Saturday, July 16, 2005

THE BUSINESS HOURS FANTASIES OF A FRUSTRATED CONTRACTS LAWYER.

I’ve been working as a contracts lawyer in the Legal Department of a Fortune ?00 company for nearly a decade. I’ve done the job on both sides of the Atlantic—three years in the US, and six in Spain.

Yet despite the differences in negotiating contracts against US lawyers versus their European counterparts (i.e., US lawyers tend to be—how shall I say this gently?—bigger pricks), the work itself is always the same. Day after day…year after year…and regardless of the country in which the other party resides—the same contract clauses always lead to the same issues and are ultimately resolved in the same way.

It should therefore surprise nobody that I spend a portion of each workday lost in fantasy. And the fantasy that’s been most frequent and recurring during the past decade involves…Microsoft®!

Working as a contracts lawyer for Microsoft must be a slice of heaven!

Think about it. Microsoft is—in my workday fantasy, at least—a place where all employees are wealthy from stock options and need never worry about downsizings. It’s a corporate utopia—tempered only by the fact that the majority of those same employees would much prefer to use Apple® computers.

But above all, working as a contracts lawyer for Microsoft must be a dream because…because…because…I can’t imagine that Microsoft is willing to negotiate on ANYTHING!

I’ve even gone so far as to create a fantasy Microsoft contract clause. It goes something like this:

The terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement are non-negotiable. We’re serious, dog-breath! This is no friggin’ joke! We're bigger, stronger and richer than you are, and we'll treat any request for negotiation with the contempt that you'd expect from a corporation of our global stature. If—because you are a naive recent law school grad or because you took one too many anti-depressants during breakfast this morning—you are seriously thinking about altering this Agreement, then we strongly suggest that you haul your simplistic, idealistic ass to the nearest Apple Store and stop interfering with our precious Starbucks® latte breaks.

That felt good!

Now, the question that you’re probably dying to ask me is the following: Is this just a fantasy, Sal? Or do you intend to act on it?

Well! I am going to tell you something that I’ve never admitted in public. The truth is…I am currently in the process of…

***{MICROSOFT I/O DISK SYSTEM ERROR. REBOOT COMPUTER IMMEDIATELY AND CALL THE MICROSOFT HOTLINE. ALL UNSAVED WORK WILL BE LOST.}***

1 Comments:

At 5:27 PM, Blogger ironporer said...

If you were a trial attorney (the worst of all breeds of that shameful species) and were looking for others to join in that cause against Gates and Co. in a Class Action lawsuit, I am sure you would not be hard put to find several million co-plaintiffs.
Another good thing about Spain...it's seemingly common sense approach to frivolous lawsuits. "You fell off a ladder and want a million Euros? Vete a la mi*rda cab*on Be more carefull next time!!"

 

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