Managing Counsel, Labor and Employment
Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
|6:50 am||My kids, five-year-old Olivia and three-year-old Orion, haven’t woken me up yet, so the alarm on my phone goes off — it always feels too soon. |
I instinctively reach for my work phone on my nightstand and skim messages for anything urgent that popped up overnight (an old habit I can’t shake from Big Law).
Although not urgent, I can’t resist immediately responding to an easy question from a client about when our annual non-harassment training will launch. The satisfaction of deleting the email afterward starts my day with a little bit of dopamine.
|7:05 am||If my husband Jason hasn’t beat me to it (and because I married well, he usually does), I make breakfast for the kids while they watch TV. While they are preoccupied, I get myself ready and dress them after they’re done eating (a parenting tip I live by).|
|7:30 am||Out the door. We’re winning if it’s been without a sibling fight, without someone crying, without searching frantically for a missing shoe, without me repeating “put your shoes on” more than three times, and without going back into the house for something we have forgotten. |
First, we drop Orion off at daycare, and then Olivia at Kinder. I eye the actual drop-off line with envy, as I park and walk her in, as she insists every day. I tell myself that she’ll be embarrassed of me soon enough, so I should savor her still wanting to hold hands in public.
|8:15 am||I usually start my first work call from the parked car two days a week because we didn’t get out the door by 7:30 am. |
Today, I get home and get on my Peloton bike for a 20-30 min workout, followed by stretching, meditation, or prayer.
|8:45 am||Quick freshen up post-workout, refill my water and make hot tea, write in my Five Minute Journal, and skim the to-do/priority list that I made the night before while skeptically eyeing my schedule of lots of calls.|
|9:00 am||Call with the employment law team to share updates and need-to-knows and discuss items that need a consensus or brainstorming. I multitask by posting to my LinkedIn and responding to comments.|
|10:00 am||Oooh! Thirty minutes of unscheduled time — I knock “prepare retention agreement” off my to-do list.|
|10:30 am||Call with HR to discuss a performance improvement plan. |
I make a mental note to create a checklist of considerations to send to clients before they set up a call.
|11:00 am||Join the litigation call where the team and outside counsel review the statuses of all our matters, brainstorm strategies, and discuss lessons learned from cases resolved. |
Multitasking, I post an article to DEI, ESQ’s LinkedIn page, which I manage.
|12:00 pm||Lunch (which is usually either microwavable or ordered from Door Dash) is reserved for catching up on emails, calls (mentoring, networking, pro bono, or nonprofit board work), or CLEs. |
Today, I’m catching up with a mentee who just started a new job. We discuss strategies for building relationships despite being remote and how to build credibility quickly.
|1:00 pm||Call with the training team to share updates. Super-excited about creating bite-size training videos that are two minutes or less. I may have missed my calling as a scriptwriter.|
|1:50 pm||A chance to take a break, refill water, and review and flag emails for later response.|
|2:00 pm||A collaboration call with a cross-functional team of D&I and HR on social justice initiatives.|
|2:30 pm||Unscheduled time, at last! |
Time to review the summary judgment outside counsel sent me… but I get a ping on Microsoft Teams from a client asking me to jump on a call about a team member’s attendance issues.
|3:00 pm||My head hurts. The call was complex — involving leave, workers’ compensation, and reasonable accommodation. Although I should pick up the summary judgment, the 100-plus emails in my inbox beg for my attention (and feel easier). I give in to their siren’s call.|
|4:00 pm||I take a break to pick up the kids and take them to their after-school activities — KidStrong or Tae Kwon Do. |
I do my best to be present and take pictures… while skimming and responding to emails and indulging in social media while they are busy.
|5:00 pm||This is also prime time for me to take care of personal to-dos. I order birthday presents for their friends’ upcoming parties, make grocery lists, upload photos for grandparents, and respond to personal text messages I have ignored all day.|
|6:00 pm||As soon as we get home, take shoes off, and empty backpacks, I hand the kids their iPads and get started on making dinner. |
I shoo them away from the pantry filled with snacks.
|7:00 pm||I breathe a sigh of relief when Jason gets home and pass him the baton so I can tackle a bit more work before bedtime. He handles the rest of dinner, bath, brush, and books. I join for flossing, prayers, and bed. |
Jason takes Orion to his room, as Olivia and I share girl time with a rose, bud, and thorn reflection exercise and light chit chat before our goodnights.
|8:30 pm||This is my time to wash away the day. I soak in the tub and either read one of my piles of Real Simple or Parenting magazines, practice Spanish on Duolingo, or skim social media.|
|9:00 pm||I call this my “second” shift. I have uninterrupted time (no pings, emails, text messages, calls) where I can tackle what was left on my to-do list, like that summary judgment or mandatory company training. |
This is also my time to blog or create a to-do list for the next day.
|11:00 pm||Jason brings me hot tea in bed and a heated pad for my back (the joys of being pregnant). I read a chapter or two of fiction before lights out with a mediation from my Peloton app or rain sounds on Headspace. It helps me drift to sleep and keep the to-dos at bay until tomorrow.|