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chimes ♥
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:01
Time to polish the CV...
Consigliere
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:01
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Sorry to hear that m8 but being realistic:

- did u want to be a partner at an MC shop, or is it just that nobody likes their ego being bruised? Yes, the money is good, but there's not much else to commend it.

- realistically, are you up to it/is there space in your area? If not, you could have just spent another 5+ years chasing it - even if you're good enough, I know plenty of people who've been screwed right at the last hurdle (10 years +) because it suits the firm's current agenda. They left with an (even more) bitter taste in their mouth;

- you're ignoring the positives - you've got great experience/CV, if you want to be a PP partner you're in a good position to go to another firm and chase it. You might even end in a better position overall (not financially, but all things considered) than being a partner at your current firm.

Siegfreid
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:02
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Sorry to hear ...

At 6 PQE you are at, for the firm, a cross-roads. You are expensive yet probably not yet essential to the client relationships. They do not need anything like the number of 6PQEs as the needed juniors and so some will be encouraged to go elsewhere. If you can be objective, try to be fair to yourself about whether you are a strong lawyer or not and deal with the criticism that way. The chances are, it's a management thing, not you.
stardust
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:02
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Change jobs. Seriously. If you don't feel valued or aren't being given the work you want, then go and find somewhere that will value you and will give you things you want to do. Don't just sit there and expect it to happen to you just because you are in an MC firm. There are other legal jobs outside of the MC, there are other companies that aren't law firms, there are other people who aren't supercilious arses who you would enjoy working with. Go and find something else! Life is too short to miserable at work, ffs.
old git roundabout
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:05
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sound advice from Consigliere, Sig and Dusty.

Try not to take it too personally. Take it from an Old Git - what will define your career will be how strongly you bounce back from setbacks like this.

Good luck m8.
Consigliere
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:06
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Btw, I accept that this process of "managing out" is cowardly BS, if conducted as you described. Don't know why firms can't just say "we value the time you've spent here, but there isn't an opportunity for promotion - we fully support you finding a role that suits you elsewhere"
strutter
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:07
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Wot off said
strutter
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:07
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OGR
Cofferdam
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:07
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all sound advice. Don't look down the barrel. Just move on.
Mufcsan
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:08
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So you could make waves and ask for a secondment/career chat about what you need to do. Make them do something other than make you uncomfortable...!

The alternative is to just move on. It won't be easy, you'll have been brainwashed by the mothership, it's how they get you to keep chasing those targets etc! You need to mentally decide you've had enough and then go for it. I suspect the only regret you'll have is that you didn't leave earlier. There's so much more to life than MC transactional work.
Say. Joe. Priest. A.
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:08
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Wot others sed - sorry to hear.

However, there is no point being down - in the grand scheme of being a qualified lawyer, you are highly marketable with a great CV.

I can see it might be tempting to blame it on law and you as a lawyer, but I suspect that you're just thinking that because of the work and your mood. If you were getting decent work and feeling valued, you may well feel much more positive about being a lawyer? There are still lots of people hiring judging by the number of recruiter emails (with actual confirmed jobs, not fishing ones), so there will be something out there.

Best thing for you to do I reckon is go through your latest bank statement and work out what you could axe (Sky Sports, etc, Pret) and if you're brutally honest you'll realise you can survive on a lot less than £150k. Then you'll know what you can ask for at the new place, either PP or in-house.

If that doesn't work, you must be (at most) 35 years old. You'll be working for another 35 odd years. Plenty of time to start again.
Jon Snow
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:09
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What Sieggy said.

It's awful when you first properly realise that you work for a pack of khunts. It's probably worse because you survived that long without realising it.

It's very easy to lose perspective when you've invested so much in one place. I understand why you are seeing this as your mistake, but really the only mistake is thinking they ever gave a toss. You've got a good name on your CV, a good skill set (if poor reviews have only just started) and there are plenty of opportunities out there. Grieve for the loss of your imagined future then get out of there without a backwards glance.

Barnsbury
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:10
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another potential option is to talk to someone you trust at partner level where you are now and basically ask them "what's going on?".

Are you getting crap transactions because that's all there is at the moment? Is no one looking after you because they don't think you need it any more?

I appreciate there may not be anyone you can have that sort of frank conversation with, and there's no guarantee you'll get a straight answer. You may also get an answer you don't really want to hear, but it seems to me it's got to be worth trying to find out.
Say. Joe. Priest. A.
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:13
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Also, it may be far from a set back - you may well look back and think "thank fvck I was finally motivated to get out, it wasn't for me"
Consigliere
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:14
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Also, bear in mind that at the moment you're still probably suffering a bit from shock. No-one enjoys feeling like they're being criticized (especially lawyers). But it's important that you don't confuse the firm's business position with your ability. I know more than one person who's an outstanding lawyer and they've had to leave - nothing to do with not being good enough, they just backed the wrong horse and there wasn't space. That's the risk with the MC - everyone from trainee level up knows that only a very small % make it and it's not just about ability.

It's hard when you realise that people who you've had a close working relationship with don't give a fck about your career, but be real: these people are not your friends, they're in business, and the pressure they are under means having to be rutheless.
Ash89
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:15
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There is some good advice on this thread.

Do not forget to take care of your health - mental and physical.
old git roundabout
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:18
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Jon Snow absolutely nails it.
Twinkle twinkle little wang
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:21
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Good advice above - do not take it personally, there are loads of possibilities out there. Might be worth asking HR if they would like to have a "protected conversation" or whatever it's called with you. (employment bods please jump in and correct me)
Consigliere
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:23
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Whats a "protected conversation"?
old git roundabout
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:24
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it would protect them, not you.
Twinkle twinkle little wang
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:25
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It's one where they tell you how much they'll give you to FO I think
T. Dan Smith
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:27
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If what you want is to be a partner in PP, then simply push on and do it.

Any time you hit a wall at one place, simply push on at the next best place you can get a job at.

Never, ever accept defeat and never, ever cop out and go in house.

Nearly everyone who wants partnership makes it somewhere in the end if they persevere.
Consigliere
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:30
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Tbf, that place might be Dentons. Just think about that for a second.
Hey there! I am using WhatsCYP
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:32
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Some good advice on here. Plan A should be to build a business case (and abuse your corporate credit card to woo clients) so that you can port some clients and go elsewhere.

Plan B should be to manage your day-to-day. Give them no excuse. Politely challenge all criticism. Ask people to back things up. They are spending about 2hrs a week planning to bin you. You’ve got more time to give to preserving your career. No firm wants to fire a good associate on the back of some made-up bad reviews, and they certainly don’t want that noisily challenged. So the game is on. Be better at it. Eventually they will make you an offer. Be taken aback. If you’re in anything transactional, you should be able to negotiate something much, much better.

For Plan A, remember that any new firm will be keen on a sitting MC lawyer. Less keen on a lawyer on the shelf, so don’t leave without a clear plan and committed offer.

If you can manage to combine Plans A & B and get a big pay-out and show up 2 weeks later across the table from them, it’s a big win. ?? ?
.....Meh
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:33
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The correct answer to the question is:

Dscrb norks
🐤🐤🐤 3-ducks
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:40
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It's no good just saying dust off your cv or change jobs. There's something inherently underhand about the culture in which law firms operate.

Nowhere else, quite literally no other industry, behaves like this.
Hey there! I am using WhatsCYP
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:44
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brothels do.
bakerloo
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:49
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Thanks for all this, some good advice. PP partner is where I thought I was going because I thought I had the smarts and the client skills, but the internal pole climbing is where I've fallen. The fact I haven't been 110% driven at all cost no matter what to get there gives me some self doubt that I'm not bloody minded enough.

I assume seeking a protected/frank conversation means saying "I won't sue you, but I sense you want me to leave...do you honestly want me to leave?", but think if I'm at the stage of asking to have this, there would only be one answer.

There are jobs out there but I'm told Brexit has (whether rationally or not) resulted in a few "temporary hiring freezes".

Keeping my chin-up.
Cofferdam
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:51
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ogr at his best here

along with some top blunt advice.
Service charge
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:52
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Go in house to one of your clients. Then watch them old shop kiss your arse something awful.
Saillaw
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:52
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Ducks I've had even worse treatment from one of the big 4. I got through my appraisal quite adequately with no major issues being raised and then weeks later was called into a meeting with no explanation of what it was about and presented with e-mails from colleagues about why I was crap and was told to go home and seriously consider if my future lay with the company and give them an answer in the morning. Their faces were a picture when I said I wanted out and was happy to deal on them paying me part of my notice period and me leaving early.
Hey there! I am using WhatsCYP
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:56
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asking for a protected conversation is only if you've had enough. If you ask, they'll pay you peanuts. If they ask they'll offer cashews.
.....Meh
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:58
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If you're doubting your position, obtain a job offer you like the sound of, tell your employer you have been offered X but you're not sure whether to take it. If they want you it will prompt a proper discussion. If they don't they'll give you a pat on the head and say well done.
intheregions
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:59
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The fact I haven't been 110% driven at all cost no matter what to get there gives me some self doubt that I'm not bloody minded enough.


ultimately, this is what makes you a better person. Don't make your life all about work, keep some outside interests and value the people in your personal life, it will benefit you more in the long run and the people around you will value it more too (unless you want to be married someone who rinses you for your money and then fvcks the tennis coach whilst you're slogging your guts out in the office)
🐝 buzz
Posted - 10 January 2017 15:02
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I was right with you until you said "I thought I had the smarts"
Philip Stuckey
Posted - 10 January 2017 15:11
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Only people who are in PP could think being told you aren't right for PP partnership is a criticism.
Move on, never look back.

Hey there! I am using WhatsCYP
Posted - 10 January 2017 15:12
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Buzz, I'm not sure it does. it merely marks him as CC associate.
old git roundabout
Posted - 10 January 2017 15:14
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wise words from ITR there
Mufcsan
Posted - 10 January 2017 15:18
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Agree with ITR. The fact that you aren't willing to sacrifice everything is a good thing. It also says that you probably wouldn't have made it anyway - you need to be ruthless to make it.

So, take some time off if you can and start looking for other positions and fixing CV. You will find a job fairly easily with your background, but try and take the time to make sure it is right for you - PP partnership is possible if that's still your goal but you will still need to work for it. Do you actually want it?

Once new job is lined up, you can make the MC firm give you a pay off to walk away quietly if the bad appraisals are actually all of a sudden
T. Dan Smith
Posted - 11 January 2017 00:31
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Too many people who want partnership give up at the first fence they face. I can't say it clearly enough: if you want it just keep pushing, and moving firms if need be, until you get it. Somewhere in PP will always hire you.
King Canute the Great
Posted - 11 January 2017 02:29
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To become a partner of a big law firm such as an MC one, you need each of:

(1) technical and business development ability
(2) a practice area which is expanding or from which people ahead of you are leaving
(3) the support of one or more influential partners

So basically: skills, timing / luck and patronage.

I have seen people promoted in circumstances where (1) and/or (2) are missing. The key requirement is therefore really (3).

If the partners aren't looking after / out for you, bakerloo (and from what you are saying, they are not), there really is no point in staying with a view to getting partnership.
King Canute the Great
Posted - 11 January 2017 02:43
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Although I have seen people move once or twice (always down hill) to get partnership, I disagree, Laz.

You need certain qualities to become a partner (not all of them tangible, desirable or useful outside of a law firm) and far from everyone has them. Many people hang on for far too long.

I know of quite a few super senior MC associates (12 years' PQE plus), who managed to move straight into partnership at U.K. or US law firms just below the MC, and a few who moved twice before becoming partners further down the top 100, but staying on as an associate when the partners don't seem to rate you is risky.

A 10-12 year associate risks being unemployable: tainted in a PP context as a result of the failure to progress and too senior and expensive to easily transition into an IH role.
T. Dan Smith
Posted - 11 January 2017 03:32
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Nobody's unemployable
T. Dan Smith
Posted - 11 January 2017 03:59
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If Pittmans want to give me a call then they know where I am
T. Dan Smith
Posted - 11 January 2017 04:00
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"Bringing clients with you" is the most overtalked thing in the entire legal industry

At the pukka end of the game, nobody brings clients with them. The firms are too big and institutional and so are the clients. The lawyers are hired for their skills. The firm has the clients, or uses its name to go and get them.

I am very well placed, but thanks for enquiring
T. Dan Smith
Posted - 11 January 2017 04:33
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Sounds fvcking great tbh, do you know them?
T. Dan Smith
Posted - 11 January 2017 04:34
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My point is that nobody really adds much to their firm that it hasn't already got, other than being another lawyer in a firm that needs lawyers. You talk as if one has to be really really special to be offered partnership! Have you ever met a law firm partner?
T. Dan Smith
Posted - 11 January 2017 05:02
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Well in many ways, if it's cash you want, the answer is to start your own firm, because then you have control of the key levers of law firm profitability - how hard people work and how well managed the show is.
T. Dan Smith
Posted - 11 January 2017 05:03
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I don't really give a stuff what kind of partner I become, tbj. As you correctly observe, I'm only about seven years PQE so it isn't really an issue in the immediate term.
T. Dan Smith
Posted - 11 January 2017 05:05
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That said, Pittmans sound good and tbh if a magic circle calibre senior associate (i.e.: me) rang them and said "how about immediate partnership" I imagine the answer would be "yes pls sign partnership agreement where indicated tx"

Introduce me to ur m88 and if I get the gig we can split the referral fee three ways and have a couple of pints of Cobra each
T. Dan Smith
Posted - 11 January 2017 06:08
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I imagine they get lawyers of my quality passing their way rarely, if ever. Not that I would really need to demand immediate partnership, only satisfaction as to my prospects.

U can't have it both ways sun. Either it's OMG why on earth would you take that step down in salary? In which case you have to accept it would be attractive to them to find a City quality lawyer who's willing to do so. OR you think they wouldn't even give it a second glance, in which case you need to explain how you think such firms can be pickers and choosers given that they pay so little (in your view).

To answer your first question, I'd take immediate partnership at any non bankrupt firm doing commercial work. Any at all.
King Canute the Great
Posted - 11 January 2017 06:16
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Laz - I hear Notts Law & Scholar are looking for a lateral partner with general commercial experience.

Ps - The cobra beer gag above made me laugh.
Lydia
Posted - 11 January 2017 06:33
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Good advice above.
1. Find another job and tell the firm about the offer (unless you think it is worth double checking with a partner what your chances are where you are) and see what they say.
2. Take the other offer if it's good.
3. Don't assume if you leave you will do worse. Nothing has been better for me both financially and in life terms as leaving a firm and setting up my own practice from home, keeping all the money and working entirely how I choose to. People I worked with who were partners or became partners after I left have retired now! and I can work 20 more years and want to. Owning your own firm is always an option as is people sayin moving in house (although the money may be worse).Do consider your current financial obligations however before jumping into a much lower paid employed role. That was not an option for me with children at private schools by the time I was 30.
T. Dan Smith
Posted - 11 January 2017 07:03
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Notts Law & Scholar?

Been checking out the Pittmans website. I'd love to work for a shop like that. Would never have to go to London, ever, for one thing.
strutter
Posted - 11 January 2017 08:10
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"I really hate law and I have to quit"

Now who was it who posted that on Monday?
Saillaw
Posted - 11 January 2017 09:45
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Penrose there a few of us around who have absolutely no desire to be a partner and would be quite happy if our firm introduced an "of counsel" role or the like. I do law because I like law and if I wanted to be in marketing or people management I'd have joined the graduate scheme of a blue chip company rather than trying to do it in a law firm with feck all training surrounded by peers who don't mind if you sink or float. Senior people who are entirely competent and can handle entire transactions without supervision and don't take a cut off the profits are looked on well in many firms.

Laz I went from silver circle to south west regional at 5PQE and the deal was associate for a year and then 2 years' senior associate and then we'll probably make you a partner so good luck at your level just walking in as a partner unless you go to say Skegness' premier firm.
Captain Mal
Posted - 11 January 2017 10:08
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To the OP, "chin up" and all that bollocks.

My old MC firm at least had the balls to sit me down at your stage and tell me that (despite the past 4 years of telling me I was on track for partner) I should probably fvck off as I wasn't going to make partner there.

In your position the "no-one is looking after me" bit is the most troubling for me. If there aren't any partners you can go to speak to in order to have a frank conversation with - you didn't stand a chance of partnership anyway.

Polish your CV off and send it off to a bunch of recruiters.

Given the chance of a do-over (and more so in your position) I'd also have gone round the partners I did have a good relationship with and told them that I was intending to look in-house and did they have any suggestions. Even if you're not sure about going in-house:

1. If they understand you're a potential future instructer of them rather than a problem to be managed out you stand a good chance of seeing an improved attitude towards you; and

2. You may even get a tempting offer and (depending on practice area) you may find yourself way more marketable to firms a bit lower down the food chain if you can prove you've got industry contacts.

Whatever anyone else may say there are a huge number of firms out there who are chippy / delusional about the whole marketing thing and won't be interested in you as you're MC and won't be viewed as having a (largely imaginary for everyone anyway) book of business to bring with you / the right skills / contacts for bringing in work. Nothing to do with it but keep soldiering on.
Siegfreid
Posted - 11 January 2017 10:13
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I have a following and am very seriously considering setting up a boutique firm as it would increase my pay by an axtroglologikal amount. 1.5m mortgage would be gone in a couple of years ...
Heffalump
Posted - 11 January 2017 10:34
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lots of good advice here

also: get your hair cut and start exercising more. Start to spend some time and emotional energy on yourself. It will help you move on.
T. Dan Smith
Posted - 11 January 2017 11:01
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As you say

I'm not really yet at the PQE where not being a partner is an issue

unlike cookie
Lydia
Posted - 11 January 2017 11:35
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Sieg do it. It's much easier than people think. There is huge demand for good providers of legal services out there.
Twinkle twinkle little wang
Posted - 11 January 2017 11:55
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Siggy would it mean you can live in a civilized place again?
Siegfreid
Posted - 11 January 2017 12:58
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I could, Wang, I could: live in a place where they don't steal the washing off your line
strutter
Posted - 11 January 2017 13:39
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Well that will be nowhere near wang then - with his love of the blingy stuff I have more than a passing suspicion that he is part gypsy
strutter
Posted - 11 January 2017 13:44
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Only without the curls. Good singing voice though I'll grant them both that - do you suppose it is from all those hours of practice sitting up front holding the reins whist the horses trudge through the back lanes?
cІubman
Posted - 11 January 2017 13:47
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have you ever posted at all? not even as Hammersmith & City?
Twinkle twinkle little wang
Posted - 11 January 2017 13:48
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It is good to see there nothing casual about your racism strutter.
strutter
Posted - 11 January 2017 13:58
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It is kind of you to offer wang, but my drive really doesn't need tarmacing.
Twinkle twinkle little wang
Posted - 11 January 2017 14:00
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Lol like you have a drive
strutter
Posted - 11 January 2017 14:08
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Then why are you offering to tarmac it? You're a funny lot.

Listen just to show there's no hard feelings let me give you cam's address- there's so much scrap metal up there I'm sure he won't miss a bit.
Siegfreid
Posted - 11 January 2017 14:10
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I see a viz-style practical joke in the making. Offer some toughs a lot of money to tarmac Strutter's drive while he is on his holidays.
Twinkle twinkle little wang
Posted - 11 January 2017 14:28
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I am willing to concede that strutter may have knocked down the wall of his front yard to allow him to park his 1987 datsun sunny on the broken paving and avoid the council parking charge
strutter
Posted - 11 January 2017 14:30
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Do you have any idea how much those robdogs wanted?
daddycam
Posted - 11 January 2017 16:33
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oi! don't give Mme Cam ideas...
Twinkle twinkle little wang
Posted - 11 January 2017 16:51
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She's after a datsun sunny cam? She is nothing if not a girl with heady dreams
daddycam
Posted - 11 January 2017 16:53
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what can I say? - I married above my station
nernernernerner
Posted - 11 January 2017 22:07
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This is the height of ungratefulness and grass is greener syndrome.

You're about 30 or so years old and you're making c.150k.

And you have the audacity to b1tch about it.

You're doing God's work. OK, work has gone downhill a bit recently, but you're in a position where you can move shop and do something a bit tastier.

You're not working with thickos. You have a lot of responsibility. You aren't micromanaged.

A "10 year mistake" - ur...why? What else could you have done? Without exception you would have been nowhere near as successful. Unless you have some hidden numerical talent, ending up in marketing or PR or something crap like that would see you on about 50k, a third of what you make, with 9-7ish sort of hours....

Mediocre, dull work which you aren't well compensated for. Is there anything worse?

Leaving law? Christ. No offence, but no wonder you're in trouble at work with a mind as bad as you're demonstrating in your OP. You're better than this. KBO.