Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Every morning, a bunch of e-mails go out from summers who have lunch plans, looking for people to join them -- the rule here is a 1:1 summer:associate ratio, so if an associate invites you to lunch, they might say they'll grab 2 of their friends, so you should find two summers to join. Usually, demand for these is pretty high -- getting to go to lunch with the firm paying the bill is a pretty good deal, plus you get to meet some new people. So what's been happening is a bunch of e-mails, "I need two more for lunch at Wendy's, first 2 to respond" (although not Wendy's -- perhaps Chez Wendy's, or Wendy's Sea Grill, or Wendy's Luxury Bistro) and literally 90 seconds later, another e-mail that says "Lunch full." People are all over these e-mails. I used to write back something like "I'd love to come if there's still space," but that's too many letters. If you don't type something as short as "Me!" and immediately press send, you're going to miss out. I'm at a slight disadvantage because my computer doesn't have sound -- so I have to watch for the little Outlook envelope to appear in the bottom-right of the screen. It's like a game. And then at around 11:30, e-mails that say "Anyone have an extra space?" start to come around the list -- as if anyone has an extra space they haven't already bidded out to the fastest finger. And then, at around 12:00, "Anyone without lunch plans want to meet in the lobby at 12:15 to lick associates' fingers as they return from their meals?" Or something less degrading than that but still pretty desperate sounding. I was successful today, with the self-deprecating "Me?" response, seconds after receiving an e-mail. But have failed in the past. Lately, some people have included criteria -- "preference to those I haven't had lunch with before." No one has been so bold as to write "preference to those I've met and like, as opposed to those I've met and don't." For the first time, I have a lunch invite at my disposal. An extra space for a lunch on Friday [Edited to add: Not anymore. Sorry.]. Planning ahead. I haven't yet sent out my e-mail about it, but I'm tempted to try and be marginally amusing, which will probably be a failure. But, honestly, what if the first person who writes back is the guy who smells. No, I'm kidding, there isn't anyone (I've noticed) who smells. But, you know, you click with some people better than others and maybe you want more of a criteria than "first to respond." But "person I think I like the best of those who respond, at least from what I know so far" is kind of rude. So -- here's some of the criteria I'm thinking about:

1. Preference to those who will not immediately ask the associates, "so what kind of law do you do?" and shape the entire conversation around work.

2. Preference to those with some outside interest of some sort, anything really, just something you're interested in, and, in the right situation, could end up in a genuinely engaging discussion about it.

3. Preference to those who don't have loud bodily functions that are normally active at the lunch table.

4. Preference to those who know less about which piece of flatware to use than I do, so I'm not the only one who feels stupid.

5. Preference to those who chew with their mouths closed.

6. Preference to those who will sympathize with me if I say something trying to be funny that just completely falls flat, instead of joining the associates in looking at me like I'm an idiot.

7. Preference to those who will insist we order dessert.

8. Preference to those who do not want to know the difference between corporate and litigation, how to study for the bar exam, what the most exciting part about being a lawyer is, or why the associates chose this firm over any others. I've covered those topics.

9. Preference to those who are not jerks.

10. And, actually, if anyone reads this before I send the e-mail out to the firm's list: Preference to anyone who reads my weblog. :)