Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm in the office early today, trying to catch up on some work. I've been busy for the past few days finishing up a proposal for a non-fiction book I'm hoping to write. It's about a pair of associates the firm hired a few years back. They started out promising, but we soon realized they couldn't handle the workload and they ended up tragically collapsing in a conference room. It was 3 A.M., and even though normally the firm would still be pretty busy at that hour, it was Christmas Eve, they were the only ones left on their side of the hallway, no one heard anything, and we weren't able to get them medical attention until two days later. So they died. I've long maintained that the firm was not at fault, despite what their families think. But I figured it was finally time to set the record straight in print, so I've put together my proposal for the book: "If We Killed Them, Here's What Their Billable Records Would Look Like." Judith Regan has shown some interest. I expect it to be a pretty quick sale on the open market, and I can probably squirrel the money away somewhere so the families can't collect on the civil judgment they earned a few years back.

The book proposal hasn't been the only thing taking up my time. We decided to do a recruiting event on Friday night for some of the 2Ls who have just decided to take their offers. We took them to the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood and everyone was thrilled that one of the performers that night was Kramer from a program called "Seinfeld." I've never seen the "Seinfeld" program. I'm always at the office when it airs. I wish they would air the reruns more often, at some more convenient times, so I could eventually catch an episode or two, but it's never worked out that way. In any case, the associates all seemed to enjoy the show, although it ended earlier than I expected it would. I was distracted by some BlackBerry messages I needed to answer, so I didn't actually hear any of the performance. I'm able to tune things out when I work, even in a noisy comedy club.

I'm starting to put together plans for the firm's annual holiday party. It falls under my domain because we only have the party as a recruitment vehicle. If it was up to the partners, we'd skip it entirely, but recruits like to see some evidence of fun at the office, so we do it, invite the incoming associate class if they're in the area, get a chocolate fountain or two, and let the support staff take a twenty-minute break to enjoy some complimentary hot cocoa and half a biscotti. I've sent out an e-mail trying to form a "Spirit Subcommittee" to choose where in the office we should hang the blue streamer someone found on the street the morning after Halloween and brought into the office to be a holiday decoration. It should be a fun time for everyone.

I got to the office this morning and there was an e-mail from one of my associates, volunteering to work over the Thanksgiving holiday because she's no longer in touch with her family and has nowhere to go to celebrate. I e-mailed her back with some assignments to work on, but then I had somewhat of a change of heart and invited her to spend Thanksgiving with my family if she finishes the work in time. I've never had a second-year associate inside my house before. I'm still contemplating whether I should actually let her eat at the table or if I should set up some sort of satellite Thanksgiving station on the porch and she can eat out there with Anonymous Dog. I'll keep you posted. Best wishes for a good holiday.

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