Associate Advice, pls hndle thx

Pls Hndle Thx: She’s Trying to Destroy Me

[Ed Note: Do you have a question for next week? Send it in to advice@abovethelaw.com]

pls hndle copy 2.jpgATL –

I’ve just been staffed on a relatively long term project with another associate. She and I went on one date a few months ago and hooked up, but that was it because she is batsh*t crazy. Since then she’s sent me a bunch of “let’s get lunch” emails and has “coincidentally” appeared at happy hour drinks when I’m out with people from the firm. I think this person is unstable and I don’t want to put myself in a position to be sabotaged by her. But I don’t want to appear like I’m rejecting work or that I’m not a “team player.” I also don’t want to make it known that I dated a co-worker. Any advice?

Every Step You Take

Dear Every Step You Take,

Let me get this straight. You still have a job in a law firm. Precious work is being offered to you. You are considering rejecting this precious work because you fear your colleague may be trying to destroy you. Seems reasonable.

Perhaps it’s time to throw caution to the wind and ramp up the auditing sessions, because if you’re actually considering nixing the project, you’re the one who’s “batsh*t crazy.” I’ve crunched the numbers and there is a 100% chance that the partners will hear about it if you reject this assignment. There is a 5% chance that she’ll “sabotage” you at some distant and nebulous time in the future. There is also an 80% chance that you’re describing the plot of Disclosure.

Given these stats, your best bet is to take the assignment and preserve your job now, and worry about Demi Moore stealing your promotion at Digicom later. Email trails are like Kryptonite to jerks, so transact all your business with her via email and you’ll be fine, work-wise. On an unrelated noted, if you want to ensure she gets your “not interested” message, I understand that herpes is an effective deterrent.

Your friend,

Marin

See, your first mistake was hooking with the crazy girl in your office. Maybe you really have spent too much time watching Disclosure and not enough time studying Fatal Attraction.

In any event, what man has not been through the rigors of making his bed and then running very fast in the opposite direction to avoid sleeping in it? If you take the project you will either A) hook up with her again, or B) hook up with her again and like it. Both of these outcomes are bad for you. You’ve got to get out of this assignment and never speak to CWT NY ’05 female associate again.

Obviously, getting out of the assignment could prove just as difficult as keeping a straight face when crazy girl tells you about things she used to do with her daddy. But there’s a way. You just go to the assigning partner and beg and lie. Beg and lie like your life depended on it. Kill off a grandparent if you have to. People are amazingly responsive to straight talk and forthright requests, especially when the whole gambit is based on a lie of epic proportions.

But always trust that you can get out of any particular assignment if you fully commit to the effort. And it’s worth going to the mattresses on this one. If you couldn’t keep it in your pants when she was just the weird girl down the hall, you’ll have no chance after spending 18 hours together in a windowless office making checklists or binders.

Don’t get fooled again,

The New Boss

The flesh is weak, but Elie’s advice is weaker. No grandparent death will get you out of a long term assignment, unless that grandparent is Tim Russert or Peter Jennings, in which case the network grieving process/continuous memorial montage running time is about two years. If you can’t stop yourself from falling prey to the seductive powers of closing sets in interior offices, then you won’t be able to stop yourself even if you ditch the assignment. Just take the project, and in the words of The Container Store: contain yourself.

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