Monday, September 10, 2012

Retreat

I'm at the point where doing nothing is getting a wee bit boring. It would be better if everyone else were doing nothing, then we could do something together. But the work week is quite the barrier, all these people with jobs and responsibilities. How unfair. I did have three days of actual scheduled time this past week. My group at the firm had a retreat here in DC. Well it was in Arlington, VA technically but that's close enough. There was a cocktail reception, a day and a half of meetings, and two nights of going out on the town. The meetings were mostly geared towards partners, although they did give me a better sense of what the practice group does. The social aspects were far more productive for me (not to mention more fun than listening to the head of the group remind partners to get their bills out on time). It was good to meet the people I will be working with. I think that type of relationship is much better with someone you have met in person. Call me old fashioned, but I feel much better taking work from people I have shaken hands with. And the flip side of that is that people who have met me are more likely to give me work and frankly be nicer to me. I even talked to some associates about my interests and got preemptively put on some cases. Department of Energy enforcement action, here I come! (Not sarcastic. I am actually excited about being a part of the matter.)

And then there were the nights we went out. The first night we went to POV, on top of the W Hotel to give the attorneys from the other offices a DC feel. The second night was more intense. We went to a restaurant with 1) a great view, 2) terrible food, and 3) an open bar. The DC attorneys formed an ad hoc party-planning committee and headed to 18th Street. They wanted a classier place to begin the night, and I suggested Jack Rose. In retrospect, it was a ballsy move for a not-yet associate to steer the entire group but it paid off. The bar features a huge whiskey list, good beer, and a fun atmosphere. The highlight was definitely buying a partner a manhattan and praying she liked it. Luckily she did, and now I feel like she is barred from being mean to me for my first six months. After everyone had a few drinks under their belt (metaphorically, if that were literal it would be quite odd), we headed up to Adams Morgan and settled at Millie and Al's. It ain't a classy place, but it got the job done. I definitely had a jello shot with a few partners including the international head of our practice group. Then I headed home around 1 am to be ready for our 8 am breakfast. I was far from the last one there. The group partied hard and was full of fun people. I'm glad to be joining up. It's far better than it could have been (Ex.: "This shiraz smells of currant and red berries. What do you think? Now I must retire for it hath past nine o'clock and  I must be fresh for the morning meetings.")

Also at Jack Rose, I got asked my name by a bouncer under the excuse that someone dropped some unknown item. Immediately after, a girl came over and asked me my name. Well turns out it wasn't someone flirting or being sketchy; she was a girl I knew in elementary school and hadn't seen in about 20 years. But she recognized me. I guess I really have looked the same since I was four.

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