I have a few quick stories that don’t really fit into any other categories, so I’m just going to lump them all together and call it miscellanea (the noun form of miscellaneous, not just something I made up).
First, one thing that I find amusing pretty much every day is the age difference between the vast majority of the office staff and myself. For example, the woman who works at the cubicle that shares a wall with mine enjoys listening to Pandora while she works. I recognize most of the songs she plays, but about half of them, I know primarily as Weird Al songs. (Lola, Eye of the Tiger, American Pie, and so on.) I recognize several of the others on their own (Brown-Eyed Girl, Hotel California, etc.) And a few, I don’t actually know the name of the song, but I know it’s Fleetwood Mac or Stevie Nix because it sounds like a goat. (Thanks, MamaElk and South Park!)
Related to music, I was in an attorney’s office the other week, and she had to call a defense attorney. The attorney was busy at the moment, so we were put on hold. And then were very glad we were on hold because we could not stop laughing at the hold music the attorney had. I had expected something classical, kind of stodgy, and expensive-sounding. Instead, we got this bizarre Christmas-carol-sounding synthesized-xylophone noise that could easily have been the background music to a cartoon directed towards very young children. This defense attorney has a bit of a reputation in the office (I knew his name by my third day at the office – my first day in court). I’m glad the attorney was having as hard a time keeping a straight face as I was, and thankful that it was a phone call, and not a video conference.
Related to attorneys who have reputations… NYU has repeatedly told us that our reputations are very important and that we need to be very careful about how we are perceived by our peers and supervisors. I can definitely see how having a reputation for being friendly and easy going could pay off. The more willing you are to take extra steps to make life easier for your colleagues or for opposing counsel, the more likely they will be to return the favor in the future. And just in general, it looks kind of bad to have a heated discussion/not-quite-shouting-match in the middle of a courtroom (even if court isn’t actually in session). For example, if you have a reputation for being helpful and intelligent, attorneys will be happier to explain things to you on the phone. If, on the other hand, you don’t understand the concept of a “life” sentence, then attorneys will be very exasperated with you when they have to spend several hours answering “What is life?” for you and explaining that “Life is life. He will be in prison for his life. Until he dies.”
Fortunately, this summer I get along well with all of the other interns. We go out afterwork about once a week, and I go out to lunch with them fairly regularly as well. Everyone is very friendly and as helpful as they can be. (It’s a little hard to be super helpful when you don’t necessarily work in the same building.) We keep each other informed of what interesting cases are going on, and where all the action is at. We also offer each other any research or advice that we may have, if a project comes up. Speaking of us interns, the public defender’s office also has some interns this summer. Apparently the interns for their office are working in the same court room as some of our interns. That gave the supervising attorneys an idea – pit intern against intern for a misdemeanor trial. Ideally that’ll happen some day that I don’t have much going on (I’m not assigned to that court room) and I’ll be able to watch. We were (jokingly) discussing making signs and coming up with chants to encourage our colleagues.
And now I’ve run out of segues. All big universities are about the same, I think. After being told exactly which lot to park in, I was written a ticket my second week here. Turns out it was operator error on the part of the guy writing the tickets. Fortunately that hasn’t happened again, but now I’m struggling to figure out how I can go about either getting someone to come to my room to change a lightbulb, or where I can get tools and a small step stool so that I can get my own lightbulb and fix it myself. No one has been very forthcoming with any of that information, but I’ll keep trying tomorrow. Supposedly, 24-hour on-call maintenance exists. I just can’t figure out how to get ahold of them, and no one working at UNLV seems to know either…