Everything I am about to tell you is true. This is the complete and unadulterated story, as I can best remember it, behind my infamous summer with Fenwick & West and the very famous “Tucker Max Charity Auction Debacle” email.
Let’s start from the beginning:
My roommate and I drove out to Palo Alto together to work as summer associates at a law firm called Fenwick & West. It was the summer of 2000, between our 2nd and 3rd year of law school, and we were law students at Duke Law School. The internet and tech boom was hitting its crescendo, and as we arrived in Palo Alto the Nasdaq was set to pass 5,000. Remember those days?
Almost immediately upon arrival at Fenwick, I realized that I HATED being a lawyer. My mental picture of what being a lawyer entailed did not include having to spend countless hours every day sitting in a lifeless office, surrounded by boring people, doing idiotic and ultimately meaningless paperwork. Unfortunately, that is all that a corporate lawyer does. Honestly, I wish I could say it was the firm, I wish I could blame the people or the place, but that was not the case. It wasn’t the firm that I hated; it was the very nature of the job. Being a lawyer SUCKS.
When you are a lawyer, your job is to clean up the messes of others, to rubber stamp and make legal someone else’s real work, to essentially be a paper custodian for the people who actually do important things. The people at Yahoo and Cisco and Network Solutions (all our clients) actually did something; what did I do? Stupid, mindless, and ultimately irrelevant bullshit. I was a junior paper-monkey, and I hated every second of it.
Now, as you might be able to tell from the rest of this site, when I am bored or unhappy, my behavior becomes akin to a crack-addled ADD monkey until I find something to occupy me. For instance, when I got bored in law school, I made this website. The law firm and the work bored me; so what did I do? Did I endure the boredom and drive on? Or better yet, did I find a productive output for my creativity, like I did in law school?
No. I got drunk and acted like an asshole. Virtually every day, and especially at firm events where the liquor was free. If being a lawyer was not interesting, I was going to make it that way, goddamnit.
The first Friday I was there, the firm had an all-day orientation for the incoming summer associates. The night before, I got my roommate and myself into the SOMA magazine opening party in San Francisco, where I got completely shit-faced and went home with one of the models at the party (at least, she told me she was a model, but who really knows). When I woke up at 6am the next morning, in her house in Oakland, I realized that I had not carefully thought out the ramifications of this act. My firm was in Palo Alto, which is far from Oakland, and I had to be at work at 9am for the start of summer associate orientation. Great.
First things first: I rooted around in her purse, noting the large supply of condoms, and found her driver’s license so when I woke her up, I’d know her name (it was one of those nights). She said she’d give me a ride, but she can’t take me to my place because it was in Mountain View (which is even further away from Oakland than Palo Alto), and she had to be somewhere at ten. That meant I had to wear the same clothes I wore out last night, to work Friday. Not really a big deal, except there was liquor, vomit, piss (and probably other fluids) all over them.
Liquor is understandable, but vomit and piss? On the way to her house, we stopped at Jack-in-the-Box. Don’t ask me how she could eat that crap and still have such a good body…she wasn’t a plus-size model, so I guess she was bulimic.
Sitting in the drive-thru, the inhuman amounts of liquor I had consumed caught up to me, so I calmly got out of her car, walked behind a bush, and proceeded to vomit and piss at the same time. It is hard enough keeping from vomiting on yourself when you’re drunk; try doing it while also pissing. Whatever; I just put in a breath mint and hid the urine stains until they dried, and she still hooked up with me. Isn’t alcohol great?
I show up at orientation, stumbling drunk, smelling like a speak-easy, eyes still bloodshot. I somehow made it through without incident until after lunch, when they partnered us up with another summer associate and had us tell each other all kinds of things about ourselves, and then recite to everyone else in the room what we learned. I didn’t know what to say to the guy who was my partner, so I told him I was out all night and I couldn’t see anything because my contacts had fallen out when I was hooking up with some random girl. He stood up and told this to everyone. I thought it was funny; the hiring partner did not. Whatever, if he can’t take a joke, fuck him.
The next week, the hiring partner, John Steele, came down to the office that I shared with three other summers, and started shooting the shit with us, when all of a sudden he started in about the Infirmation.com Greedy Associate boards, and how he couldn’t believe that the Fenwick summer salary info got up there so fast, and how that thing has really changed the way firms do things. Let me digress here for an important and revealing subplot:
During the spring, Fenwick announced that they were going to pay summer associates only $2,100, which was below the $2,400 that most big firms in New York, LA and Chicago were paying their summers. Yet, right before we arrived in Palo Alto, Fenwick, along with every other Silicon Valley firm, announced that they were going to pay summers $2,400, commensurate with the big firms in other major cities.
What does this have to do with anything? Well, I was almost single-handedly responsible for Fenwick, and basically every other Silicon Valley firm, raising their summer associate salary from $2,100 to 2,400. How is that possible, you ask? The beauty of the internet, and the influence of an amazing website called Infirmation.com.
Infirmation.com is a job-related website that has message boards on it, where anyone can anonymously post anything. The message boards are divided by region, one being for New York associates, one for Silicon Valley, one for Chicago, etc. These message boards, called “Greedy Associate” boards, had vaulted to fame in the preceding months as a means for associates at different firms to anonymously share information with each other about salary, benefits, work conditions, anything they choose. One of the sparking events was when Gunderson, a relatively small firm in Silicon Valley, raised their starting associate salaries from somewhere around the industry average of $100,000 to $125,000. One of the first places this information was posted and disseminated was the messages boards on Infirmation.com, and from that event, as well as a few others like it, junior associates at all the major firms started sharing info with each other about the relative benefits and detriments of their particular firms on these Greedy Associate boards.
As a result of these developments, partners at all the majors firms monitored these message boards, looking for the latest gossip about their firms and their competing firms. They had to stay up to date, because a change in benefits in Firm A could mean a flood of associates or law students to that firm, and away from Firm B, before Firm B even knew what was going on.
How does this relate to the story? The summer salaries had already been announced in New York at $2,400, and everyone was waiting for the Silicon Valley firms to announce their summer salaries [Fenwick had four major competitors in Silicon Valley at the time: Cooley, Wilson, and Brobeck (these are abbreviated names of law firms)]. Fenwick was the first to announce; they did so sometime around late April, and they announced at $2,100, which was below NY salaries.
I was unhappy with this, so I immediately posted this info on the Infirmation.com Silicon Valley/SF Greedy Associate board, and then, using four or five different anonymous screen names, proceeded to have a thread discussion on how horrible this was, how Fenwick was insulting it’s summers, how no one was going to accept their offers because the firm was so cheap it wouldn’t fork over the extra $300 a week, etc, etc. I even used one of my aliases to play the other side. It was beautiful. Of the 20 messages on this topic on the first day, I probably posted 10 of them. I kept this up, at a slightly lower output, for about three days.
About a week after Fenwick’s announcement, and the resulting Infirmation.com message board “explosion,” Wilson, a Fenwick competitor, announced they were paying summers $2,400. Each of the other Silicon Valley firms quickly fell in line after that, including Fenwick.
Back to the story: So here I was, sitting with the hiring partner at a major Silicon Valley law firm, talking about the very message boards that I used to influence the summer salary structure, when he let the clincher go,
“Yeah, what kills me is that we had a deal with Wilson and Cooley. We all agreed to pay $2,100. We talked about it, and figured as long as all of us did it, we could get away with it. But as soon as we announced, that message board blew up, and Wilson bailed on us and paid $2,400. That thing is something else.”
Holy shit! The whole time I am thinking, “Ha, ha asshole, the joke’s on you, I basically wrote that whole thing myself!” It took everything I had to not laugh in his face.
We all bullshit a little more, when he asks to talk to me in private. Uh-oh. How could he know I posted all those messages?
He took me into a conference room, closed the door, and began talking to me about my reputation, how I’m starting to get the reputation as the “party guy” in the summer associate class. Yeah, so? At this point, I’m really unconcerned about my reputation; yes, I liked getting paid $2,400 a week for what amounted to summer camp, but I hated this job and I hated being a lawyer. Plus, the way he phrased the conversation, I just thought he was talking about unimportant stuff–I am not very adept at picking up subtle social cues, and even though this was not a subtle one, I wasn’t picking it up.
I did a couple of other stupid things in the next few days; I can’t really remember because they were things that don’t even register on my radar as “events”, yet others found them to be “seismic.” For instance, one day, one of the recruiters came into my office, when I was on the phone. She asked who I was talking too, and I said, “Oh, I was just calling a porn line.” Obviously, I was kidding; I later found out she was mortified.
The next day I get invited to sit in on a meeting with a prospective client, the managing partner, and a senior associate. The client is a girl who is an aspiring artist, a good one, and is about to graduate from Stanford. A Stanford alumni-VC (venture capitalist) in the area has told her she should incorporate herself, and set up what amounts to a start-up for her artwork. She came to us for legal advice about this venture.
Well, I may have been the junior person in the room, but I’m sorry, she was given some serious horseshit advice, and I proceed to tell her this, point blank. Who’s ever heard of this? Incorporating a new artist? Is this a joke? I’m not even talking about securitizing her future work and selling bonds, like what David Bowie did; he wanted her to literally set up some sort of corporation with herself, and pass out stock options to get people to work for her. I tell her to ignore this VC, he knows nothing about the art world, and for her to get an agent or a manager, or both, and start producing some art to sell and show, that incorporating herself would be against her interests in both the long and short term, and is completely unheard of in the art world, and for good reason–because it’s idiotic. I thought the meeting went well; apparently, the managing partner did not. He was upset that I called the VC’s idea, someone who is apparently very important in Silicon Valley, “idiotic.”
The next day I get a call from John Steele to come see him in his office. I go up there, and he gives me ANOTHER talk about my attitude. Really, don’t let anyone tell you they weren’t patient with me at Fenwick, because they were. But he told me that the good news was that the lawyers I was working with, a senior associate and a partner, thought the work I was doing was great, and that they really liked me. Of course, I took this as carte blanche to keep doing what I was doing (As long as my work was good, that’s all that matters, right? Not when you act like Tucker Max). Then he says, “Oh yeah, I saw your little bachelor of the week thing on sfGirl.com. That was really funny.”
WHAT? How did he find out about that? He continued, “The part about the dog pound, I was in tears reading that. My wife thought it was hilarious. Of course, I wish you hadn’t mentioned Fenwick, or a fat Puerto Rican stripper, but you know, I guess that’s just you.” I didn’t think I had told anyone at Fenwick about that. I felt like Tom Cruise in The Firm, but unlike Tom Cruise, I just willfully ignored the warning signs and kept on being myself.
Next Friday rolls around, and we have a firm cocktail at a partner’s house. The liquor was free, and I was drinking, and after an hour or so, I find myself talking to two female partners, “Sally” and “Connie.” Sally is in her forties, married, a kid or two, and is one of the leading trademark lawyers in the firm. I am my normal gregarious, boisterous self, and these two female partners are eating it up. Loving me. As the cocktail party wound down, I convinced them to join me, ten other summer associates, and a few junior associates in a trip to a local Palo Alto bar.
At this point, I’m just inviting them because I want someone to pay. On the trip over to the bar, I’m in the car with Sally and the other partner, and the conversation turns to sex. At first I was a little reticent, being that Sally is married with children and an important partner, but before I know it I’m explaining the BJ rule to them, i.e., what it means to “dot someone’s eyes,” and why guys do such things. This was imminently interesting to Sally and the other partner. The conversation carried into the bar, and further explored such topics as whether a young man (around 24), would know what to do with an older woman (around 40 or so), whether my lips were pouty, sultry or alluring, etc, etc.
We’re all sitting at a long table, and by the time the food comes, I have Sally hand-feeding me calamari. All the while, Jim, another Duke Law student, sat across the table from this scene, unable to believe what he was witnessing, and (I swear this is true), eating ribs with a fork. Just a fork. Needless to say, this scene was just too much for most of the other summer associates. And the look on the face of one the junior associates when I leaned over and asked her if the woman feeding me calamari was actually a partner was priceless. Yeah, I was a little out of control.
Everyone eventually scatters except me, Sally, Connie, and one other summer. I’m assuming they saw the train wreck coming, and didn’t want to be anywhere near when it hit. Smart decision. My car was still at the firm, so Sally offers to give me a ride to the office to get it. I accept, and then another summer, Brian, invites himself along, “Oh, I need a ride to the office too.” I didn’t really understand why at the time, but Sally gave him a mean look, but agreed to take him along.
[Side note: The only reason I can tell you this next part is because truth is an absolute defense to libel, and this particular event had a sober witness named Brian, who went to law school at Columbia. Though it may seem libelous, this is the complete truth. I’d been drinking, but I remember this vividly. If you don’t believe this, find him and ask him about it. He has no reason to lie for me.]
We get to the firm, and Brian and I get out of Sally’s car, and then she turns off the car and gets out herself. She looks up at the building (Fenwick has all of a ten story building in Palo Alto), then looks right at me and says, “It looks like I left the lights on in my office. I should probably go turn them off. What do you think?” I am oblivious to the implied meaning here, and look up and say, “Whatever, who cares–they’re halogen, it’ll cost like 3 cents for the night. Forget it.”
Sally gets a mildly frustrated look on her face, and still staring right at me, says, “I need to go up to my office and turn off my lights. Maybe you should come up there…help me out.” Did I ever mention how retarded I am when I get drunk? Well, I missed that signal too, “No, whatever, they’re fine, don’t worry about it.” She kind of pauses for a second, looks right into my eyes, and says, “DO YOU…want to come…HELP ME…turn off the lights…IN MY OFFICE?”
Bingo. That one registered.
What did I do? Did I go with her up to her office and fuck the shit out of her? Did I dot her eyes right on her desk? Did I show her that that this 24 year-old knew exactly what to do with that 40 year old?
No. In perhaps the single stupidest move of my life, I quickly said no, jumped into my car, and tore out of the parking lot. The irony here is so fucking thick it’s ridiculous. There is no category that Sally falls into that I have not slept with before; I have hooked up with women as old as Sally, uglier, more married, more children, everything. Shit, I have a hard time counting the times I’ve turned down sex at all, unless the girl was ugly and my friends were around.
So why did I chicken out? Why did I pass up such a sure thing? I DON’T KNOW!! That’s the worst part. I can’t figure out what happened. It’s like for about 5 minutes of my life, I was a moral puritan.
The next weekend was the firm retreat at Silverado Ranch in Napa Valley. My roommate and I drove up Friday afternoon, in my car, checked into the hotel, and then met everyone in the reception area. Starting at around 7pm there was a cocktail and hors’derves, and then at 9pm the Charity Auction was starting. I get to the reception promptly at 6:58 to find numerous well-stocked open bars…and no food. OK, there was some shrimp, perhaps some baklava, and maybe even a petifore or two, but nothing substantive to eat. Well, HELLO, what do you think is going to happen? Did no one involved in the planning of this thing ever hear of the behavioral effects of alcohol on an empty stomach?
I got bombed. By the time the auction started, I was so drunk I was walking around carrying, seriously, two bottles of wine in my hands; red in my left, white in my right, taking alternating swigs from each. I sat, clutching my wine bottles, at a table right next to the stage, with my roommate, about maybe 5 or 6 other summers and a few junior associates.
The charity auction was only for the 400+ firm people associated with the firm (and their spouses), and was all firm-specific items. Things like the managing partner would cook you dinner, you could throw things at some other partner, a chair from a partner’s office, etc. I forget where the money was going, probably to Our Sister’s of the Festering Rectum Orphanage, who knows. Most of the things were stupid, so I just sat there and solemnly poured wine into my face. Then an item came up, which, in my drunken stupor, I simply had to have: The hiring partner, John Steele, would chauffeur you around for a night in his Cadillac. Beautiful, I thought in my inebriated stupor, if I buy this, they have to give me an offer. That’s how drunk I was.
The bidding started at $50. It slowly went to 60, then 80, then 100, so I got bored, and just stood up on my seat and held my paddle up. The auctioneer took this as a sign to just starting yelling out ever increasing numbers, never even looking at the other bidders. The bid got to around $600, with no one bidding but me, and I yelled at him to quit. One or two other people might have thrown a bid in there, when John Steele got on the mike and said that if a summer won, he’d pay half. This, predictably, doubled the bid immediately.
When the bidding hit about $2000, I thought I had it won. No one else was bidding, when all of the sudden, Aparna Ragagopal, another summer who was good friends with me, knew the condition I was in (shit-housed drunk), and knew that, given my egomaniacal personality, I would not stop bidding, ever, no matter what, regardless of the price. So, with the help of a few partners bankrolling her, she started slowly bidding me up. 2200, 2300, 2400…
The next thing I know, I’m on stage, and I grab the microphone from the auctioneer, and start yelling at her. I’m doing it in a teasing way, but I’m like, “Aparna, what are you doing? You know you can’t afford this. You’re just trying to mess with me. I have to win this; it’s the only way I’m getting an offer.” This sends the crowd into fits of laughter. I wasn’t even trying to be funny, but hey, put some liquor in me and you never know what’s going to come out.
He kicks me off the stage, the betting gets up to about 3300 or so, I climb back on stage, wrestle the mike away from the auctioneer, and start yelling, “This is not fair. You have partners bankrolling you, I only have a few scrubby summers in my corner. Seriously, Aparna, I need this. QUIT!” Again, eruptions of laughter.
The bidding eventually hits $3800, and this time the auctioneer says, “Alright Tucker, come on up here. I know you’ll come up anyway.” I get on stage, and eventually have to make the call, do I go to $3900 or not?
Microphone in hand, in front of everyone, I say, “Fuck it–go ahead.”
The funny thing is, people not associated with the firm think this is why I got fired. Not at all; the managing partner came up to me afterwards and told me it was the funniest thing he had ever seen at a firm event. The name partner, Bill Fenwick, told me, literally, I did Kentucky proud (see reference, infra). Another partner I didn’t know told me I was awesome. For the rest of the night, I was a star. Believe it or not, that’s the absolute truth.
We end up back at the hotel, and the summer associates and some other junior associates go to someone’s suite, and we’re playing cards, drinking, and socializing. It was about this point that I blacked out. My last clear memory is trying to convince some summer to beat up an associate, because he was cheating at poker. The next day, Eric told me that I tried to hook up with Aparna, but all I could manage to do was pass out on top of her. It was that kind of night.
I wake up the next morning, it’s like 11am, and I feel like a bag of ass. All the summer associates were supposed to be at the morning lecture given by the managing partner, and some other guy. They were there, I was not. I throw something on and make it there right as it’s finishing.
Someone tells me that Gordie, the managing partner, asked, on the microphone, if I was there when it began at 9am. So I go up to him afterwards, and say, “Hey! I made it…eventually.” He smiled, shook his head, and said, “There’s always one.”
Fast forward to Monday. I’m sitting in my office, bored out of my mind, when I decide to write my friends and tell them what happened over the weekend. So I compose the now infamous email. Here it is, exactly as I wrote it that day [just so you know, it’s pretty much the same as what I wrote above]:
From: Tucker Max
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2000 2:51 PM
To: [name removed]
Subject: The Infamous Tucker Max Charity Auction Debacle…
Here is the story of what happened to me this weekend at my firm’s retreat. That’s the last time I ever drink before an auction:
My roommate and I decide to leave for the Silverado Ranch by car instead of taking the bus at 2 pm. You have not lived until you’ve ridden through three hours of Bay Area traffic with Aaron at the wheel. By the time we got to Silverado, he was madder than fire.
The first reception starts at like 6pm. There are finger foods, etc., and lots and lots of wine and beer. Not really liking any of the food, I start drinking. Heavily. By the time I know what’s going on, I’m talking to the name partner, Bill Fenwick, in a redneck accent. Of course, he is from Kentucky, so we talked about basketball for an hour. It was great.
About 9pm the charity auction began. There were lots of “Fenwick” type items, like a dinner cooked by the managing partner, etc. One of the items was an entire night chauffeured by the hiring partner, John Steele. In my inebriated stupor, I thought that if I won this, then they would have no choice but to give me an offer. The bidding starts at $50. People are bidding here and there, but I get tired of all the slow bidding, so I stand on my chair, and hold up my bidding card. Without getting down. So the auctioneer takes this as a cue to just start yelling price increases, without even identifying other bidders.
When the price hits about $800, John Steele says that he will pay half if a summer associate wins. The bidding automatically doubles (John is a litigator). As the price gets to $2000, I think I have the thing won. I get the “going once” call, and then this other summer, Aparna, goaded on by some partners, decides that she has to beat me. So the bidding hits $2600, and before I know it, I’m on stage, taking the mike from the auctioneer, and yelling at Aparna to stop bidding. My exact quote, “Aparna, seriously, stop. I have to win, this is the only way I’m getting an offer.”
So that just inspires more partners/attorneys/recruiting staff to contribute to Aparna’s pool. When the bidding hits $3400, I start yelling, on the mike, about how this isn’t fair, because she has partners bankrolling her, but I only have a “few scrubby summers in my corner.” I keep trying to bid only like 5$ more than her, but the auctioneer gets all mad at me, and is making me bid in hundred dollar increments. When her bid hits $3800, I get back on stage. After some banter, the auctioneer asks me if I want to bid $3900.
I ponder this for a second, and in front of the whole firm and spouses/significant others, with the mike in my face, say, “Fuck it–go ahead.”
I won the auction.
Now, as you can see, the email describes exactly what happened. I left almost nothing out. I may be an obnoxious asshole, but I don’t need to exaggerate or lie in my stories; they are funny enough as it is.
I sent this to about ten friends, and thought nothing else about it. They didn’t even think it was that great; I had had some much better ones that summer (like the one about the SOMA party, and the one about this Korean girl who raced me home doing 120mph on the 101…you get the picture).
That was Monday. Wednesday comes, and around 4:30 John Steele asks me to come to his office. I stroll up there and notice my key card, which you have to have to operate the elevators or doors, isn’t working. This means only one thing…
I get into his office, and he’s in there with some other lady I’ve never seen before. John introduces her, some HR lady, and then proceeds to tell me that I have an option to either voluntarily withdraw from the firm or get fired. He cited certain things I had done that led them to this course of action, like my “porn line” comment and some other stuff like that, but said nothing about the really bad stuff I did. If I withdraw, he tells me they will pay me a large separation sum, pay my rent for the summer, and pay the for the item I “won” at the charity auction. In total, this is close to $20,000, plus I get to keep what I’ve already made in the not quite four weeks I was there. If I get fired, I get nothing.
I’m a little bit in shock, but not really; one of the associates at the firm, who is no longer there, heard about this, and gave me a heads up the day before. I took the money, thanked them, and headed out. It all went rather pleasantly, considering.
Granted, I had acted a little reckless, but I was nonetheless confused. I figured I wasn’t getting an offer, but I didn’t think I was going to get fired, and the reasons he gave me for them letting me go were bullshit. They had plenty of reasons, don’t misunderstand, but the ones John named were not a reason to fire a summer associate.
The next day, I got two calls, both from associates at the firm. One talked to me on the phone, the other met me for lunch a few days later. They both thought I had been dealt with the wrong way, and independently found out what really happened behind the scenes, and both told me basically the same thing: I got canned mainly because of the Sally incident, and not because of the charity auction. The one who met me for lunch told me that he had talked to a “very important partner” in the firm, and he was told that, given my track record of outlandish behavior, the firm was scared I was going to eventually sleep with Sally, or even do something worse than that, which would make me either a huge liability (if I, say, got drunk and set the building on fire) or invincible (if I slept with Sally). Why would it make me invincible? Because if she slept with me, and they didn’t give me an offer, then they could be liable for a sexual harassment suit. Not that I would ever sue them if that happened, but considering my behavior that summer, I can understand why they viewed me as a liability.
To me, the most delicious irony is that, ultimately, because I didn’t sleep with Sally the firm was able to get me out. Can you believe that? Because I didn’t fuck her, I fucked myself.
But that’s not all.
About a month later, my email started popping up. Everywhere. Paul had forwarded it to Linda Brewer, a Dukie at another Silicon Valley firm, who forwarded it to some other people…you get the picture. That email went around the world, several times, and at last count went through like 100+ firms.
The next thing I know, my Inbox is filled with these forwards, and my friends from all over the country are calling me, like, “Dude, what happened? Is that you?” My favorite random email I got was from some guy who wrote: “Mr. Max, with the hope of a six year old on the night before Christmas asking about Santa, I ask the same question: Do you really exist?”
I called John Steele a few months later for some reason, and the first thing he said to me was, “Man, you’re famous. We’ve been collecting those emails, and have counted over 100 firms that they’ve been too. Hey, congrats, it was really well written too.” I swear to God, I had that conversation with him.
My mother even got that email. My uncle is a lawyer in DC and he got it and then forwarded it to her. Her only comment: “Well, I guess that’s what happens when you can’t hold your liquor.”
I became a minor celebrity in the legal world after that. Every law student and lawyer in the country knew about me. Someone told me that some students at Columbia Law threw a “Save Tucker” party. I wish someone would have told me about it; I would have shown up. Of course, that probably would have been anti-climatic. When I got back to Duke, the Dean of Students wrote me a letter telling me that I should to go into alcohol rehab. I thought that was pretty funny.
That is pretty much the whole true story, exactly as it happened.
In the final analysis, I have almost nothing bad to say about Fenwick. Yes, they fired me, but I can understand their position: I acted like a drunk retard and they couldn’t tolerate my potential liability. What could I expect them to do? Pat me on the back and get me a hooker and some beer? That would be pretty cool though. Seriously, I hold no ill will towards them. I probably would have done the same thing had I been in their position, and some jerk-off had come in acting like me.
I often get asked if I regret what I did. I’m never exactly sure how to answer that; I mean, yes I would have liked to have kept making 2400 a week for the summer, but in the end, it was probably the best thing for me. I hated being a lawyer, but the money was so good, I don’t know if I would have ultimately had the courage to quit on my own. I would have just languished in a job I hated, doing just enough to get by, and would become bitter and disillusioned, like almost every lawyer I know. So instead I did the immature thing, and forced the issue, leaving the decision up to Fenwick, and they made it for me. Oh well…what can you do?