I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date

Perhaps I've given you the impression that I don't enjoy working at my firm; I do. And, for the most part, it's a pretty good place to work, all things considered. Working in a mid-sized firm in a mid-sized city is bearable and devoid of a lot of the negative aspects that make Big Law in a big city so unappealing to me and hoards of other young attorneys.

But, (and there's always a "but", isn't there?) partners are partners, and lawyers are lawyers, no matter where you go. And it's those unavoidable truisms that make my job so frustrating. The partner's time is always more valuable than my own, both literally and figuratively. And they're always in a rush. They can't slow down for anything, and therefore, neither can I.

Consider the following, which occurred yesterday:

I knocked on the door and then stuck my head into Generic Partner's office.

"You wanted me to stop by?"

He glanced up at me. "C'mon in Moi."

I sat down in one of the chairs in front of his desk and waited expectantly, pen poised over my notepad.

“I've got a quick research assignment for you for the Schneider file.” He grabbed the file just as Random Partner stuck his head into his office.

“Generic--we’re going downstairs for drinks. You coming?” He didn't even look my way. I rolled my eyes imperceptibly. Sometimes it amazed me the way partners acted as if I weren't in the room; it was as if I were invisible.

“Yeah. I’ll be right down,” replied Generic Partner.

Generic Partner looked back at me. “You know what? Why don’t you walk me to the elevator and I’ll tell you about the research as we walk.”

I suppressed my exasperation and wondered how the hell he expected me to remember the specific issues or even the file number if I couldn’t write it down.

“Sure thing." I replied with all the pep that I could muster. I scurried after him down the hallway toward the elevator, like an obedient puppy, listening carefully, nodding my head dutifully.

He stepped into the elevator. "Great, Moi. Can you get it to me by the end of the week? Just a short memo on your findings?"

"Um, yep. Sure. End of the week," I replied. As the doors shut, I leaned against the wall and sighed. Then I jotted down all that I could remember about the assignment. Next stop: his secretary's desk to get the file number. And then back to my office until the next time-pressed, or just plain old thirsty, partner beckoned.


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