The partners chewed me out. The trigger was/is an overdue application draft (fourth draft), though the discussion went beyond that. I don't blame either of the partners – they're completely in the right here.
His opening question was: "What the fuck is going on?" I didn't have an answer for him. I think that may have been my answer. The managing partner impressed upon me the severity of my conduct, how dangerous the consequences could be – not consequences for me, but the consequences for everyone at the firm (i.e., "whose livelihood depends on the firm").
The other partner (the one I work with) basically called me on everything – it's clear you don't want to be here or you're not happy with the work. If you're not going to do the work, I'd rather you just leave – don't mess things up for the rest of us. (I believe his phrasing was different – I'm probably imposing my own views on his words above.)
I'm pretty sure this was my "last warning."
I had lunch with the junior partner (he asked me if I wanted to go get some food with him – Wendy's). I told him almost everything (where the "almost" means I told him I couldn't focus, but nothing about any timeframes). He really didn't have anything to offer, but it sounds like everyone at the firm is wound tight due to the workload. He also suggested that one reason the partners are having trouble finding new people is that there's basically a national shortage of patent attorneys.
I'm in deep. Oh so deep. I suspect that I'm at the point where I would have to do a complete 180 and work very hard in order not to get fired. And of course I'm typing this little love note when I should be working. I'm in such a bad, depressed, scared mood/mentality, it's a little-- I don't know, bad, for lack of a better description.
At lunch, on the drive back, the junior partner
But in the meantime, while I wait to figure out whether I can recover, I need to get back to work. And so I shall.
[afternoon] Appointment with referral scheduled for early April. Contemplating finding someone quicker next week (Monday is a holiday). Not sure I can or should wait until April.
[4:35pm] I just thought of Jim Breuer's exit in Half Baked and smiled. ("All I want to know is who's coming with me?")
[4:47pm] Earlier this afternoon I was in bad shape – frantic, scared, worried, shaking a bit, possibly a touch nauseous. Now I'm better and feel moderately normal.
Incidentally, I think "everyone" (or at least most/all of the support staff?) know that I got chewed out this morning. The partners haven't said a word to me since. The support staff have been extra nice to me.
[5:06pm] Current plan is to try and finish up the application draft today/tonight. (Unless I get tired and/or decide to quit for today, which I may.) Work tomorrow morning to tomorrow afternoon. Hang out with friends Saturday night. Hang out with movie.girl on Sunday. Work Monday.
I contemplated not hanging out Saturday night, but I've been trying to meet up with these friends for over 3 months and I don't want to cancel again.
Before today, I contemplated seeing movies on Monday. I may yet do that, but it will be secondary to getting things done at work.
Back to work.