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An estimated 5-minute read

Modern Bob on Beating the Recession Blues

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[WARNING: This is a longish, dull-ish entry because the weekend has started and I have not many more interesting things to do.]

[There you go again, reading this blog entry in the hope of somehow getting through the next five minutes.]

It’s been a difficult week for the UK, what with a change in government and all that. I can hardly keep myself from smirking. Karma has hit them hard and ironically reverse-inheritance has left them holding a coalition baby.

Personally, too, today has been difficult for me. While being a lawyer at Colby, Hewitt and Richards LLP is great and occasionally challenging, the recession has sprung its own surprise on me today.

You see, for the first time in my career, I haven’t done a single hour’s worth of billable work today. 

[Pause for last statement to sink in.]

Having been overworked even at the height of the recession, I initially find this sudden lack of work slightly disturbing since my bonus is dependent on me not only meeting, but exceeding, the target hours. It then occurs to me that this rare opportunity may be worth exploring. Never one to question the prevailing state of affairs, I stride fearlessly into unfamiliar territory.

So first I decide to catch up on my social networking. I install half a dozen pointless applications, take a few ridiculous quizzes, write gibberish on my friends’ walls and check out photos of the hot girls they are friends with. While online stalking is a fun activity, it loses its charm after a couple of hours or so when you realise your friends are really happy with their lives. Also, you realise that you have several “friends” on Facebook to whom you have never spoken in person. They write funny things all day but most of them are real-life dweebs who couldn't spot a joke if it hit them in the face. Unfortunately, there’s no need to think on your feet when you’re exercising your wit sitting behind a computer.

My next stop is Cricinfo. After going through a wide array of statistics, articles and M.S. Dhoni’s insightful comments on India’s secretly excellent performance at the World Cup, I think there is a definite case to be made in favour of the ICC abandoning international cricket and recognising the IPL as cricket's highest and truest form. The IPL has it all- money, sleazy politics, glitz and an all-conquering Indian champion at the end. Also, I foresee the ICC World Cup being scrapped/boycotted since India isn't winning it anymore. [And its just plain rude, you know, letting the South African Second XI waltz all the way into the final. How they gloat...Bah!]

I smoke a couple of cigarettes with Rob. Its lunch time. I email my co-workers James and Alex and we head out for a leisurely Friday lunch since they too are afflicted by this sudden mysterious downturn illness. We decide on Mexican and a few unpronounceables later my gastric needs are satisfied. I am reluctant to go back to my desk, so I linger over another cigarette and sip on a Coke while I listen (and contribute, whenever possible) to the latest office gossip.

We finally go back up to the office. I check my email. Nothing. I decide to plan my next holiday. So I spend the next hour looking up exotic holiday destinations (eg. Ibiza, Guatemala). I check my bank balance. Negligible. Looks like Ibiza is going to have to wait. [I wonder where the money goes? Note to self: keep detailed accounts and quit buying bogus golf sets on the internet.] 

This is when waves of sleep begin to hit me. It’s a Friday afternoon. I must wake up. So, I go back downstairs and spend five pounds on two lattes at the Starbucks below the office. I sit there for three-quarters of an hour, flipping through the latest edition of The Lawyer. Pretty powerful stuff that. I would definitely recommend it- plenty of gossip with a sprinkling of important legal happenings too.

I go back upstairs, enjoying a mild caffeine buzz. Time for rollonfriday.com (ROF) and legallyindia.com (LI). ROF is pure gossip but I read a couple of decent articles, spot important Indian deals and peruse the latest efforts of my esteemed co-bloggers on LI. But what I love the most about the LI site are the comments people leave behind. There’s something particularly liberating about being anonymous and nasty. Ask me.

Its five o’clock now. I’m particularly bored so I take a stroll around the office. Everyone is busy looking busy. The drinks trolley is due in another half an hour, so I play a game of poker on my BlackBerry to pass time. I give an over-enthusiastic trainee two hundred pages of proofreading to do over the weekend. The deal isn't going to go through but she doesn't know that, does she? Also, I just felt like making someone miserable.

Its five-thirty now. Also, there is no sign of the drinks trolley. An email from Jack Richards pops up on my screen. In my experience, this is usually about the time a deal comes in. My heart beats wildly while I open it. However, this one just explains that the weekly drinks trolley is now going to be a semi-annual affair. Austerity measures he says- the argument being that if Greece can do it, why not Colby, Hewitt and Richards?

I give up. I have to get out or I will be robbed of my sanity.

I make it out of the doors, intact. The weekend is here. Bliss….until 9 a.m. Monday.

Over and Out.

[I’ve just returned from a screening of Badmaash Company at Shaftesbury Avenue and am in particularly good spirits.]

[I have lost my firm £2800 today.]

[Statistics reliably inform me that I have received 65,976,830,331 hits on my blog to date. Okay, I’m lying. Really makes me wonder though how much work you guys actually do in office.]

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