As I have mentioned before, I am involved in a lawsuit that involves my place of work. I can't say much about it, because Everything Is Confidential. Suffice it to say that there are some very fancy-pants lawyers involved on all sides, and, no matter who wins, as usual, the real winners are the lawyers.
I have had to attend meetings at the lawyers' office downtown several times. It's in one of those buildings that is designed to intimidate. The lobby ceiling is around 60 feet high. The lawyers' office takes up an entire floor, way up above the roofs of the city. The lobby of the lawyers' office is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The hallway walls are basically an art gallery. The artworks are rotated in and out of storage so that the entire collection has a chance to be seen, and the décor never grows "stale".
I had a good chance to observe all of this last week when I ended up waiting in the lawyers' office lobby for two hours. TWO HOURS. Two very boring hours. I was supposed to show up at 4 pm with a colleague so that an independent evaluator could ask us some questions. At the last minute, someone decided that I should not be in the room when my colleague was answering the questions, in case that might prejudice my answers when it was my turn. In other words, it was like a police investigation in which the suspect and his buddy are placed in separate interview rooms. Except my interview room was luxurious, and at the 90-minute-mark a nice lady in a uniform brought me cheese and crackers.
The first time I went to the lawyers' office, I felt intimidated. I didn't know my way there; hadn't met the lawyers before; and didn't know what to expect. I wasn't sure if I would understand the conversation. I don't speak much legalese, and the level of stuff going on, with numbered companies and shell corporations etc., is way outside my experience.
Fortunately, the one lawyer that I have to work closely with is a nice guy. Of all the hot-shot businessmen I've had to work with within the past year, I like him best. He's smart, but he's straightforward and he's not full of himself. He doesn't treat me like I'm a "little lady" to be patted on the head and sent to make photocopies. He translates legalese into regular English with consummate skill.
More quickly than I would have imagined, I'm becoming comfortable going to the building with the enormous marble lobby. I am starting to feel a little bit at home on the 20-somethingth floor. My brain is beginning to grok the difference between directors and shareholders, and that sort of thing. I would never have ventured into this area on my own initiative, but it certainly is a learning experience.