The Office Screw (up) | Skillshare Projects



The Office Screw (up)

I was probably the worst employee to ever work at a law firm. I wasn’t a lawyer or even a paralegal. I was a project assistant, a term they made up to make us feel better about ourselves. The position was exactly as it sounds. We assisted people with their projects, whether it be typing up the contents of an old man’s Rolodex onto a Word document (my first assignment) or copying papers and putting them into a binder (something about preparing for depositions). The binder thing was huge; they constantly enforced the importance of getting this right. The lawyers would know we could count, read, and put things into alphabetical and numerical order. Even on my most hungover days, I was able to complete the task.

The job was so easy that a good amount of the time, I was waiting for projects to be given to me, so I would take strolls to Barnes & Noble and buy myself books. Then I would return to my desk and read the books in between projects. I got a lot of reading done that summer.

I soon learned that Berry, Long, Johnson & Sachs had a softball team that played weekly. After the games, they would head to the Angry Hamster for pizza and beer. I didn’t play softball but I supported my team by showing up for the free pizza and beer.

After one of the pizza-and-beer sessions, I was flirting with a hot Italian guy from accounting. It wasn’t because he was into accounting; I certainly wasn’t and I got the feeling he wasn’t either. He also wasn’t really an accountant. He worked in billing and prior to joining the law firm, he earned a living by dancing naked at strip clubs. I was intrigued.

“Where did you keep your tips?” I asked him.

“Sometimes we wore socks. Or between my butt cheeks.”

We fucked later that night. His dick was so big that when he rammed it in my pussy, I thought it was going to come out my mouth. It didn’t, though.

The next week I was flirting with Italian Stallion but he wasn’t reciprocating. I decided to make him jealous by flirting with an ex-Army paralegal, who was a friend of his. At one point in the night, I suggested a threesome but Italian wasn’t interested. So Army Boy and I went home together. His dick wasn’t nearly as nice as Italian’s, but it would work. But it didn’t work. He took his penis out of me after three pumps because he realized he loved his girlfriend.

I was bent on getting Italian back into my bed.

An opportunity presented itself a few weeks later when the firm was throwing a goodbye party for Army Boy, who was leaving the firm to pursue other interests, like his girlfriend. This was my time to shine. I changed in the bathroom after work that Friday into a revealing, sparkly gold dress. When I came out of the stall to do my makeup, the janitor just stared at me. I started to feel a little embarrassed. Was this a terrible plan – me trying to seduce a colleague at a work function? I shrugged, applied some mascara, and told myself that I looked hot, and anybody who stared at me either wanted to be me, or be friends with me so they could borrow the dress.

I walked into the Lucky Cockatoo and saw some work people already there. They were all wearing normal work clothes – collared shirts, pants, non-revealing sundresses. Between my flashy dress and five-inch heels, I started to feel less like a project assistant and more like a prostitute.

I quickly downed some drinks at the bar.

A group of guys, including Italian, entered and headed straight to the bar. Without any hesitation, I sauntered over to the men and stuck my head in as if we were in a huddle. They were about to order a round of Jameson. I didn’t like whiskey but I did in that minute, as I wanted to appear relevant. I took a shot and immediately chased it with someone’s leftover beer sitting on the bar.

I then saddled up to Italian and tried to be sexy. He was talking but not flirting back. I started to get agitated and because of my drunken state, every emotion I was feeling was exacerbated.

After accusing him of leading me on – but not without spouting off reasons why he should be with me anyway – I decided I should leave with some dignity. I turned to leave but not before falling to the ground and scraping my knees.

Everyone turned to look. Italian, Army Boy, even some partners. I dusted off the blood and power-walked to the door.

How was I going to face everyone at work on Monday? I thought about calling in sick but that would only draw more attention to my inadequacies as a human. I decided I would walk in on Monday, head held high, and act like nothing had happened.

Sure enough, come Monday morning, my performance on Friday was forgotten. Or at least they had the decency to whisper about me behind closed doors.

From that point forward, I resolved to be a better employee.

A fellow project assistant, Jake, was working on a pro bono case that interested me. A woman had applied for disability due to severe medical conditions that rendered working impossible. Aside from the fact that she had gonorrhea and mild schizophrenia, she was claiming disability on the grounds of having constant diarrhea.

This made me burst out in laughter, followed by tears from laughing so hard.

“What’s so funny?” Jake asked me. He was a few years younger than me but light-years ahead of me in terms of maturity.

“Everything,” I managed to spill out, mid-hiccup.

Everything about the situation fascinated me. Drugs, disease, and diarrhea. I was all over this case, like loose stools in a toilet bowl.

I begged Jake to put me on the case. He said I could help with some research in preparation for their meeting. I pored over the laundry list of medications she was taking and researched their side effects. I giggled to myself as I took notes.

We deduced that the combination of drugs was likely causing her to have bathroom trouble. And we needed to prove it was necessary for her to be taking all of the medications, as she was suffering from multiple illnesses. But it wasn’t enough to prove that she was incapable of working. Though according to her, the diarrhea was so bad she couldn’t sit for more than an hour without running to the toilet.

The day arrived when she was coming to our office to meet with Jake and Chris, a senior paralegal. It was only supposed to be Chris and Jake in the conference room with the woman. But I wanted to meet this human pooping machine. Jake said I could sit in only if I behaved myself (i.e. remained silent and kept a straight face the whole time). I promised I would.

And I did behave for the first four minutes. But once the conversation turned to her irritable bowels and toilet talk, I couldn’t help but burst out into laughter. I tried to be discrete by covering my mouth with a piece of paper and looking down at my lap. I even excused myself for a minute to regain composure. But when I returned, my straight face quickly gave way to that of a jack-o’-lantern. I was cackling and gasping for breath simultaneously, all the while staring at the floor.

Apparently my sneaky tactics were more conspicuous than I thought. The lady stopped mid-sentence, her face turning red. She looked angry.

“Excuse me! Yes, you!” she roared, looking straight at me.

I immediately stopped laughing, addressing her with a serious, concerned face.

“Why do you keep laughing at me? Do you think this is funny?” She put her hands on her hips.

I felt bad for her. On top of all her illnesses, one-third of her legal team was not only being unsupportive and non-responsive, but had also been laughing at her for the past forty-five minutes.

I tried to look apologetic.

“I’m so sorry, ma’am. I don’t mean any disrespect. I laugh when I’m nervous. I’m extremely nervous. I’m so sorry.”

I don’t think she bought it, even after my colleagues tried to back me up.

The meeting ended shortly after, and I thought my job would too. I apologized repeatedly to Chris and Jake for my inability to control myself.

“It’s alright,” Chris assured me. “Just keep yourself in check next time.”

He probably would have been tougher had this been a paying client.

I never followed through with my aspirations of becoming a lawyer after this. I realized I needed to be in a profession where I could express my emotions as loudly and freely as I wanted to.


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