It is inevitable that you will have a bad day in litigation support. Bad days in litigation support can be a little different than other careers. Since the job includes many roles within a day and we have so many people relying on us, there can be a variety of ways that things don't go smoothly. Below are a few examples.
Customer service – We can't seem to get through to a user and they get frustrated with us or we get feedback that we did not solve a problem that we thought we had resolved.
Consulting – We get frustrated because it feels like “they” won't listen to our suggestions or consulting.
Mistake – We make a mistake and we feel bad.
Client relations – Our client gets mad at something we did or did not do, from their perspective.
Disruptive technology – We rely on technology to get the job done and technology fails us or technology gets in the way of us completing the task(s) in a timely fashion.
No results – We feel like we worked really hard all day, but we didn't accomplish anything — it feels like we were spinning our wheels.
Constant interruptions – There is a lot of start and stop, start and stop. It's difficult to focus on what we need to get completed because the phone keeps ringing or visitors stop by with requests.
Missed deadline – We thought we could finish a project or task by a certain time, but it took longer than we thought, which happens often in litigation support.
Miscommunication – There was a miscommunication between litigation support and either the legal team or a service provider.
Surprise project – A lawyer or paralegal comes to us with a significant project that we received no heads-up about and we already have a full plate.
These are just some of the examples and many of them will sound familiar to those already in litigation support. Here's the thing — the job is not all rainbows and sunshine, but a good litigation support professional will learn to take the bad days in stride.
They learn not to take it out on others.
They learn to keep their composure even if they want to scream.
They learn to take a deep breath or walk outside for a break or whatever they need to do to gain a fresh perspective.
They vent to their co-workers on the litigation support team and then let it go.
They interject humor to ease the mood.
They listen to a song that rejuvenates them.
When you do have a bad day in litigation support, please try to remember this — we do have our moments to shine, we do have our wins, we do have days when we feel like we make a difference.
Remember in the midst of a bad day that it is just one day and tomorrow will almost always be better. Remember that it might not feel like it today, but you do enjoy your litigation support career.
Do the best job you can, with what you have. Be smart about your decisions and stand by them. Help out your team mates. And last, but not least, try hard to keep your sense of humor.
Do you have a productive way to deal with a bad day?