What ever.

by kelly

Scandal at the firm today.

One of our attorneys organized a “meet and greet” with a local accounting firm to take place at a restaurant last evening after work.¬† The drill at these things is that people from each company (in this case, our firm and the accounting firm) show up, drink cocktails and eat chex party mix, etc., while asking those from the other company¬†about their practice area, which one is obligated to find fascinating.¬† One is then also obligated to then suggest that the other person’s work fits very closely with one’s own¬†area of¬†work, and that mutual referrals of business would seem a natural¬†fit.¬† The other party agrees; business cards are exchanged.¬† People share with their new-found best friends a¬†couple of off-color stories¬†about what their friend, Bob, did, the last time he was in [fill in the blank:¬† this restaurant or any other landmark or body of water visible from the meet and greet location].¬† People tell a couple of practice-related war stories.¬† Everyone agrees to “be in touch,” and then¬†goes home. We have these IN our firm offices sometimes.¬† No better way to encourage attendance than that.

But in this case, the organizing attorney scheduled it off-site, sent a total of three¬†e-mail reminders – one a couple of months ago, one last week, and one at 11:00a.m. on the day of.¬† He didn’t walk around to talk to people face-to-face to raise enthusiasm.¬† He didn’t have a partner or a representative of the firm send an “endorsing” e-mail or help with recruitment.¬† And here’s the clincher.¬† He only invited 12 attorneys!¬†

Alright now.¬† Anyone who’s ever organized so much as a Mary Kay party knows that a typical response rate to that kind of invitation (without using other, heavy-handed recruitment tactics) is about 10%.¬† I had indicated that I might drop by, but then, things changed for me.¬† I was tied up much later than I wanted to be with a deadline project, and Paul had been taking care of Emma for hours and needed a break. Trying to be nice, I sent the organizer an apology, letting him know that I wouldn’t make it.¬† Here’s what I got back:

¬†—–Original Message—–

From: xxx, Dxx

Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 8:44 PM

To: xxx, Kelly 

Subject: Re: Wxxx

What ever.

—–Original Message—–

From: xxx, Kelly

To: xxx, Dxx

Sent: Wed May 24 18:14:17 2006

Subject: Wxxx

Dxxx,

I’m sorry – I was planning to stop by the Wxxx Meet¬†& Greet, but a client has requested that I get them a couple of amendments today. I’m still finishing them, so I’m not going to be able to make it. Hope some firm¬†folks did make it.

Thanks,

-Kelly

And today, a partner sent around a¬†scathing e-mail scolding everyone (cusswords included) for not showing up (only three of our people did, to their twelve).¬† Now, I’m thinking that, under the circumstances of the invite, he slightly exceeded the 10% and did OK.¬† It should have been promoted another way.

I’ll sleep soundly, knowing that I apologized in advance.¬† But I don’t know if the organizing attorney will, after sending that little not-good-for-his-karma e-mail.¬†

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