4.17.2006

Hey waiter, there's a fly in my soup

In general, I've noticed that a lot of male lawyers in private practice, especially the short, bald ones, are assholes, both on the job and off. And eating out is no exception. Do you think that there's a direct correlation between height and asshole-ness? I do.

The basic premise of this article is that most CEOs agree that you can tell a lot about a person's character based upon how they treat a waiter. I've always felt that to be the case and would never go out on a second date with a guy who was an asshole to the waiter.

In particular, this part of the article rang true to me:

To some people, speaking in a condescending manner makes them feel important, which to me is a total turnoff," says Seymour Holtzman, chairman of Casual Male Retail Group, which operates big-and-tall men's clothing stores including Casual Male XL...

Such behavior is an accurate predictor of character because it isn't easily learned or unlearned but rather speaks to how people were raised, says Siki Giunta, CEO of U.S. technology company Managed Objects, a native of Rome who once worked as a London bartender.
A guy that I used to work with was guilty of this type of behavior. He was incredibly rude to waitresses on a regular basis and constantly embarrassed everyone that was with him. And, to top it off, he pretty much didn't tip--at all. We were always stuck making up the difference. And, guess what? He was short--and prematurely balding. The perfect ingredients for an Asshole Partner in the making.

After working in a firm, I am absolutely convinced that the Napoleanic complex is not a myth. Short men are drawn to the law to over-compensate for their lack of height (and, many times, hair), and become assholes in the process, most likely as a defense mechanism. And, a disproportionate number of them make partner. Go figure.

Of course, I'm no giant and am perfectly nice to wait staff, so obviously my theory only applies to men. Vertically-challenged female lawyers such as myself stumble into the field of law purely by happenstance, dontcha know. We all know that Napolean was a man, and thus that whole complex of his does not translate over to the female of the species. Abso.Lutely.Not. And, besides, I've got plenty of hair.

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