Friday, 15 December 2006

Battered and deeply fried ego

Chelmsford wasn't as bad as all that, although I did nearly disgrace myself by falling asleep at the back of the court during the hearing. I find shadowing other people incredibly soporific. It is mainly the consequence of a lack of engagement - I'm observing, not participating, and there's no adhrenaline rush, as there always is when one is doing these things for real. That, combined with the interminable talking. Background talking is supposed to help babies sleep, I think, and it seems to be working wonders on me too. I had to start taking notes just to keep myself awake.

The Master has headed home, so I was just settling down back at Chambers to some guidebook reading for my Christmas sandfest holiday, when the clerks called for me on the telephone tannoy thing we have here. I think that might be the first time I've used the word 'we' in the context of chambers, although I'm not going to go back and check. Could be a turning point. Probably a good thing, I suppose.

Anyway, I managed to remember how to put myself through on the 'phone and it turns out that the QC who had me updating her Hershman a week or so ago wanted a trial bundle paginating. I dropped by and have spent the last hour or so hour writing numbers in the corner of pages in a big, fat trial bundle. The third six pupil was supposed to have been doing it but got detained in court with a case she was doing this morning.

It's a bit demeaning, but I suppose someone has to do it, and I'm pathetically grateful for the small cash injection involved. I did actually find this particular task strangely satisfying, unlike the loose leaf filing I've done, which I'm finding properly infuriating. This slow building sense of anger has been somewhat accelerated by a well-meaning, passing comment by someone at the chambers drinks the other night. The comment has been going through my head since. They asked me what I'd been up to that day and I told them I'd been doing some updating. They gave me a pitying look, which is fine and entirely appropriate in the circumstances, but then said, "It does get noticed, you know."

I hope not. Does this mean that tenancy decisions are based on who does the most updating, measured by the inch, perhaps? Would the possession of an uncanny, supernatural ability to loose leaf file at the speed of a, er, speeding librarian make one a good barrister? Does anyone REALLY notice anyway? No, no and no, I very strongly suspect. And did they really think that this would make me feel better in some way, or motivate me to do more updating?

Ah well, one more week to Christmas.

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