stunned. They proceeded to show me their tattoos, which were also for family members. We had a good laugh and realized we had something else in common.
Have you shown any clients or colleagues your tattoos?
Does the later sunset make you feel guilty if you leave when it’s not even dark outside yet?
Do you try to eat lunch outside, to absorb some vitamin D and goggle the flimsily dressed corporate eye-candy?
Please share your thoughts on these and other summertime firm life minutiae, in the open thread.