"A lot of things aren't worth doing, but almost anything is worth telling."
Ursula K. LeGuin, "Shroedinger's Cat"

Monday, December 3, 2012

What Not to Say at Work

A few years ago I re-invented myself as a paralegal so I wouldn't have to continue as an unemployable temp going out on shitty assignments with no benefits.  The thing about law firms, however, is that they are generally more conservative than the average place of business.  I've always been a square peg of barely-contained neuroses trying to fit into the round hole of professionalism, but sometimes I even outdo myself.

The following are actual quotes that went straight from my professionally-challenged brain and out of my mouth without passing through whatever centers control reasoning and judgment:
  1. When your supervisor asks how you're doing, don't say, "I'm not dead.  Supposedly that's a good thing."
  2. Don't tell half of the office, including a number of the attorneys, "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful."
  3. I maybe shouldn't have told one of the partners that I was going to move in his nice new office with him and that I'd bring drapery swatches around later.  (Fortunately he just laughed.)
  4. When an attorney is crowing over his success in court and says "I should be playing 'We Are the Champions' by Queen," don't sardonically say to another co-worker, "More like 'The Bitch Is Back' by Elton John" within earshot.
  5. Don't ask the managing partner of the entire firm (who works out of a different office) if he has a pass to be in our office.
  6. If an attorney offers you an old desk clock from his office but then changes his mind, don't call him a "clock tease."
  7. Don't try to encourage a prickly attorney with insecurities about his own masculinity by saying, "You go, girl!"  (I was threatened with termination over that one...)

1 comment:

  1. LOL, some of them are too good NOT to say, though.
    From my list to yours:
    1. Someone from work had just kind of left, and some time after it became official, I noticed several coworkers hanging around in his doorway chatting. I barge in and say, "Are we raiding Chris' supplies for own desks? Anything good?" Turns out my coworkers were chatting with his wife, who was in the office to pick up his stuff.
    2. I was walking down a corridor by the men's room and heard the sounds of paper towel pulling/hand drying/trash throwing. So naturally I pressed myself against the wall by the door and prepared my imaginary lightsaber. As the door opened, I lunged with an overhead sweep of said lightsaber. Turns out it was a client, not one of the other geeks I work with.
    3. A couple of coworkers had become obsessed with a show called Assy McGee, and with one line in particular: "Sleep is for fat people." It had become like That's What She Said - a verbal placeholder you could use for anything. Except that one night after a particularly long band shoot, the producer (an overweight woman) said as we were unloading, "Whew, I can't wait to get home & go to sleep." Yep.