The Procrustean Man

BigLaw Associates like that which is procrustean and there is nothing more procrustean here on this very earth than The Man. To fully understand this swell feeling towards The Procrustean Man, we need to go to the beginning. (by the way, procrustean means the arbitrary and often ruthless disregard of individual differences or special circumstances. Sheesh, sign up for Merrium-Webster’s Word of the Day already).

In the years since graduating law school, we BigLaw Associates have become very intimately acquainted with the word “fungible” and not just in a legal sense, or academic sense, but in a very personal sense that became to define our very beings. The same way “angry” became to describe little asian “girls” or loud black women. Whether it be manifest destiny or nature, they are some angry mother fuckers.

And whether it be manfiest destiny or nature, we are some fungible mother fuckers.

However, the word “fungible” , while slightly insulting, is still a tolerable state as there is comfort in being “fungible” in a sense, especially when you fuck up and forget to get a certain signature page signed before telling your client to go ahead and wire a few million dollars to the other side as you can blame the other fungible attorney that looks like you, or is otherwise from the same general hemisphere as your ancestors (even if you were born in America and s/he was not). (This is why diversity is important to you little minorities–if you’re the only one, who the hell else are you going to blame when you fuck up?)

However, now we BigLaw Associates have become acquainted with the word procrustean (perhaps through osmosis or perhaps through a more active manner such as being forced to toss the proverbial salad) through our occupation as a corporate monkeys in BigLaw. While contrary to the word fungible, which describes us little monkeys, procrustean describes The Force that makes us one with the word fungible . And unlike Luke Skywalker, the Force doesn’t help us shoot lasers into a one meter by one meter weak point in the Deathstar’s otherwise impenetrable armor and thus saving the day, petting the wookie, and getting the girl (well, the chick was his sister, so not in this case).


It is what causes us to use the phrase “what the fuck” and “oh, what the fuck” and “really? jesus. what…the…fuck” several times throughout the day, at times in: 1) disbelief, 2) anger, 3) comical but satirical amusement, or 4) a combination of all three emotions. (I’m not exactly sure what it means to be in a comical but satirical amused state but whatever, I’m not paid to feel feelings). It is also what makes us update facebook every 30 minutes, gchat with friends, and surf the internet and read about idle topics all the while fearing about the exact amount of our dispensability because we are a low-billing overpaid fungible angry attorney.

IT is what’s got us down. IT is what treads on us.

That’s right.

IT is The Man.

However, as life is about love and hate, our relationship with such Procrustean Man is no different. Because while The Procrustean Man restricts us into being just a numbered automaton that checks for commas, makes closing checklists, makes closing sets, scans said closing sets, emails out said closing sets, makes mini-binders of said closing sets, files away said closing sets, and other monotonous junior associate tasks that would insult the average-high-schooler-who-spent-the-better-part-of-his-youth-huffing-paint’s intelligence many times over, and forces us to wear a swipe badge so He knows when we come in or leave the building and to bill in .1 increments using a 6 digit ID number that is to symbolize all that we are, such Procrustean Man also frees us little BigLaw Associates with a direct deposit once a month. With such direct deposit, we can go out and drink ourselves stupid (since we don’t need a brain anyway) , or take a summer associate with us and drink ourselves stupid for free. With such direct deposit, we can take our dogs to doggy day care and professional photo shoots, crank the AC up in the dead of summer so we can cuddle up in our down comforter and 1000 count Egyptian cotton duvet cover, drive around for the fuck of it to burn oil at $4/gal and buy random ass shit (preferably online ) that not only makes us think we’re important (like really fucking expensive cars ) but also reinforces the golden handcuffs that go so well with our new Chloe bag and manolo blahniks.

One might call it the Stockholm Syndrome. We call it love.

At least that is what we have to tell ourselves to keep myself from blowing up The Man’s deathstar…or at least from kicking every partner in the Procrustean Left Testicle we see in the hallway on our way to make a closing set.

The Procrustean Man doesn't care if we are white or black, just so long as he can chain our asses up.


2 Responses

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