I have a Gordon.  He is my associate.  He does just about anything I ask of him.  He seldom questions me.  He goes that extra mile. 

He will even pick up my girls from school when I am in court or he knows they need a ride home. 

In the past he and I have had our differences.  He quit working for me.  I went home and cried into my pillow.  He and my head paralegal left their employment for bigger and better things.  The two of them tagged teamed me one afternoon.  They were very unhappy about this.  They were very unhappy about that.  I felt this, of course, was all so very unfair.  All of their criticism shot out at me was hard and direct.  I was defensive. 


My response after listening to an hour of how horrible things were was simply, “If you are unhappy you need to just leave.”

The things that needed fixing—well the they weren’t going to get fixed immediately.   

I deserved some of it.  Most of it (I still believe) was overly harsh and cruel.

On that next Monday they both packed up their offices and left.

That summer was a very hard summer for me.  I inherited another 100 files on top of the 200 I already had.  I felt abandoned and alone.  I was desperate for good office help.  I needed someone very loyal to help me.  I worked every weekend that horrible summer.  I had that much legal work to keep up on.  This added work burden did not help my failing marriage. When I went home to discuss my days my husband didn’t want to hear about them. 

It, of course, was all my fault.  I was definitely a bitch.  Otherwise my staff wouldn’t have quit.  My loyal husband was sick and tired of me working weekends.  My place was at home where I should be cooking him his dinner.

(My lovely Uncle came and helped.  He worked for me for free that entire summer)

I didn’t get mad at Gordon.  I knew that Gordon needed to try it alone.  He needed to see how hard it was to run a law firm and make money.  He needed to try it his way. 

Gordon is a wonderful person.  He is honest and ethical.  He really cares about his work. 

But he didn’t get it.

Gordon is also slow and he isn’t a rain maker.

In the end—Gordon really couldn’t make it on his own. 

I learned from the girls he was working a part-time job in town.  When they went into the local business they told me he ducked shamefully into the back. 

I knew from water cooler talk he wasn’t making it.

The funny thing about me is I really try and not to hold a grudge. 

I was trying to be objective.  I understood him.  I understood why he quit. 

Gordon did not understand me. 
He didn’t understand the way that I was.  He didn’t get why I needed to be the way that I was.

I knew that he would understand now. 

He would get it now.

All the responsibility.  All the worry.  All the work.  Long hours.  Little pay.  People suck you dry with all of their problems. 

And yes, I am far from perfect……..but I know…… You have to be charming.  You have to be ruthless.  You have to win.  You have to be good.  You have to collect fees.  You have to be put together when you are barely holding on.  You are eating a sandwich on the way to court while reading a court file.  You are talking on two phones and e-mailing.

There is never enough time.  There is never enough money.

I don’t remember who called who.  I just remembered sometime after the girls told me he was ducking them that I asked him in a phone conversation if he would want his old job back. 

He could come and work with my Uncle and I.  His office was still empty.  I would love to have him back.

He thought that might be a good idea.  He would love to come back.

He was now a different Gordon.  This man did not complain.  This man did any task asked.  He made collection calls.  He drafted any and all paperwork.  He defended me to clients who seemed disappointed in my work.  He defends me like no other man has ever defended me.   Even when my crazy husband called him at 2 a.m. one morning when my personal life was coming all undone.  My husband accusing us of having an affair.

Gordon so calm and rationale (bombs could go off and he would just walk slowly through it all).  “No. Jodi isn’t the type of person that would do that to you.”

Was his response.  “Plus she really doesn’t have a lot of extra free time……”

Gordon runs to the bank and even does the office dishes.

When he was sick and needed an operation our firm paid his salary for six months.  This was not an easy task.  If Gordon doesn’t bill I can’t collect.  I make money off of his time.  I went to see him in the hospital.  After that visit I went into the hallway and cried.  I wasn’t sure if he was going to continue to live.  I didn’t know what I would do in the office without him. 

I made sure he still got paid.  I worked longer hours.  I convinced my partner not to cut off his salary.  I promised Jonathan that I would pull his weight. 

I love Gordon.  I love him like a brother. 

This new humble and appreciative man. 

He worries about me and my girls.

He is my friend and a true gift.

He makes me feel safe here at work.  I know I can count on him.  He helps me be a better person.

He makes me think about pride and second chances.  This was a time I was able to set my pride aside.  This was a time he had to set his pride aside.  We both gave ourselves a second chance.  We were both vested.  We both had something to gain.  We both had something to lose.

He is a good man.  He is a good friend.