Blog Week 97: The rights of Bill.

Sunday 30 September 23.47

A relaxing day. The sun shone (two Sundays in a row) and all seemed well with the world.

Monday 1 October 23.39

So begins the next quarter of our firm's fiscal year. Not important to you, but increasingly important to us. I know it is boring and tedious but I better not say anything more (unless you buy me a barcadi and coke sometime...)

I and other have been in awe of Bill, our beloved Brussels managing partner, in the past. But lately I have noticed he has been acting a bit erratically - and I am not referring to last week's conversation. Needless to say Barbie, his bimbo secretary, is involved (why do I always start to get bitchy when I talk about her?). I better blog some more tomorrow as today's appalling weather has given me a headache. And I could quite easily end up ranting about her rather than talking about him.

Tuesday 2 October 23.26

Feeling better than yesterday; well the weather was less miserable today and the office air-conditioning felt less aggressive than usual.

Yesterday I mentioned Bill's recent oddness. Here is just one example. The other day Bill asked someone else's secretary to book a haircut for his (frightening looking) son's girlfriend. Why he did not ask Barbie remains a mystery. After all she will (literally) bend over backwards for him.

The result was: this secretary was pissed off (she refuses to do personal stuff like this for her own lawyers, let alone for some one else) and made a complaint to Pierre. Her lawyers were pissed off as she should have been busy with their casework. Barbie was pissed off with this secretary, assuming the latter was somehow trying to muscle in on her boss. Bill was surprised by all the commotion he had caused. He told Pierre he was perfectly within his rights to make this request. Normally Bill is so poised as he tiptoes through the minefield of office politics. But not even Neanderthal would make such an error.

Thursday 4 October 23.46

Old Timer (who else of course) once told me that partners act like medieval Venetian merchants. Once upon a time, apparently, these traders had a monopoly on certain spices coming to Europe from the East. The spices would arrive in Venice and then the local merchants would aggressively compete with each other in buying and selling. When their trading was complete they totally united when then dealing with the traders from other parts of Europe - who had all been patiently waiting outside and were desperate to buy the spices. The Venetian merchants knew when to compete and when to collaborate with each other.

As far as I know about these things, partners seem to act in the same way. I have heard some rumours about recent partner disagreements on certain strategic issues (more to tell soon); but when it comes to an issue like associate remuneration they are as united as the merchants of Venice.

So it came as a surprise last week that Bill publicly rebuked another partner over a client conflict issue. It is the sort of thing that would normally happen behind closed-doors. But Bill seemed to relish the opportunity to let everyone in the office know what had happened. Not a man behaving madly, but strange behaviour nonetheless.


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