Email Scandals, Partner Issues, Small Law Firms, Weirdness

Founding Partner Warns: ‘Get Your Ass To Work’

Does this look like 'lunch' to you?

Did you show up to work on time this morning? Did you? You better show up to work on time, every day, or else Gary K. Shipman will come and get you.

Don’t know who Gary Shipman is? Well, you are about to. He has his own small law firm in North Carolina, and he is goddamn tired of people showing up to work late. And yeah, 9:00 a.m. is late, according to Shipman. Hey, you don’t get highlighted in the Wilmington Star News for your “aggressive nature” and “work ethic” without starting to bust heads at 8:30.

I guess when you have your own firm, you can send around any email you want — even slightly nonsensical emails about when “lunch hour” is supposed to start…

The email from Shipman to his firm is just weird. I mean, his point is clear — he wants people at work earlier — but the way he goes about it is just strange. The famous Morrison & Foerster “get to work on time” email was more straightforward (despite its reference to “jumping jacks at 8:00 a.m. in the lobby”).

So here’s the Shipman email:

From: Gary Shipman
Subject: “Lunch”

“Lunch” is a meal in the middle of the day, usually starting about 12. It’s not a period that starts when the work day starts, which, depending on which day it is, begins (with everyone in attendance, or not) by 9, when it should start by 8:30. Therefore, ain’t no such thing as “lunch hour” at the beginning of the day. Get your ass to work, on time, every day. This broad generalization doesn’t apply to some of you, and you know who you are. But it does apply to others, and you know who you are too. I want pigs; not chickens.

Gary K. Shipman

Shipman & Wright, L.L.P.

Depending on how you interpret the fable of the chicken and the pig, perhaps Shipman is trying to say he wants associates who are fully committed to the firm as opposed to mere contributors. Or maybe he’s trying to say he wants associates who are willing to be eaten by Shipman and his clients, instead of associates who just show up, do their job, and go home. Sounds like Shipman & Wright is a lovely place to work.

But hey, ain’t no founding partner should have to beg people to get to work on time, right?

We reached out to Gary Shipman, but he did not respond to our request for comment. Maybe we emailed during his lunch hour.

Earlier: MoFo Associates, Are You At Work Yet? You So Better Be At Work Already!
Akin Gump Partner Pens Email Fantasy About Firing Delinquent Time Keepers

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