How would you react to the worst in-office April Fools’ joke of all time?
First-year bankers and lawyers share a few things in common. They both have to be smart, driven and willing to work hours that most people wouldn’t wish on their worst enemy.
So, lawyers were likely a bit jealous when large U.S. banks started offering up luxuries like work-free Saturdays and mandatory vacation time, even though some consider the work-life balance rules a bit of a farce. Either way, lawyers have received no such memo – until Wednesday.
Weil Gotshal, a prestigious law firm known, like others, for its brutal working hours, sent out an email to first-year associates laying out new work-life policies – rules similar in spirit to those created by big banks, according to Above the Law.
Associates were told they wouldn’t be bothered with communications from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. on weekdays as well as on weekends and during vacations. Nothing crazy really, other than maybe the weekend rule. The young lawyers believed it, and likely exhaled and called their husbands or wives to say they’d be home by midnight.
Alas, the memo was a brutal April Fools’ joke. Understandably, associates were angry, telling Above the Law that the “f’d up joke” was “the worst…of all time.” Another added: “April Fools! We don’t really give a s*#t about you! Now get back to billing.”
Investment banks can work you to death but at least they don’t make a point of throwing it directly in your face. “Haha – of course we’re going to email you at 4 a.m., silly.”
Soon after the article ran one of firm’s executive partners emailed the entire staff to apologize and say the firm takes work-life balance seriously.
April Fools’ Day should be stricken from the calendar.
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Buzz Around the Office
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