Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Set-Up: An Update

Some assignments ask that you make 2 + 2 = 4 in three hours when you really need five or six hours.  I get those assignments.  We're biglaw attorneys and cranking out a high quality work product quickly is part of the job.  I may get flustered and a bit stressed, but I can do it and have done it many, many times.  

Some assignments ask that you make 2 + 2 = 9.  (This can also be the "guess what I'm thinking game.")  Those beasts are trickier and always land you in hot water one way or another.  This non-billable research project is of that variety.  I can't answer the question.  I've tried.  I've run it by other associates.  They agree.  I've spent hours upon hours on the question.  I am no where.  I have run back to the partner with results, only to be told they are insufficient.  Try harder.  So I do.  I try harder.  I spend more time, more energy, more resources.  I show my results, yet again.   

Last night, I received an email from the partner:  insufficient.  I clearly had not spent the time or energy.  I mentioned that I had billable work that was going undone.  It didn't matter.  I needed to try harder.   And now, I cannot help but believe that this project truly is a set-up.  A set-up for failure right in time for review season.   

Now, I anticipate the conversation at my review:  "The project did not go well.  I slacked off.  I did not use my resources well.  I am insufficient."

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