Tuesday, April 11, 2006

We're trying something new at the firm tomorrow, and I'm not looking forward to it. Last year, a bunch of Jewish associates complained because they were stuck in the office late during Passover, and we didn't make enough of an effort as a firm to make sure there was enough flexibility in their work schedules to let them go spend the nights with their families if they wanted to. It's not like we forced them to stay here. But it is true that there were some big conference calls scheduled late in the evening on the first night of the holiday, and a mandatory training seminar on the second night. So perhaps we were not as helpful as we could have been.

So this year we're bending over backwards to accommodate our associates' needs by having a Passover seder at the firm, in one of the conference rooms. We've told the associates they can invite their spouses and kids, and we found a Haggadah that boils the story of Passover down to a 6-8 minute reading before the meal. So we'll go through that, do a quick meal catered in from somewhere appropriately kosher, and have everyone back at his desk in 45 minutes, tops. So everyone who wants to can balance work and the holiday and no one has any cause for complain. We're even extending the invitation to people's parents and in-laws, if they want to invite them, and if they're willing to pay the cost of their food plus a small surcharge for the firm's efforts to organize it all. We're hiring a rabbi -- well, a man dressed as a rabbi, from a casting agency we work with sometimes -- to lead the whole thing, and hopefully it'll go off without a hitch and shut everybody up about our religious insensitivity.

It's a new experiment for the firm, and if it works, we'll do something similar for Easter, maybe hire a Jesus Christ look-a-like to play the title role, and serve a quick ham and some mashed potatoes, and hide some eggs around the office for people's kids to find. One egg inside the copy machine, one buried in the records department somewhere, and one in the toilet, just to see which associate's kid wants to bother fishing it out. I'm curious. It's a test. If your kid puts his hands in the toilet to fish out an Easter egg, you're fired. How about that? I think that's fair. I don't think you deserve to work here if whatever you teach your kids at home makes them okay with putting their hands in the toilet.

Happy Passover.

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