Swimming In Rules

| Working | January 21, 2015

(I am a trainee lawyer. Each trainee shares an office with their supervisor, who has control over their work and training. We switch departments every few months during our contract and so have a new supervisor every few months. I am meeting my next supervisor. His current trainee is in the room.)

Supervisor: “Now, I have two ground rules in here.”

Me: “All right. What are they?”

Supervisor: “Rule one: Keep With Next. I don’t want to see any headings on one page and text on the next.”

Me: “Fair enough. That bugs me as well.”

Supervisor: “Good, sounds like we’ll get on. Rule number two is that you can’t keep your swimwear on the company law books.”

Me: “I … what?”

Supervisor: “I’m afraid it’s a particular bugbear of mine.”

(He’s looking at his current trainee rather pointedly so I turn around. His trainee starts to laugh.)

Trainee: “Basically, one time I decided to put my swimming trunks on the Gore-Brown textbooks to dry. [Supervisor] got offended. It was only once!”

Supervisor: “Yes, that was the day the rule was born and I’m sticking to it. So those are the two rules. Keep with next and no swimwear on the company books.”

Me: “I’ll… bear it in mind if ever I get the urge to flaunt my swimwear around the office.”

Supervisor: “See, I knew we’d get on!”

(We actually did get on very well. And I never once put my swimwear on the company books.)

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