Day 109 (week 23): Free fall

TopFirst came round to gloat today. Wanted to know what it was like “spending time in jail”. “Must have been really cool”. Once again, I only hope that he gets up other people’s noses as much as my own. As I’ve seen before, he has a tendency to jump the gun when there is the smell of blood in the air. That he becomes a gossip when it can damage a fellow pupil is not in the least unusual. That he becomes breathless with the exhilaration is fatal. Vanity. Hubris, even. Enough for me to be getting on with. But it will need planning and ultimately a little luck.

In the meantime, Worrier’s been taking her life-coach’s advice a little too seriously. She now sees her “little difficulties” (accusing the Head of Chambers of being sexist) as an “opportunity to show her character” by “turning the situation on its head”. She’s certainly losing her head. Sounding more and more each day like a member of a cult. “Pupillage is great”. “I love the way they challenge our patience.” Is she mad? We’ve spent years preparing for this time and all we are tested on is our coffee-making skills for a bunch of arrogant barristers and their slightly less arrogant solicitor mates and she says it’s “a wonderful, life-enhancing experience”. It’s doing a number of things to me and my head, but enhancing is not one of those. Maybe it’s just the time of year getting to me. Maybe I’m just getting nervous about starting in court but today I have to admit that I’ve begun to question the point of this whole pupillage exercise. Pretty much every other job in the world can be interviewed for over a period of days or weeks. Not so, the Bar. Why do they think they’re so special that they can spend a whole year mistreating you whilst at the same time only giving you a one in four chance of taking you on? Bear baiting. Cockfighting. All sports which have been banned on the basis of cruelty. Yet they leave pupils to fight it out, Death Match style. A free for all that most will lose.

Except that I realise they only get away with it because of our own arrogance. No pupil believes underneath that they will not be taken on. Otherwise, no pupil would subject themselves to such ritual and protracted humiliation. Maybe it’s a ruthlessly efficient way of working out who will make it at the Bar. After all, for all it’s airs and graces, the courtroom is no more than a low down dirty free for all just like pupillage. Survival of the fittest. Yet whilst they all believe they can win, only some of us will be right in that assessment. Others, will lose their minds along the way.

Worrier, I fear, lost hers several weeks ago and is now in free fall.


Anonymous said...

At what cost Mr BabyBarista?

Anonymous said...

As a pupil mistress (that shows I am someone both old and politically incorrect) I have to say that your blog is required reading for me. Not only does it remind me of my own misspent youth in pupillage, but it also reminds me of what scams my own pupil may be up to so that I can keep one step ahead

Anonymous said...

Your posts are getting emailed round our office each day. Please keep them coming.

Anonymous said...

just found your blog. hilarious. thank you for brightening up my day

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