Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tunnels, Bridges & Other Means of Connection

We are what we repeatedly do. 
Excellence, then is not an act,
but a habit.

I spent a considerable amount of my lawyering time in places other than my office.  I am consistently busy, which is a good complaint, and in a typical week I will spend at least a portion (if not all) of at least two days either in court or taking depositions.  For the past five weeks or so, I have been extraordinarily busy.  There has not been a week since late April in which I have spent more than the aggregate total of one full day in the office.  More often than not I have been on the road, making multiple stops in a given day. 

I assure you that no one weeps over my absence from the office.  The funeral parlor is likely to be the only room I brighten upon entering during the entirety of my Earthen stay.  629 Parsippany Road is not.  Trust me.  Whether absence makes the heart grow fonder or simply makes her lunch stay down a little easier I know better than to ask.  I know simply that Lucia shares my appreciation for seeing the Firm's driveway in my rear-view mirror. 

When one does a fair amount of work-related running around, every now and again an "Oops" moment pops its head above the tree line.  One such moment occurred this Monday.  I headed to northern Bergen County - to Closter - to take the deposition of a non-party witness in a premises liability case I am defending for a client.  The trip from my office to my adversary's office, which is where the witness had been directed to appear, took about forty-five minutes.  My adversary was there of course when I arrived.  I was early.  So was the court reporter.  However when the appointed hour to commence the deposition arrived, the subpoenaed witness did not.

Last Friday was a day in which I was away from my office the entire day defending depositions.  At some point during the day the woman in my office responsible for keeping track of my calendar sent me an e-mail to confirm that the witness for Monday's deposition had confirmed his availability and that all systems were go.  When he failed to appear fifteen minutes past the scheduled start time, I contacted him directly.  He told me that he had the appearance on his own calendar for Tuesday the 21st and not Monday the 20th.  At the time I spoke to him on Monday afternoon he was in a meeting across the Hudson River - in midtown Manhattan.  I asked him if he could loan me a few bucks.  Alas, the Springsteen musical reference eluded him.  He apologized for the error.  We reset his appearance for Tuesday afternoon.

As I sat in construction-related traffic on Route 80 West on my way back to my office on Monday afternoon, trying to figure out how exactly two people have a conversation on a Friday arranging for something to occur only to have their plans go to hell - and to do so at the expense as it were of people other than themselves - less than seventy-two hour later, I flipped on Mike Francesca on WFAN.  I figured I would listen to him discuss the apparent collapse of the New York Knicks in the NBA playoffs.  I did not.

Unknown to me when I turned the radio on was the fact that Francesca broadcast his show on Monday afternoon from Westchester Country Club where the New York Yankees were hosting some sort of charity event.  I spent approximately twenty minutes listening to him interview Ron Guidry.  I am not exaggerating when I say that I spent far more time than not - as I listened - with an ear-to-ear grin on my face as Guidry told one great story after another.  When I got out of my car at my office I no longer cared at all about what had been - truth be told - a fairly significant waste of my time.   Not one bit.

It was as if I had been struck by lightning.  I reckon I was.


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