It's the end of the world as we know it...

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17.2.05

First, thanks so much everyone for the well wishes! That was so nice of you all. And since I didn't get fired this week, it must have done some good. Of course, there is always next time.

"Why next time," you ask? Well, because we didn't finish! I'm...how do you say it...long-winded. So I'm forced to go back to Cincinnati sometime. And I hate Cincinnati. I am part of the sect up here that just wants it to be part of Kentucky.

First off, how easily satisfied am I? I walk into my hotel, and there is a lapdesk on the bed. A lap desk. I love lap desks. I use one al the time at home. (Yes, I'm that big of a dork.) So that made me happy.

Anyway, on Tuesday I had to go to interview people. Fun, right? The partner leaves me his keys to drive there. It takes 10 minutes to get there. I give myself 20 minutes in case I get lost. Good thing -- it took me 10 minutes to figure out how to start his car. Basically, the key chain he hands me had 2 of those remote keys on it, 4 copies of keys, and 2 manufacturer keys. I figured out which remote opened the doors, but for the life of me couldn't get any of the 6 keys to fit. I tried several times, I got out of the car to see what keys manually unlocked the car door (none of them). I went back to the hotel room to see if one had fallen off. Nothing. And I'm desperate. This was the worst thing to happen to me in my entire life. I contemplated calling the partner (he was in dep. so I'd just get his VM) or asking the hotel staff. I'm about to call the person I'm interviewing and say that I'm unable to get there to see if I could do it via the telephone. And then I see this button on the remote keyless entry for the bar. I push it, and pop -- out comes the key. Great...Am I the dumbest person to ever live? Yes, I think I am...

Then at evening, I took with me my laptop and my printer, and that was a bad call. First my laptop froze. It's 11 pm THE NIGHT BEFORE MY DEP, and I call the firm's IT tech guy on his cell. During this conversation trying to explain what's wrong and it fixes itself. Great...So I apologize for bothering him and hang up. THEN I realize that my printer jammed. NO idea what to do. I'm trying to yank the paper out, but I can't get my fingers in the printer. And I rip the paper. Again, this is the worst thing to ever happen to me ever. EVER. But since the car thing worked out and I wasn't late, this has surpassed the car as the worst thing to ever happen to me in my entire life. I'm beyond stressed out. I am near tears. Just near tears. But the partner is there, so I refuse to show being near tears. But I have no idea what I'm going to do b/c short of hooking my laptop up during the dep (and my screen is broken) I'm screwed. And if this weren't my first deposition, I could go on my own flow, but come on. My first? Without the "script" as it is? No way. And I have exhibits I need to copy. (My printer is also a photocopier.) I mean, this is bad. After about an hour (no exaggeration - mainly b/c I didn't need to in order to get my point across), I finally figured out that it opened in the back. So that was a big help in trying to unjam the paper. But it still says it's jammed, and I'm confused and upset and stressed and nervous and just ready to take out that plastic butter knife and do some damage. So I go to dinner. But sans car, my options are limited to the sports bar right down the road. It's 11 pm and I'm going to a sports bar. Yeah, this is a good idea. I take my laptop with me (wow...I *am* a big dork) and am reading over my dep at the bar. Anyway, at one point I run to the bathroom. There is a line. On a random Tuesday night. You have GOT to be kidding me. But no, this is Cincinnati (actually Kentucky) and I guess this is the only place around. Whatever. So people are waiting blah blah blah. (You boys don't have that problem, do you? That's bullshit. But I (again) digress.) Someone walks out, I walk in. (With my laptop, by the way. I was getting SO many strange looks, but I wasn't going to leave my only copy of my dep outline alone. (Secondary was the thought of letting my laptop alone.) I can't even imagine what they were thinking. Or, rather, I can, and ick. Anyway, I come out of the bathroom, and the other two stalls are still full, and there is still somewhat of a line (meaning one person in line.) Oh, did I mention that the woman was in a wheelchair?!?! She makes a remark about how the handicapped stalls (the one that I was in b/c it was the first one to open while I was standing in line) aren't to be used by people who aren't handicapped. Are you KIDDING me? Lady, don't fucking start. I'm THISCLOSE to going off, and I really don't give a shit that you are in a wheelchair. This isn't a handicapped parking place. There wasn't another damn fucking bathroom stall. So basically, of the 3 stalls, when there is a line, there is supposed to be an empty stall the entire time just in case? AND the other two stalls were still full. Oh, I was so irritated. Must.Leave.Restaurant. Because I'm just spoiling for a fight and when I get like that, well, it's a bad situation all around.

But the good news, I got back, reopened the back of my printer, turned some knobs (no idea why, there was no damn paper there) and plugged it back in and prayed...and it worked!! Yay for hard copies. (My plan: leave it for the partner, then make whatever changes he had in the am and reprint the hard copy. Didn't work. He made changes but I didn't have time to reprint it in the am. So I had to try to read his chicken scratch. Oye!)

Then at the deposition, I have 101 thoughts going through my head. And it doesn't help that I'm so incredibly nervous, and I'm one of those people who doesn't want to *show* that I'm nervous. So I'm playing it off like it's no big deal, and meanwhile I am just petrified that I'm going to ask the wrong question, or I'm going to do something wrong in not following up with a question, and I'm not going to get the essential elements of a case out of the plaintiff and we won't be able to get summary judgment. So I'm petrified. Trying to be "me" and engaging to get him talking (yes, I can SO be engaging) ;-) but also be a lawyer. (I'm not as good at being that...)

Every so often, the partner would whisper to me, "follow up on that." And at one point, he whispers that to me while the plaintiff is answering, and the plaintiff yells (on the record) "EXCUSE ME. I'm not done with my answer. I'm still talking." Oh my. (Would you be surprised if I admitted he was terminated for being a hothead?) After he finished pontificating, I asked him, "Can I talk to him now?" Again, I was near tears. This was bad.

At one time I asked him to describe his termination meeting, and he goes on and on and on. So then I ask him, "And how did that make you feel?" and he started crying. CRYING. I made the plaintiff CRY. I felt so bad. I had no idea what I was going to do. I swear, there is a place in hell for me. I felt so awful. Completely awful. This is the worst thing to happen to me in my entire life. (I see a theme...)

And now? Now I feel like I was just on the losing match of a sparring match. I think that it was because, all day Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I was completely tense. Every part of my body was tense with the stress and anticipation. So now I'm completely sure.

So let's talk stress. Last week I was given an "one day" research assignment. (Whenever you hear the partner say "one day" or "few hour" research assignment, they are lying to you.) So on Friday - realizing I wasn't done and I was going to be gone, I called and left her a VM message. "Hey, I'll be out of town the next several days. I wanted to let you know where I stood. Issue 1 the answers are A,B, and C. Issue 2 the answers are A, B, C, D, and E. I am not done with issue 3." On Saturday night I was working until all hours doing the research for a reply brief to file on Tuesday. Then Sunday I spent 8-10 hours preparing for my deposition. All Monday, Tueday, and Wedensday, between 4 hours driving two of those days, and working and whatnot, I worked 15 hours all three days. On Tuesday, I called my VM to check my messages and had a call from the partner from Friday. "I wondered when I could expect that assignment." AAGH! What part of "several days" don't you understand?? Ugh! So...I told her she'd have it today or Friday morning. Now, of course, we have the obvious problem - I was planning on taking Friday OFF because my flight leaves at 3. So that's that, and I'm STILL not having luck finding that answer. Then another partner walks into my office and asks how this brief that I'm doing for him is. "It's ok." (This brief is due the 28th, in 11 days. A lifetime in our world.) I assure him he will still have it next Tuesday - the day he asked me for it. He says, "Oh, I need it Monday now." How in the hell am I supposed to do THAT? It's Thursday. I'm working on someone else's stuff. And I'll be GONE Friday afternoon, Saturday, and Sunday. Grr...

6 Comments:

  • At 12:55 AM, Blogger CC Baxter said…

    Stephanie,

    Sounds like a heck of a trip, but you survived. :)

    I know you'll get something done. If someone else has to wait, they'll have to wait (Really; are lives at stake here?).

    Enjoy your trip!

     
  • At 1:12 PM, Blogger Scarlett said…

    Oh my god. All I can offer is that you survived. Barely. I would have went off on the handicapped person and I am so empathy with the disabled.

    And as for making the client cry. Trust me, that was a put on act to gain sympathy! Don't think another thing about that.

     
  • At 3:04 PM, Blogger Ontario Emperor said…

    I've had to travel with a laptop, but I've never had to travel with a printer. Just the laptop is complicated enough.

    Glad everything worked out in the end.

     
  • At 12:35 AM, Blogger p.p. said…

    Stephanie, one word sums up your weekend: Fuck!

    But you should be proud. I'd still be trying to figure out the partner's car. ;)

    You totally should have kicked the chick in the wheelchair.

    And, about the male partner demanding his brief on Monday, tell him go fuck himself.

     
  • At 2:14 AM, Blogger Curtis said…

    Did you at least get some of that skyline chili for all your struggles? I don't really know anything about skyline chili besides seeing a little show on it on the food network.

     
  • At 1:46 AM, Blogger Erinna said…

    I am certainly glad that you survived, and that you are not fired. ;)

     

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