Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Whether in the courtroom or the coffee house, I'm still in observation mode!

Well, I don't have to go in today for federal jury duty but I am still on call for tomorrow. Hello friends and neighbors, and welcome to Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Okay, yesterday I made it through the first day of my potential federal juror selection. It was a real doozy. When 35 of us were shuttled off to a courtroom to go through the jury selection process, we soon learned the particular case at hand was a big one. I kid you not, that's the most lawyers I've ever seen in one place in my life. The case was estimated to run for at least 8 days. There were three pages of witnesses. The judge said there would be thousands of pages of documents submitted into evidence along with video and expert testimony from high profile witnesses. I am so not unhappy that I was not selected. But, I'm still on the hook for another panel if they need one for the remainder of the week and I will have to check every day to see if I have to go in the next morning. Not only were there a room full of lawyers along with the judge and his staff, but, there were at least a dozen junior lawyers and interns who were there to take notes and provide assistance. On one break we were all sitting in benches out in the hallway when those junior lawyers all stampeded past. The young lady lawyers typically have one of those little pull behind thingies for all their paperwork and they slam their high heels down on the granite polished floor. Talk about a racket! They step with authority as they clip clop here and there. Oh well, it was interesting. I'll have to see how the rest of the week goes. They all attempt to dress differently but basically it's all the same. Suits, starched shirts, and the loud shoes. The men too. This is probably a great time to insert a lawyer throw-down joke, but, I think you get the idea of what was happening. I'll give you a hint: A whole lot of billable hours were being consumed!

I left early, found a spot in an underground parking garage, and then came up top to look around. I had over an hour to kill so I thought I would walk around. The blocks seem a lot longer these days. Much has changed since I spent a whole lot of time in that vicinity back in the 1970's through the early 1990's. Yet, quite a bit is still much like it was. I went into the building where I had worked, rode the escalator down to the basement level, and fetched me a cup of coffee. It was some of that coffee that has the goddess looking mermaid on the side of it. Based on what they charge, they must like their coffee a whole lot. It wasn't Community but it was passable. I found a table and sat down and thought about all the years I had used up in that complex. Nearly 24. I was early. Just like I used to be when I was typically the first one there every morning. Except for my computer and networking people who were still there finishing their night shift. As I sipped my coffee and the time passed, so did the traffic as it began to increase. Folks started flowing from the tunnel, the stairs and the escalator, and from the elevators that connect to the underground parking garage.

That's what I remember most. The people. During a large part of my tenure they were referred to as my people. Not just by me. Others called them that too. Several hundred. Some have gone on to their eternal reward. I will tell you this. I have always been proud of the work we did together on behalf of the Company. We did some huge projects. We made a difference. What kind of manager was I? I think the words focused and intense might be a good place to start. A number of years ago I saw one of the fellows who used to work for me at the mall out near where we live. He had been a senior systems software specialist in my group. He was standing across the way from me so I called out his name in a rather loud voice. He came over and we embraced. He laughed and said when he heard his name called it felt like lightning had struck and all the blood drained from his face. Now that was funny. I remember us hiring him right out of Louisiana Tech as a young trainee. He is now a senior manager with one of the groups left from our previous organization. He has done well. I am proud of him and so many others that I was privileged to play a role in their development. Sitting there made for a good time of reflection and remembering. And, the coffee was, well, as they say back home, it would do in a pinch. Take care now. You hear. And, may God bless each one. Amen. ....More later.

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