Parker’s story isn’t about the legal industry, but I think we could easily recognize ourselves in this statement, couldn’t we?
“The modern work culture’s new mantra slightly expands that weathered phrase: “The customer is always right, and the clock is always ticking.” This mantra resounds the constant hum of a connected world in which instantaneous responses are not just desirable goals, but minimum expectations. In short, your time is already bought (though maybe not paid for); regardless, it surely is not your own. No matter the force of your personal desires, needs, or obligations, they simply cannot escape the gravity of customer convenience. Just attempting to take off from constant availability will leave you smoldering in a professional wasteland, somewhere between heretical and worthless.”
The legal clock is, literally, ticking all the time. Time is money. How many people working in a support position to lawyers are reminded constantly that anything that interferes with them working is time that isn’t being billed? There is no greater failure. So, if they’re working, and need something, you’re working.
And they, thanks to client demands, are always working, or at least always available, so you are too.
What Parker’s story should remind us, is to question whether that is really healthy for anyone. Obviously, it’s not, and there’s no rainbow at the end of all that work, there’s just more work.
There’s simply no room to struggle with any personal issues, mental health or otherwise. That might require you to be offline and unreachable.
For too many in the legal and eDiscovery industries, there is nothing worse that not being available. So, we don’t get help, we don’t take care of ourselves, and eventually, we lose a lot of good people to burnout, and worse.
That’s a real shame. Maybe what we do isn’t that important?