June 24, 2003


I have no friends at work.

Okay, so that's not entirely true. I have acquaintances at work with whom I am friendly. But we only exchage brief words on a daily basis. The sum of all my non-work conversations is about 10 minutes per day. I'm not one to need tons of face-to-face interaction, but 10 minutes in 8+ hours? It would be preferable even just to have interesting work-related conversations on a daily basis. I can maintain my active social life outside of the office, no problem. It's being there for hours on end without any human stimulation that's difficult. I suppose it would be different if I had so much interesting work to do that I barely noticed the lack of conversation. But, alas, as previous posts have indicated, that is not the life of a summer associate, even one in my shoes. Hence, this blog...

Of course, I didn't realize that I had no friends at work until the other night when out with friends of mine who work together. They discussed their day, and the surprising feeling of jealousy showed me that some of the malcontent I feel at work has absolutely nothing to do with the work. At every job prior to this one, I've had at least one work friend with whom I could commiserate, go to lunch, and laugh. Here, it's heads down for all, and there's no one with whom I've particularly bonded. I sit in the busiest, and therefor quietest, corner of the office. There are no other summer associates or younger associates near me. It's not as if I haven't gone to lunch on occasion with a few of the associates, but definitely less often than once a week.

Unfortunately, while I can say that this malaise has nothing to do with the work, that's not entirely true. Patent prep and pros is a quiet, heads down job. The people who do it are generally introverts. I sit on that edge between introvert and extrovert. I need more interaction than I'm getting here. The days I get to go to client sites or training are the days I enjoy the most. That realization alone is worth the summer. If I accept a job that is entirely patent prep and pros without any litigation or other legal work to spice it up, I run a serious risk of being unhappy.

Again, I find myself grateful that I'm not in a normal summer associate job. If I was, I'd be getting enough lunch invitations that I'd never notice the reality of the office and I might not understand how it could make me unhappy.

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