Preparing To Return To Work

It’s not the most pleasant thought in my mind, to return to work after a long, pleasant weekend. A big meal, off of which The Wife and I ate for two days and of which there is still a little bit more to go; lazy days watching movies and goofing off on the computer; and today, visiting my relative and taking a good 2.1 mile walk on an unusually warm November day. A good weekend.

I’m not expecting a good week at work. The Great Man is supposed to be trying a case; whether this will actually happen or not is a very good question. In all of my previous jobs as an attorney, the end grew near when I felt a sense of foreboding and anxiety as I approached my workplace, and a sense of frustration and impotence when actually there, as though nothing I did mattered to anyone. For a long time, I didn’t have that back at my own firm, but I’ve sure got it now at The Law Office Of The Great Man.

It is evident to me that my contributions to the firm are not so much wanted and appreciated as they are tolerated, at least until something or someone more suitable for The Great Man’s purposes comes along. And that may not be the case for much longer anyway. I’m reasonably certain that, having decided to relocate his office to space he unwisely rented in West Knoxville a couple years ago, I will not be making that move. So maybe I have until January 31, 2006. Maybe less. In any event, I admit I’ve not tried very hard to conceal my attitude of doom and gloom at the office and I will probably not be able to do so even if I were to want to. You walk around with a noose around your neck long enough, it’ll start to affect your attitude as well.

Well, on the plus side, my fantasy football team has done pretty well again this weekend; so that’s a plus. The Flying Spaghetti Monsters have been in the lead for nine straight weeks now and there’s five weeks left in the regular season. I have cause to be optimistic there. It may be sad to think that I’ve only got fantasy football to look forward to, and the fact is that I don’t. The apparently inevitable job switch will inevitably result in me being more happy than I am, although I do not relish the thought of going through that very much. The new house will be good, too. I am looking forward to that. I’ve got The Wife and our critters around me, we’ve made some friends here in Tennessee, and if worse comes to worse there is an option in California to fall back on.

I need to remember that I do have options and I don’t have to put up with mind f*cks. I need to remember that I am a good lawyer and I will be an asset to whatever firm or employer winds up realizing that; while The Great Man seems to have lost sight of that fact, others will not. And, of course, I need to remember that I’ve got a great support network of people around me. So when I tell myself that it’s not so bad as I fear tomorrow, on my way in to the office, I should believe it and take the whole situation with a grain of salt and a sense of humor — gallows humor, perhaps, but humor nonetheless.

The real test, of course, is not what I write tonight but what actually happens tomorrow.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. That sucks. That guy is making a mistake. It seems that lawyers in the personal injury field do that all the time though. They think that their business is all about them.

  2. I echo Salsola’s sentiment re suckage. Your apt description of the symptoms of noosage is bringing on flashbacks. Ick, here comes the one where Partner Fishhead-On-Pipecleaners pitched a fit at me during a public lunch about three weeks after the F-O-P closet shenanigans attempt, because I’m sticking up for that “scheming tease” who “lured” Mike Tyson into the hotel room. Ick, there he is at a public gathering afterward, “apologizing” by wet-smooching me on the lips in front of his mistress, also a partner at the firm. Double ick, there she is grabbing me immediately afterward and planting another one on me! And, ewww, she’s a smoker … Now here Partner Mistress comes at lunch a few days later, giving a general lecture about how women who lead men on should only blame themselves for the results, like, for instance, “letting” a partner kiss them when they “know the partner’s attracted” to them. Fast forward … now, there’s Ms. Spungen calling TL drunk in the middle of the afternoon, saying she doesn’t want to be negative but it seems impossible to get anything done for Partner F-O-P anymore and does TL think there could maybe be a tiny little noose being tied? Oh, and look, there’s TL saying that the noose is already on tight. And, finally, there’s TL being right.One less-gloomy spot (I wouldn’t exactly call it a silver lining) is that your situation sounds relatively low-animosity, at least for a law firm. Unlike other situations we’ve both been in, there’s no obvious motive for your boss to create bad circumstances to “set you up” in advance of dismissing you — for example, to discredit your testimony in a potential sexual harassment action, or to prepare for a lawsuit against another of your bosses. With that in mind, do you think your boss would consider some sort of exit package and timeline, if you proposed it? That is, unless he’s the type who on general principle would rather fire you than have you leave voluntarily. As I remember you telling me once, we can never underestimate the ego factor.

  3. Urgh… I didn’t realize his girlfriend kissed you, too. That vision is a long way away from being lipstick-lesbian sexy. Now, I bet you could pull off the faux-lesbian tease-tease-hey-check-us-out-all-you-horny-guys thing if you were of a mind to, which of course you would never be, but definitely not FOP’s girlfriend, and I’m sure that at the time, you were very far away from trying for that image anyway since I know that sort of thing drives you nuts and that you were were repelled by the entire awful situation.But I digress.I rather doubt a severance package is in my future. And I’m also reasonably sure that there will not be a wonderful reference, either. He talks crap about me behind my back now; why should my reputation with him improve once I’m gone? What really sucks is that I know no matter how good a job I do between now and the inevitable trip to the woodshed, it won’t matter because he fixates on things that are only half-correct in the first place. He still hasn’t really forgiven Happy Bachelor Lawyer for something HBL only sort of said more than three years ago and he refuses to listen to HBL explaining himself. I’ll fare no better.Thus is the power of ego, the need to be right, the need to justify one’s own actions to oneself. Those who are wise are able to recognize and submerge that impulse in favor of doing what is in their larger, longer-term self-interest. It truly sucks when those in power lack that wisdom.

  4. Thanks for charitably underestimating what I was willing to do to keep that sorry-ass job. Problem was, the “Lawyers Gone Wild” scenario did nothing to quell Partner Mistress’ very justified fear and embarrassment regarding the still-married Fishhead’s inability to control himself around anything without an obvious penis. My “understanding” reactions only increased the suspicion of me. Plus, let’s face it, why take the risk of keeping around a subordinate, or even preserving a civil relationship with a subordinate, around whom you’ve repeatedly made an absolute ass of yourself? The worse you treat him or her, the more questionable his or her motives and behavior appear to others.I guess the lesson here is that giving the Guy In Charge what he wants — whether that be good management, slave labor, cockeyed loyalty, a cheap feel, or cooing sympathy over his allegedly sexless marriage to a golfing lesbian ball-busting wife and the fact that hot chicks ignored his wimpy ass in school — will not necessarily keep people from getting fired. Because, unfortunately, sometimes firing people *is* what that guy wants.

  5. Good read! I noticed that you have a fantasy football team. If you would like some fantasy football advice, I provide free weekly recommendations. Feel free to view my site at Happy Holidays, DR U

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