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Meet the new office, just the same as the old office.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Meet the new office, just the same as the old office....
I've made some oblique reference here to a "project" that's been under wraps of sorts. Now it can be told:

I'm moving my office here after well over 15 years. The practice itself won't change- I'm still Me Myself and I, Solo Practitioner, with a part-time Special Counsel affiliation with a couple of lawyers in Rochester, but the place here will be changing, and for the first time since 1995, I will have a permanent Actual Office of my own in Buffalo that's not under the roof of our house.

Even so. This will be only the fourth time in 30-plus years that I've said farewells and packed up boxes.  The first came after ten years at my first job out of law school; it was the most acrimonious of the partings, was entirely of my choosing, and led us to Buffalo. The quickest departure came a year later: I'd tried fitting with a much larger operation when we moved here, but it was too different in too many ways and the decision was largely mutual. Ironically, the secretary they hired for me in 1994 was still there almost 20 years later. She's getting married tomorrow, and we will be there for her wedding, along with a handful of people from those old days.

Then began a return to Rochester of sorts; from 1995 through 2006, I joined a firm with two (eventually five) other lawyers before it transmogrified into a much bigger group for a couple of years, liquified back into five separate firms re-enacting War of the Roses under one roof and, finally, drove me to near financial ruin before I got the hell out of there in 2006.  But I always had a satellite office in the Buffalo suburb we live in, and since around 1997, it was located in a nice setup where I had delightfully low overhead: a few bucks a month for my name on the door, the phone answered (or not- I got my own line back then, which becomes important now) and a place to see clients.  Everything else- from the copier to the conference room- has been a la carte. There's one small firm in there, run by the guy who runs the building, and a mostly nice group of solo practitioners and a great staff. When I went out on my own, I just put my own name on their door and kept the arrangement myself. Until now.

One of the lawyers I got to know there used a lot more space and services than I ever have, and she moved out about five years ago.  After the first four in a rather odd space setup (a sub-basement level office with moldy smells and geese pooping on her car), she moved last September to a slightly larger, much better located ground-floor suite that's one zip code over from us but is actually a LOT closer to our house than the current one is.  Melissa has two other lawyers sharing that space with her, and in May, she told me that one of them is leaving town but wants to maintain a "mail and reception" presence much like I have now.  That attorney and I would split the cost of that third office within the building, and the cost, all-in, for desk, dedicated phone line, copier, utilities, internet- pretty much everything would be about the same as I'm paying now to NOT have an office in my current place. Plus, I'm already friends with Melissa from back when we worked together in the old place, and the third attorney is also a nice person who I've done some work with in the past.   Plus their staff is very nice and we're really looking forward to working together more often.

It was virtually impossible to say no, and as of about a week ago, finding that I couldn't, I said yes.  I'll begin the transition next month with the mail starting to forward, and everything will be official as of October 1st- 31 years to the day after I began my first job at that first firm.

It got real today, though, for a couple of reasons. One, I'm going to port my current work phone number over to their system. That will be semi-permanent (though I will still be able to forward calls to my cell, as I almost always do now), and represents the first of the many Little Things I just haven't had to do in ten years or more: new cards, new checks, notifying everybody, changing court records, and updating every word processing file that's had my same address on it since three and a half forevers ago.

I also needed to tell the folks at the old place.  There's never been a written lease, so I could've gone down to the 31st of this month to give notice for October 1, but too many people have had to know about this for one reason or another, and I didn't want it to come by spoiler. So I told my two favorite people among the lawyers and paralegals, and then finally got to the office manager, who I've known since she showed me around back when the building was a roofless slab ages ago.  She was quick and succinct:

Well, that sucks. But since it's Melissa, I forgive you. And if it doesn't work out, we're always here.

That came as a relief.  I've never done well with bad news situations, only firing one person to her face in 30 years and hating it with a passion when I had to do it.  It helped that we've always been on good terms; I also knew that they kept good connections with Melissa in the years since she left, referring her many things, some of which I wound up working on either directly or indirectly.  I will still visit, keep in other contact with many of them, and hopefully keep the bridges running rather than burning.

It may come with some changes that will show up here: I think I will keep my email the same, but I'm keeping the option open to turn it over to my longago secretary after her wedding tomorrow, to finally activate the My Real Name Dot Com domain that I've kept parked for about five years now.  Time Warner's merger with Comcast is dead, but supposedly there's another, smaller one planned with an outfit called Charter, and who knows how Roadrunner will shake out as a domain name in all that.  I don't want to have to redo cards and all twice in a year's time.  So watch this space- because if I move that to raystilwell.com, this blog will probably wind up over there, as well.
3 comments or Leave a comment
thanatos_kalos From: thanatos_kalos Date: August 15th, 2015 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Want something from Laredo for your office? I get my 1st proper paycheque on the 1st of Oct, too & will be celebrating by buying people things. :)
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: August 15th, 2015 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Greg Abbott, stuffed and mounted, would make a nice conversation piece if you can get over to Austin and kill him with your brain.
thanatos_kalos From: thanatos_kalos Date: August 15th, 2015 02:56 am (UTC) (Link)
hmm...I'll see what I can do. ;)
3 comments or Leave a comment