September 21, 2006
This little object controls my life. Those mercifully unfamiliar with it, this is a digital dictaphone. New, fancy and 21st century. It still creates the same drone as the tape versions. Especially since, the more I put into it, the more work I have to do, but the better I look. It is that whole billing thing again. I look better when there are more hours billed, a courtesy of the dictaphone. I honestly carry it with me where ever I go. In a city where blackberries are scarce and we have car radios so i-pods are not a necessity, this is my electronic device of choice. People driving by me probably wonder what I am doing when they see me holding it and talking into it. But I do and I will do it anywhere. It captures everything, the testimony of the man who is a liar and swore he never injured his back before. The medical records of someone's erectile disfunction, carpal tunnel syndrome, lumbar sprain, urological difficulties and physiological trauma. A review of surveillance of the severely injured women who is grocery shopping for 12 bottles of wine. My conversations with opposing counsel who just threatened me with litigation. Oooh I am scared. Guess what buddy? That is what we do, litigate. That is what we do and it is all captured on that small handheld device.
The funny thing is that I became a lawyer because I love to talk. I talk a lot and I talk fast. Yet I have come to hate to talk. I would rather sit in my office and read and type. I do not want to talk into it. When I look at that device, I sometimes feel ill. Maybe because of the power and control it has over me. I think quite clearly it represents a lot more then just that.....but this is not the time or place for such ramblings. For now my disdain for the device will have to do. We (well, those of us that know who we are) have all been there. On a related topic, I recently received this e-mail. All of it holds true. Most of it is sadly funny. YOU KNOW YOU WORK IN A LAW FIRM WHEN .....
1) Your resume is on a diskette in your pocket.
2) It's dark when you drive to and from work.
3) When your boss says, " We have a brief we need to file tomorrow - I need you here early, " it means: " Come in early, wait all day, skip lunch and plan to stay late because I won't give you the first draft until 3:30 pm and we really have until the last Federal Express leaves the airport to get it out."
4) You get really excited about a 2% pay raise.
5) Your office closes for a holiday and all you can think about is the hours you'll have to make up for taking that day off.
6) A partner comes into your office and wants you to work on a project, saying: "make it perfect, but don't spend a lot of time on it because we can't bill the client for this." You're left wondering what you're supposed to do. You do the work, and get absolutely no credit for it in the end, since the hours weren't "billable."
7) The fire alarm goes off in the building, and no one in your office moves.
8) Your biggest loss from a system crash is that you lose your best jokes.
9) Your supervisor doesn't have the ability to do your job. Most days, you have the ability to do your boss's job.
10) Salaries of the members on the Executive Committee are higher than all the Third World countries' annual budgets combined.
11) Free food left over from meetings is your main staple.
12) You're already late on the work task you "just" got.
13) No matter how early you get into office, for some odd reason, you always start billing at 9am.
14) While normal people take a newspaper to the toilet, you have a stack of cases.
15) From now until you die, you view time as a .1, .2, .3, etc.
16) You look forward to when 5pm rolls around because all the secretaries leave and you can finally get some work done.
17) When you get bored of researching, you take a 1 minute breaking, checking websites in the following order: 1) espn, 2) cnn, and 3) a random search on google.
18) You email the associate in the office next to you at least 10 times a day.
19) You always have "that one associate" that totally abuses the "all attorney listserve."
20) No matter what college and lawschool told you, the law firm document database does not constitute plagiarism
21) The thing that really gets you mad about working on the weekends is that the a/c is off!
22) When your talking on the phone in your office, you wish there was a little button you could push to close the door.
23) You always wonder if there are cameras everywhere to see exactly how lazy you really are
| posted by anne at 1:32 PM
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