ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

There was a point in time when Mark Donald cared about his clients.

That time was a long time ago.

As his caseload increases with each new day, he sees his youth dissolve into Friday and Saturday nights spent with either his friends from the office or old friends from high school.

Everyone seems to be doing something more interesting with their lives. One of his close friends recently climbed Mt Kilimanjaro. Another is training for next year’s Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Mark specialises in capital market law, something he even struggles to explain to people.

“Every day is the same, it’s just a computer and an hour for lunch,” he said.

“Yesterday over lunch, I sat by myself in the food court downstairs and stared off into the distance, zoning out and tried to remember a time when I was professionally happy. You know in high school, I wanted to be a teacher? But then I saw how all my teachers lived. The Japanese cars, they premade sandwiches from home for lunch. The corduroy pants,”

“So I became a lawyer so I could drive a fast car and eat sushi for lunch. Just before I spoke to you, I was looking at Canadian work visas. I could quit my job and smoke BC Bud in Whistler for a year, teaching kids to snowboard. Maybe that would cheer me up. I just need a change.”

However, just before he picked his computer monitor up and threw it across the room at a co-worker chewing on a banana with his mouth open, he looked up at the motivational poster on his cubical wall and took a deep breath.

Nestled between a photo of former Wallaby great Jason Little and a portrait of former Justice of the High Court of Australia, The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, is an image that continues to inspire Mark to keep going.

“If it wasn’t for the poster, I would’ve quit months ago,”

“Eat time the going gets tough, I just look up at Jason Little and think, ‘What would Jason do? Would he just lie down at let the All Blacks run over the top of him? No, he’d hold onto the ball and risk the penalty. Never give up,'”

“The other posters are less effective, but totally necessary.”

More to come.


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