July 27, 2006

Psst, Can You Pass This Note to Chortlette?

Posted in Office Hijinks at 6:05 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

At Temple I had to take college math, also known as “For All Practical Purposes.” I spent these three hours every week working on articles for the newspaper, doodling or passing notes to my For All Practical Purpose Friend.

On one such occasion, my friend and I were going back and forth as to whether we were going to hang out at TKE, Sig Ep, or the Grill when our professor called on my friend and asked her a question about what he had on the board. She had no idea, so our illustrious professor turned his attention to me. I answered promptly and smirked.

The next note from my friend said, “How the hell did you know that, when you are paying just as much attention as I am?”

See, what my FAPP Friend didn’t know was that a) I was only half not paying attention and b) I was a mathlete in high school, thus the drawing of the King Kong and how one could determine his height by using the Pythagorean Theorem was not really a challenge for me.

The only practical thing I took away from college math was my ability to half pay attention. I use this secret talent at our firm’s popular, bi-weekly meeting.

The secret — fake note-taking on my trusty legal pad. I sit in the back, ostensibly taking notes as if what everyone else is working on is the most important thing in the whole wide world. I see the other assistants shoot me dirty looks for my extra credit activity, but I don’t care. Because what they don’t know is that my notes had nothing to do what was going on in the meeting and everything to do with what was going on in my head.

Unfortunately all my snarky note-taking has come to an end.

After each meeting my boss dictates a memo summarizing the meeting which is then sent to all the members of the group. A few weeks back, after a particularly thrilling meeting and during a very hectic day my boss approached my desk, handed me the meeting file and asked me to summarize that day’s events.

I blinked a couple of times.

He noted that he saw me taking notes.

I thought about the notes I was taking during that hour-long meeting. My notes typically range from questions as to why a certain someone chose that tie and shirt combination to why a certain someone else feels the need to comment and or laugh every time my boss makes a comment and or joke, a habit that has earned him the nickname Chortlette.

I also often write about what a waste of time I find these meetings. Why I am required to attend most of them is beyond me. After all, I don’t really do much at this firm but smile and look pretty.

At this particular meeting I commented on my shock to learn that a co-worker I can’t stand had really nice eyes, song lyrics to a particularly embarrassing song that was in my head and questions as to why Chortlette needs to scream all of his comments.

My boss walked away.


Good thing I also have a fairly decent memory.



  1. Lisa said,

    Ahh, is it bad that I fake note-take during oral arguments in federal court? 🙂

  2. Sarah Klem said,

    Absolutely not — I mean isn’t that why they pay a court reporter?

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