Bring On That Client Contact

May 1, 2009 by  

lt-workcrush-full1I’ll admit, this is probably a bad idea.  But I’m sorry, I can’t help it any longer. I’ve had one in every other job I’ve ever had and it’s about time I had one at the firm.  I’m not going to be particularly picky about it.  I just want one—I need one.  Because it occurred to me last week, sitting in my giant bed in the middle of the night, alone, watching an old Law & Order marathon, if I don’t get the juices flowing soon, I’m going to dry up, die of boredom, and go the way of every leading lady lawyer the Dick Wolf gang has ever offered up—which is to say nowhere at best and crumpled in the trunk of a car at worst.  In other words, it’s time: I need a work crush.  Stat.

One small issue, though: There’s no one to crush on at my firm—hell, within a mile of my firm, it seems.  After you weed out the lawyers who aren’t indisputably trollish or creepy or latent pervs, only a handful of possibilities are left.

I guess there’s always Pete, my immediate supervisor and work buddy. He’s a great guy, cute in a sort-of asexual hipster way, and has good hair and a mellow, easy-going personality that’s a nice foil to my more manic vibe.  But he’s happily married and just had a kid—very look but don’t touch, which kind of kills the point of having a crush.  Part of the thrill is the possibility that something actually could happen, isn’t it?  OK, forget Pete. The only other candidate, then, might be Alex, a newly minted partner who’s genuinely lawyer-hot, just dickish enough to make him that much hotter, and definitely single. Only problem is, he’s one of the most socially awkward lawyers in the building, notoriously avoids eye contact with women, and last I heard, lives in a two-story house with his parents.

So.  That’s it: a married, asexual dad and a socially retarded powder keg who may or may not live with his mom.  This is depressing even me.  The upshot is becoming painfully clear: If I want a work crush, I need to move on to my clients.

Now, let’s have a reality check for a minute: It’s not like my client list is brimming with alluring, charming sexy young things—or sexy old things, for that matter.  It’s mostly populated by bloated, irritable associate general counsels and your standard assortment of game-free i-bankers.

There is, however, Phil P.  He’s a junior banker who I’ve spent about 900 hours with on the phone over the past few months slogging through a ridiculous, on-again-off-again nightmare of a deal.  I’ve always been struck by how funny and charming and nice he seemed.  I’ve also noticed lately that our conversations and emails have been getting more personal and decidedly more flirtatious—so much so that I actually wondered at one point if they were borderline inappropriate (and mind you, this is coming from a girl who once did this). Inappropriate or not, he definitely has all the makings of a perfect work crush—except I have no idea what he looks like.  We’ve never met in person.  And even Google Images has been no help. Basically, all I have to go on is his voice.  Yes, I am that much of a loser: I have the functional equivalent of a crush on a radio ad.

Things started looking up, though, a few days ago when I got an out-of-the-blue email from Justin, a finance associate in my year at the firm: “Hey, Phil P____ says hi.  (Old friend from b-school.)  Going to drinks Thurs night, wanna join?”

It was a like a bomb went off in my stomach. I’ve been thinking about Phil for a few days now, bemoaning the fact that we’ll probably never meet, and then this literally falls into my lap?  This can’t be just a coincidence, but…what else could it be?  See, this sort of stuff doesn’t usually happen to me.  I don’t have much luck with fate.  I thought The Secret was a scam.  But there it was: Drinks on Thursday.  With the new crush.

Now, friends, I know the drill.  This is the part of the story where, if history’s any guide, I’m supposed to sweep into the bar on Thursday night, all dolled up in my sexiest business casual, lock eyes with the unseen crush and see that he’s…morbidly obese.  Or balancing a hooker on his lap.  Or wearing flip-flops and carrying a box of porn.  Right?  Well, sorry to disappoint, but Phil P. was pretty damn perfect—just the right amount of dork mixed in with sparkly eyes, a quick smile, and the same crush-worthy personality from the phone.  He was hard-core flirting, I was flirting back and the crush was in overdrive—so much so that I had to check myself. This couldn’t actually be real, right?  I mean, a guy can’t possibly be this charming, this cute, this seemingly interested and not actually be secretly insane, or married, or some sort of dormant serial killer, can he?

As it turns out, no, he can’t.

After a couple of hours, a couple of drinks, and a couple of “accidental” hand-on-my-leg grazes, the inevitable happened: Phil’s BlackBerry pulled him back to the office around 10:30 p.m. (Love those i-bankers.)  We headed out and he gave me a quick hug (!) and a wink goodbye and within minutes of getting home, my BlackBerry buzzed with an email from him thanking Justin and I for the drinks (which were courtesy of the firm; hell, he’s a client, right?) and suggesting we do it again soon.  As I fell asleep, grinning, I wondered if tomorrow would be too soon.

And then, when I woke up, the unimaginable happened: There was a voicemail from Phil on my cell phone. Well, I guess it’s not unimaginable that a client would call me on my cell phone at 6:30 in the morning, but this was different.  This was someone I actually wanted to hear from.  The message was sweet and rambling and maddeningly vague: “Hey, I’m sorry it’s so early but—it’s Phil, by the way, sorry—but I just had something I wanted to ask you and I didn’t want to wait and I thought maybe you’d be up and…hey, why aren’t you at the office, right?  Just kidding.  That was so lame, sorry, it’s early.  Um, well, I guess if you could give me a call when you get a chance today, that’d be great.  OK, great finally meeting you last night, by the way, again.  OK, bye.  Oh!  Sorry, and you can totally call my cell if you don’t get me in the office—it’s______.  OK, bye. Talk to you later.”

Lying in bed, listening to the message over again a couple of times, I was speechless, beaming.  This was a hundred times better than a crush; this was turning real.  I headed to the office and waited a couple of hours to call Phil (don’t want to seem too eager, right?).  He picked up right away and after we made small (flirty) (charming) talk for a few minutes, he dove right in.

“Hey, so, this is kind of awkward, but I just wanted to ask you something.”

Awww, he’s embarrassed.  So adorable!

“If this is inappropriate, by the way, just tell me to shut up, OK?  Seriously, just say ‘Phil, shut the F up,’ OK?”

Oh God, wait, is it wildly inappropriate to date the clients?  Crap, I think I remember something about that on the MPRE.  I guess I could talk to the billing partner about it…

“It’s just that you seem, um, really cool and well put together, and…”

What a sweetie!  He noticed!

“…and I’m on my way to Grand Cayman right now, and…”

Grand— huh?

“…it’s just—oh man, this is really retarded.  But, it’s my, um, fiancée’s birthday tomorrow and I totally forgot and she went, like, ape-shit insane, so I booked a last-minute trip for the weekend because she loves the beach there…”

Huh.

“…and the hotel’s supposed to have this sick spa and I was wondering if you could suggest a few, you know, treatments for her, like to surprise her? My secretary’s not into any of that stuff, so I didn’t know who to ask.  I know she likes facials, I think?  Those are good, right?”

And so it went.

After about four more minutes of listening to my heart sink, I hung up the phone, wondered if it was possible to strangle yourself with a phone wire, and waited for the sound of history repeating itself—only to be interrupted by an email ding.  From Phil.  What the hell does he want now?  Suggestions for a good gyno?

“Hey, thx again for the spa stuff, sounds awesome. She’ll love it!!!  Forgot to mention, but I’ve asked Anand to send you an engagement letter to work your magic on for a quick advisory gig that got ginned up last night. Can you throw together a conf. agmt. for it, too?  He’ll explain the deets.  Sorry for the Friday dump, but I need it back by Sunday night, since I’ll be more tied up than I thought over the weekend, obvs ;)   Thx again, ur the best!!!  Drinks soon!”

The Friday dump, indeed.

With that, I closed my door, mentally slapped myself, and steadied myself for a long night of hot-and-heavy drafting.  And vowed that if I ever again have the brilliant idea to solve all of my Big Law woes by developing a crush at work, I’ll at least have the good sense to limit it to voices, cartoon characters, and maybe the occasional anonymous blogger.  The kind that don’t have faces, don’t have fiancées, don’t have billing numbers.  The kind that don’t keep you at the office late and let you get home early.  So you can crawl into bed.  Alone.  Just in time for a Law & Order marathon.

An excerpt of this essay is also being published today on everyone’s favorite legal tabloid, Above the Law.  Make sure to check it out here!

Comments

30 Responses to “Bring On That Client Contact”

  1. Anonymous on May 1st, 2009 7:02 am

    I do sympathize with this poor beeotch; she never lands the good guy. She must be doing something wrong, or else must look like a moose. Men generally will bang a woman who is put together well. Even if they don’t want to spend the rest of their life listening to the whining, they will do so for an evening or two.

    I suggest this woman either lower her sights to guys who she might otherwise avoid, and start humping a variety of men. We don’t want her turning into another Kristie Alley, getting very fat, and then losing the weight, then putting even more back on.

    With a good attitude, and an open crotch, she should be able to land a decent guy.

  2. Wilbur Moore on May 1st, 2009 7:26 am

    This woman deserves a good man (who can light her fire). I suggest that we get together a list of eligible males who would be willing to give her a good run for her money. Do we have any volunteers? Men? Line up to the left, and pull your pants down for inspection by the Legal Tease.

  3. El on May 1st, 2009 9:18 am

    Ignoring for a moment the crass absurdity of the first two comments, I will agree that the LT needs a break. Clients are not where to look for it, though, unless maybe they’re former clients and youre working in house somewhere.

  4. Anonymous on May 1st, 2009 9:18 am

    try jDate.

  5. anony on May 1st, 2009 9:29 am

    Dear Legal Tease,

    Please put these stories into a book for law students as a warning guide for working at firms. If your life is really like this, I’d rather work anywhere else. (And they’re amusing, too.)

    –anony

  6. David on May 1st, 2009 9:39 am

    I was always told even before I went to law school never to S*** where you eat. While I still don’t fully understand the relevance of this saying, it was explained that this meant not to find sexual companions where you work. In law school, this saying was extended to mean don’t F*** your clients.

    Where does that leave us? No sex with co-workers or clients. This makes it difficult considering the # of hours we spend working to socialize outside the work world.

    With this thought in mind, and given the dangers associated with hanging out in bars or placing ads on line, be it Craigslist or some other website (look what happened with that medical student psycho in Boston), what’s a Legal Teast to do if she wants to find male attention?

    Go for direct referrals from friends. My friend knows someone, or your friend knows someone, and they can’t be any worse than the losers you meet on line. After all, not all men are nerds, and not all women look like rhinos. If the Legal Tease is smart, she should hang with some of her friends, and maybe get to meet some guys through them. Unlike the commentators above, I don’t think its the lack of sex that is the problem, it is the lack of eligible men for sex. She should not be slutty, however, so I disagree with the posts that tell her to get out more.

    Good luck in finding what your looking for.

  7. Fonz on May 1st, 2009 9:50 am

    Call Steve Ward… duh!

  8. Anonymous on May 1st, 2009 12:09 pm

    “hand-on-leg-graze”?? This “Phil” would’ve gone the xxxtra mile if you’d let him. They’re all the same.

  9. N_R on May 1st, 2009 12:57 pm

    Damn, I knew I should have gone into law instead of finance. I NEVER get any flirting from clients.

  10. Anonymous on May 1st, 2009 1:11 pm

    Give the banker a few months and hel’ll be calling you, especially once that bitch fiancee turns intoa shrew wife. Just give it time.

  11. Anonymous on May 1st, 2009 1:15 pm

    HOT.

  12. Eileen DeBonis on May 1st, 2009 1:24 pm

    Men bite the big one. I am sure he would have slept with this woman if she had let him, and then surprised her with the financee story after he pulled out. Then she would REALLY have felt used.

    Men should be forced to check their balls at the door (figuratively) so that women would know if they were taken before they lost their hearts (and their hymens) to these pigs.

    I would string this loser up by the nuts if he had his way with me before telling me about the fiancee. What a turd-ball!

  13. Southern Lawyer on May 1st, 2009 2:54 pm

    Charming, Eileen….

    BFW, that just sucks!! But, hey, you know as well as I do that’s a violation of the Code of Professionalism (or whatever yall have up in NY). So, you’re better off. Everyone I work with is married…so…I know the feeling, I guess.

    -SL

  14. Anonymous on May 1st, 2009 3:29 pm

    The client’s behavior was pretty typical in that many men like to flirt to prove to themselves that they’re appealing to women other than their girlfriends, fiancees, and wives. I agree that he would have slept with the writer, had she indicated her desire to do so. I, also, think that he probably wouldn’t have revealed that he was engaged until afterwards.

    The writer should consider herself fortunate (and wise) to have gotten out of this scenario with her dignity intact and the client, no doubt, wondering what he missed.

    Although I understand that it’s difficult to meet available men as a hardworking attorney, it isn’t great to look for a man on the job. It can create too many problems.

    There is a good man out there who would appreciate this woman’s qualities and she should try to meet him by engaging in activities that she enjoys that don’t involve watching “Law and Order”. Despite the fact that I love that franchise, men don’t arrive through one’s television set. You have to be out and about.

    Although a good man is hard to find, it’s worth waiting for the right one and amusing oneself with enjoyable activities until he comes along. Sleeping with unsuitable men is, in my opinion, a waste of time and energy.

    Good luck! One long night of work is way better than being used. You dodged a bullet.

  15. Elizabeth on May 1st, 2009 7:16 pm

    As usual, men are pigs.

    I agree with Wilbur Moore, let’s line them up and strip ‘em down!

  16. Anonymous too on May 2nd, 2009 7:15 am

    I think the Legal Tease can take some solace in the fact she has many men fantasizing about HER through virtue of her postings here.

  17. Bill Dugan on May 2nd, 2009 1:29 pm

    I am not sure why everyone is going so hard on the guy. He did not take advantage of the Legal Tease (other than a little 2 way flirting), and she got some idle day dreaming in (which seems to be her main past-time). I think Eileen is way off base here.
    The man did nothing terrible. Out of the 5 “F”s, this guy did maybe one or 2.

    Find: Yes, but she also found him;
    Feel: Only the faintest touches noted above
    Finger: No.
    F****: Obviously not;
    Forget; Obviously not (this article is proof of that) .

    Personally, I don’t mind Wilbur’s suggestion (seconded above by Elizabeth) that men line up for inspection. While I don’t have any desire to do so for the Legal Tease, for the right woman, I would certainly be willing to submit to both a close mental and physical inspection. In this way, the woman could not claim she was deceived (or hurt). I have no desire to rob women of their dignity (or their virginity). If there are DECENT eligible women, I know their out there, but they are few and far between. So don’t just think that men are all pigs. There are plenty of women that use men, too, and they know who they are.

  18. Xuan Lin on May 3rd, 2009 12:42 pm

    Legal Tease need real man, not married man. She dream to find real man, but not good to look at lawfirm for real man. Best to find real man outside of law firm. Men in lawfirm probably not to have strong penis, and Legal Tease need real man with strong penis.

  19. Anonymous on May 3rd, 2009 5:41 pm

    this blog is like watching an accident on the highway, you know it’s gonna turn out bad, but you can’t stop watching . please someone get this poor woman a real man.

  20. lawlz on May 3rd, 2009 9:33 pm

    Eileen is awful bitter about the cobwebs in her musty vagina. Yes, we’re sorry nobody wants to go there. Please consider lesbianism.

  21. Eileen DeBonis on May 4th, 2009 7:20 am

    You people are missing the point. What I do with respect ot my sexuality is my business. I was commenting on the Legal Tease and how she can improve her lifestyle.

    I will also have you know that I have all the male attention I need. It is just that I do NOT let any man eat my cookies.

  22. PDawg on May 5th, 2009 3:15 am

    You’re leading such a sad life!

    All those brains, and yet every aspect of your existence is a meaningless wasteland. Endless hours at a soul-killing job producing nothing of value, a barren alcohol-shrouded social life, no creative outlets except humiliating yourself on this blog. My heart goes out to you.

    I wonder what it would take for you to give yourself permission to actually be alive, and then pursue whatever that means. Here’s hoping you find out some day.

  23. Joe Dick on May 5th, 2009 1:59 pm

    I am sure that if the Legal Tease found a steady boyfriend (with a firm pecker, as Xuan Lin suggests) , we would not have much to read about. She’d be happy every nite and we’d be waiting a long-time for an interesting story. So in that sense, it’s good for us that she is not getting any good sex, though I do sympathize with her on a personal basis.

  24. El on May 7th, 2009 6:28 am

    I agree with “Joe Dick” (tho not sure it’s his real name).

  25. Ben Dover on May 9th, 2009 4:46 pm

    Joe Dick was in my law school class. He’s now got a job with the FDA in Washington.

  26. Wing Fat on May 30th, 2009 12:46 pm

    Where Legal Tease? Who banging her bottom out now? We want Legal Tease now.

  27. GQITGUY on June 10th, 2009 10:22 am

    LOVED this story. Hilarious. Honest, yet very sexy. I find myself at our firm with a craving as well.

    I’m married-charming and good-looking [so I'm told] and am not looking to run off w/anyone. But I love to laugh, am very funny, love playful flirting over drinks and go nuts over Business dressed women, and, if the timing was right, I would welcome a bj, hj and/or to return the gesture w/ fabulous O’s – given in a similar manner. [Does anyone else related to this?]

    My problem is, I’m in I.T. And in my position, I don’t interact face to face w/our lawyers,staff, etc. I don’t have opportunities to ‘make work friends’ to hang out with. As far making friends within our I.T. dept, well, let’s just say they’re typical I.T. people and not really my crowd.

    I can tell when I help people over the phone who the cuties are and who the biotches are-but phone time does not allow for anytime of socializing. I have had some say that they’ve looked me up in the directory so they could make sure I follow through with their computer need and so forth-but never any more than that.

    I am envious of seeing ‘groups of friends’ going out for lunch and drinks. I eat alone (because of my shift), I leave the building alone. I thrive on being around people–is anyone else like this?

    With that being said (and I’m slightly embarrassed about having said that). I could totally relate to each aspect of this story. Input welcome.

  28. Beezwax on June 11th, 2009 11:39 pm

    Hey IT guy: There are 1 or 2 women in IT that are eminently sexual and don’t look like mooses. I suggest you get your bits and bytes together and start socializing with some of those horny women. Who knows, if you learn C++ and Pearl, you will have them eating out of your hand (or elsewhere). Forget the lawyers. Most are neurotic.

  29. GQITGUY on June 12th, 2009 2:08 pm

    I am not at all exclusive to lawyers-but you are right, I should look local. I’ll rescan my drive and see where it takes me-wish me luck. I’m definitely already sending signals…

  30. Beezwax on June 13th, 2009 7:34 pm

    Good, IT guy, you go for it. Once you find a woman to date, make sure not to go right for their “mouse” on the first date, even if it seems like a natural fit. They’ll appreciate it and maybe even make the first move on your joystick on the 2nd date.

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