As the old saying goes: If broken glass falls from a Fifth Avenue window and the police are around to see it, who do you sue?
This was the fact finding mission that my boss set me off on this afternoon.
I know I’ve said it before, but (for context) I will say it again: I am a corporate and intellectual property attorney who occasionally works on trusts and estates matters as a service to her corporate and IP clients. When times are lean and there are real estate matters to be handled, I get those dumped on me too. I hate it, but I do it.
But personal injury?
OH. HELL. NO.
Why can’t he just put me out of my misery…instead of continuing to add to it?
Though far from my expertise, the answer is clear to me: the building owner, the building management company, the tenants, the window washing company contracted with, their respective insurance carriers…
And yet, there is also another answer that is perfectly clear to me:
My boss is a disaster.
It is not because he isn’t a nice person, or because he doesn’t know how to give reviews and raises like a real boss.
It is because he does not know how to properly exploit his resources.
I have gained, through study and experience, knowledge and superior skill in particular areas of the law. Why, why on earth, would he not try to give me more work in those areas, rather than dump a project on me that – forgetting for a moment that it is outside of my skill set – is in a practice area that almost no respectable attorney would deign to touch?
Ironically, today I had a chat with one of the senior attorneys at the firm who had recently taken on a personal injury matter for a friend and had to pass the case along to an attorney who specializes in that practice area. With a knowing nod of the head, we agreed that in law it is best to stick with what you know.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that it is a litigation matter, and one of the primary reasons why I took this job in the first place is because it was a transactional role. I hate all things court…and this matter is headed right in that direction.
Worse, still, this is a housekeeping matter. The first part of my assignment was to go through the file and organize all of the documents. The file was in disarray, having been first given to the litigation associate (a reasonable choice) and subsequently punted to a highly incompetent junior litigation associate who didn’t last long enough to see her six-month anniversary with the firm. Then it languished somewhere until it occurred to my boss that the statute of limitations is due to run out in three months time. Fortunately, I never mind the organizational part.
Organization is my jam.
But I am sort of beginning to resent the fact that in addition to my practice areas of corporate and intellectual property law, I seem to be adding clean-up-other-people’s-messes law to my repertoire. And frankly, I am so not interested.
There is a part of me that just can’t get over the fact that he would even delegate this task to me.
It just goes to show that during my six years with the firm, he has never bothered to take the time to learn what it is that I bring to the table.
From a boss to an employee, there is no bigger insult than that.