Monday, April 18, 2005

Crazy Work Weekend

Friday 5:03pm
I was planning on busting out early. Bicycle helmet, sunglasses and gloves were on and my paniers were in my hands as I started to say goodbye for the weekend. Then the shit hit the fan. A new matter had walked in our door minutes earlier and it required an ‘all hands on deck’ approach. The off-hours paralegal worked to organize the documents and we agreed to meet at 10:00 on Saturday, with the expectation that the whole weekend would be consumed by this project. Great.

Friday 5:30pm
Everyone, including me, called off all of our weekend plans.

Saturday 10:00am-9:00pm
We came to the office and learned that the boss decided that he didn’t need to involve himself in the weekend prep. This is Crazy–he is the main person on the file, the attorney who will make decisions on strategy and the person who will actually defend the depositions of the client. He of all people needs to know the file backwards and forwards. Instead on Friday night he called a junior associate and told him to tell the other partner (who isn’t supposed to work on the file-at all) that he should handle it.

We ground out research and created deposition materials–I left barely before 9:00pm without having left the office since 10:00am. The office was a flurry of activity and legal wheels were spinning.

Sunday 11:00am-11:00pm (on and off)
I worked from home drafting my research memos and felt incredibly guilty that I only emailed copies to the boss and our consultant. At 11:00pm I considered my work finished as I sent off my final memo. One personal email was sent, and I waddled off to bed.

Monday 8:00am
I came in early, expecting that there would be a deluge of emails containing new assignments, corrections and questions. Nope–not a single e-mail, and the work from Saturday was still in my boss’s inbox: He hadn’t been to the office all weekend!

Monday 10:00am
The boss is currently holed up in his office, and everyone is really weirded out by his behavior. He has to meet with the client later today, and no one has received any direction about what we are supposed to do in the meantime. I expected the office to again hit the ground running today, but instead we are spinning our wheels. Additionally, the partner who worked with us on Saturday is out of the office at his grandmother’s funeral today (he was supposed to be writing her eulogy and spending time with his family on Saturday, but couldn't because of work). I can hear my boss calling attorneys to get a status on many other less pressing cases. Grrrrrr......we worked all fucking weekend because of the deadline of this project, and now my boss is pulling an ostrich act on us.

Monday 11:45
We are finally called in for a meeting to discuss our findings and recommendations: it is obvious that he hasn't read a damn thing about the file, so the meeting is painfully slow and stilted as we try to get the boss up to speed on the file. He has to meet with a super-important client at 1:00 and is just beginning the learning process. Double Grrrr. As is his way, he continually gets sidetracked by formatting issues (this should be indented, I like headings in bold instead of italicized, I wish these binder tabs were letters instead of numbers.....) instead of concentrating on the substance of the issues. If I were one of the other partners I don't think I could have refrained from throttling him for this behavior--it is so unprofessional. But since I'm just a peon, I don't have too much of a private interest in whether or not our firm makes an ass out of ourselves.

Oh yeah, I got to see EM, another associate (one year more experience than me) get a verbal beat-down at the meeting. The boss said his research and analysis was 'useless' and couldn't be submitted to the client. EM's hands were visibly trembling and I could see the sweat patches on his shirt expand throughout the meeting. I tried to help him out by supplying the statute or case he needed several times, but I think this just made him look less prepared. The vibe of the room was really unpleasant and everyone was super-tense.

Monday 1:20
Thankfully I didn't have to meet the client with the boss, so I was able to grab lunch and just wait for the next wave of craziness to crash into the office upon his return.
I hate this.
Maybe more updates later......

2 Comments:

At 9:26 PM, Blogger equipoise said...

Christ. I just can't understand how your industry gets away with crap like this. One partner's grandma dies, yet he's in the office. Everyone slaves away the whole weekend, other plans be damned. Insanity.

For the record, I think your boss needs a 2x4 slapped upside his skull.

 
At 9:29 PM, Blogger jojo said...

Oh dear big brother,

You're so endearing. Everyone I talked to at the office thinks its cute that there are still people who think that work shouldn't rule their lives. (I didn't share the 2x4 comment--but I can assure you that they'd heartily agree!)

I totally agree that it is bullshit, but at the same time--if you got indicted on Friday, you'd expect your lawyers to put in the hours over the weekend, too.

 

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