Re: End of the World December 21, 2012
By Tony Wilson
At the last partners meeting, a great deal of time was spent on how the firm will deal with the end of the world when it comes on December 21, 2012, at apparently 2:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (half an hour later in Newfoundland).
The partners felt it was important that we provide some clarification early in the new year to deal with matters such as billable hours targets, cash-in quotas, bonuses, holiday requests, professional responsibility issues, CPD Credits, and other formal matters prior to December 21, 2012, so that appropriate contingency plans can be made.
As for billing and hours targets, please note your quota of billable hours will still have to be met, notwithstanding the end of the world. Fortunately, the apocalypse will come just before the firm’s fiscal year end. Thus, your hours and billings targets will be pro-rated to December 21. The quotas to be achieved by each lawyer in the firm will therefore be reduced by the number of working days between December 21 and December 31.
Should you achieve your targets by December 20, the firm will issue cheques for your bonus amounts at approximately 9:00 a.m. on December 21, permitting you to either deposit your bonus in a bank (for whatever good that will do), or spend it willy-nilly on anything that you want to until 1:59 p.m. that day, after which time all indications are that you will not be able to take any of it with you. Bonus amounts will only be paid on a “cash-in” basis, so you are encouraged to be fully retained for all work done in the last quarter of 2012, and we suppose, the final fiscal year of the firm.
Although the firm will close at noon on December 21st to allow you to get home to be with your family just in time for the world to end, the Securities Department will remain in the office until 2:00 p.m. to deal with any final initial public offerings or filings that must be made. There will be no receptionist after 2:00 p.m., and the elevators will be shut off.
As per normal protocol when employees or partners leave the firm, on December 21, you will all be required to give up your security pass, your firm-issued cellphone and laptop and sign a confidentiality agreement that protects the firm’s confidential information. Your remote access to our computer network will be terminated as of that date. Please understand that these measures may seem harsh but in no way reflect the firm’s appreciation of your time with us and the significant contributions that you have made.
As the Mayan Calendar wasn’t specific as to how the world would end on December 21, we can’t advise if it will suddenly detonate in a monumental explosion like Vulcan did in the last Star Trek movie, or whether it will start to violently “crack apart” like it did in that horrid movie about 2012 (the awful one with the arks).
The partners are of the view that, in the event that the end of the world comes about in a slow and gradual manner, such as in the case of the so-called “Zombie Apocalypse,” (which will turn most people, including many of the Partners and Associates of this Firm, into brain-dead, flesh eating zombies), caution must be exercised before taking defensive action against other members of the firm. Just because a member of our Toronto office is moving toward you menacingly, baring his or her teeth looking like death warmed over, does not necessarily mean he or she has been “Zombified.” It may just simply be because they are from the Toronto office.
In any event, there will be a firm meeting on February 5th to go over these and other important matters and the firm’s expectations of you this year. Given the circumstances, you will be entitled to receive one hour of CPD credits for your attendance.
Vancouver Franchise Lawyer Tony Wilson practices at Boughton Law Corporation, is a regular columnist with the Globe and Mail and is an Adjunct Professor at SFU. His views do not reflect the views of the CBABC, the Law Society of BC or any other organization.
This article was published in the February 2012 issue of BarTalk. © 2012 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.