As we dreaded, the morning rush before the client meeting at 2pm was chaos. Luckily, Asian Charm and I had spent considerable time in the office last weekend to reorganize our files and line up our macro, so this morning we cranked out numbers as smoothly as a pasta machine. As true proteges of industrialism, we exemplified the conveyor belt concept in damages calculation: each inflation series was born from Alex's SAS program, then looped into the fancy equity cushion model handled by Steve B (justly labeled the most efficient man in the office), before it was plugged twice into the monster that is our damages models, which Asian Charm and I ran parallel to check each other. Each number was then touched up prettily with footnotes, heading, colorful graphs and placed in a clean-and-clear (conceptually) exhibit, before being sent off to the VPs.
From there, the chaos began. D.H., despite her pleasantness to work with personally, was a tough VP to please. Nothing escaped her mind. Amid the hundreds of analysis and files we produced, she could always be counted on to remember a remote, barely related point from a light year ago that contradicted some assumptions we had made. Each exhibit that went through her hand came back beaten, naked, shivering, weak, begging to be strengthened. We would furiously snatch up the weakling, remodeling and reproducing while our Seamless orders turned cold, until all little loopholes were sealed, each comma pored over. Only then off the exhibits went to counsel.
Today, at 1:30pm, burried in piles of print-outs, I could not help laughing when I saw Alex sprinting down the hallway, a stack of binders spilling over his arms. We hurriedly shuffled the exhibits in order, snapped them into each binder, attached a good few inches of backups and stuffed them into Asian Charm's brief case. As he and Esther rushed out to client's office (luckily quite close by in Times Square), Alex and I sunk back into our chair and heave a relaxing breath. It was finally my favorite time of the day. The morning rush was over and calmness had returned to my cube.
I wonder if I will miss this when I leave the world of consulting - the endless excel sheets, tell-tale price series, damages calculation that makes and breaks corporations, and the people like us behind the scene, our eyes and our backs getting worse from staring and hunching in front of the computer. Not that going to law school and becoming an attorney would improve my eyes and back, but I stubbornly hang on to the faith that the law will have an answer to the mystery of this system. Mugg has insisted that the green bills will make the world go round, evil or good. I guess the competition is on.
Before the calmness could settle, D.H's emails peppered up my inbox - more emergency damages calculation needed! More hours billed, paychecks deposited, people going to work. Indeed, the world goes round.