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Weekly update calls: The douchebag standoff

Unreasonable demands and challenging characters

Sardonic Solicitor
5 min readOct 22, 2020


I received a work call at 9.15 pm last night. It was from one of the co-consultants working with us on a government infrastructure project. I answered the call assuming it was urgent. It wasn’t.

Consultants can get caught up in being hyper-reactive to client demands without taking pause. You do not always have to jump when the client says “boo”. The purpose of the call was to finalise details of an ongoing deliverable which would be discussed at an upcoming weekly all-party conference call due the next day.

Deep down, no one likes conference calls. They are usually a bit of a snooze fest and can take up big chunks of your day. It is very tempting to drift off during the call, check your phone, your email, or do some shopping on Amazon. Please don’t judge me! However, with remote working, conference calls are becoming a part of our daily ritual.

We had the big all-party weekly update calls today. All the usual suspects from our client, all advisors, and the developer were on the call. There were a few moments pause at the beginning of the call where no one was speaking as we waited for the rest of the team to join. Luckily, no one was sharing their video feeds so they could not see me in my pink pyjamas! I took to my notepad to write how I was feeling. Writing it out by hand felt cathartic:

“Welcome to the worst part of my week. God, I hate these calls. They are the epitome of all that is bad, wrong, and broken with these projects. The calls are the exemplification of unnecessary bullying, point-scoring and flexing of power by making stupid deadlines and pathetic smackdowns”.

Luckily, the call was not as heated as they have been in the past. In part, this was driven by a change in project manager by the developer. The old guy was the perfect combination of cluelessness, arrogance, and incompetence. He was also a rather rude chap which didn’t help his pitch for the manager of the year award.

I heard on the grapevine (the most reliable source of information on any project) that the client finally had enough. They made a complaint about his conduct. The offensive project manager finally got the boot. It is amazing the…



Sardonic Solicitor

A lawyer and first-time blogger. I share my candid experiences of life being a lawyer. For more content check out my blog www.sardonicsolicitor.com