I was a paralegal working on a big merger and doing document review, in addition to whatever else I did, from February to mid-August. I put in a lot of long days but I also had a few when I only put in a few hours, to compensate for opening offices/gathering documents for visiting paralegals from the other side of the merger, who worked weekends. In the summer I put in some very long days but I really tried to spread it out and did weekend work to catch up in preference to working 10+ hour days. Why? Because I was pregnant and got tired easily.
For some other people in my office this regimen continued from Feb. through October. However, on a day in mid-August, when the associate attorney and I had just reviewed and packed up several boxes of documents to send off for some kind of filing, my water broke. I punched my fist into the air and danced around the office and told my coworker I would not be in the next day, or for the foreseeable future, and she was jealous. And, as the date of the merger kept getting put back, I kept advancing the date I would return from maternity leave. (Ha, they couldn’t make me go back!)
(The boss had decreed that nobody would take a vacation that summer. If I hadn’t needed the insurance benefit, I would have quit. A week and a half after I went back after maternity leave I was told the whole department was being laid off–which we had figured, since the surviving entity would not need two legal departments–but everyone was so overworked by then that nobody even cared.)
PS to Campion–we did the latex glove thing too. Better than a rubber finger, keeps you from getting paper cuts, and once we saw how dirty those gloves got we were aghast.
The longest shift: the day I got back from my (one-week) honeymoon, I worked (at a weekly newspaper) from 9am until 7am the next day, went home, took a shower, got back about 8:30, and worked until noon-thirty, at which time the paper went off to the printer. This actually was only a little longer than usual. The typical hours were 9am-9 or 10pm the day before deadline, 8am-noon on deadline day. It being a small outfit, other people had taken on some of my work, but not all of it.