Friday, September 21, 2007

Angry Friday

Well, this was a shit day to rival the top ten shittiest days.

I had a reply brief due today which, admittedly, I completely procrastinated on. I haven't come up for air in days. I was up most of last night and up at the crack of dawn, finishing a brief that deserved better organization and more attention to detail. Although I managed to pull out a quality work product, I know I could have done better.

So I drag my exhausted ass to the office bright and early this morning, shut the door and just pound out the edits and revisions. We had another response to a motion on an unrelated case and I had about 1/10th to do with it. My colleague wrote it and I contributed just a declaration about certain pertinent facts. Apropos of nothing, I hated her brief, as I tend to edit out all of the hyperbole and pejorative language, but hell, I wasn't signing it. Just giving the facts, ma'am.

So I am plugging away, albeit a little hurried, on my brief, which was due at 5pm. Shortly before noon, when the unrelated response was due, my newish legal assistant and my very senior paralegal come in, asking me to sign the documents for the declaration on the unrelated matter. I am clearly focused on other things and I have trust in my support staff, so I sign what they put in front of me, confident that they have reviewed everything and it is good to go. Sign my John Hancock on those papers and go about my finalizing my brief. Which, admittedly, was later filed right at the deadline.

Of course, colleague and support staff fucked up and included this weird declaration, ostensibly from me, but drafted by the new legal assistant, that had nothing to do with our response. Unfortunately, the exhibits to this declaration included confidential information. This sounds so fucking boring because it is, but the short version is that our new legal assistant fucked up and inadvertently included this unrelated, draft declaration that contained sensitive information, and because I trusted in the competency of our support staff, I signed a declaration submitting them. Mind you, I had NOTHING to do with this response aside from giving four or five statements about factual matters.

This makes no sense to the lay person, but suffice to say, I signed something without really reading it because I trusted that our staff had their collective shit together. For the most part, we did, but our newish legal assistant just confused and conflated a bunch of things and filed an earlier draft that disclosed confidential information. As a result, we had a crisis situation at 180%.

What utterly pissed me off, however, was my boss. He was shaking mad and didn't have all of the information. For whatever reason, I became a convenient target, most likely because I don't fucking react when provoked, and he went off on me. He ranted about a lot of things, many, many of them valid, but I was not the cause of this particular crisis. He hadn't even made it to the office before noon, which is when this unrelated thing was filed, and for whatever reason, decided to throw me under the bus. Worse, however, was Irritating Colleague who didn't man the fuck up and take responsibility for not reviewing the final documents. Yes. Yes, I signed a document without reading it, but when you work around a bunch of attorneys and paralegals whose job it is to make sure everything is kosher, you tend to trust that judgment. I have signed many, many declarations without reading them, almost always because I fucking wrote them.

Yeah, I am boring myself with this story. Boss and I need to have a sit down in the near term, as I am not anyone's punching bag. To be fair, he has never yelled at me before and he didn't have all the facts, but it was still uncool. That said - and yes, I have learned to receive criticism objectively - he had some valid points that I need to heed and learn from. They just weren't applicable or relevant to this situation. I took the hit for other people's mistakes and while this isn't his habit, it isn't acceptable.

I am going to update my resume this weekend. I do need change.

Also, my favorite writer on the internet just announced he is leaving my favorite website, which is utterly unsurprising (aside from his new digs), yet completely depressing. He and I talk via email a few times a day and the site (Gawker) will suffer greatly without him. His old website (TMLTMF) was fucking fantastic and he is all kinds of talented. I became a Gawker-phile when he was hired, and everything I love about that site will change after he's gone. He was, without question, the most talented writer on the site. I have every confidence that he will go on to great things. Just not where he's going.

For now, fuck it. Fuck. Fuck it. I'm going to get my drink on. I need to stop thinking.

PS - Fuck the new Jodie Foster movie. I saw it last weekend and am still pissed off at the storytelling. Stale, contrived and dumb. I love Jodie, and she performed as best as the storyline would allow, but this was a piece of shit movie.

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