If you have had the chance to read back on a couple of my earlier posts, you might have come across the part where I talk about a nose hair incident. I try to play it off as if it isn’t me who is the subject of the story. Well, guess the fuck what. It is me. It happened right around the time when I first became a paralegal. Before that, I had been an internal consultant for the firm, working on a pre-litigation matter for five months prior. I bitched and whined enough that they gave me a full-time job with benefits and the stellar title of “litigation paralegal.” It would only take a couple of weeks for me to realize the true worth of that title.
The first case assigned to me was where I was also introduced to my first (and, probably, last) boss. Pear Bottom.
I worked with a pretty cool girl on this case who was a few years younger than me. Hell, everyone at that time was a few years younger than me. I felt like a complete kindergartener because every paralegal was like 3-6 years younger than me AND knew what they were doing. Anyhow, this one case was about to go to trial and there was a TON of evidence. It was ridiculous for how small a matter this was, how much each side was able to dig up during discovery. Not only that, how many copies of each binder the partners wanted us to make. I recently oversaw the off-site storage of all these files and I think I counted ten copies of each set. I think there were like, at max, four attorneys addressing this case. It still to this day beats the shit out of me why attorneys think they need all of these precautionary copies. “Look out, one of the others might without warning dissolve into the ethers!”
Pear Bottom rode us hard in the final weeks leading up to the trial. This was still while I was actually enthusiastic about my new title and, ahem, “ready to make a difference in the work place!” Please say some of you have gotten that feeling as you start your new job… With this feeling, I really didn’t notice how much of a douche bag ass Pear Bottom was being, but Team Member Paralegal was certainly pointing it out. After every call she’d get from him, she’d say, pretty audibly, “what a rancid dick!” During preparation, he would call us on our phones and ask us to trek into his office after he had received one of the 600 page binders we’d assembled for his majesty. On his desk, it is turned to page number 473 and he is squinting down at something on the perfectly printed page.
PB (after looking up at us): “Good job on the five volumes of binders, but did you fail to pick up the enormous error on the fourth page of the table of authorities of the exhibit to the pleading for the respondent’s request for motion to quash the defense of the statement for the recipient of the medal of honor?”
US: “Ummmm… no. What did we miss?”
PB: “Of course you didn’t. [Exasperated and overly dramatic sigh.] Middle of the page. Fourth paragraph. The font seems to be smaller than the rest of the binder. You know what? Make the rest of the paragraphs that size. Yes, I like that size. Go fix it now. Please and thank you.”
So this was how it went down pretty much all the time. Thinking back and remembering how I tried so hard to please him makes me kinda chuckle now.
Time for trial finally comes. Pear Bottom and Team Member Paralegal are preparing to fly off to Blankity-Blank for the trial. I’m to “man the forts,” which later meant do absolutely nothing, since they would have all one gazillion binders with them. We are all meeting in Team Member Paralegal’s office before their flight getting the logistics down and I ask, “So, PB, what is the time frame I would expect for you guys to call if you need me?”
He looks at me, hesitantly, and then gives me that kind of slow pat on the shoulder that has enough force to let you know to move out the room with him.
“Let me talk to you for a minute.”
Outside in the hall, he looks at me very seriously. I mean, very seriously, and says, “You have a hair coming out of your nose that’s almost down to your upper lip.”
My eyes could not have gotten wider. No one in my entire life has ever told me something like that, much less a boss I barely knew. And not only that, but I’ve never had a nose hair come blatantly out of my nose. Not that I know of…
PB: “I swear, you need to go to the bathroom and fix it.”
So, I walk-run to the nearest men’s room to scope it out. Guess what, there is no nose hair. This, I swear. I feel like I had been punk’d or something. But by a District of Columbia bar certified attorney?? Is that some sort of sick joke? I even asked Team Member Paralegal and she told me there was none. If there was, she would have noticed. So, still to this day, I have no clue why Pear Bottom decided to pull this weird prank on me. Or even if it was a prank. Hazing maybe? I don’t know. Do I really want to spend that much energy on figuring out ‘office comedy?’