Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Doing the overtime tango.

I thought that December would be for loafing. Foolish, foolish me. Delaware defense counsel has seen to it that it shall be otherwise; they've decided, actually, that we should reply to 'round about eighty or ninety summary judgment motions... by the Monday after Christmas.

Now, mind you, the firm (firms, actually - ours and theirs) is (are) closed on the 25th and 26th. And futhermore, most of the attorneys were planning on being out from the 22nd on. One has already had to cancel her vacation over this malarkey, actually. So really they might as well have put the deadline at the 19th. In the midst of this melee I, of course, am back to working ten hour days. It's only ten because I've capped it at that; my original plan was eleven and I decided that that was ridiculous. See, I leave town on the 25th (that's right New Orleans, I'm comin' atcha). And yes, being me naturally I want to have as much done as is humanly possible. But you know what? What I can get done in ten hours a day every day between now and the 23rd (minus Saturday) might just be the definition of "humanly possible". Humans, after all, have their breaking points.

Of course this is hardly an isolated incident. Last week there was overtime trying to get extensions for these replies. And the week before that it was for the case charts. And the week before that... Does this all sound terribly familiar to anyone else? You may or may not recall that at this time last year, I was finishing up a trial that had me running 60 and 70 hour weeks. Granted, this is not that. And yet, it is all too similar for my taste. After all, the constant overtime was what led, last spring, to my being so completely overwhelmed and exhausted that all I could think to do was quit. But what with no savings left, a wedding in the not-so-distant future, and even more layoffs looming darkly at Jonathan's workplace, quitting is not so much an option this time around. I suppose I'll just have to deal.

Le pout, le sigh. At least it's paid overtime, and lord knows I can use the additional income. So it's really a matter of dealing with the additional stress, the lack of sleep. What did I learn during my time off? I have a feeling that whatever it was, it will now be put to the test.

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