In Stave Two of our ‘Professional Services Christmas Carol‘ our Managing Partner ‘Scrooge’ revisits his junior years and remembers how hard it was for him in the traditional professional services culture. He reflects on whether a traditional professional services culture and the focus on ‘making Partner’ is still compatible with younger generations in his Firm?
Ben Scrooge wakes up at midnight. At 1am, the curtains of his bed are blown open by a strange figure.
“Who, and what are you?” Scrooge demands.
“I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.”
“Long Past?” inquires Scrooge.
“No. Your past.”
With that, the ghost transports Scrooge to the former offices of Scrooge and Marley. Scrooge sees a vision of himself as a hard-working, highly motivated Junior Associate in the Firm.
He sees himself working long into the night. He remembers how the consistently long hours took their toll on him. He remembers the pressure to meet his utilisation targets and the sacrifices he made to his life outside of work. He remembers the motivation and ambition he had and how it slowly drained away as he was forced to fit into the culture of the Firm.
“But I had no choice to work that hard” Scrooge tells the spectre. “It was the only way I was going to make Partner”
With that the ghost transports Scrooge to another Christmas of the past: a merry dinner party thrown by one of his friends.
‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ is playing on the radio and the guests are drinking Bucks fizz, Mateus Rosé and Campari. They are sharing a cheese fondue.
Scrooge sees himself in conversation with a pretty woman with a large perm, leg warmers, white stilettos and shoulder pads. Her name is Belle.
She tells him she is ending their relationship because she can’t be with someone she sees so rarely.
“I promise it will all change – I just need to make Partner” begs Scrooge. “When I do, I’ll remember what it was like as a Junior and I won’t expect the same of others.”
But Belle tells Scrooge it is too late and leaves to join some of their friends who are trying to do the moonwalk. As if to spite Scrooge further, ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham is the next tune to start playing.
The older Scrooge can no longer bear it. He begs the Ghost of Christmas Past to take him back to his home. The ghost disappears and Scrooge finds himself in his bedroom. Again, he falls asleep immediately.