Lonely at the Top

My Bossette was also looking forward to a one-week vacation this coming week. She usually takes her family skiing during Spring Break — and that’s usually when I take a week off because I won’t require a floater at my desk. (That makes my secretarial supervisor very happy!)

I was a bit apprehensive about taking TWO weeks, though. It’s the first time I’ve ever done it, and it very well may be the last if it ever goes like it’s going now!

The last couple of weeks at work have been a madhouse. And that’s being kind. I’ve been leaving pretty late — at least 6:30 most nights — and of course heading straight to the hospital to see Robert while he was there. The last couple of nights, though, I’ve left at 9:00 p.m. And my boss is ALWAYS there when I leave. What’s worse, she’s always there when I come in each morning. Fortunately, though, she apparently does go home long enough to change clothes!

We’ve got a big case going on right now. Of course, I can’t tell you anything about it. Other than that it has occupied the days and nights of several associates and partners in our Austin, San Antonio AND Houston offices.

I found out that my bossette’s plans with her family would probably be dashed when she sent me an e-mail asking me to find out if she could take a later flight out — instead of leaving on Saturday (yesterday) with her family, perhaps Monday or even Tuesday. What a bummer. Or as she aptly stated, Shit. Shit. Shit.

I told her, isn’t part of being a partner being able to tell them to take a flying leap during times like these? No, she said. That’s not how it works. She said, “It’s BECAUSE I’m a partner that I have to stay behind and see this thing through.” I guess I am not partner material, because the first thing I’d do is try to pull rank.

I mean, when a young attorney hires on at our firm, he’s worked pretty much like a galley slave. Social life? He doesn’t have one. We sure hope he soaked it all up during the recruiting process because that’s where the buck (and the “real life”) stops!

From then on out, they answer to their overseeing partner and anyone else on their team who needs some work done. Unofficially, they’re called grunts. I don’t think I need say anymore.

And once the young associate — er, grunt — proves what he/she is made of during those first few years working at the firm, they slowly work their way up the ladder to the pie in the sky: A partnership. But that’s after at least six — usually more — years of gruelling work. Often thankless. If they’re lucky, they can bask in the glow of one of the partners they work for. But I wouldn’t count on that.

Then, I THOUGHT, once you become partner, you can start doing some shoving of your own. Downhill. Where it is all supposed to roll.

But apparently I’m wrong on that score too. So my bossette Friday evening tried to keep a stiff upper lip about it. She said she reminded herself that it was a good case, these are great clients and that’s why she’s paid the big bucks. I don’t know if I could be content with just that. She works hard all year long. And I mean she WORKS. She doesn’t sneak away early to get her hair or nails done. She’s usually up here on weekends. And keeps long hours.

So when I left Friday evening at 9:00 p.m., she was still there. And I bet if I were to call her at work right now, at noon on Sunday, she’d probably answer the phone! (But I better not do that; she might beg me to come in and work!)

I hope she gets to leave Monday instead of Tuesday. Because as far as I’m concerned, she’s already paid the cost of being the boss. [“Paying the Cost to be the Boss,” B.B. King, 3MB mp3]

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