Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dear JD: What exactly did you learn in law school?

JD is an attorney (hence the nickname JD), but couldn't find a lawyer job, so he took a job with our firm as a Paralegal.

Today, he asked what ABN and LR meant.

For those who don't live in a law office, you may not know that those acronyms stand for "associated business name" and "local rule."

That's right. He didn't know LR meant local rule. Oh the humanity, bring me some sticks to draw that man a picture on the wall of his cave!!

One day, my superpowers as Superlegal will be a force to recon with.  On that day, justice will dillute the evil cesspool of posers who attempt to practice law.

Until then, I will stick to my pranks. Some pranks I thought of to play on JD:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Awesomeness, part VI: Why my blog readers are awesome!!

I hit 2,000 page views today. This was due in large part to a surge in readers after Paralegal Hell posted my link. (Thank you Paralegal Hell!) Everyone should read her blog if you haven't. She was my inspiration to start blogging and is hilarious!! Her site is: www.paralegalhell.com. (I also have a link on the right side of blog page.)

So, I am writing this Awesomeness Blog to you guys, my AWESOME readers!

REASONS Y'ALL ARE AWESOME:

1. You read my blog, rain or shine.

2. You have an appreciation for the crap I deal with daily because you guys deal with similar crap daily.

3. You offer awesome and brilliant prank ideas when I really need them.

4. You don't tell my boss this blog exists.

5. I know if they put us all in a room, our combined super powers would surely take over the world and cause unbelievable havoc to those who oppose us. May the power be with us!

Thank you to everyone for reading! It's so nice to be heard!!

Remind me again why she's employed here?

About a month ago, Associate transferred about 10 of my cases to the other Paralegal on my team (Vannah). I had about 50 cases and she had less than 20. So, if you do the math, after transferring those cases, I still had at least 10 more cases than her.

On top of that I had a HUGE quad case going to trial April 4 that was scheduled to last four weeks (most trials last 3-5 days), immediately followed by back-to-back trials in May.

I have been working non-stop with about two days off in the last month. Out of necessity, I have also ignored my other cases for two months, and they are all way behind.

In the last week, Vannah told me several times that she is swamped and will need my help soon to get her cases ready for depositions, arbitrations, etc. 

Yesterday, in the middle of prepping trial exhibits, pretrial motions, etc., she interrupted me to ask if my case was close to settlement because she really needed my help. I told her it wasnt because three days ago we were still millions of dollars apart.

Turns out, her timing was spot on because as soon as I finished saying that, B-Dub came out of his office and told me he settled it -- for less than our offer last week and plaintiffs just folded (a huge victory).

I overted my eyes, but I'm sure Vannah just wanted to pounce all over my schedule.

I truly can't believe the laziness in my firm. No one wants to do their own job, everyone wants help, but no one wants to help others, and everyone tries to get out of doing work they are assigned.

I have always worked with a few people that are that way, but a whole firm -- including the attorneys? I don't get it. Perhaps they are trying to get fired to collect unemployment for two years. Why work now when you can not work now and get paid to work even less later?  I know people that would be happy to have a job, and it just irks me when able-bodied people don't appreciate the job they have.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Duh! Mandatory overtime doesn't apply to Secretary X

In my department, we have all been working lots of overtime because we have a trial starting soon on a large case (which is assigned to me).  We all work long days, nights and weekends, and have been doing so for months.

I gave Secretary X a package to fill-out a packing slip for and take to Fed Ex (her job). She told me she couldn't find the address, so I got the address for her (her job). Then she asked, at 4:45, if I was going to make her stay late to finish it.  I told her "Yes, of course. I haven't tortured you enough today."

Pop quiz:

1. Why does it take more than 15 minutes to fill-out a packing slip and walk ONE block to Fed Ex?

2. Why is Secretary X the only person in our firm NOT on mandatory overtime?

3. Why is staying late to get something out in Fed Ex to an expert across the country for a trial that starts in 9 days so ridiculous to request?

Answers:

1. Because when you refuse to do anything, it takes longer than it should to get anything done (like forever).

2. Because she is the queen of the firm and makes all the rules for everything. Besides, she needn't lift a finger when she can wave her magic keyboard around in the air and make everyone do everything for her, including any overtime.

3. Don't be ridiculous. She takes no responsibility for anything on any case and doesn't care one bit what happens in the case. You best not even think of inconveniencing her one minute for the sake of trial prep.

I really should be more sensitive to her schedule.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Myths about Lawyers and the Law

1. LAWYERS PRACTICE LAW.
Truth: Lawyers do not practice law. Lawyers practice:
  A. Whining like a baby until they get their way.
  B. Procrastinating as a test to see how many hoops their paralegals can jump through (like show dogs) before they quit.
  C.  Taking credit for everyone else's work.
  D. Avoiding reality.
  E. Sharpening their gaming skills in between barking-out emails giving wrong instructions about cases they either know nothing about, or don't understand.

I work with pink, curly-tailed animals without proper ventilation

EVERY flippin' morning, I come in to the copy room in natural disaster status. I always try to leave a place cleaner than I found it. Perhaps that's where my OCD cleaning gene comes from.  (Thanks a lot, mom!)

So, every flipping morning I clean up the filth and return the copy room -- one of the few common work areas in the office -- to the shiny clean room I know it can be.  I throw away used staples. I collect all the paperclips and binder clips that are all over the counter, floor and copier and put them in their proper container. I fill the copier and fax with paper. I pick up paper hole-punches with packing tape. I rearrange the supplies so they are neatly against the back wall of the counter to maximize counter space to work at. I deliver all the faxes from the day before that no one bothers to claim or deliver (Secretary X). I pick up miscellaneous garbage and recycling and put them where they go. I move the stickies back to their pile.

Yesterday, I walked in. It was a mess. I didn't clean it. Throughout the day, it got worse as the visiting pigs ignored their mess.

Just before I left yesterday, I opened all the drawers in the copier and fax. I sprinkled paperclips and binder clips all over. I wiped the used staples and hole-punches off the counter and onto the floor (office confetti flew everywhere). And to top it off, I tipped over the garbage and recycling bins.  To tell you the truth, there wasn't much of a difference than the mornigs I clean it up.

I'm looking forward to seeing whether anyone cleaned it up, but I am not hopeful.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Awesomeness, Part V: Reasons being B-Dub the Boss Man is Awesome

1. He gets to single-handedly create the freak show of crazies outside his office, then sit back and enjoy.

2. He enjoys that everyone comes to him with their problems with all the other crazies because he delegates all responsibility without delegating the corresponding power to improve office personnel issues.

3. He gets a fat paycheck and doesn't have to share the profits of my success.

4. He gets to take weekends off after he delegates everything to his overworked, underpaid staff (see #3 above).

5. He has a housewife to take care of all his home responsibilities while the rest of us are fortunate enough to have a few hours after slaving away at work to handle our home responsibilities.

6. He can complain about getting up at 4:30 to fly to a deposition, even though I've told him I don't need to hear that because I get up at that time EVERY DAY.

7. One of his biggest choices in his day is between the Porsche and the Escalade in the morning.

8. He gets to ignore Mean Partner.

9. He can ignore the work that has been drafted for a month and  sitting in his inbox, and then question me about why it hasn't gone out yet. Of course, it couldn't have been sitting there that long because he's sure he's gone through his inbox since then, even though I have given him weekly reminders that they were still in his inbox and needed to go out.

10. He can routinely schedule a vacation the days before a trial, but refuses to allow staff to schedule vacations close to trials. He has a back-to-back trial schedule, so that little rule equates to staff not being able to take vacations. "Here is vacation time for you. Feel free to use it when you quit."

After writing this, I realized that it may not be as awesome as one thinks to be B-Dub the Boss Man, and that he really deserves all my sympathy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Don't take credit for my awesomeness!

After yesterday's little cherade with visiting attorney Jack, I was surprised at B-Dub's tactics today.

Yesterday, I was a name on a list a mile long of throw-away paralegals. Today, he proclaimed himself to be the mentor and root of my brilliance.

Visiting Jack made some comment about my defense viewpoints. B-Dub then explained how he had corrupted me and brought me to the dark side.

I certainly wasn't going to stand for ego-man's flawed perception of reality. I looked at him and said "Actually, I have had those views about Topic X since I did divorce work many years ago, long before I worked here."

The conversation stopped...  B-Dub quickly back-tracked. I saw the chuckle in Visitor Jack's eyes that moment.  It was a thing of beauty!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Job offer and a dis

Today, I met with B-Dub for some much-needed face time to remind him about all the things he hasn't done, and the two things he MUST get done.


Co-counsel on our biggest case was sitting in his office. We'll just call him Jack. Jack said to me, right in front of B-Dub, "I just want to tell you Josh (his Associate) and I think you're doing a great job on this big case, and if you're ever looking for a job, please give me a call."


I looked at B-Dub, who was obviously in some state of shock and awe at the guts of Jack, a visitor in HIS office, who just tried to steal his awesome, fantastic, under-paid, over-achieving Paralegal.


I promptly piped-up and asked for a few weeks off. I can recognize a negotiating opportunity when it walks into B-Dub's office in a three-piece suit.


Jokingly, B-Dub educated visitor Jack in the ways of oppressing staff and keeping them busy enough that they don't have time to look for another job. I wonder if B-Dub knew he was the only one of the three of us who was joking.


He then went on to tell visiting Jack how all of my predecessors had been fired in rapid succession and he'll "just have to see how [I] work out."


Are you kidding me? Is B-Dub seriously so insecure that he needs to demean me to a potential future employer? Astonished, I glared at him and changed the subject. Visitor Jack recognizes how awesome I am, that's what mattered.


I'm beginning to think I need to covertly start pranking him. Here are my prank ideas:


1. Prop-up his desk on one side so everything starts falling off one side;


2. Adjust his chair to be shorter slowly over the course of a month;


3. Slap a "lawyers suck" sign on his back on his way out the door to a hearing;


4. Black food coloring in his coffee to stain his mouth, then tell him he may be contageous and we should probably leave for the day.


5. Remove all pens from his office every morning before he arrives.


6. Place fish parts in the overhead vent and in his lights so they start to smell over time.


What other great pranks do y'all have to play on bosses?


It's too bad visitor Jack's firm is a three hour drive from my house.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Where is trial venued again?
-independent vendor scheduling expert trial witnesses

My confidence in that vendor is fully deflated.

Note: venue is a noun, not a verb.

Just for fun, here's the definition:
ven·ue
-noun
1. the scene or locale of an action or event.

Secretary X bursts into flames

Yesterday, I assigned Secretary X a few letters to send. She was --HAPPY-- to help. She didn't say she was, she just oozed happiness to do something for me.

I have been swamped on a case that is scheduled to begin a month-long trial in a few weeks. On many occassions, I've been told that it's the biggest case our firm has seen for a client that gives our office about a third of it's work. To be honest, it's not really that big of a case, but it is to them. At this point, it is requiring all of my time.

She later came to me and told me to let her know if there's anything she can do to help me with anything.

So, I threw my keyboard at her and threw the papers in my hand up in the air. I screamed at her that I don't have time for this and she should plan to handle the clean-up of this mess of papers ASAP. I threw my arms up in frustration (with life) and threw my head down on my desk, resting them on my crossed arms. I guess I should have expected she'd faint, but I didn't expect her to burst into flames as soon as she hit the floor.

Okay, so that didn't really happen. She did offer to help though. We'll see how long she actually follows through with doing her job.