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how foolish the young

published: 2013-10-31

I was negotiating a contract today, and something unusual happened. Perhaps the opposing lawyer disliked listening to a contrary view, or perhaps he was simply bored. Or underpaid. Or spoiled. In any event, he suddenly threw a tantrum. During his outburst, he found it necessary to refer to me in words that would compare to ‘blondey’ or ‘sugarbun’ or ‘girl’ when translated to English. Of course “take it or leave it” a few times too and he hung up on me. Or, maybe showing some muscle was simply business as usual for him.
This experience triggered a flashback. I remember my first job interview. There I was, a 25-year-old with a university degree, eager to become what was expected of me: a lawyer.
At one stage, one of the two partners asked whether I could play it tough. He leaned over the desk and said, “you seem like such a sweet girl. You have such friendly blue eyes. I doubt you can.”
I said something cheeky, although I can’t remember what exactly. In any event, I made clear that of course I could act tough. Are you kidding? Of course!
I got the job. Then I quit the job a few years later.
It’s funny isn’t it? How foolish we are when we’re young.

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