I had wanted to work with Clive, my live-in-lover, for years. I used to gaze wistfully into the middle distance and say “I wish there was some way we could work together”. He is not a solicitor, he has quite a sensible career as an IT professional (don’t ask me any questions, I really have no idea, its all about things that go “ping” and “click” as far as I can work out. If its got a plug on it or batteries in it we give it to Clive). He is also an experienced project manager and exceptionally good with managing money. You can quite see why I had no idea what we could possibly do together. Sometimes I look back and wonder whether my youthful and enthusiastic relationship with spirituous liquors has in some way addled my brain.
It is also terrifying to give up comfort for the sake of doing what is right. Right for you, right for your family, right for society. This is always assuming that you know what’s right of course. The difficulty for me was that I only knew what was wrong.
I was sick of seeing the large city firms and the small high street firms in the market treating people as things. As opportunities to make money. Client care was something to say, not something to do. It is a vulgar truism that walking the talk appeared to be impossible. There was, and is an element of greed that I consider to be obscene. I recently said to the long-suffering Newport that looking after your employees means that your employees look after your clients and then all you need to do is manage the money. He gave me an eye roll and said that it was Richard Branson who said that, not me and that whilst he agreed with the principle, it was about time I got right over myself. I can’t say I often align myself with Richard Branson, although I do seem to be growing a bit of a beard, but there you. People matter, they are not things. And I had little hope of changing the system from the position I was in. Other solicitors didn’t want me on their boards, in their partnerships because I was saying uncomfortable things. Consequently, and remembering the words of my Grandmother, a woman who was more than capable of rolling her sleeves up and shoving her hand down a drain, “if you want a job doing, do it yourself”. So I did.