British Expats

British Expats (https://britishexpats.com/forum/)
-   The Maple Leaf (https://britishexpats.com/forum/maple-leaf-98/)
-   -   Coronavirus (https://britishexpats.com/forum/maple-leaf-98/coronavirus-930602/)

bats May 5th 2022 8:03 pm

Re: Coronavirus
 

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian (Post 13112525)
Not in Calgary. I have no idea about other places.

The thing that struck when I came here was that there was a ladder: First year lawyers did first year lawyer things; second year lawyers, did second year lawyer things, etc. There was no way to expedite the process. All of the associates from all of the larger firms shared income information and that was used by the firms to set salaries. All first years are paid the same; all second years are paid the same, etc. It was not based on merit and it was a total shock to me. If you are not able to bill your 2500 hours a year, you are let go. If you can, you make partner in year 7.

I had been practicing for 10 years in England prior to arriving here. Once I was admitted, half of the partnership wished for me to practice as if I had the same level of experience in Canada as I'd had in England. The other half wanted me to go through what they had gone through and start as a first year. In the first 6 months after admission I had brought in clients that generated more fees than the partners that were wanting me to start from scratch and that pissed them off. I told them to sort themselves out, or I would leave and, 10 months after I was called, I left to set up on my own.

In England, you were paid depending upon your billing, irrespective of experience and you only made partner if you were a rainmaker. Rainmakers are not necessarily good lawyers and they can always pay good lawyers, that don't have the interpersonal skills to become rainmakers to do the work for them.

In England, I could bet that, if I spent 5 minutes speaking to a solicitor, I would be able to tell you what area of law they worked it, as it is very personality specific. Law firms there recruit trainees with a specific area of practice in mind and, if recruited, very few trainees are let go as the firm has spent 2 years training them. In Calgary, Articles are for a single year and a big firm will take on 100 students, aiming to keep 10 of them at the end. It's a totally different system.

I agree that, for most, it is a route to riches, at the expense of the clients. Don't get me started about the Q.C. system here. Real Estate Lawyers becoming Q.C.s. Kavanagh, they are not!

Apologies for the thread drift.

The thread drift is interesting. What's a rainmaker? Someone who brings business in?

dbd33 May 5th 2022 9:01 pm

Re: Coronavirus
 

Originally Posted by bats (Post 13112581)
The thread drift is interesting. What's a rainmaker? Someone who brings business in?

Yes. Law firms are pyramids, the income of a lawyer depends on hours billed by subordinates so the ideal is to bring in enough business to keep a team busy. My understanding is that my daughter's husband (newish partner in a national firm) spends as much time tending to his flock of associates as he does lawyering. I'm told that living with me in my computer pimping and software sales phase was good training for living with a commercial lawyer. This, rather sniffy, opinion was offered by a criminal lawyer with the air of someone looking down on the trades people.

JamesM May 6th 2022 1:13 am

Re: Coronavirus
 

Originally Posted by bats (Post 13112581)
The thread drift is interesting. What's a rainmaker? Someone who brings business in?

That's my guesstimate!

Paul_Shepherd May 6th 2022 11:16 am

Re: Coronavirus
 

Originally Posted by Jingsamichty (Post 13112473)
I call that "learning by osmosis" and I agree it has really suffered by being out of the office. However, we adapt, and I for one hope I'm never in an office full-time again. Hybrid suits me just fine.

I could cope with a hybrid... I think the eventual plan is be at home on Monday and Friday (if you choose) and Tue Wed and Thurs in the office... that would be ok, as lots of time to "learn by osmosis" and get together face to face to discuss techincal issues...as that just doesn't work on teams... its painful.

Paul_Shepherd May 6th 2022 11:29 am

Re: Coronavirus
 

Originally Posted by dbd33 (Post 13112481)
This office socialisation idea is something I hear from HR and from what they call L1s and it may be true that senior executives of large organizations spend much of their day chatting with other senior executives in a suite of offices with doors and a view of the mountains. Perhaps they have cocktail cabinets in the shape of globes. They will have a common background and ethnicity and mingle easily, chatting about lacrosse or tennis or eventing.

At the tactical level however it's nonsense. The staff are spread across the country, the development teams are in Ireland or Portugal or wherever's cheaper this year, the grunt work is done in India. The workers are from the four corners and share only an appreciation for cricket and the World Cup. Regardless of where a team member is sitting they will have headphones on and be speaking to someone far away. Conference rooms are of little value as to have some people physically together and others remote creates an imbalance; it's easier if everyone is using the internet conferencing facility. In any case, it's not physically possible to attend back-to-back meetings if more motion than a mouse click is required to get to them.

Working from home offers a stable environment. Once the machines are on the kitchen table I don't have to move them until the end of day. There isn't the nonsense of making sure the correct phone is blue toothed in the car and that the pc has enough battery for the trip. I don't have to drag all this gubbins to and from the kitchen table before and after commuting.

I get that some people want company and feel that an office can provide that but, for most white collar work, it's less productive than being at home. That need is better addressed by the people who desire it setting up their machine in a coffee shop or fruit and veg market. The latter provides plenty of hubbub without infectious proximity and without having to have a dedicated building.

I understand what you are saying, it many environments work at home can offfer "stability" as you put it... but it really does depend on the profession and the stage you are at in your chosen career... as AC was saying a young person learning his profession at home, doesn't cut it...same with mine, I have lots of experience in my job now, but I really struggled starting in my new position with it being at home.

Many jobs can be done at home, but some are just better in the office... I know mine is, added to this, when there is a technical issue with a drawing, or maybe a better way if doing something, I can just have a walk out to the shop and talk it over with the welder, machinist or technician, no amount of chat over the phone can replace that, so even though my job is not directly hands on, I work directly with hands on people.. just make everyone's lives so much easier in my opinion.

I think the big drive for working at home is pushed by the employee as it benefits them, (well some I don't feel it benefits me in anyway) I don't think there is much of an advantage to be had for the employer...unless its a job where the office can be completely closed for good.... but again that is not possible with all professions



dbd33 May 6th 2022 1:00 pm

Re: Coronavirus
 

Originally Posted by Paul_Shepherd (Post 13112659)

I think the big drive for working at home is pushed by the employee as it benefits them, (well some I don't feel it benefits me in anyway) I don't think there is much of an advantage to be had for the employer...

Less need to provide office space and parking facilities.
Less absenteeism.
Fewer workplace liability claims (if people fall down their stairs that's their problem, the employer's stairs, the employers).
More hours worked due to less time commuting.
More productive use of time (where physical proximity isn't critical to the position).
Happier employees/fewer defections. Return to Office has been a factor in all recent resignations and the direct cause of some.
Environmental benefits (many corporations claim green credentials)

I get that, in some jobs proximity has value. I also get that the vanity of senior management, their need to feel people around them, is more important than the efficiency of their companies. I understand that pressure will be applied to get people to go and sit uselessly in the office, the way it is to force people to donate to questionable charities, and that many will succumb. It just gets on my tits that business people don't put the business first.

Almost Canadian May 6th 2022 2:04 pm

Re: Coronavirus
 
My responses in red


Originally Posted by dbd33 (Post 13112673)
Less need to provide office space and parking facilities. - Can't disagree with that but what is to become of all that unused space?
Less absenteeism. - Will people be ill less due to being at home? I accept that there is an argument that the spread of sniffles will be reduced, but I doubt very much that many people "catch" cancer at work.
Fewer workplace liability claims (if people fall down their stairs that's their problem, the employer's stairs, the employers). Until they start suing their employers for not having risk assessed their homes. You know what lawyers are like!
More hours worked due to less time commuting. I accept that there will be less commuting but I doubt very much that most employees will clock on, earlier as a result.
More productive use of time (where physical proximity isn't critical to the position). Why? Why would typing a letter at home be done any more efficiently than typing it at work? I suspect the opposite may apply. One doesn't normal get the opportunity to let the dog out for a wizz at work.
Happier employees/fewer defections. Return to Office has been a factor in all recent resignations and the direct cause of some. I agree that, in the initial implementation, this may be the case, but once everyone is in the same boat, I anticipate more defections as one's personality will no longer be an issue. If you are fantastic at your job but an absolute knob, office politics will no longer dictate that you cannot be employed.
Environmental benefits (many corporations claim green credentials) But, just like our Federal Government, claiming to be green and doing green things do not necessarily go hand in hand

I get that, in some jobs proximity has value. I also get that the vanity of senior management, their need to feel people around them, is more important than the efficiency of their companies. I understand that pressure will be applied to get people to go and sit uselessly in the office, the way it is to force people to donate to questionable charities, and that many will succumb. It just gets on my tits that business people don't put the business first.

I cannot disagree with your last comment.

Almost Canadian May 6th 2022 2:14 pm

Re: Coronavirus
 

Originally Posted by bats (Post 13112581)
The thread drift is interesting. What's a rainmaker? Someone who brings business in?


Originally Posted by JamesM (Post 13112606)
That's my guesstimate!

Yes

In most law firms, the firm keeps track of which person is responsible for bringing a particular piece of work in.

Lots of law firms have lots of fantastic lawyers that have no personality at all. They are most unlikely to bring any work in. Likewise, lots of firms have lawyers that are not great lawyers, but are likeable people that clients will happily give work to. The latter are referred to as rainmakers and they employ the former to perform the work. The latter can't operate without the former and the former cannot work without the latter.

Rarely, a firm will have lawyers that fall into both categories. Other lawyers wish to work for them so that they can learn and law firms want them to increase their bottom line. These are the lawyers that earn the huge amounts.

Law firms work because most of their workforce believe that, without the partners providing them with work, they will starve. It's not necessarily true, as most can charm people enough to be able to persuade them to become a client.

This is the reason why lawyers are always seeking to become members of the committees of all local community thingies. They wish to be plugged into as many activities as they can with a view to networking as much as they can to obtain work. They, likely, have no idea about how to draft a will, but it someone wants them to do so, they will bring that client in, give the work to a lawyer that knows what they are doing, hope that, when that client purchases a house, when they get injured in an accident, when they get divorced, they will use the same firm.

dbd33 May 6th 2022 3:36 pm

Re: Coronavirus
 

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian (Post 13112692)
My responses in red


I cannot disagree with your last comment.


Three points there.

Firstly, absenteeism isn't reduced because people don't get sick but because, when they are at home, they work when they are sick. Lots of colleagues currently have covid, probably because we met in a bar last week and infected one another. They're all working, coughing and spluttering through meetings. They'd be less likely to drive to an office and attend a physical meeting while gagging.

Secondly, I know it to be the case that people converted commute time to billable hours. I did that and I see them online and talk with them.

Thirdly, the better use of time is because people don't have to shuffle between meeting rooms, desks and coffee shops. They don't have to locate a hotel station and go and pillage pieces from others to make it work. They just sit and click on a meeting, half an hour later they click on another meeting, there's no 10 minutes lost looking for the room and then the power bar. They can multitask without appearing to be rude as one does when working during a physical meeting.

Of course, I want my performance bonus so, if I have to drive my gas guzzler to a far away office to sit on Teams and listen to the launch of another green initiative, that's what I'll do. Shaking my head as I go.

Almost Canadian May 6th 2022 4:37 pm

Re: Coronavirus
 

Originally Posted by dbd33 (Post 13112714)
Three points there.

Firstly, absenteeism isn't reduced because people don't get sick but because, when they are at home, they work when they are sick. Lots of colleagues currently have covid, probably because we met in a bar last week and infected one another. They're all working, coughing and spluttering through meetings. They'd be less likely to drive to an office and attend a physical meeting while gagging.

Secondly, I know it to be the case that people converted commute time to billable hours. I did that and I see them online and talk with them.

Thirdly, the better use of time is because people don't have to shuffle between meeting rooms, desks and coffee shops. They don't have to locate a hotel station and go and pillage pieces from others to make it work. They just sit and click on a meeting, half an hour later they click on another meeting, there's no 10 minutes lost looking for the room and then the power bar. They can multitask without appearing to be rude as one does when working during a physical meeting.

Of course, I want my performance bonus so, if I have to drive my gas guzzler to a far away office to sit on Teams and listen to the launch of another green initiative, that's what I'll do. Shaking my head as I go.

I accept that you work when you are sick. I work when I am sick. Whether all people work when they are sick is debatable. I'd suggest that those that do would likely work whether at home, or in the office. I wouldn't expect to see a big uptick of those working that would not have otherwise worked.

I didn't convert commute time to billable hours, but I did install huge amounts of posts and rails as a result of being able to do work, while not commuting and I used the "commute time" later in day to install fences. I am not convinced that all salaried employees will work 10 hours a day, rather that the 8 hours a day they are paid for, simply because they don't have to commute.

I have to admit that I have never worked in an environment where people attend meetings simply for the sake of attending a meeting. I pity those that have to, as I imagine I would stab both of my eyes with forks if I was required to do so. But I defer to your greater experience on that issue.

I accept that many, self-motivated people, will make working from home work, particularly if they don't require the knowledge of others discussed above. I have to admit that I am not convinced that WFH will increase productivity, but I am willing to acknowledge that I may be wrong.

dbd33 May 6th 2022 5:34 pm

Re: Coronavirus
 

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian (Post 13112750)
I have to admit that I have never worked in an environment where people attend meetings simply for the sake of attending a meeting. I pity those that have to, as I imagine I would stab both of my eyes with forks if I was required to do so. But I defer to your greater experience on that issue.

Sadly, I am massively experienced in attending "scrums" and "ceremonies" involving people intoning "in the past 24/7 I reached out and proactively interfaced, thereby empowering".

In the office I conjure an image of a taxi meter. At home I can lie back and think of England.

Danny B Jun 2nd 2022 3:01 pm

Re: Coronavirus
 
The Wife and I finally caught COVID this week, at least those test at home kits say we did.

We are both in our late 40's, fit and healthy people, normal BMI and it was similar to a bad cold. I'm feeling 95% back to normal, can't wait to leave the house as tea bag situation is getting dire.

Paul_Shepherd Jun 2nd 2022 4:21 pm

Re: Coronavirus
 

Originally Posted by Danny B (Post 13119560)
The Wife and I finally caught COVID this week, at least those test at home kits say we did.

We are both in our late 40's, fit and healthy people, normal BMI and it was similar to a bad cold. I'm feeling 95% back to normal, can't wait to leave the house as tea bag situation is getting dire.

Yeah I think most people have had it now. The only downside was not being able to go anywhere...even for teabags! other than that, I carried on as normal... and on the plus side I ate a lot of my freezer stocks and made room for fresh stocks!

BristolUK Jun 3rd 2022 12:39 pm

Re: Coronavirus
 

Originally Posted by Paul_Shepherd (Post 13119611)
...on the plus side I ate a lot of my freezer stocks...

Good job you don't have sensitive to cold teeth. ;)


All times are GMT. The time now is 1:56 am.

Powered by vBulletin: ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.