Here's the scoop from a disgruntled former employee of this boutique firm:
This company is known for promoting only what they deem as attractive women or white men that fit a certain template. There's an area in the office everyone calls "model row" just for this reason. I have heard partners make specific comments to this many times as well including "we have more attractive staff than this firm", "bring her we can show her off to the attorneys" etc.
In 2013 we had a costume contest for Halloween and one young professional dressed up in a poncho, sombrero and a mustache (picture attached) and called himself a "bean counter". During the contest the partners not only didn't reprimand him, they also joined in the mockery and told him to fetch him some coffee (I assume a joke about Juan Valdez) and he yelled back "I'll get you a bag of oranges". To which the partners responded with laughter.
A lot of the people in the firm were offended especially after this incident, but most people wouldn't speak up. Most were afraid of repercussions, because the partners have traditionally been insensitive to these issues. Including referring to a young professional as a different breed when comparing employees.
I don't see a problem with referring to a youngster as "a different breed" — stupid articles aimed at fogeys who can't understand how to handle mysterious Millennials and their many needs do it all the time — but as for the rest of it, well, you judge.
What do you think? Culturally insensitive or all in good fun?
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