Aurora Donnelly is a solo practitioner always looking forward to the next exciting transition.
It mortifies me to write about it, but I did not get an offer from my great interview last week. In fact, I got nothing, not even a return call when I phoned after a week (I know, too long, I was afraid the news was bad) to find out the status of the search.
This is not the first time this has happened to me, or to everyone I know who is interviewing. What I am seeing is a lack of real communication among us. We are fortunate to have great communication tools available, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace etc. We can talk to each other in a dozen different ways, and we do, all day and probably, for some, all night long. But is there more concealment than communicating going on? I know that sounds strange, since the websites are all about disclosure.
But from what I see, there is little real disclosure going on (except for some very young people of all ages who do not yet have much sense). Most people are putting their information out there in a very calculated fashion and often with ulterior motives and making themselves look a certain way, while acting insouciant.
The downside of this is that the site users feel that they are living a very full life, by using Twitter and Facebook, but is that real communication? There is lacking the real communication that is conveyed a hundred times better by the briefest chat, in person or on the phone. My friend, who is a social website addict, is delighted to find old classmates and to talk to people online, and she feels totally involved with their lives and that they are involved in hers.
But the truth is, she is only telling them a little piece of the story, the part she wants them to know, that makes her look the way she wants to look. She is absolutely appalled at any suggestion I make that she actually meet these people in person and have a real conversation with them, actually go out into the world and deal with the good and the bad out there.
Anyway, forgive the digression, the bottom line for me at this time is that the person with whom I interviewed last week, for an hour and a half, after traveling to a far suburb, had a dozen ways to let me know not to agonize over the job any longer. He could have put me out of my misery of hope very quickly — with a phone call, a voicemail, an email or a fax. Instead he chose not to communicate at all and to let me stew for a week and maybe forever, because I doubt I will ever hear from him. I am not at all sure now that I would want to work with someone who shirks difficult communications.
As lawyers we know that communicating difficult messages and receiving them intelligently is crucial to our work as professionals and that sucking it up and communicating with them appropriately and timely is the “lawyerly” thing to do.