You guys. On Wednesday, those of us in the Pittsburgh office of the law firm who celebrated a five-year incremental anniversary this year (is that even how you would classify that??) were invited to attend a virtual recognition ceremony. I have had to type “recognition” approx. 27 times this week and have tried to squeeze a “z” in there each and every time. Just a little fun, behind the scenes look into my deteriorating brain.
From my department, there were 8 of us I think, from Debby who is celebrating FORTY YEARS, to Carrie who is celebrating 5! In 2010, Sandy, Nate, Mitch, and I were all hired. It was a banner year, clearly. Sandy created a 10 YEAR group chat in Jabber so the four of us could be jerks during the presentation, which entailed viewing a 30ish minute long video of what the world and the firm were like in each year us anniversary people were hired, starting with 1980 because of Debby and some other lady who I think is a practice assistant.
At the end, the…leader of the firm, the Firmfather? announced that it was raffle time and I started to peace out because I don’t usually win shit. Out of the 55ish of us being recognized, 10 were going to win a $50 gift card. But then Firmfather said, “so if your name is called, I’m going to unmute you so can acknowledge that you heard your name get called. And you know what, why don’t you also say a few things about what you remember from when you started. Give us a memory or something.”
My Jabber blew up. Everyone was like OMG ERIN IS TOTALLY GETTING CALLED FOR THIS. And Amber, who was also watching the presentation since everyone’s supervisors and managers are required to attend, Jabbered me as well saying I WANT U TO WIN SO BAD.
Why does everyone hate me??
So now I’m sitting there all clammy and pale, chanting PLEASE DONT CALL ME PLEASE DONT CALL ME and Chooch, who was getting ready to leave for the teen center, sidled up next to me and asked DID SOMEONE SAY RAFFLE. So now I have Chooch crossing his fingers, saying WIN IT WIN IT over and over while the admin lady is pulling out names, and I’m in major fight or flight mode right now. I mean, all I had to do was leave the call. I could have just left, and they would be like “ok pick another name Mary!” when they saw I wasn’t in the participant list. Just in case, my mind started flipping through a psychic rolodex of FIRM MEM’RIES from 2010 that weren’t inside jokey or completely inappropriate to share with Firmfather and the other however many randos were on the call, and then…
Well, BY NOW YOU HAVE GUESSED IT. I WAS A WINNER. THEY CALLED MY DUMB STUPID PIECE OF SHIT NAME. I have never wanted to lose something so badly in my life!
I did what I do best in these situations: I completely vacated my body and replaced myself with FAKE PROFESSIONAL ERIN who managed to improvise a wholesome memory on the spot.
This was my memory:
“Well, Firmfather, I was hired in 2010 to work the late shift. There were already two other Erin/Aarons in the department, so I became known as ‘Night Erin.'”
Not super exciting, but also not something scandalous that was going to embarrass the directors of my department, who were all listening! Anyway, I didn’t think it was all that great, but Firmfather gave a hearty laugh and said, “I LIKE THAT” and I was like “PLEASE TO BE MUTED NOW” and then everyone from my department who witnessed this contacted me immediately, like “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and I was like, “Let’s never speak of this again.”
Meanwhile, Wendy texted me and was like, “NO YOU’RE NOT NIGHT ERIN, YOU’RE—”
and here is where I will interrupt Wendy’s text and tell you that there was a second part to the story that I did share on that call, because I just didn’t feel like it.
So, I didn’t meet Wendy until a month or two after I got hired, because she was in Warsaw assisting with the opening of a new firm office. By the time she came back, I was already firmly indoctrinated as Night Erin, and when she heard this, she said that it reminded her of the town wino where she grew up, and his name was Night Train. For some reason, she thought this name was way more suitable for me, and that’s how I became known as Night Train for like, too many years.
Anyway, Amber made sure to send an email to our group, squealing about how I had to talk during the presentation and people started asking IS THERE A TAPE.
But it got me thinking about all the much better memories I could have shared if this was like an off-the-record happy hour or something. So here are 4 more memories from my early years at the law firm.
- WATERBREAK ’11: the time when some broad’s water literally broke in our restroom and pandemonium ensued
- LAW FIRM LAMB CAKE: the cake that inspired an indie eyeshadow shade and its own theme song
- WACKY WORM: the carnival ride that sparked the now legendary feud between Glenn and me
- LAST MAIL IN REVERSE (no blog post): so there was this woman who used to come through our floor every day at the same time, calling out “last mail’ in every quadrant. My old co-worker and I were obsessed with her and one time, he challenged himself to race through the floor in order to catch her each time she said “last mail.” Collect ’em all, if you will. I dunno why we latched on so hard to this but it was funny to us how she appeared at the exact same time every day and never deviated from her course. So one time, for April Fool’s Day, I sidled up to Barb and whispered, “WHAT IF WE GOT LISA TO DO LAST MAIL IN REVERSE. IT WILL BLOW DEREK’S MIND.” So Barb was like LEAVE IT TO ME. So Lisa was like, “Um, ok sure I can do that, you fucking weirdos” and then we got one of our co-workers Mary to make up some project to keep Derek at his desk, because we knew he’d get up and start pacing as soon as he realized Lisa was late. I got Mitch to record it (he was pretending to peruse the contents of a bunch of engagement letter boxes near Derek’s desk and he looked SO SUSPISH but no one said anything). And then BAM, Lisa came out of nowhere with her LAST MAIL and Derek was like “that’s the worst prank ever” but he has like 8 kids now and I bet this tale is TOTALLY their favorite bedtime story. Either that or it’s a threat: EAT ALL YOUR GODDAMN PEAS OR I’M GONNA TELL YOU THE LAST MAIL STORY AGAIN TONIGHT.”
Well, that’s all for me. It’s been…a week.