Becky Says...

March 2004

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March 9

I got to do someone a favor today, and I think I have a new buddy as a result. Excuse the backpat, please.

At some point last month, we at the law firm became aware of the existence of a reasonably-new-to-the-profession attorney who is looking for a new firm to call home. We don't have room for him, but Wendy and her friend, DJ, along with the attorneys in our firm, have lots of law contacts and were happy to share information with the reasonably new attorney---let's call him Newbie.

Now as it happens, Newbie has excellent manners. He sent thank-you notes to the two partners in our firm, for their having taken him to lunch last week. The notes which arrived in today's mail. With one tiny little problem. He got one of the first names completely wrong.

Wendy had told me about Newbie, and that he was, to use her phrase, "good people." And I am the person who usually sorts the mail, so I got the incorrectly-addressed note. I went to Wendy to ask for Newbie's contact information, figuring I could prevent all sorts of embarrassment for Newbie.

Turns out, Wendy knew he had the name wrong, since he had sent e-mail to her about something else and had mentioned the two partners. She had sent word to him of the error, and he wrote back very quickly to say he had sent the notes and asking if she could check to see whether or not he had made the error on paper.

I then took the opportunity to introduce myself by return e-mail, telling him that he had indeed used the wrong name, but that since I was not only the Administrative Assistant but also the mail gatherer, I had both notes. I told him I would hold the correctly-addressed one, too, to allow him to do as he originally intended and write to both men at the same time. I also offered to use my shredding skills to deal with the incorrectly-addressed note.

He wasted no time. A couple of hours later, he showed up in the lobby, asked for me, and delivered a correctly-addressed note. Complete with stamp, which he had somehow managed to make look cancelled. I was pleased to meet him, pleased at his cleverness with the stamp, and pleased that my attempt to do someone a favor worked out so well.

And I wished him much luck in finding a new home firm. Oh, and then I got the other correct note out of my desk drawer, where it had spent the afternoon, and delivered the two notes to the partners. Who probably won't read this entry, but it's all right if they do. If you notice, I didn't say which one's name was wrong.

Text © copyright 2000-2004 Becky