Hey, I Want His Job!

My bad, I went to graduate school instead of law school. My mistake, but this is a head’s up for younger readers who are looking for a cushy career.

This attorney, doing consulting work with the city of Albuquerque, has a half million dollar contract with the city. And his charges for expenses are extra.

Some of his expenses were quite extraordinary. I can even understand a reasonable bar bill if he was discussing business but $100 for a hotel pet fee? It kind of begs the question just how much he is billing out this pet per hour.

And somehow he wrangled a medical reason why he must fly in first class. Thus it shouldn’t be any surprise to the city when they received a bill for $700 for a one-hour flight. It makes his hotel bill at over $300 a night and his related $129 dinner small by comparison.

Scales of JusticeSometimes he couldn’t fly at all, again under “doctor’s orders” to avoid flying. That meant a lot of driving, not something most would want to do. However, when you also get to bill half your normal hourly rate for your travel time, you might reconsider and drive slow. Real, real slow when you’re getting $175 an hour.

Like him, I work in consulting. Unlike him, I would never even think about billing for expenses like this. My travel is on my own time. Driving for four hours? No problem, but also no way to bill half my hourly rate for that. Most often I fly. Sometimes flights are only two or three hours, sometimes they go halfway around the world. Whatever, the fares are reimbursed but never the time.

Yes, I suppose it would be fun to travel with my puppy but in my wildest dreams, I could not imagine charging a client for this.

Most of all, I am curious how he ever found a doctor who said he could only fly in first class. I mean, you either can fly or you can’t so what does the cabin have to do with it? Like most frequent fliers, I appreciate all the upgrades I receive but my tickets are booked in economy class. Of course I prefer to sit up front but I would never expect a client to reimburse me for it, even if it was for a “medical” reason.

I feel bad for the taxpayers of Albuquerque who have to pay for this but don’t expect any relief when your own City Council President says…

“We also have outside counsel that also approves all these invoices and they have approved these expenditures.”

In other words, your tax money is spent. Most likely something similar is happening in other cities around America.

To my young readers who want to make a lot of money as well as travel at someone else’s expense, the moral here is go to law school, not graduate school.

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  1. Or, the citizens of Albuquerque should adopt the Vallejo, CA model and have democratic determination of funds rather than a corrupt oligarchy.

  2. That guy is one good salary/contract negotiator! That’s for certain.

    Not sure if going to law school is key to making loads of money and getting free travel. I know a lot of lawyers here in NYC and most who work for the federal/state courts do not really travel. For those who work in financial firms whose HQ is here in NYC, they don’t really travel either (however, their counterparts in other cities do travel to the HQ in NYC!)

    I’d say going to business school is a better bet (and then working for a company that has offices around the world.)

    Since he is a contractor, I highly doubt the city of Albuquerque will renew his contract after this hoopla. I’d rather have a more stable job, imho.

  3. The moral is to scam your employer, not to become a lawyer, though it wouldn’t surprise me that a lawyer has more experience in how to negotiate a contract in his favor. As someone who considered law school (after completing grad school) all my law school friends warned me against it. In addition to high costs, job prospects are getting worse as more and more gets outsourced to cheaper countries or automated.

  4. I cannot believe you don’t get paid for travel. I get paid for all my travel even if I drive two miles down the road. I can understand not being paid to go to your office on a daily commute. As for air travel my time starts when I leave the house, and arrive at the hotel. I to would like to take my dog, but I to would never charge a client for this. I have seen where you have traveled to Scotland for business, and you did not get paid for at least ten hours of your time. I think it is time to renegotiate your contract.

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