Co-Workers

We have worked for more years than we care to remember – perhaps more years than we remember (check out Lumosity.com and they can help those with memory issues). From food service to pushing wheel barrows full of concrete to sandblasting toxic chemical storage sites, we have risen to the exalted heights of point and click decision making. A constant in every environment were our co-workers. A motley crew to be sure spanning the ones your mother warned you about to the one or two life long friends, lovers or spouses (not necessarily in that order).

Beginning today, the editors will attempt to discipline themselves and bring one story a day for the foreseeable future. Hopefully this will inspire us to put out additional material more suitable for contemplation by our respected audience. However, as our audience is made up of our co-workers we expect very little response as the vast majority are lost in their own personal nightmares.

Large law firms, each year in the fall, start a class of associates ranging from a few to a couple of dozen or more. All of these persons have little or no legal experience – at best, one or two have clerked for a judge and the rest usually participated in that rite of passage known as “Summer Associate.” Summer associates are known for their ability to accept large paychecks in return for appearing earnest. The best summer associate positions are with those firms having international offices such as London where the associates travel for a round of pub crawling and a spot of tea. The bane of each summer associates day is deciding which lunch invitation to accept.

At one such firm, thirty five summer associates were frolicking about on their own floor – peering into each others offices and engaging in polite banter about the superiority of their particular law school, undergraduate degree or yacht size. Into this romantic picture of privilege stepped one such person (as a sop to popular TV we will call him Sheldon) to throw a wet blanket on the joyous carefree days of his colleagues. Sheldon knew it all and was not at all hesitant to let his fellow summer associates bask in the aura of his brilliance. No matter the topic, torts, contracts, mergers, the price of coffee in Brazil, Sheldon was expert. Sheldon exalted his knowledge before his lesser colleagues regaling them with his lack of wit, boring pronouncements, exhausting stories about self and his overall superiority. The summer days stretched endlessly before his suffering audience.

As luck would have it though, Sheldon soon found himself assigned to a corporate tax partner having the amusing trait of collecting glass and crystal bird figurines and arranging same on shelves in his office giving rise to the perfect opportunity to bring down Sheldon. A fake internal memorandum was written – purporting to be from the partner – expressing concern over a particularly valuable piece of crystal depicting an owl which had gone missing from his collection. The “memo” found itself to Sheldon and was discussed by the group in his office. Where could it be? Who had removed it? Sheldon, of course, knew that it was one of those office janitors who had absconded with the relic.

On the following day, as Sheldon emerged from the elevator (fashionably 30 minutes late as was his wont) he was met by the group continuing to discuss the missing figurine. Accompanying Sheldon to his office, along with one of the group’s administrative assistants, it was discovered that atop his desk on the very “memo” (which shortly disappeared) was a smashed figurine bearing some resemblance to an owl. Consternation and panic ensued. Sheldon was vehement in his denials – me thinks he doth protest too much a common refrain – that he was innocent, what was he to do? It was smashed. He didn’t have the kind of money needed to replace it. Alas!

The group quickly dispersed to their respective offices putting up a front of “not my problem – yours” ignoring his plaintiff pleas, unseemly begging and the like. Hours later it emerged that the entire episode was a practical joke. Sheldon was irate. Days later he left, returning home and professing to have accepted a position at a prestigious NY firm. The group heaved a collective sigh of relief – one less competitor in the game of obtaining a full time position.

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