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Dodge & Burrow: Never call in sick

7
Dec 2017

Dodge & Burrow has this fantastic upside-down thing going on. The hierarchy goes:

Lawyers

  • Managing Partner
  • Equity Partner
  • Partner
  • Associate
  • Solicitor
  • Paralegal
  • Trainee

Support

  • Senior Secretary (SS)
  • Assistant Senior Secretary (ASS)
  • Deputy Assistant Senior Secretary (DASS)
  • Secretary
  • Office Junior / Apprentice

Now that seems to make sense, right? Looking at those job titles, you might wonder how else a law firm might possibly arrange its workers. (But you’d rightly wonder what kind of moron makes up a job title where the acronym was “ASS”? The answer is Shirley, Queen of the Senior Secretaries. You’ll meet her soon.)

Stay with me guys. Now I’m going to merge all of the job titles together so you can see who is most important in the building.

  • Managing Partner & Shirley, Queen Senior Secretary
  • Senior Secretary (SS) (other than Shirley)
  • God
  • Assistant Senior Secretary (ASS)
  • Equity Partner
  • Partner
  • Deputy Senior Secretary (DASS)
  • Associate
  • Paralegal
  • Trainee
  • Secretary
  • Charles Manson, Jimmy Saville, any other person ever…
  • Office Junior / Apprentice

The Office Juniors / Apprentices (known by me collectively as “Apprenti”) all were under the age of eighteen. You got a cup of tea every time you made one cry. You got promoted if they needed to go off sick with the stress. I was told to step down from management because I kept bounding off the company line, by calming them down when they cried, asking management to be kinder to them, and giving them straightforward instructions with no hidden tasks, so they could actually complete their tasks without someone leaping forward and going “A-ha! But what about this thing I never told you about? How could you be so stupid as to not do that?”

Naturally, in an environment like this, you find yourself getting ill very often, because in an environment so stressful, you’re always run down, so everything hits you like a tonne of bricks.

To call in sick, you must speak to a Senior Secretary. Why? Because when you’ve got a Senior Secretary, you don’t need an HR department. And if your managing partner is an employment specialist, they really know how to sidestep all of those pesky human rights.

As you can tell from the above list, a Senior Secretary is better than God (whether you believe in God or not is irrelevant, I’m simply using “God” as a placeholder for any supreme being that could have theoretically created an entire universe in six days). Seniors know better than you the state of your emotional, physical and mental health, so they were advised by Shirley, the Queen Senior Secretary, to argue if someone tried to call in sick. The way to argue? Give alternative medical advice.

(It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: not a single person in Dodge & Burrow had any kind of medical qualification beyond being a Fire Safety Official… and I’m not sure telling people not to run down stairs really counts as a medical qualification.)

Here are some examples – all but one of these happened to me. I can’t remember which Senior I spoke to each time – some are burned into my mind, some are not.

I bet you can’t wait to read more »

The Wacky Law Firm: Dodge & Burrow ,
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