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Time, Place, and Manner

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Work Induced Brain Atrophy

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I am starting to worry that my brain is dying. You might ask “Namby, you’re aren’t even in your thirties yet, how can you worry about the death of the grey matter?” Simple. I am being forced into dementia by what I experience because of work each and every day. As I tell my doctor, my clients and my potential clients, I am a few credits short of my ‘M.D.’ however, despite my lack of accreditation (i.e. I am a chiropractor) I think I can accurately diagnose my problem: my brain is eating itself.

The realization that something is going wrong popped up when I was taking a deposition last week:


By Mr. Pamby

What does your company do when it snows in January?



I don’t understand the question.


By Mr. Pamby:

[Pauses, glares at witness, shuffles paper]





By Mr. Pamby

When snow accumulates in excess of two inches and temperature is below freezing with the active windchill pushes the temperatures into the below category what is your company's policy and procedure in dealing with snow, ice and water removal from the area of the premises in which the Plaintiff fell near the main manner of ingress and egress.



I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question.


By Mr. Pamby

[Looks at witness as if she is stupid]



I don’t know what you want me to say


By Mr. Pamby

[To opposing counsel] Do you mind if we take a break?


No longer am I able to ask simple questions and get simple answers. No longer am I able to adequately phrase the English language into complex questions and get a coherent answer. What made me good at this job was my ability to act, talk and behave somewhat like a lawyer. The only thing that I can posit this change is the work environment and what I would be doing to keep my mind engaged. For instance, my days used to go like this:


40% Critical thinking, lawyering and strategerying.

25% “Scream at the lawyer” client therapy sessions.

20% Mindless bitch work, demeaning tasks and intellectual whoring.

10% IT support for the technotard partner.

5% Drinking when no one is looking.


This was a good way to spend my time that allowed me to face each day with a bright smile and an optimistic attitude as to what could happen at the office that given day. Just like they tell old people to do Sudoku and crossword puzzles to keep the mind sharp, I was engaged enough to be able to approach a case from multiple levels and analyze it in a manner that addressed multiple potential issues. That has started to change and now my days seldom involve using the void of space that resides between my ears:


50% Mindless bitch work, demeaning tasks and clerically based duties.

40% Let the client scream at me on the phone while I pray that a bus hits them.

8% Dream about drinking in the office.

1.9% IT Support for the technologically challenged boss-person.

0.1% Critical thinking, lawyering and twitter. Time spent on the toilet.


I’ve started to wonder why there isn’t as much actual thought going into the work that I do now as opposed to what seems like ages ago (i.e. July). I suppose I could offer the theory that I’ve gotten so good at the job of working up personal injury cases that my brain can do it on autopilot…but let’s be honest, we both know that that isn’t the case. I need to get ‘it’ back so that the dumbest of witnesses do no flummox me when they are giving sworn testimony.

I need it back in a hurry. Else, my mind will never be the same.

[Read more from The Namby Pamby]

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