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Mrs. Grievance

I guess that being overambitious, and impatient with your current position isn't confined to Barack Obama. He and Michelle were made for each other:

At big firms, much of the work that falls to young associates involves detail and tedium. There were all sorts of arcane but important rules about what could and could not be said or done in product advertisements, and in the marketing group, all the associates, not just the new ones, reviewed scripts for TV commercials to make sure they conformed. As far as associate work goes, it could have been worse -- "Advertising is a little sexier than spending a full year reading depositions in an antitrust law suit or reviewing documents for a big merger," says White -- but it was monotonous and relatively low-level.

Too monotonous for Michelle, who, White says, complained that the work he gave her was unsatisfactory. He says he gave her the Coors beer ads, which he considered one of the more glamorous assignments they had. Even then, he says, "she at one point went over my head and complained [to human resources] that I wasn't giving her enough interesting stuff, and the person came down to my office and said, 'Basically she's complaining that she's being treated like she's a second-year associate,' and we agreed that she was a second-year associate. I had eight or nine other associates, and I couldn't start treating one of them a lot better."

White says he talked to Michelle about her expectations, but the problem could not be resolved because the work was what it was. He is not sure any work he had would have satisfied her. "I couldn't give her something that would meet her sense of ambition to change the world."

She and Barack are going to make us work. Arbeit macht frei.


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cthulhu wrote:

I and my colleagues have noticed this behavior among newer engineering graduates the last few years, where a significant chunk of them have an undeniably disdainful attitude toward grunt work (and of course, rolling their eyes at our "my first job was plotting reams of wind tunnel data with graph paper, pencil, and a #48 curve!" stories). But the Obamas are MY age . . .

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on October 5, 2008 10:03 AM.

Rockette Scientist was the previous entry in this blog.

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