This is a humorous and sarcastic blog written by a paralegal in a mid-sized law firm in a mid-tier market. The goal is to share some of the pitfalls and foibles encountered in my own day-to-day experiences. Feel free to contact me at aparalegalslife@gmail.com with comments. Complaints, not so much :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Once and Future Review

Recently I was dragged kicking and screaming invited to a massive waste of time meeting with the Unmanager.  My annual review.  Wanna see how that went?

As usual, it started with the "everyone's pleased with my work" speech.  Not a surprise.  Let's face it, I've been doing this long enough to know how to keep these attorneys as happy as possible given their horrible planning abilities, terrible communication skills, general lack of experience and no existing leadership to keep them in line.

Then comes the bit about how I have such a good package of skills and experience, and how everyone in the office benefits from that.  UM included a small criticism that I need to do better about teaching the rest of the staff some of these skills.  (I bit my tongue and didn't say that UM is the only one on the staff who needs my tutelage and the other staff are perfectly capable of filling in where needed.) 

The next topic was how I need to better utilize the firm's resources.  First, the attorneys need to be trained how to utilize the staff properly and keep us in the loop on what the fucking hell is going on in our cases so that we aren't always rushing stuff at the last possible moment.  Second, massive problems stem from attempting to use said resources and the inherent bureacracy in trying.  Third, the firm's resources are not useful for what our office does and none of them are even in the same state we are, much less readily available at 11:55 PM when I have 5 minutes to do something that I just got from an attorney and needs 2 hours of work.  I gave UM a condensed version of this and repeated what I've told her numerous times, that we need to have meetings with higher-ups about streamlining the process of getting help for our office, including dedicated point contacts for us, not just getting bounced randomly among 3000 unaccountable people in the Big Rotting Apple who frankly just don't care. 

After that, it was mentioned that I've become more isolated, sullen, cranky and so on.  I almost bit my tongue off not yelling that UM is the chief cause of most of my bad moods by constantly "helping" in situations where that only makes things worse.  Even the uber-dense UM noticed that I was struggling not to lose my temper at this point.  In a rare move of wisdom UM let the topic slide after I gritted my teeth and said I would work on my attitude.

Finally, the firm has a new policy.  I need to come up with a written plan about improving my skills and knowledge base in the future.  Seriously?  The whole fucking reason they hired me was because those were already maxed out by my ump-teen years of experience.  How am I supposed to know more about our limited practice when I already know everything there is to know about it short of attending law school?  So now there's that impossible task I have to somehow accomplish without using tons of snark, sarcasm and generally sounding like a self-righteous asshole.  All I have right now is "Get the UnManager fired, then..."

So, it went pretty much the same as last year, except for that last bit.  I expect the same next year, except for being yelled at for not having a plan.  Hopefully by a different Manager.

1 comment:

Lynne DeVenny said...

Oh boy, did this post seem familiar. Luckily, they usually forget reviews 'round here, but once in a while we get the essay assignment to set future goals. Luckily, they then forget to ask for it, and I forget to do it :P