Blog Week 61: Fazed and reused.

Sunday 21 January 22.16

It was so damn windy at the end of last week. The top of our building was shaking, which was frightening for some, exciting for others. As I looked out across Brussels I was caught up in the magic of it all. Much bigger forces are at work and we forget about them at our peril.

Speaking of bigger forces, the European Commission is causing some of our lawyers a headache at the moment. It seems on one particular matter a competitor has invited the Commission to go on a fishing trip; the Commission has gratefully accepted and bought a new fishing rod. So one of our clients has to provide some obscure information asap. It is a pain to collect and the client is blaming "those lawyers in Brussels" (i.e. us) for not putting the Commission straight. The Commission are not interested in what we have to say. So our lawyers are caught in the middle and not enjoying it.

Tuesday 23 January 23.35

You know that one type of partner? No matter what professional and/or personal disasters are happening at any one time (livid client/belligerent Commission officials/disgruntled staff/spouse discovered evidence of most recent affair) that type of partner epitomises grace under fire. Talk to them in the midst of a crisis and you get a witty, pertinent comment about virtually any subject - giving you no idea what debris is following in their wake (and heading in your direction). That type is just so polished.

I have talked with great admiration about Bill's poise before (like back here). But at the moment it's more like a pose than poise; he has increasingly become quite irritable, moody and terse around the office. Today Barbie got a tongue-lashing. First time I have seen her get that from him (well at least in public...). But the clients still get the charm with both barrels.

I don't understand why he is getting so moody. Things seem to be going Bill's way. While Johan is nominally still co-Managing partner, Bill pretty much decides everything these days. A client was really satisfied with the result of a recent matter (but you won't hear about that). Perhaps it's the male menopause?

Whatever the reason, it's a bit unsettling for anyone (like me) within firing range.

Thursday 25 January 23.58

I mentioned a couple of things around last week. There have been developments.

Well the first is a non-development - if that makes sense. The visit from the Very Important Person (I mentioned last week) has been postponed. I only found out at the last minute. Nothing new there.

Some people from the angry client were in the office yesterday for an all day meeting. They are not so angry. At least not with us. A couple of them kept asking for a special type of tea. We ran out of the tea bags and ended up having to reuse the old ones. No we didn't retrieve them from the bin. They were still in the tea pot. But its not the sort of thing you would want anyone else to know about it. Is it?


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