I’m getting ready to be out of the office for awhile. Obvs.
I feel like I’ve been doing this rather often lately: assessing my docket, finding the potential problems, squinting down the road and into my crystal ball to see what the problems are and what the best solutions will likely be, and doing a memo for it all. Sending off the memo to the other attorneys in my office. Making sure my desk is all organized and all my files accessible. Making sure everyone has my passwords. Giving written permission to open my mail, email, voicemail; giving permission to sign routine motions to appear and withdraw appearances (I call them disappearances, because, well, they ARE.) Let my volunteers/clients/other attorneys know that I am out, and who to contact. Setting up the voicemail, and the out of office reply for email. Making sure all hearings, settlements, mediations, attorneys conferences are covered. Predicting the inevitable OH MY GOD XYZ TOOK THE CHILD HID THE CHILD RAN WITH THE CHILD HIT THE CHILD incident and having the template for the motion ready to go. With the way my work life has been since June, I know it will happen. I had one emergency FINALLY wind down, only to have another start. I have CPS on speed dial. I have the legal office at DCS on speed dial. I know case workers’ phone numbers by heart.
The thing is, I have done this recently. I did it when I went to Ireland (remember this? It was glorious. We were carefree, and while I think our lives were less rich without Lis in them, there was no surgery looming over us and there was a lot more sleep). I did it when I went on maternity leave. I did it when I left for Buffalo. And I’m doing it again now for Lis’s surgery.
My heart is always in my throat a bit when I leave my docket in other people’s hands. I know they are completely competent, and one in particular has far more experience than I do. But it’s my work, my license, and I’m always afraid there’s a bit of important info that I forgot to tell them. There comes a point where the things are just etched in your skull… any maybe not in the file. Where, you know, they should be. In fact, now that I typed that, I am starting to think that these out of office memos are a good thing, because my files are way more up to date than just about any other attorney’s files that I know of.
I am super lucky to have great co-workers. They fixed up a massive basket of goodies to take to the hospital. They are stepping in without complaint and with a smile to help. And down the road, I will do the same for them. Someday. And someday, I will show them all the processes I’ve created for being out of the office, and it will make it easier for them to do what I’m doing now. Someday.
Okay, fine, you can email me at graceandpressure [at] yahoo [dot] com. Don't all flood me with emails at once, you know. If you're emailing about craniosynostosis, put it in the subject, and I'll respond quicker. Deal? Deal.