An All-Consuming Business

| England, UK | Coworkers, Language & Words

(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?”

Colleague: “Eh?”

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?”


Google Will Be There From Youth To Your Grave

| Milwaukee, WI, USA | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Technology

(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…”

Didn’t See That Coming

| Detroit, MI, USA | Bosses & Owners, Extra Stupid

(This afternoon I discovered that my boss, a financial attorney, has been seeing a psychic for the last six months because he’s afraid of what will happen to his firm with the recent changes in mortgage law. Evidently, he believes everything this woman says.)

Boss: “She even mentioned you by name!” *tells me the name*

Me: “Yeah, that’s not my given name. It sounds like it should be, but it isn’t.”

Boss: “But she had her own radio show! What do you mean you don’t believe what she says?!”

A Portrait Of A Stupid Landscape

| Cincinnati, OH, USA | Extra Stupid, New Hires, Technology

(The senior partner’s nephew works for us as a copy clerk for the summer and the fact that this kid got into college HAS TO have something to do with Uncle Senior Partner. This kid is AMAZINGLY stupid. One day the copier, which has three trays (8-1/2″ x 11″, 8-1/2″ x 14″ and 11″ x 8-1/2″)  runs out of paper in that third drawer. I walk by as he is looking mystified at the supply cabinet where all the paper is labeled either 8-1/2″ x 11″ or 8-1/2″ x 14″. I see the blinking light on the copier and knew what the problem is: it was out of 11″ x 8-1/2 paper.)

Me: “What’s the problem?”

Young Employee: “We don’t have the paper the copier wants.”

(I picked up a packet of the 8-1/2″ x 11″)

Me: “Look, we can MAKE SOME.” *turns the paper on its side*

Young Employee: “Whoa, that’s FAR OUT!”

Swimming In Rules

| UK | Bizarre/Silly, Coworkers, Theme Of The Month

(I am a trainee lawyer. Each trainee shares an office with their supervisor, who has control over their work and training. We switch departments every few months during our contract and so have a new supervisor every few months. I am meeting my next supervisor. His current trainee is in the room.)

Supervisor: “Now, I have two ground rules in here.”

Me: “All right. What are they?”

Supervisor: “Rule one: Keep With Next. I don’t want to see any headings on one page and text on the next.”

Me: “Fair enough. That bugs me as well.”

Supervisor: “Good, sounds like we’ll get on. Rule number two is that you can’t keep your swimwear on the company law books.”

Me: “I … what?”

Supervisor: “I’m afraid it’s a particular bugbear of mine.”

(He’s looking at his current trainee rather pointedly so I turn around. His trainee starts to laugh.)

Trainee: “Basically, one time I decided to put my swimming trunks on the Gore-Brown textbooks to dry. [Supervisor] got offended. It was only once!”

Supervisor: “Yes, that was the day the rule was born and I’m sticking to it. So those are the two rules. Keep with next and no swimwear on the company books.”

Me: “I’ll… bear it in mind if ever I get the urge to flaunt my swimwear around the office.”

Supervisor: “See, I knew we’d get on!”

(We actually did get on very well. And I never once put my swimwear on the company books.)

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