Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Eh, Lanchiao

It's been a rough start to a rough week. Given my added maturity post-2006, I thought I would kick off the week by planning carefully and then carefully executing my plans. Somehow with the vacation and everything, I managed to ferget that in this line of work, there is no such thing as planning what time you are going to leave the office, and then successfully executing that plan, like, in a successful way (eh, Knobby?)

6.15 pm. A surprise conference call from UK lawyers. This is the third surprise call we've received so far, and the urgency of these calls still eludes me. What is so fucking urgent that you need me to be glued to the phone at 6.15 pm yet you couldn't send me an email, like, 15 minutes ago so that I'd have a little advance notice.

"Oh, we just wanted to have a chat with you about our email which you would have received this morning. We had a number of questions."

"Yes, I have received that email. In fact the revised drafts are ready, and you should be receiving these and the answers to your questions in about 15 minutes."

"Fantastic. Thanks then! Are you planning to be in the office late today?"

"No. I'm leaving right after I send you that email."

Lanchiao waited another half an hour after he had received my email, and then called my office. As it so happens, I was sitting there in the dark, waiting, having walked back in the door with a premonition that a Lanchiao was going to call me. Didn't have time to switch the light back on.

"Oh hello! So you are still in the office!"

"Yes. I forgot something and was coming back for it. Am leaving actually."

"Well if you don't mind, I'd like to have another conference call now regarding ...... and then if you could help us to prepare ..... and if you could also look at this document ..... do you think you could get this done sometime this evening?"

"Sure. In fact, I'll do it right now, and you'll have it in half an hour."

10 minutes later, the phone rings. It is Lanchiao.

"Would you mind awfully ... I have some questions that I need you to answer ...."

"Sure. I have time."

So leaving by 6.30 turns into leaving by 8.45 pm, with my eyes glued to the blackberry and the mobile phone, waiting for Lanchiao to try another one. He didn't.

Don't get me wrong. I don't treat clients like this. Dude is not a client. He is a lawyer who shares the same client with us. Somehow he got into the action for this deal and has started calling, writing, doing memos for the deal. Maybe he's doing this at the request of the client, maybe he's just churning work to generate fees. I dunno, doncare. But don't pull this shit after my office hours, just because your day has just started. Have some fucking consideration. You want me to call you on your mobile when my day starts? It'll be 1 am your time, but I'm sure if you think this client is important enough, you'll snap to it and answer all of my stupid burning questions.

I was pretty annoyed (The Son was asleep by the time I got home), but nowhere near as annoyed as another colleague who had set off for a fambly vacation in Indonesia yesterday morning, and got hauled back for a client meeting in the office yesterday night. He showed up for the meeting early. I think the client showed up for the meeting late.


At 11:00 PM, Blogger Little Miss Drinkalot said...

Call him when your day starts! call him when your day starts!
Please please pretty please and then tell us all about it!!!

At 3:08 AM, Blogger knobby said...

Perplexed. Are you saying I'm as futilely optimistic as you re leaving the office (lol) or are you just calling me a lanchiao?

At 2:44 PM, Blogger HairyDonut said...

No no no! I repeated myself repeatedly just for you and your sake!

At 5:01 PM, Blogger knobby said...

Too late. I'm already offended. Heh.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger PC said...

wah lau.. I collapse when I read your post.

Boy am I glad I'm a small time bank officer *grin*

At 11:40 AM, Blogger Indiana said...

I don't have the late nights, but damn 5:30 mornings are a killer.

And like LMD, did you call him?

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really weird, but I stumbled on you blog by searching for pret-a-manger as my broker told me there was a branch in singapore just opened. After reading some parts of your blog, I spent the better part of my day reading it. It reminds me of my life, a kid with a kid stuck in a grown persons world.

At 5:44 PM, Blogger HairyDonut said...

AAARRRRGH. That just about summarises how I feel without me knowing that I felt it.

LMD/ Indiana: Sadly I have no balls to pull that sort of stunt. It would be interesting though. I could save the scolding that he gives me for calling him at that hour, and maybe sometime in this life I could reproduce that scolding for some other deserving bastard.

At 1:24 AM, Blogger knobby said...

anonymous: if you haven't already found it, it's on robinson road close to lau pa sat. ogilvy building, i think.

HD: all you need is a convincing cover story. if you need one, drop me a line! you owe it to your loyal audience.

At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry to hijack this, but wats the big deal abt pret-a-manger? just overpriced sandwiches, which arent that good.

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this post reminds me of the numerous 1730h calls i get asking for work to be done. doncha just hate those?

At 3:14 PM, Blogger HairyDonut said...

Re Pret-A-Manger: Haven't tried the Ogilvy Bldg one yet, but the sandwiches and juice sold by PAM in London are very nice, if extremely pricey.

Re 1730 calls: My stomach tightens up when I get them. It's like doing a mini sit-up. Better than going to the gym, and I get paid! Yeah, that's what I keep telling myself.

Knobby: Still no guts to pull the same stunt back!

At 1:12 AM, Blogger knobby said...

Do it! Do it! You already have three votes.

Okay, who else is with me?

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