No Sympathy for Privilege
Phil Carter has a thoughtful post on the fact that many top law firms are having difficulty retaining top associates despite paying them as much as $200,000 right out of school. Perhaps not surprisingly, this is met with ressentiment from non-big law firm commenters.
There are certain occupations for which outsiders have zero sympathy for even the most legitimate complaints.
- Medicine: Interns work 80-plus hours a week for years at a rate of pay barely enough to pay their loans and subsist while being treated shabbily by nurses and residents.
- Law: Bright associates are treated like plebes and worked like dogs for years, being forced to choose between their career and even the semblance of a social life.
- Acting: Incredibly difficult to break into the business and earn enough to support yourself and, if you’re lucky enough to become a star, you give up every shred of privacy as yahoos with cameras follow you around.
- Pro Sports: Brutal, year-round training. Playing with incredible pain. Career length averaging 5 years. You’re expected to show the kid they’re grooming to take your job away the ropes.
- Modeling: In addition to rigorous fitness programs and a near-starvation diet, you get to lie around the beach in a bikini during wintertime.
- Academe: After a decade of forgoing income to get a PhD, 250 candidates vie for a single tenure-track opening at Northeast Podunk State University in Spearfish, South Dakota. The lucky winner gets $30,000 a year, teaches four unique preps a semester, and grades 5,000 barely legible papers written by alleged high school graduates.
Unless one has done these jobs, however, any of this is viewed as “whining” because people who haven’t done what it takes to even compete for, much less hold, those jobs think it’s all caviar and champagne.
- So what if you have to work 20 hour days and your wife is divorcing you? You make a lot of money! Suck it up!
- You’re playing a kid’s game for a million dollars a year!
- You get two weeks off for Christmas and two months off in the summer? How dare you complain?
Everybody thinks their job is harder and less rewarding than yours.