I’m a 2L, and the firm I’m working for next summer sent me fairly nice and useful Christmas present. Should I write the recruiting team a thank-you note? I’m from the South, where we write thank you notes for anything and everything, but I don’t know what the New York/DC norm is and don’t want to look stupid. The firm is DC-based, and I’m splitting with their DC and NY offices.
Dear Eternally Grateful,
Once upon a time, I was on the phone with my mom, sobbing uncontrollably over a guy who dumped me. My mother’s a no-nonsense lady, and while I blathered on and on about how I should just throw in the towel now and move to a nunnery because I’d never find anyone as amazing, she cut me off and told me, verbatim: “I didn’t want to have to tell you this, but remember how we got him that Tempur-Pedic pillow for his birthday? He never sent us a thank you card. Let that sink in.” Her words stung. What kind of person doesn’t send a thank you note to his girlfriend’s parents? A monster, that’s who.
The point is, there is a time and a place for thank you notes. If your significant other’s parents get you a birthday present, send one ASAP. But if your firm’s recruiting team sends you and everyone else in your summer class and/or firm engraved paperweights, you look ludicrous if you send a thank you back.
I’m not saying that thank you notes are never appropriate in the law firm context. On the contrary, if someone referred business to you, it’s entirely appropriate to break out the heavy stock paper with the understated paisley envelope and thank away. But cards that say “thanks for interviewing me” or a “thanks for sending me this tote bag which you sent to everybody else in the firm” is just too much thanks. Nobody should be that thankful for anything, ever.
No matter how insanely useful the stainless steel pen inscribed with the firm’s name, no matter how much you cherish that firm-emblazoned mug, you need to show yourself (and the firm) some respect by reeling in the gratitude, except when it’s appropriate.
Elie thanks his lucky stars after the jump.
You’re from the South? That’s cool. My mom is from the South. Personally, I try to never go south of the Mason-Dixon line unless I’m being dragged behind a truck with prosthetic testicles attached, but during my extensive travels throughout the northeast corridor I’ve noticed that a lot of Southerners have immigrated into the Union.
Based on this research, I think you’d better send that thank you note. Southerners really do send thank you notes for everything, but more importantly Southerners really do seem to get insanely pissed off (in that super nice, passive aggressive way) when they do not receive a thank you note. It’s an honor thing or something. I don’t claim to fully understand the phenomenon, but I know it to be true. There’s a good chance that a lot of people from the South work at your firm in D.C., so it’s better to be safe then vendetta-ed or whatever it is they do.
Also, since D.C. is a southern city, when you show up for work, make sure you doff your cap and say nice things about Jesus.
I do declare,
Elie Tecumseh Mystal
Well folks, it appears that Elie’s once again been hitting the Jesus Juice hard, because DC is most definitely NOT a southern city. Regardless, I’m pretty confident that fellow summer associates who also received the firm-monogrammed solar calculators are not all from Tara. As such, they won’t be sending thank yous.