Monday, November 30, 2009

A Word on Professionalism

Now, I don't want to sound like some sort of an elitist or jerk or anything with this post, so I'm going to be careful with the tone. But, I feel like something needs to be said about professionalism and behavior in general.

At this point in life, many of the readers of this blog are lawyers (remember when we passed the bar?), medical students and physicians, MBAs, teachers, engineers, PhD candidates, professionals, etc. What I'm getting at is that we are all adults (or, in some cases, do a great job of pretending to be an adult) and need to act like adults in certain situations.

I'm talking about hanging out at somebody's house or even when you're out with your friends (although I do have some thoughts on this too). I'm talking about social settings with other professionals.

Recently, I was at a post bar passing/swearing in ceremony celebration at a law firm here in Houston. They were serving beer and wine, along with other soft drinks. I think there is nothing wrong with having some wine or even a beer or two in such a setting. But to have so many drinks (or to show up drunk) and then end up slurring your words, shouting about strippers or shouting out 12 lettered profanities is going too far.

That is not a slight mis-step on the fine line of acceptable social drinking. This is both embarrassing and shameful. I'm not naming any names, but those of you who were at the Abraham, Watkins event know exactly what and who I'm talking about. And it's not like this was an isolated incident. It's actually worrisome for this pattern of behavior to continue unchecked. Perhaps a call to the Texas Lawyer's Assistance Program is in order. I'm not joking.

Second, when you're meeting your friends in a professional social setting, an elaborate high five interaction seems unnecessary. A simple hand shake is fine with me. Sometimes, more than a simple hand shake is appropriate. I would say seeing an old friends for the first time in a while or seeing a really close friend warrants more than a hand shake.

But every time you see a casual acquaintance does not warrant a four to seven part hand shake coupled with bringing it in for that whole one-armed hug thing. Call me old fashioned if you want, but it's just inappropriate. I'm not saying nobody can do it, but if you're an adult (or have a grown up job or degree) act like one. You're making the rest of us look bad.

And while we're on the topic of public greetings of friends and colleagues, let me just voice my displeasure with the quick-peck-on-the-cheek-hello-and-goodbye-greeting. I don't like it. I'm not European, and neither are most of you. A hug is certainly appropriate and acceptable. Again, maybe I'm old fashioned, but I don't think it's right.


Colin said...

Was Pete Carroll at the Abraham, Watkins event?

Wes said...

Wait, how did this post go from dropping m effers at law firm parties to pecks on the cheek?

You've got range.

Vik Vij said...

Colin, I was not talking about Pete Carroll at the Abraham, Watkins event. His hypocrisy and whining still annoys me, but it wasn't him.

Wes, thanks bud. I do try. But the segue worked (I think)

William said...

I want to know more. Please, name some names. What went down?

Vik Vij said...

Come on William, you know I won't name names. It's just like Hop Sing. You don't name names.