Monday, July 26, 2010

When A Partner Calls Your Cell At 7:30am

It's never to tell you that you are awesome.

During my commute this morning, my cell phone started to ring. I looked down at the phone in my lap and saw the name of one of the firm's partners dubiously flash across the screen. My first thought was, "Oh Shit!"

Oh Shit! was I supposed to be at a meeting that I forgot about?

Oh Shit! did he just read my draft motion and think it was the equivalent of what would come out of Satan's ass if Satan ate a bucket of magnet alphabet letters?

Oh Shit! does he have a last minute project that he wants me to finish in an hour?

Oh Shit! did he actually mean to call his Great-Aunt Cee? (and, btw, who has Great-Aunts anymore?)

Let's get one thing clear, I was not thinking happy thoughts when I saw his name. And when I heard the tone of his voice, my gut went the way of old lady boobs and dropped straight down to my knees.

"Uh, hi. Hello Partner."
"I'm preparing for that deposition in the X matter. The one that you prepared the notice of deposition for. The one scheduled for 9am today."
"Yes..... [insert feeling of death]"
"I didn't reserve a conference room for this deposition, did you?"
.... phew.... is that all?......
"No I didn't...I will talk to the receptionist as soon as I get in."
"You didn't happen to schedule a court reporter did you?"
"Shit." [my thoughts exactly.]

Maybe I'm too hard on myself. Maybe I always fear the worst. Maybe I tend to over-react. But the only thing I focused on during the rest of my commute was what kind of funeral my career might be having by the end of the day.

My imagination went wild and I expected to show up at work with all the partners and associations huddled by the front door, wearing scaldingly scolding expressions. 25 pairs of fingers pointing disapprovingly at me. Boxes full of my picture frames and office nick-nacks, waiting for me.

I began texting my husband like crazy, warning him of the impending doom and the fact that I might be a stay-at-home mom by lunchtime. I can't say that I didn't almost cry. How could I forget something so basic? Sure, I've never scheduled or prepared for a deposition before, but STILL. I should have figured it out. Did I think court reporters magically rained down from heaven?

That was seriously the longest commute of my life. Then I got to work and it was so anti-climactic. No one even cared. No one even knew. Everyone was going about their own business and had no clue about my huge guffaw. I even popped my head into Partner's office and all he said was, "can you get me a copy of X's medical records? Thanks."

And so Cee rides again. She lives to make another mistake. Stay tuned.


Butterflyfish said...

Not that it ever matters when a partner is involved, but this soo wasn't your fault. Next time you'll know that when you notice the depo, you ask if he wants you to handle the room and reporter. But yeah, sooo not your fault. Glad it worked out.

Anonymous said...

I got nervous just reading this post.

je said...

I totally sympathize (except to a much lesser degree, since I don't technically have an actual career on the line yet)!! That granny-style gut to the knees... the worst!

Anonymous said...

This should have been something that was caught by your support staff who prepared the depo notice.

The night before my first depo, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking, "oh shit, I forgot to schedule the court reporter!" The next morning I frantically called my assistant who calmly assured me that she had it all taken care of.

Of course, now I always ask my assistant beforehand--"did you book a court reporter?" and I always get an eyeroll and a "yeeees, just like I always do."

In the grand scheme of mistakes, this was a small one--I've found that court reporters are usually willing to scramble at the last minute if it means keeping a good customer's business.

Don't be too hard on yourself.


Downsized Attorney said...

You are cracking me up with this line:

"the equivalent of what would come out of Satan's ass if Satan ate a bucket of magnet alphabet letters"

If your career in law doesn't work out (which it will) you should do stand up.

Andrea said...

I'm sooo stealing the Satan-crapping-out-magnetic-letters quip. Loves it!

Don't you guys have secretaries that do all that administrative stuff? Every new associate does it, don't worry about it. That's what you get for doing your own typing. ;)

Anonymous said...

Mistakes make you panic and then feel bad, but they are expected. There's no need to worry unless you make the same mistakes over and over again. At this point, it is part of the learning process. ;)

Anonymous said...

haha yeah i think you have to make repeated, really, REALLY HUGE MISTAKES for anyone to truly care what you mess up at a law firm :)

Anonymous said...

I have a great aunt. She's awesome.

Michael said...

These things happen! Don't be so hard on yourself! :-)