Sunday, September 30, 2007

the saga of sack-of-potatoes. he will not be missed.

After I was accused of "setting him up" and being part of a vast conspiracy to get him fired, I was asked to write down "my account" of what had transpired with my favorite former co-worker, sack-of-potatoes. (Apparently it didn't occur to him that blatant incompetence and missing ten days of work in the first three months of employment might be grounds for dismissal?) Below, the censored version to protect innocent bystanders:

* * * * * * * * * *

Hi (office manager). As per your request, I'm writing you to give you my account of the events that occurred regarding the exhibit production in C_____ and F____, ultimately leading to the termination of (sack-of-potatoes).

* * * * * * * * * *


-About 7:30 pm on Friday 9/21, I found out through a personal conversation with J.D. that the C_____ and F____ exhibits were involved with (my most hated lawyer's) document production for the following week. I had previously thought that it involved only R________, and that (sack-of-potatoes) was helping J.D. with the R________ exhibits. ((My most hated lawyer) had apparently decided on Thursday 9/20 that all of the exhibits for all defendants in (all three plaintiffs) would be produced to all defendants by Monday, 9/24. This is an enormous undertaking involving thousands of documents.)

-The previous week, I had been assigned to do some work on exhibits for certain defendants in F____ with H.P. So when I found out that (sack-of-potatoes) was to be producing all exhibits for both C_____ and F____, I was concerned. I called H.P. on her cell. She told me not to worry, and that the exhibit production project was not my responsibility. I told her that I had already almost completed sets of exhibits for two of the defendants due to my assignment from the previous week, and asked if (sack-of-potatoes) was aware of that or if he was needlessly repeating that work. H.P. did not know.

-I called (sack-of-potato)'s desk phone at about 8pm hoping that he would still be at work, but he was not. I left him a voicemail saying that IF he had NOT already done exhibits for Aurora and Buffalo Pumps, that he should not waste his time doing them because I'd already done them. I was assigned to do as such previously, before (my most hated lawyer) decided to produce all of the exhibits so suddenly.


-The following Saturday morning 9/22, I went into the office early, and by looking in the conference room where (sack-of-potatoes) had been gathering materials discerned that he had indeed already done sets of exhibits for Aurora and Buffalo Pumps.

-The fact that a foolish and unnecessary lack of communication caused the two of us to waste our time doing the same work annoyed me. Because of this, I sent an email to (sack-of-potatoes and the lawyers involved) regarding the situation that read as follows:

Hi (sack-of-potatoes). Well, you can disregard the voicemail that I left you last night - I see that you've already made physical copies of the exhibits for Buffalo Pumps and for Aurora, as have I. I really wish that someone, anyone, had communicated with me as to what was going on with this document production, as this was a task that had already been assigned to me and I'd been working on it. I could have saved you some time instead of both of us needlessly doing the same work.

On a separate subject, when I spoke to H.P. last night she told me that we settled with Garlock. As per her request, I've removed all of the Garlock discovery from Conf. C, so that's one less thing for you to worry about.

(Lawyer who's really my boss), I hope you can make some time for me soon to discuss what I'm actually supposed to be working on so that this kind of thing does not continue to happen.


-(sack-of-potatoes) came in at about 10 or 10:30 that morning, and came into my office to confirm that he had indeed already done the Aurora and Buffalo Pumps exhibits. I told him that I'd realized that, and explained to him that I was really just trying to get the point across to (bossman) and (my most hated lawyer) that they needed to communicate more clearly with me as to what I should and should not be working on. I told him some variation of what I'd been feeling; that they keep changing their minds about what I'm supposed to be working on and then not telling me. Obviously, as it was something that (sack-of-potatoes) was now working on, it should not have been something I was doing any longer. But no one had told me that. The conversation was very brief and, in my intentions, had a basic theme of "yeah that's annoying that we both did the exhibits for two defendants (out of a total of 33), but no use crying over spilt milk".

-An hour or two later (sack-of-potatoes) asked me what I was there working on, and I told him (truthfully) that I was doing some dep abstracts and some other random things that I'd gotten behind on during the week.

-(sack-of-potatoes) was still there working when I left that afternoon, and J.D. later told me that they were both there until about 9 or 9:30 that night, and that when they left (sack-of-potatoes) was talking about how much work he still had left to do.


-Around 4:30 or so Sunday afternoon 9/23, I received a call from J.D. asking if I could help him with the R________ exhibits. He had to have 12 sets of them ready for Monday morning and it was getting down to the wire, so I went in to help him. When I got to the office, he told me that (sack-of-potatoes) had not been there all day. This was confirmed by A. in the mailroom, who had been in since about 10am by my understanding.

-I was hoping that there was something that I didn't know, like that the C_____/F____ production deadline got pushed off to the next week maybe. But then when I happened to be sitting at my desk I got an email from H.P., asking me (and (sack-of-potatoes) and C.D.) to take any Anchor Packing exhibits out of the production room because we'd settled with them. Since I was there, I wrote her write back telling her I was in the office and I'd take care of it right away. She wrote back immediately, saying: "Thanks! How did everything go? All exhibits copied?" Based on that, I guessed that there was NOT something I didn't know.

-I felt I had a responsibility to tell H.P. what was going on. I wrote her back and told her to call me; we spoke and I told her what I knew: that (sack-of-potatoes) had not been in that day, and that it didn't seem like he'd finished with the exhibits. She mentioned that he knew they had to be finished by the next morning, but did not tell me to do anything. I stayed until 9 or so that night, working only on the R________ exhibits to help out J.D.


-The next morning, Monday 9/24, I went in early as usual. I did not take any action on the matter but suspected that if for some reason (sack-of-potatoes) did not come through I would be asked to take over the exhibit production project for C_____ and F____. J.D. was more than busy with R________, K.M. does not normally do any work on Extremis cases, and C.D. always has her hands much too full to take on this type of all-consuming task. Due to these factors, and as I'd already done some work on the trial, I was the obvious choice to step in if necessary. Sure enough, at about 9:40am (sack-of-potatoes) called in sick, and H.P. asked that I take over the exhibit production. Only at that time did I start work on the project.


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and that's the story. fun, right? yeah, i thought so too. that week i worked 70 hours. oddly enough after that i got a sinus infection. go figure eh?

Thursday, September 13, 2007


ok. so my work life has been turned on its ear... again. my trial, the one i've been on since may, has been postponed again. indefinitely for all intents and purposes. i found this out because my least favorite attorney in the office popped his head into my cell and told me i needed to join them in a meeting - NOW. because i was now to be on another trial. i just sat there blinking at him, and he was all, "well if you can, i mean, what else are you doing?" and i was all, "well, my trial." and he was all, "well that's getting pushed off. ours is going first. we need help."well ok then.the really fucked up part: i knew about the trial getting pushed off before either one of the trial attorneys knew. how is that ok?so, again, my workload has doubled. mind you, this is the workload that i was barely keeping up with even while working 50 hour weeks.sometimes i think they're actually trying to kill me.what's really irking me is that it throws all of my plans off again. i can't leave in the middle of a trial and screw everybody; i'm just not that kind of person. but from the looks of it, we're going to be on one trial or another forever! it is the trial that will not die! and it's so bizarre because we don't go to trial. ever. we settle. we're litigators, damnit. this is crazy. i've been here for 1 and 3/4 years, and we haven't gone to a single trial yet. and now we have five cases going to trial at once, so that they have to compete with one another? what the hell?perhaps my sabbatical will wait until spring... but seriously, i can't put this off forever! i can't stay here much longer. i guess it's just a matter of which comes first: will we finish up with trials so that i can leave with a clear conscience? or will i just crack?

Monday, September 10, 2007

and i'm back to working the overtimes.

i want my new life and i want it NOW! it's killing me. i know all of the reasons that i'm not doing it now. and they're good reasons. but i'm afraid that when the time comes, there will still be good reasons not to leave. there will always, in fact be good reasons not to leave. stable income and paid health insurance chief among them. but jesus. it's trading one kind of happiness for another kind of happiness. blarg.

i want it. i want it now. i daydream all the time in these vague notions of what it will be like to have all day, every day to pursue the things that i actually want to be doing. the things that i care about, the things that excite me. thinking about it only makes me hate my current situation that much more... i need to find a balance between dreaming about it enough to keep it alive, but not so much that my real life makes me sick.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

sacred chow got new chairs! go eat there right now. i mean it.

now, if you don't know this restaurant, you don't know exactly how exciting this is. see, they have some of the most amazing vegan food in new york city, and it's unlike the food anywhere else. but until recently, the seating arrangements were nothing short of atrocious. i mean really. there have actually been many occasions when i wanted to go there, was actually craving their specialties, but did not want to deal with the tiny wicker-like stools with no backs.

but fear not, for those days have passed! this most wonderful of vegan restaurants is now fully equipped with lovely, elegant, high backed black chairs. see for yourself:

now, if you're worried that this sudden investment in fancy furnishings has degraded dining quality, think again; the food is still fantastic. right down to the ice cream brownie sundae thing.

and speaking of ice cream: on top of the new-chair sensation, it seems that sacred chow has finally, FINALLY stopped offering dairy ice cream and are 100% vegan. what were they thinking with all that nonsense anyway? i guess they didn't know either, and now we don't need to because they've cut it right out. whew!

so don't delay! stop by sacred chow. their brunch on the weekend is amazing (for the love of all that's good in the world, get the italian fritatta, which i've written about before) but their regular menu will knock you flat as well. visit my friend fanelli - last i checked he worked tuesday, thursday, and sunday evenings. and when tipping remember: 15% is standard, 20% is classy.