(My father is a prosecutor for the state working on a rather complex deposition, and is busy planning said deposition on the floor of his office since the space on his desk isn’t big enough. A young female student who has landed herself a clerkship is assisting him. They have another lawyer in their offices who is legally blind. The blind lawyer walks up to my father’s office, and opens the door.)
Blind Lawyer: “[Father], are you here?”
Father: “Yes, I’m here behind my desk on the floor.”
Young Female Clerk: *cheerily* “I’m here on the floor as well.”
Blind Lawyer: *cough cough* “Excuse me…”
(He took a step out of the office and closed the door again. I can just imagine what was going through his head.)
I have worked for 15 years at a law-firm. I am the person in charge of the computer network, and because I am also an assistant to the managing partner, I coordinate the monthly staff lunch and the monthly staff breakfast.
A very insecure coworker gets promoted to office manager, and she hires a girl to work as a runner/clerk. All this person’s duties involve is making copies, making coffee for the conference rooms, and running documents to the courthouse.
One month, I make the mistake of asking her to pick up the donuts for the monthly breakfast. She immediately goes into hyperdrive and takes over the breakfast with the permission of the new manager. Suddenly, she is ordering a ton of unnecessary stuff that no one even asked for, and arranging the donuts in weird ways. We’ve always just sat out the boxes of donuts and bagels and cream cheese, with napkins, paper plates and plastic ware. Not on HER watch. Now she has them each on separate plates on big trays that she went out and bought and charged the company. There isn’t room on the counters in the lunchroom for the big trays so she places the trays of donuts and bagels on top of the garbage cans. Really appetizing.
She becomes particularly hyper about usurping anything I do and doing it badly. She starts trying to interfere and tell people what to do about software problems and countermanding my instructions on things — which she is in no way trained for.
Finally, she went too far on that and tried to fix one person’s computer while they were away from their desk, by deleting all the “clutter” on their C:\ drive to make it neater while completely failing to go to the courthouse with documents that were time-sensitive because she was too “busy” trying to do my job. She was not very competent anyway, and instead of making sure she had a job she could do, this office manager, apparently in order to mess with me, got her in so far over her head that she ended up out of a job entirely.
(One of the attorneys I work for used the wrong file number in a dictation; fortunately, I am familiar with his cases, so I figure it out.)
Me: “You need to be careful. If I were out sick, another secretary would’ve had a problem with that.”
Attorney: “You can’t get sick!”
Me: “I wish that were true, but you know I can. It’s happened.”
(I’m looking at a mark-up of a transaction document. I’m having a bit of a slow moment and turn to my office mate.)
Me: “Hey, stupid question. Is consummation of an agreement when you sign it or when you complete the deal?”
Me: “It says, basically, ‘There are no agreements, etc. that will on consummation of this agreement provide a right to anyone, yada yada.’ Is that signing or completion?”
Colleague: “That’s a weird word to use. Well, I guess … when you get married, you sign the piece of paper. But you don’t consummate it till later. So being married is signing and consummation would be—”
Me: “The coming together of all the parties’ desires?”
(The office has only me and the attorney. He’s a relatively unknown ambulance chaser in his 50s and I’m his legal assistant. He’s not very tech or Internet-savvy. One day, he does a Google search for his name.)
Boss: “[My Name]! Get in here now!”
Me: “What’s up?”
Boss: “Look at these pictures!” *pulls up Google images* “There are two other [Boss’s Name]. This is terrible; people will think they’re me!”
(One of the other Boss’s name is a 20-something skateboarder in California; the other is an old man in his 90s in New York.)
Boss: “People will search for me and think I’m a punk. Or on death’s door! Can we do anything about this?”
Me: “No, sorry, you’ll just have to take that chance…”