After 7 years, a fond farewell to my right-hand man


Friday before last was my right-hand man’s final day at the firm. I will call him “Hank” for purposes of this post.

Hank was with the firm for 12 years. Hank knew everything about the firm. In fact, we called him the firm historian. He recalled past employees, funny stories, crazy cases. He knew all of the procedures and where everything was located. He had a wealth of firm knowledge.

But to me personally, Hank made it possible for me to survive this crazy profession. We were together for seven years. I repeatedly told him I could not live without him and, somehow, he still left me. One of the other admins aptly described my feeling the following Monday as separation anxiety. I called it heartbreak.

I do not know how to possibly thank Hank for everything he has done, but I will try. In no particular order:

Thank you for learning to read my illegible handwriting. Thank you for learning my shorthand and understanding emails with no instructions. Thank you for knowing how I like my trial binders and exhibits and just doing it. Thank you for keeping me on schedule and organized. Thank you for caring about your job and showing up. Thank you for putting together 10 sets of 150 exhibits in three-inch exhibit binders with only 2¼-inches of paper inside and then driving them to Delaware with me. Thank you for wheeling a library cart full of exhibits down Lombard Street. Thank you for checking in on me by 10:30 a.m. to make sure I am still alive. Thank you for challenging me. Thank you for running to the courthouse on a moment’s notice for that document I forgot. Thank you for infinite redactions, bates numbering and reading tedious documents. Thank you for making the tough days manageable. Thank you for the comic relief. Thank you for dealing with my particular brand of crazy.

Most of all, thank you for being an amazing co-worker and a better friend. (I have no idea why there are so many onions in this office today.)

Your next employer is lucky to have you and better appreciate you. You will be running that place in no time!

Angela Davis Pallozzi is counsel at Offit Kurman P.A. in Baltimore.