There and back again

19 December 2014

If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are? (T.S. Eliot)

When we left work on Friday, the talk mostly revolved around how good it would be to get back for a new round at our home offices and there was a feeling of consensus that everyone was eager to apply the skills and wisdom achieved by another trainee period well concluded.

The weekend went by swiftly, as they always do, and I found myself waking to the alarm clock I set the previous week. Quickly realizing my trip to work wouldn't require an hour's commute to the Malmö office, I repeaditly applied the snooze button and found myself getting up, fresh for work, at a more agreeable hour. Going into the week I was looking forward to the pleasant comfort of normality and routine. However, on Monday not even past noon, I was given the task of writing up a draft for my very own first patent application.

The assignments we were given on our previous home office period was, while challenging at the time, the rudimentary parts of the Patent Attorney trade like translating the claims of granted patents. My new task required a completely different set of mind, unlike translations the sentences weren't given to me in advance and I actually had to produce words of my own.

I practiced this several times over our trainee periods, so I knew exactly what I was supposed to do when sitting down at my computer eager to start writing. It was at this point in time I came to a realization that stilled my hands. Unlike training exercises this application had never been written before, which for some reason inspired an unfamiliar fear that kept my fingers from hitting my keyboard. Knowing that this time my words would be scrutinized by a Patent Examiner rather than one of our mentors instilled a certain sense of awe in the task at hand. After thirty minutes of staring at the white page of a blank word document I found comfort in the fact that an experienced colleague would proof read my work, keeping any of my mistakes from ever going outside the office.

While the application's still not complete at the time of writing this, I have gotten feed-back on the first parts and been reminded about something important. That the pride you gain from your job is so much greater for the difficult assignments than the easy ones.

Sebastian Maibom, Associate