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99% of law firm kitchen tables and pinboards will have these features!

View profile for Richard Carter
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Recently I visited another local law firm to chew something over. It’s nice to have other Firms in your area you get on well with despite competing for the same clients. The chap I was speaking to took me into their kitchen to make a cup of tea.

Their kitchen had some very similar features to other kitchens of professional firms I’ve been in. It got me thinking and list making as I reckon 99% of law firm notice boards or tables in kitchens are like this:

  • Old money laundering poster from 2016 when the Partners were worried about an SRA inspection. Picture of bloke behind bars with a message instilling fear about getting AML wrong. Picture has been defaced to show the prisoner’s face as the office conveyancing partner.
  • List of birthdays for everyone in the office. Typed up after embarrassing episode 3 years ago when no-one remembered partner Tim’s birthday and there was some fall out. By now however traditionally at least 30% of the people on the list have left. Someone has added the number 40 in big red letters against Sophie’s name even though she’s only 37. New recruit Jackson has optimistically added his date on in pen in writing best described as “primary”, even though his birthday is 9 months away and he’s only a month through his probation. 
  • Side hustles. Lots of people in law firms it seems run side hustles and are hoping to make a few extra quid by getting their work colleagues to sign up. They put flyers on the table with an optimistic “take one!!!!” yellow sticker stuck professionally to the wall just above the flyers. Invariably these will include
    • Zumba - Super fit secretary Sam runs Zumba in the village hall nearby at 6pm on Wednesdays. You can join her and run there from the office if you wish. Normally it’s £10 but staff mates rates mean it is a bargain at £9.50.
    • Nails - Tina, the new lady in IT, does cuticles and SNS ( me neither) in the evenings. Cash no cards. Glowing testimonial from Bonny in IT on the leaflet “Tina’s a well good technician”.
    • Diet info - weight watchers classes locally run by Tess from accounts. Tess from accounts explains she lost 3 stone and now you can too!!. When you think about it you can’t remember if Tess still works work for you or not as you haven’t seen her for a while– perhaps she’s now so thin after her diet you might just not be able to see her sideways anymore.
  • HSE posters on manual lifting, avoiding and treating burns etc. Put up 10 years ago after a health and safety talk. The person to contact about health and safety tends to have left the firm at least 4 years ago. Advice on things to do “in the event of a burn”- here someone has  written in marker pen “milk it like Rachel.” This was after Rachel took 4 days off last year for a steam vapour burn from the kettle on her little finger. Looks suspiciously like her manager’s hand writing.
  • Nutrition sheet showing 5 foods to eat to help beat colds this winter. Still up in July. Positioned just above empty choc biscuit tin. 
  • Plea for old blankets from Dave for the dog shelter he works at. Everyone knows Dave keeps the best ones for himself and his 6 year old mad lurcher. 

Kitchen tables:

  • Green Tea. Last year after the work day health promotion HR ordered 500 Green tea bags. 498 left as the box approaches its use before day and with relief the ghastly leaves can be thrown away. 
  • Charity tin with poster of person looking extremely worried and a plea for you to help. Currently contains 36p in small change, 1 euro, an old 20p coin, and half a bourbon. 
  • Biscuit tin. Still plenty of bourbons left but the whole month’s supply of chocolate digestives for the office went in first 3 hours. You know who you are Richard. Staff who missed out wander around aimlessly licking the empty wrappers and then put them in the bin with the diet ads. Quite right too.

By the kitchen sink:

  • Sanctimonious note about “ the death of the washing up fairy” by the sink. Note asks everyone to do their own washing up and not leave it to others (ie the producer of the note). Sits just above porridge bowl that has “been in soak” for 3 days. 

Tell me your law firm kitchen is not like this.  I know the Martin Tolhurst office ones bear no resemblance to this – honest!