Monday, December 7, 2009

Urgent Requests

Why do they do it? How do they do it? How do they manage to come up with urgent projects at the end of the day, at the end of the week, or, as happened to me last week, just as I was about to take two days of leave? Of course, when I asked on Wednesday at 4 p.m. when the information was needed, I was told it was needed by close of business on Friday. It couldn't possibly wait till Monday. I was in a hurry to leave for an appointment so I promised to get done by the deadline, even though I would be out of the office.

On Friday morning I sat down at home in my sweats to work on the project. I figured it would take an hour, tops. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Turned out I needed information from other people, two of whom did not have updated information. I worked on the project for quite a while, then rushed around doing the other things I had to get done. Just as I thought I was going to get everything done by the deadline, I discovered a disconnect between two sources of information. I ended up having to email the attorney that one piece of information would not be available until Monday.

Amazingly, when I sent the email, nothing happened! There was no lightning and thunder and the world continued to spin on its axis.

I know the legal field is not the only field where urgent requests turn out to be not as urgent as described, but surely it is one of the worst offenders. Those making the requests usually make no allowances for vacations, holidays, personal commitments, or even other work responsibilities.

Having worked as a paralegal for a while, I've come to expect these situations. And while I will always do my best to meet a deadline, particularly an urgent one, I know most of them have some wiggle room, if necessary. Especially if it means getting accurate information.

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