I maybe probably almost definitely have a problem. If my work load is relatively light, I slack off and do nothing at all. But then when it picks up and gets busy, I start kicking out the product like nobody's business. Unfortunately, though, I get so busy I have time for nothing but working working working. My world collapses into my cases.
I sense there's something about this situation that's not completely healthy. A month or two ago I might have had time to deal with it but now I'm too busy.
Also, if you are offered a kitchen aid mixer by my parents you may NOT take it. It's mine. Hands off.
(I need one of my kids to settle down somewhere so they can take all the stuff we can't keep in our apartment.)
An earthquake on Tuesday--after a split second of thinking I was just dizzy (surprising if I'm not, given the total lack of sleep around these parts) but then I recognized it for an earthquake. No one else in the room had a clue, and half the people didn't even feel it.
Now a hurricane is heading straight for us and people are freaking out but I'm rather nonplussed. I have to work at home all weekend and but otherwise nothing will really chane for me. We'll either resume the hearing on Monday or have a day "off" and come back Tuesday.
And my hours? I'm amazed I'm still alive, and mostly functioning. Although I am getting either a cold or double-pneumonia with bronchitis on the side. And typhoid. (I don't even know what that is, but I'm sure I'm going to get it.) But hey, the hearing seems to be going well.
Trial schedule: set alarm early enough to get to office before 7 to pick up binders and other emergency supplies in time to get to trial location by 7 or so. Work for 2 1/2 hours getting stuff ready. Attend hearing, watch witnesses get destroyed on the stand. Grown men turn fearful before my eyes. And admit to things that are horrible for our opponents.
Discuss how ill the lead lawyer on the other side is. Play songs from the trial-specific play list. Tell our lead lawyer all the awesome admissions he got on cross. Order dinner. Make suggestions for how to deal with a certain witness. Add something to the whiteboard in the war room where you spend all your waking hours outside of the hearing room. Conduct mock cross, harass paralegals.
Work until 2. Or 4. Maybe 5. Cab home, toss clothes in dry cleaning bag, lie down, and hope you can sleep for the few minutes or hours you have. Hope your mind will stop spinning with all the things you have to do and think about just long enough for you to drift off so your brain is slightly more functional the next day.
We go to trial Monday, so I've picked up a new hobby. I watch, with a sort of sick fascination, as my hours zoom into the realm of the crazy. I set a new personal best for hitting triple digits for the month but don't ask me when that was because I'm pretty sure the month began four or five weeks ago.
Or does it only feel that way?
I'm really looking forward to it (and not just because we'll sleep when we're done). The senior partner has a reputation as a formidable litigator, but seldom goes to trial these days. It will be great to see him do his stuff. All I have to do is survive the insane senior associates and everything will be peachy.
In other news: um. Something Congress mumble mumble debt yada yada markets etc. complete stupidity and failure. Uh, and less than a month until the first Michigan game! And most importantly,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRLCHILD!!!!!!!
(It was Sunday. She still doesn't have her gift. I am setting world records for bad-momness.)
It's time for another post about the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The good: I got permission to re-write from scratch what has basically been a craptacular contract that we would never agree to and to which the other side kept trying to add ridiculous and impossible clauses in indecipherable lawyerese. I wrote something in plain English that has now passed through all the review hoops on our end and I think stands as good a chance as anything at finally resolving a really, really expensive dispute.
So that was nice.
I wrote it from about, I don't know, 11 to 1 in the morning some time last week, because here's the bad: I've broken 300 hours and I still have a full day of billing to go this month. We're going to trial in a couple weeks in one matter, and there's an endless amount of prep work to do for that. We're writing an appellate brief in another matter and I'm responsible for a section that's responding to the bulk of the other side's brief (in which they deny, deny, deny the truth). I've barely been able to touch it and I need to turn a draft in yesterday. Literally, yesterday. I had started to work on it yesterday, too, and then everything got derailed by the ugly.
I might be tired, but I don't really mind working this much off and on, because I get totally stressed out if I don't have enough work to keep me busy. What I do mind, however, is when a difficult and arduous work situation is made impossible and miserable by other people's demeanor. I had a first-year motoring along yesterday compiling a lot of the prep work with occassional input from me, and I was clearing off my desk and starting to work on the brief, when senior associates decided to start getting pissy.
Really pissy. Work on the brief became impossible and I ended up being at my desk until 2 am handling a made-up emergency for the trial prep and doing things that are way beyond my job description. I was sending emails at 3 am, now it's 8 and I'm about to head back to the office and wondering what I'm going to do because one way or another I'm going to need to find a way to confront some people, preferably with some tact, about the way they speak to me and the way they manage the team.
Wow, really looking forward to that. But, as TFL reminded me earlier this week when the same people were sending me emails that were way over the top, I grew up with four older brothers. I'm tougher than they are.
TFL and I plan to celebrate with ride this morning. I'm watching a tug boat move one of the fireworks barges into place right now. By the end of the day a sea of people will surround our building. It's crazy, and amazing, to see.
So things, I admit, have been busy. A fair number of all-nighters, and brain-dead comatose states when the pressure lets up for a few hours. In comparison to what the next two months will be, it's been quite light, of course--a trial is looming in August.
Anybody want to come out and keep TFL and Dogness (who fell in the Hudson this morning) company during the absolute worst month to visit out here? I can promise heat, stink, and zero Citations sightings.
It's been Idunnohowmany days of not a moment to draw breath.
One benefit of working for BigLaw: you get a ton of training. One drawback to working for BigLaw: you get two-day training sessions that require a lot of preparation and during which you still have to get all your other work done. So yay for 16+ hour days.
I need to take a day off just to get my life back in order.
Work has been something of a grind. Long hours of tedious, difficult work. Suboptimal work product out of some of my team. A desk I can't even find. Very little to stretch the mind. Things had started to pick up lately, though, with a deposition here and an impossible research project there, a little something to break up the day.
Today, though, I came back from a little jaunt to look at docs and discovered that I had no concentration. None. Mounds of work to do, no ability to do it. I might as well have put my head down and napped. But I sat there doing not much and not billing and waiting for my witness prep session scheduled for six, and just before it was time for my witness to arrive I got an email that I've been waiting for since, oh, March?
The judge issued a decision today on the case I spent a year and half and a million hours on, and whoa nelly. We won, and we won big.
All of a sudden my focus snapped back. It may be uncool to say this, but I'm thrilled. It's so cool to finally get a (published!) decision and it's 100% in our client's favor.
Last week I came to a realization: I had only taken one vacation day all year. I'm not sure how that happened, but clearly this situation had to be remedied immediately, if not sooner. Therefore I'm embarking on Mission: Absenteeism, and the pursuit thereof.
I planned a vacation day for Friday, and then I had to work anyway for, inter alia, a call that ended up being canceled. You may feel, gentle reader, that this development sheds some light on why I had only taken one day so far this year, and you may be right.
Nevertheless, I tried again today and succeeded!* And I met my primary goal for today, to take up a very complicated lace project (for you non-knitters, "complicated lace project" is, arguably, redundant) and figure out which row I was on when I dropped the scarf in the middle of a row about three months ago.
Please understand, I had other projects to knit in the meantime, and I knew that figuring out where I was in the lace chart would take a calm afternoon and the moral support of other knitters. Today I gathered up lace and chart and trotted up to the local yarn store for the afternoon. I generated great consternation by taking it off the needles (truly, shocked gasps could be heard) but within a pleasingly short span of time I had it back on the needles, down to a row I recognized (only two down from where I was, which is nothing), and I was knitting away again in a state of extreme contentment laced with a large amount of relief.
I stayed for the afternoon, helped an out-of-town knitter who had dragged her husband along for three miles until she found the store and who just needed a quick fix and a little moral support (you get, you give), and generally enjoyed myself until hunger drove me home.
I have a couple of other knitting projects I'm working on, and one of them I Must Finish before I go back to the lace scarf, and of course I only want to work on the lace. Oh well. I would show you a picture of the lace, but it's likely fated to be a present so I can't. But here's what it looked like when I first cast on, or maybe when I was swatching. The graph paper is five squares to an inch.
I've scheduled another day off for Friday (I have a LOT of vacation days to use up before I lose them) and I'm hoping to get TFL to take it off too so we can go to the shore. And maybe to a yarn shop in the next borough, but don't tell him. We have to ease into these things.
*We're going to ignore the 3 hours I spent this morning putting in my time and answering emails.