Some lawyers despise the printer more than they despise their friends from high school who work at hedge funds unaffected by the downturn. Other lawyers, like me, look forward to a trip to the printer as much as the first day of spring when girls break out those ruffled skirts.
Partner: Matthew, looks like we’re ready to print. Should you tell poor Marcus, or should I?
Me: Marcus told me he has a big family gathering (LIE). I feel really bad and don’t want him to miss it (HUGE LIE). I’ll bite the bullet and go down to the printer…for old times’ sake.
Partner: Make sure he knows you owe him one. God, I used to hate that place.
Hate the printer? Really. I hear that a lot, but it just doesn’t add up. Hating the printer is like hating puppies or boobs. If you hate any of those things, you should get your head examined.
So, all I had to do was con poor Marcus into missing out on his first printer experience. That turned out to be pretty easy. Like all first-years, Marcus didn’t know anything. A second-year would’ve at least been suspicious of a guy like me volunteering to help.
And I never volunteer.
Unless there’s something in it for me.
Poor Marcus was so naïve that he jumped at the chance to spend quality time with his girlfriend after I told him some yarn about how I lost my ex by spending too much time at the printer. I believe the clincher was, “I could have been married with kids by now if it wasn’t for that damn printer. Choose love, Marcus. Choose love.”
Live and learn, Marcus. Live and learn.
With Marcus safely in the arms of his girlfriend, I went to the printer—or as I like to call it: Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for Lawyers. It’s got pretty much everything I need to exist in life.
Unlimited food supply. Check.
Golden Tee. Check.
A shower. Check.
The ability to bill every minute I’m there. Double Check.
Am I missing anything? Fine, maybe they won’t let you bring escorts in, but I’m sure that can be remedied by chatting with the friendly rep who always has Knicks tickets.
I know, I know, the work is so tedious down there. There are hundreds of turns of documents, typos to check, etc… But here’s my question: How is this in any way, shape or form inferior to the droll existence of a corporate associate frittering away his days in the office? It’s not.
I am a loner. I don’t need chitchat with my so-called work friends. In fact, I’ll take the small talk with the printer rep (who buys me lap dances when we hit up a strip club afterwards) over gossip with my worthless colleagues about who is close to making partner. If you think about it, working at the printer is like “working from home.” Except your home doesn’t have an arcade and a guy manning an omelet station.
But somewhere between the omelets, Golden Tee and lengthy discussion of Nate Robinson’s supernatural leaping ability, it all came tumbling down. The partner showed up unannounced. Isn’t there some sort of rule that senior people have to make their presence known at the printer? Like parents’ weekend at camp—give us a few minutes to clean up for God sakes.
I tried to wipe the remnants of the Chipwich off my tie, but I couldn’t wipe the glee off my face.
Partner: Matthew, how’s everything going? On top of things?
Me: Absolutely. I’m on top of everything.
If by “on top” you mean my initials are taking up six of the top-ten entries on the Golden Tee high-score screen.
He started flipping through the prospectus for a few minutes. I braced for the backlash.
Partner: Wanna play Golden Tee?
Did I just end up in some bizaro universe?
Me: Yeah, I guess. I’m not that good though.
Partner: Please, you’ve probably been playing all day. You think I’m a fucking idiot?
I guess I did, but now I’m not so sure.
Me: No, of course not.
Partner: You came down here to get away from it all, right?
It seems my little ruse had been uncovered. Yikes!
Partner: Well, I’ve got news for you, my smart-ass associate friend. I’ve been there, done that. Let me tell you something, since we had the baby, my wife doesn’t even let me play video games anymore. I asked if I could play “Call of Duty 4” and she put me on full-time diaper patrol. It’s terrible. And I haven’t had a Chipwich in years. Work is my vacation from home, and that’s pretty sad, don’t you think? So, if anyone asks, you called me down here because there was an issue with the OM that you couldn’t figure out. Got it?
Me: Got it.
We played Golden Tee for hours, gorged ourselves on junk food and organized an impromptu foosball tournament with some of the workers. Except for the fact that I occasionally let the partner win, it was a day of unadulterated fun.
Partner: It’s getting late. I’ve got a client dinner at Nobu tonight, and knowing this guy, we’re probably going to end up at some shady massage parlor.
Me: Can I come?
Partner: Sorry. I need you here.
Me: Got it.
Partner: By the way, I talked to Marcus.
Shit, I knew he couldn’t be that cool. Just fire me already.
Partner: There never was a family gathering. You’re a manipulating scumbag.
Partner: Oh, and Matthew.
Partner: That prospectus is riddled with typos. I counted at least twenty, but there are probably more. Make sure you take care of that before you leave. And don’t bother poor Marcus. I wouldn’t want you to interrupt his “family gathering.”
That’s what I get for letting that asshole win at foosball.