This was just too darn funny not to share. It happened at Big Law last night. I was given a project, a “dupe and revise,” which means take a document on the system, save it as a new document and make the revisions. In this case, we were taking one client’s document and modifying it for another client. The lawyer hand-wrote, in fairly legible, scripty, flowing hand, all his desired edits. Among them were changing the name of the city, the amount of money involved and other such things. Okay, no problem. Change to City of Areola, change to $2,500,000, etc., etc., etc. I generally do a search and replace and go through the document making the swap that way.
I have never been so happy to be out of the office as I was tonight. We are moving this week and the movers were demolishing some metal shelving in the room across from my workstation. For about an hour. It was horrible.
Then, we got an email at 5PM warning us that our document management system, email and pretty much every damn thing, would be down for “critical system maintenance” between 9:30 and 11PM. I’m thinking, great, I can relax the last 90 minutes of the night.
After that, I ended up down on another floor, needed some Excel help and of course couldn’t get it. I ended up Googling for my answer and found “you can’t get there from here.” So I couldn’t do what I wanted to do with the spreadsheet without overhauling some of the data and the attorney wasn’t going for that.
Back up on my floor we had plenty do to and I quickly reminded my buddy that we needed to save our work to our desktops if we wanted to keep working on it. And work we did. Right up to the last second. I was never so happy to turn my key in the door and greet my cat who was as happy to see me as I was him! Rinse, repeat.
In a conversation with Robo today, I was reminded of how badly an office birthday party went some years ago. I was working at a law firm in San Antonio at the time, for a female partner who had a reputation of being a real perfectionist and a task master, both with her staff (me) and the attorneys she worked with. (Okay, when they hired me, they told me I’d be working for the “firm bitch.” — but it ends up nothing was farther from the truth.)
We were working on a case with the hospital district who was defending a sex discrimination lawsuit by a nurse. Our defense was that the nurse was a certified nut job. We even tried to claim she had Munchausen’s Syndrome. In examining her medical and personnel records, it was discovered that she, too, was born on July 13. And since her case bore so much resemblance to the case of Genene Jones, the infamous Baby Death Nurse of South Texas, I soon discovered that Genene also shared a birthday with me and our mischievous plaintiff, July 13.
My boss, not being someone generally taken with mirth or game-playing had decided to go out on a limb for me that year. She had the bakery inscribe the following words on my birthday cake:
Happy birthday, Joni, Genene and [Plaintiff’s first name]
And left the cake in the office kitchen. Whereupon it was discovered by a quite naive, but well-meaning young female associate, Kathleen. Kathleen lifted the lid of the box, saw the message and freaked out. She told the other associate with her that if my boss saw that, she would be livid. The bakery had obviously made a huge mistake. This cannot be countenanced. So Kathleen, well-meaning and misguided soul that she was, grabbed the nearest butter knife and began performing surgery on the cake. She ever so carefully removed the two offending names. She did such a good job that if I hadn’t seen the original text with my own eyes, I’d be hard-pressed to believe it was ever there. When she was done, the cake read:
Happy Birthday, Joni
Clearly, now all is right with the universe. Until my boss came in, of course, saw what Kathleen had done, shrieked in horror, and slapped the knife out of Kathleen’s hand. Me? I just smiled and shook my head and told Kathleen, “See? You lawyers can’t pass by anything without REVISING IT!”
Despite the cake SNAFU, a good time was had by all.
I just got off the phone with Robert’s durable medical equipment (DME) company. It was two weeks this past Monday since he went into their office and picked out a new wheelchair. The Ti-Lite he’s had since his injury is quite a bit worse for wear and, in fact, I had them replace a wheel bearing on his left front wheel while we were there because it was acting like a bad grocery cart.
I sent a follow-up email to the rehab specialist making sure he had everything he needed; I had made sure he had the doctor’s letter of medical necessity (LMN) and all the doctor’s contact info before we even showed up for the appointment.
We’ve been calling and emailing them asking about the status of things. The last update was Monday when they told us the doctor hadn’t responded to (signed and faxed back) a letter they needed. Robert called his doctor yesterday and was told they never received that request.
Today I call the DME back to follow up and was told that they had the doctor’s fax and telephone information wrong in their “system” and have just refaxed the information to the doctor. WTF? I asked her if she’d gotten the information I provided, which was the signed LMN and a scan of his current business card (for their convenience in contacting him). I thought to myself, maybe I screwed up and didn’t send it. No, she confessed that when she looked in Robert’s file, the correct information was there.
WHAT. THE. FUCK?!?!? So I very calmly asked her, my voice seething with unbridled rage, “You mean to tell me that the whole time, you had the correct information and you never once bothered to READ THE GODDAM FILE?!?!?” Then she really set me off. “Well, doesn’t he HAVE a chair?” Oh, boy, bitch, you don’t know what you’ve unleashed, do you? “Yes, he has a chair, but it’s broken. And in fact, I believe that the very least you can do is fix it so it works again at least while we wait around and twiddle our thumbs SOME MORE waiting for the new chair that he could have had already had it not been for this tomfoolery!” So please arrange it for me and tell me when I can come in to bring the chair for repair. And almost as an afterthought, I added, “And I plan to leave my wallet at home, if you know what I mean.”
So she put me on hold and then returned to tell me that I can come in at 9AM in the morning and they will fix the chair free of cost and they are so sorry. Yeesh. Customer service? I doubt they even know what that is. I’ll bet any amount of money I get down there in the morning and they will be clueless about this whole conversation. (That’s why I just now sent a confirming email to the idiot woman and copied the rehab specialist on it.)
Do your job right and I am likely to write an email to the owner of the company praising you to the heavens. Screw up or jack me around — and especially jack Robert around — I’ll make sure you don’t keep your silly little job. Does that make me a bitch? Probably. Do I care? Not really.
Okay. Now I ask you. All of you people out there who have jobs. Do you know how your firm’s name is spelled? Do you know whether or not there is a comma between the firm’s actual name and its corporate designation (e.g., L.L.P., Inc., P.C., Ltd.)?
Some secretaries where I work apparently do not. (There IS NO COMMA in our firm’s name, should you be wondering.) I just finished correcting a motion that had our firm name in four different places. At least I’ll give her credit. She was consistent. Sometimes, that’s not enough, though. If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then consistency is the signpost along the way.
But it’s not like this information is not disseminated throughout the firm. The firm’s name is displayed everywhere in this office. It’s on the letterhead. It’s in brass letters ten inches high on the wall of every one of our reception areas (we have several floors). It’s on the paycheck that I am sure she got today, just like I did. Hell, it’s even on her damn coffee cup!!!
Sheesh. Must find wall. Need to bang head.
First of all, let the record reflect that I’m writing this on my lunch hour. I just returned from the Park Shops and grabbing lunch for me and Bossette. I rode up in the elevator with one of the new associates. (In Acidman-speak, I suppose he would be a young pup, but I have another dictionary definition. We won’t go there.)
There is a very high-powered female attorney at our law firm. She is amazing. A very successful litigator, author of several respected legal treatises, scaler of Mount Kilamanjaro, mover of legal mountains large and small. A woman who swims in the most elegant of social waters. You get the idea.
Her office used to be next to my boss’s office (Bossette #1). What always amazed me about this woman was that as busy and hectic as her docket was, and as many irons as she had in the fire, and as feared as she might have been by her adversaries, when her father would call, I’d hear her answer the phone, “Hi, Daddy!”
It was during those times that I had the most respect for her. Not because she was a successful attorney. Not because she was an accomplished athlete. But because it was when she was in the company of her father she ceased to be anything except his little girl.
Even though I didn’t wash my car this weekend, I did manage to get a few things done just sitting here at the puta. Updated my blog no end! A real Joni blogathon. Oh, which reminds me, I did sponsor Fluttering Moth‘s blog for the Santa Clara (California) Humane Society this past weekend! Way to go, girl. IMHO, there’s no more worthy cause than the animals.
Got my bank accounts all updated in Quicken. This has been something I’ve put off for almost a year. Also, was able to resize my D: partition (the one that contains my images and MP3s) all without rebooting and FDISK’ing, thanks to Partition Magic 7.0.
So tonight I’ll sleep the sleep of the pleasantly productive. And a year from now, I guess I’ll have to balance my bank statements all over again. Goodnight everyone!
And its too good not to share here. My boss got stuck in the elevator a few weeks ago. And she is a partner in the law firm where I work, fully capable of suing the dogsnot out of anyone she chooses. What did our building management do? (I didn’t hold my breath, since blue is not my color.) They gave us all a “seminar” on what to do when the elevator breaks down. Apparently, you don’t die of a crush injury when the elevator comes crashing down on you; rather, according to these learned elevator technicians, since the elevator has counterweights on it, you’ll apparently fly up to the car’s ceiling and be mutilated there. Thanks, guys, I REALLY need to know that!
Personally, I think they should have just shown us the old poster from the 60s about what to do in the event of a nuclear bomb. Remember, “bend over and….” — well, you know how the rest of it goes….