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:

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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).

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-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?

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