Case 052 - Legal Profession
When I began my career as a paralegal, I thought that I would be working in that job for a long time. I had a very good experience starting out in a job I landed after being recruited from my school. Things were great for about 3 years. Then came an office manager who was the ultimate bully. All I can figure after the whole experience is that she was just mean by nature. There was no other reason for her attack on me. But attack it was.
From the moment the bully manager set foot in the office, she decided she was going to have me sacked. She would remove things from my desk when I was at lunch or gone from the office. Later she would have a note attached to the notebook or file saying "Return to (My name)". She did this to make sure I knew she had snatched items from my office in a sneaky manner.
On top of her constant stalking and scare tactics she used, she was showing things to the attorneys as my work product, though they did not necessarily represent my work product as I would present it to them.
At some point, after she convinced the firm's partners to push me out of the firm, I went into her office to leave a note for her. I will never forget the note I saw her on her desk. The note had another paralegal's name and listed duties to give to her to fill up her time. Under my name, it had "let her go" and "use her more effectively in the mean time." She had been scheming for a long time to get me sacked and she finally had her wish. Now, she was going to make my last few months hell.
As it turns out, another law firm had fired her and sent her to our firm. She had the nerve to place notes on my chair with attached newspaper ads for openings at the firm that had fired her. She was completely crazy.
But, when I tried to complain about her, she cut me off from speaking with the law firm partners. She deliberately tried to make all communication go through her.
She also tried to make the least competent employees her friend. After all, they needed her to survive there and they trusted her (crazy as she was). So, she really played them. One woman, bless her heart, was not very bright or educated. So, she really looked up to the bully (because she did not know any better). Some people still have that 'halo effect' when they see an attorney, even if the attorney is a vile and loathsome wretch.
Later after the bully threw a temper fit and I finally left, one of the firm's most loyal employees finally left. She had enough of the firm's antics. It was cool to see the bully left cold. Another employee who stayed at the firm for a while, say when she learned this other employee left, the bully manager was "in shock." That's how crazy she was. She could not figure out the ill will she was fostering throughout the firm. Even when several of the ladies at the office threw the obligatory office baby shower for her, they said, "well, it's not the baby's fault she has her for a mother."
After working for many years, I found that many attorneys are either mentally ill or alcoholics. And they raise their kids to be little crooks and bullies too. It's sad. But, I've seen it too many times so it is very easy to stereotype. They use their nepotism edge to intimidate others.
We need about 1/3 of the attorneys that we have currently. I guess attorneys have to clammer so hard to stay ahead or be on top, that they make superior bullies. They know the art so well because they know all about the law and how to violate a person's civil rights. Most attorneys go unpunished for civil rights violations. But, it did not used to be that way. We have only evolved into this state of affairs in the last 40 years or so.
Now, any loser can go to law school and be an attorney. Once they are an attorney, these people think they are somehow entitled to be a bully. We desperately need tort reform and reform of how state bars are managed. Currently, they are managed like country clubs. The state legislature cannot really touch them. So many of the legislators are crooked attorneys!