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Had a database training this morning. While most of the time the research I perform in my job focuses on American law (when it actually focuses on law at all), occasionally I do need to look across the pond at jolly old England. While our system derives from English common law, it has evolved in a completely different way. So doing research in English law for someone trained in American law is like a veterinarian performing your prostate exam. Okay, maybe it's not that far removed. I get by, but I always feel like I'm stumbling around in a dark room trying to find a light switch.

So this morning's training was on a English/Scottish/Irish/EU legal database we have but rarely use. That said, as I've mentioned, I have fumbled through it on occasion. I generally do find what I need . . . eventually. One of the advantages of my job is that effectiveness is far more important than efficiency. I don't have to pay per search and I usually have as much time as is necessary. The corporate world would shun this behavior, which is part of why I'm not there, but I have the luxury of taking my time and getting it right even if I trip up in places.

London is six hours ahead of Nashville. At 10 am our time, 4 pm theirs, we all logged on to the same Internet page and conference call and walked through the database. In that moment, it seemed perfectly normal and pleasant. Our instructor spoke proper British English with a crisp accent. He was polite and incredibly helpful. I learned not only about the database but a good deal about British law as well. While I don't feel completely confident about my abilities, especially since I will only use the database now and then, I do feel better suited to the tasks.

What's amazing, though, is how run of the mill this has become. Thousands of miles, an entire ocean between us, and yet we're looking at the same computer screen and hearing each other perfectly clearly.

Sometimes we expect a lot from little things. Sometimes it's important to step back and remind ourselves how amazing the things around us really are.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 11th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
I really like this. Thank you for sharing it.
Jun. 11th, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for reading and responding. It's nice to know it gets read. :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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