zoethe: (Star Wars)
Omigawd, what a nonstop day. And now I have to go to my CivPro final. I am so not looking forward to this. I’m starting to get really nervous.

I feel like such a little kid, telling the attorneys that I can’t stay late tonight because I have finals. Fortunately all have been totally understanding and good about it. There isn’t a day off to be spared in this, but at least there isn’t grumbling about me leaving on time.

I just have to focus on the fact that in five hours it will be over – and not on the fact that right now I feel like I’ve forgotten everything I’ve learned this semester.

Eep.
zoethe: (Default)
It’s one of those workdays that I know some people love but that just drive me crazy. Yesterday I was very efficient and got the drafts and information for everything I needed to do completed and onto the desk of the attorney for review. Which is where they remain. Once she gets a chance to look at them and get them back to me I will be busy once again. But in the meantime I am twiddling my thumbs.

The last thing I want to do is ask for something to do. Every time that has led to a large, unwieldy project that no one wants to do and that has been sitting around for months or years waiting for someone foolish enough to kiss the frog.

The reality is, I am finding it hard to get enthusiastic about tackling challenges, and it’s made that much worse by the fact that we will be out of here in a couple months. I can’t seem to commit the energy to solving old woes for the next generation of people who will occupy this space.

I emailed myself some homework, and I’ve done a bit of that this morning, but that leads to tremendous feelings of guilt. (Then again, so does writing LJ entries.)

Guess I’ll tackle cleaning up some files or something….
zoethe: (Default)
I hate mornings that start with your supervisor calling you into her office and asking you to shut the door. Even if nothing bad happens, the adrenaline rush takes hours to diminish.

Time for more change in my life. Because there really isn’t nearly enough upheaval and stress going on in it.

It seems that the terrific new University President, the mover and shaker for whom we have been slaving long hours doing insane statistical projects, has targeted this office for moving and shaking. Dissatisfied with the highly successful 30-year contract services relationship, he has decided that a “real” in-house counsel is needed, and the local services of Taft, Stettinius & Hollister are to be phased out by the end the summer. Including, it would appear, me.

I have been assured by Christine that I am considered a “real” Taft employee and that they are extremely happy with my work and that Taft fully anticipates my employment at the downtown office. And I have spoken to the head of HR, who said much the same thing, followed, of course, by the CYA caveat – no job is guaranteed, changed circumstances, don’t anticipate a problem but you need to understand, yadda yadda yadda.

I would consider employment downtown in their very nice offices close to a 90% certainty. But, at least for today in the first wave of surprise and dismay, the other 10% is causing some anxiety.

There are advantages to moving to the downtown office: I’ll have a much nicer work space, the view is spectacular, it’s closer to home and school, and being downtown is just generally nice. And career-wise it’s probably much better for me to be on the radar screen of these people than a vague abstract entity out there to the east. (The Cleveland office feels like a satellite of the main Cincinnati office – which makes me freakin’ Pluto.)

But I will miss working on campus, and once again I will be leaving behind people I’m just beginning to get to know. It’s green, and I get to go for walks regularly and I have a lovely view of the campus plaza from the window in my cubbyhole. I won’t get a window downtown. I’ll get a cubicle in the center of the building. I can go visit the spectacular view now and then, but my natural light will be limited.

And I was just getting comfortable in this job, getting to feel like I had a handle on the situation. Now there will be transitioning and new tasks and skills and learning the ropes all over again. And nothing else in my life will have slowed down.

When I had coffee with Jeff this morning I told him that I was leaning toward taking the summer off from school. My “leaning” is looking Tower of Pisa-esque at this point….
zoethe: (Default)
At 3am I was in hysterics, hurting so bad that I couldn't control my shaking. I'd tried a night without the drugs, numbing myself with a couple stiff drinks before climbing into bed.

Not really terribly successful. At 3am, I was certain that I couldn't keep this up, that someting would have to give. At 3, I was ready to kill myself just to stop the pain.

Because I've been on pain meds for almost a month and a half now. And I've reached the end of the perscription of Percodan. And I'm terrified that the doc really won't give me more this time.

I am so not-100% at anything right now - not 100% at work, certainly not at school, physcially feel like I'm falling apart. I can't sleep, so I can't get up early enough to do a really good job studying.

I'm having serious doubts about making it through this semester.
zoethe: (Default)
At 4pm today I was handed a project that involved calling the General Counsel's office at 10 other universities and getting information about their budgets.

The boss wanted the results of my inquiry by 5.

I just stared at the associate attorney who handed it to me. She sighed, "I know...."

I called 10 universities. I filled out a call sheet for each and every one. I handed in my results at 5.

"No one around, left voicemail." "Only receptionist in the office, left message." "Only senior attorney can give out information, in Naples until March." "Won't give out budget information."

Etc.

I was 10 for 10, by the end of that hour. But I had reported, so while he was disgusted with the world in general, he wasn't mad at me.

Which would all have been fine (hell, they're paying me for this), if there weren't other, pressing deadlines to be handled and I wasn't already buried in work. But ya know, you just can't go back to the boss and say, look, there's no way anybody is gonna be around in these offices. Because, hey, he's there. Would he have taken a call from some scut paralegal out of the University of Nebraska? Please. Would he even let the rest of us give out that kind of information? Not a chance.

But there is no reasoning with. There is only The Boss, doing business in the same location since the 1970s, wanting things his way.

On other notes, PT wasn't bad, and I actually had a pretty good day, pain-wise, up until the last couple hours. I'm using the arm too much, but I don't know how to help that - ya gotta work, ya gotta get through stuff. I'm not patient with myself. But I'm trying to be careful.
zoethe: (Default)
I am making myself use m arm, making myself reach out those few inches that I can and pick up things as heavy as, oh, a sheet of paper.

As a result I am in throbbing, nauseating pain.

"Progress" is slow in coming. Such a long battle back to where I was in the first place.
zoethe: (Default)
Such a mixed day. Got a whole four hours of sleep the night before. Was so tired that at one point in midafternoon while writing a time entry, pen in hand, I fell asleep. Head bob startled me back awake. I've dozed off reading or in a class, but never n the middle of actually writing something. Tears came in the afternoon when I was defeatedb my inability to simply clip amessage to the side of an inbox - it's on top of a tall credenza and opening the clip required a pincer grip, but there was no way I could reach up that high and out far enough with my left to deposit this simple piece of paper.

I headed out to the doctor's office trul dejected.

But there, I was pronounced as doing very well, and moved into a softer, less restrictive sling, and given the go ahead to start therapy. Oh, and drugs, so I can sleep (yay!). The therapy is not going to be fun - much pulling and tugging and weights nad generally promises to leave me sore - but it means I will be recovering mobility. According to the doctor I am quite lucky because I broke a nice, big chunk of bone off the top, meaning that it is well-anchored.

New sling gives much more mobility, meaning more pain, and hangs directly from my neck, meaning pain until I get used to it, but no compression strap, sono more sense of entrapped limbs. Tradeoffs, but worth it.

Overall, a better day, even though I was very tired.

And now, off to luxuriate in a bath, an indulgence denied to me throughout this injury. I have a lovely scar, no more bandages, and I'm on the mend.
zoethe: (witch)
When I arrived at work yesterday morning Crista, our departmental assistant*, asked how I was doing. I could barely get out the words, "not well" because I was fighting tears. Crista, being a practical soul, prescribed mocha and fetched me one.

Without that small kindness, I'm not sure I could have made it through the day.

I hurt all day yesterday. I got a lot done at work, but it was in the continual presence of chronic discomfort. By the time I got myself loaded into the car for school, I was back to the edge of tears. The Motrin helped, I guess, but didn't really stave off the pain. I avoided talking to people at school because I knew that the question How are you doing? would set off the waterworks again. Got through Torts, moved on to Civ Pro, where the prof pointed out that our first written assignment is due Monday. Tears threatened again. Survived that, got home. Another one bites the dust.

I am irritated with myself for not getting better, but the reality is that I have no energy left for recovery, and that's slowing the pace. I guess the measure of progress is going to be how late into the week I can get before falling apart. Only Tuesday this week, maybe Wednesday next. I feel tumbled and ragged, like a frayed bit of cloth on the side of a highway, crushed.

Got about 4 hours of sleep last night, with the discomfort and the waking. Back to work now. Much homework, as always.

*What's the difference between a departmental assistant and a secretary? About $7,000 a year.
zoethe: (legolas)
Felt much more effective at work yesterday, got a lot of stuff done, held up well, but then was exhausted at school. Had to come home and do homework anyway, since there is so much and I am so slow.

I am down to one Percoset. I need to get the doc to give me more. I tried sleeping without last night and tossed and turned until 1am, dozing briefly here and there. At one awoke in a lot of pain, took one Percoset (leaving a final one), and still had about half an hour until it kicked in. Had to get up at 4 anyway, so much work to do. If the doc won't give me more I don't know how I'm going to function - I have to start getting more sleep.

Have homework done for today, almost finished with first large project due tomorrow, still ahve tomorrow's reading to do. I need to get a lot more done on the weekends....
zoethe: (Star Wars)
I had to work on New Year's Eve, but so does most of the world. The day before our office manager, Rosemarie, had said that she wasn't taking that day off for vacation after all because Joel (the BIG boss in our little pond) had a very important, highly confidential project that HAD to be finished before the end of the year, HAD to be on the University President's desk before we left.

Meaning that when she called at 8:10 in the morning with severe food poisoning, it was kind of a problem.

I walked down to Joel's office and told him. The man went visibly pale. He said that Crista or I would have to help him. Since Crista's computer is quite visible to the public, I said that I would do it. It was my first opportunity in this office to display my "rah rah, we can pull together" attitude. And we did. The damned memo went from 8 pages to 13, we had three attorneys - including one not on site - commenting and changing it, by the time we were finished the assorted drafts barely fit between the teeth of one large binder clip, and it took the whole freakin' day. (I whipped through the first extensive changes, pages and pages of handwritten notes, in the first hour, leaving Joel much impressed and me - silly creature - with the notion that we would be done be noon. Hah!) By the time they were bringing me changes for the 12th time, we were all getting a bit slap-happy. But by god, we completed it.

I know Rosemarie felt bad about not being able to make it in, but for me it was a lucky break. The two women attorneys in the office are already using me extensively for legal research, the other management people think I'm doing a great job of straightening up the mess left behind by the former employee, there is quirky, bird-like John, the contracts attorney, but we get along well (a mutual love for good restaurants and literature, so the fact that I don't really do much work for him does not impede our relationship), but I simply had not made any headway with Joel.

You must understand the layout of our office. It is, first of all, much too small. I do not have an office, as such. I have a desk and a bookcase at the back end of the copy room, and my view of the door into the reception area is impeded by a large vertical file that hems in my desk Pushing back from this U=shaped spot, the other wall has two regular filing cabinets, side-by-side and perpendicular to the wall. Essentially, I am surrounded, with only a small opening to walk out through.


Put bluntly, even though I am the person closest to the front door, I never have the slightest idea who the hell is coming or going.

Joel, on the other hand, is at the far end of the hallway, near some filing cabinets I have rare need to access. And he is continually in meetings. So I barely ever see him. I didn't think he disliked me, I just felt like I hadn't made any impression at all.

Which is not a good thing, when you're talking about the person in charge of your annual review.

I had made an effort to come out and make small talk, greet him, etc. But that only goes so far in a business setting. He relies heavily on Rosemarie because he never could rely on the person in my position previously.

By the end of Tuesday, I felt that I had earned a whole new level of respect from him, from my can-do attitude, from my continuing good humor in the face of round after round of increasingly perskickety changes, and from my simple computer abilities that made the finished product look a lot better. Rosemarie's unfortunate illness, though dreadful for her, was a real opportunity for me.

It's a strange thing to be grateful for. [g]
zoethe: (Default)
I am not used to having time for these sorts of things at work. But it's the holidays and even though the attorneys are running around dealing with crises, my requests for projects have gone unanswered--they appreciate that I have asked, but don't have time to delegate. So I am twiddling my thumbs.

Here's the really weird part. If someone gives me one small project, something that should only take 20 minutes, I end up taking an hour or more to get it done, because I have to gear back into the working mode.

Yet yesterday I was given three projects, some of them fairly extensive research, and polished them off well before the end of the day. It's a focus thing, I guess.

I never thought I'd be making LiveJournal entries from the office. Never could fathom those who did. But it's better than just sitting here.
zoethe: (Default)
So, I think the exam went well last night. 10 short answer questions, and an essay question. Nothing on it that was unfamiliar. You just don't know until the grades come out, but I feel pretty good about it.

I came out of the room, threw my arms in the air and yelled, "Woohoo! Now I can--"

[wince]

"Go home, go to bed, get up in the morning and go to work."

Man, I had it SO easy when I was in college, and I didn't even know it.

Anyway, it's a slow morning here, I have officially asked for a project and been told that one would be provided, and as it hasn't shown up yet I am having no compunctions about making an LJ entry.

The QOTO arrived last night, and had already achieved total boredom in the intervening hour between dragging her stuff into the house and my arrival from school. So I went ahead and bought her an airline ticket to go to New Orleans and spend half her vacation with a friend there.

When I drove Jeff home, the car started having a funny smell--scorched antifreeze-ish. Now that I have NO money for a car repair until the next payday, at the end of next week.

How do they know???

Anyway, still no Christmas prezzies purchased because of the combo of no time and no money. This is a bad Christmas year.

But my kids will be here, we will have fun, and the first semester of law school is behind me.

Woohoo!
zoethe: (Default)
I have reached a new milestone in my life.

I have a secretary.

Now, granted, said secretary is stationed at the downtown office, while I'm out at the campus satellite (insert Sputnik noises), and she is the secretary for a number of paralegals. Nevertheless, I am apparently free, and in fact encouraged, to refer to her in the possessive. People say, have your secretary send those forms to you, or fax it to your secretary. The attorneys in the office have said to me, "Oh, you can send that to my secretary" as if I would already know who this person was, like an identifiable appendage.

This is not the old-school senior attorney. It's the younger women attorneys. They actually apologized that, because I am not at the downtown office I will have to do my own typing. I have entered a world I do not understand.

So far, my secretary has served two functions: she has faxed me forms that I did not receive and she enters my timesheets into the computer system. The firm has no centralized case management--everyone writes their billable time on a form and gives it to his or her secretary to enter into the billing system (the computers aren't even tied to a central server for document backup--everyone saves to C:, a fact that alarms and amazes me). We aren't in the same building, so I can't give her things to copy or mail, and documents to me come to my office, not hers. Nevertheless, despite the fact that she is well-known to the other employees in the office, they refer to her as "your secretary."

I feel odd, possessing someone's skills. And even odder thinking about being so possessed. I have been people's paralegal, receptionist, buyer, even secretary. I never even noticed. But now, that little thrill of possession, I've felt it. i may be some sort of sick meglomaniac to feel this way, but it's there--just a hint. And I'm certain that I'm not alone.

No wonder men treated women so badly all those years. It's not a healthy feeling. Objectification would be a simple matter.
zoethe: (Default)
I got the job!!!! I'm starting Wednesday.

Must now go tell other job people to stuff it, but this will be way better on resume and it's better money.
I'm happy, but don't think I'll destress for hours still. Must be off to school.
zoethe: (Default)
I'm supposed to start work for a company on Thursday, but an opportunity for a much better job (more interesting work, more money) came up on Friday, and I interviewed today. In the meantime, company one has called and wants me to start sooner. So far I have evaded their phone calls with the "I made other plans/out of town/unreachable" bit, because I had been told that the job with company number two was practically a shoe-in. They said they would get back to me today. Today is winding down pretty quickly and I haven't heard anything. Now I'm getting terrified that by waiting on company number two I'm going to screw up the offer from company number one. And still be unemployed. My nerves are a complete jangle, I can't concentrate on anything, and I don't really want to have to be the one who calls them.
zoethe: (Default)
Received the final determination for my unemployment--denied. They were not presuaded by my ethics concerns arguments, apparently. A couple of attorneys have sugggested that I go after her for "constructive dismissal," but considering the tooth-and-nail way in which she is fighting the wrongful dismissal case in which she is currently embroiled, it is unlikely that she will "just settle" and I can't see myself spending two years entangled in such a mess--let alone finding an attorney who would think it worth their while to take up. So my pocketbook remains empty for the time being, but I do have a job lined up starting next week.

Second fascinating item: An offer for a National Notary Association Platinum Visa® Business Card. Because, apparently, Notaries Public are high-fliers. This is a part of the training I seem to have missed. I mean, I'm allowed to charge something like $2.00 for notarizing a document. I can't see that adding up to the kind of volume that would make me relieved to learn that I can give cards to my staff at no additional cost. There's a fortune to be made in making paper bumpy, and I've just been giving it away!

Item three is a set of checks from my credit card company that will allow me to transfer balances from other cards to my current card at low,low interest. This would not generally be an item of much interest save for the fact that my card has expired and they haven't sent me a new one yet. Hmmm..Cart? Horse? (I will admit to a vague worry that I threw it away, thinking it was yet another credit offer, but I tear these in half so it doesn't seem too likely.) I should call them, but considering that I am terrified to spend money just now, it's probably just as well that I don't have a credit card.

And, at last, the wedding invitation of a good friend. These invitations have been the source of more tears and grief in the last month than would seem appropriate. The bride has been beside herself, trying to get them done. I, quite frankly, could not understand the fuss. Now I do. Within the inner envelope is the stiff card invitation to the wedding, the stiff card invitation to the reception, the stiff card RSVP with its envelope. Each of these printed items has a square of loose tissue paper protecting the print. Additionally, there is a copy of the directions. In other words, 8 separate items had to be fitted (and fitted carefully, since tissue paper crinkles so easily) within the inner envelope, and then that envelope addressed to the party and skipped into the outer envelope for final addressing. Taiwanese women refuse to do assembly work this complex.
zoethe: (angel)
I am in that terrible job-hunting mode where I'm doing interviews and everyone is asking me how they went. I guess we'll know if they call back, won't we?

Job interviews come in three varieties. The first are those rare occasions when mysterious but unmistakable full-spectrum lighting suddenly floods the room, somewhere in the distance there is the unmistakable swell of violins, and they offer you the job on the spot. Though I did have this happen once, unless you're in retail sightings of Bigfoot are more common.

The second is the Doomed Interview. It doesn't matter what you say or what you do, you know this person will not hire you. "Graduated from Yale, eh? I always was a Harvard man, myself." "Cum laude? I guess you just weren't willing to work hard enough for suma." "God wrote you a letter of recommendation? It looks like a form letter to me..." This person came into the room with mind made up, or just hated you from the minute you walked in. It's disheartening, but at least you can walk away knowing that the situation was completely out of your control.

The most common is the Okay Interview. When people ask how it went, all you can really say is, "...okay." You look for signs in such an interview--they spent over an hour with you, they gave you a tour of the office, they introduced you to upper management. But is that because they liked you, or because they do it for everyone? Is this person really interested in you, or just killing time before going back to a boring project? Do they usually spend at least two hours and you are being shown to the door prematurely? All you get out of such interviews is, "We'll be making a decision within the next few weeks. We'll get back to you." And then everyone wants to know how it went. It was boring as shit, it left me with no particular hope, and I'm searching the newspapers again. Other than that....

...okay.
zoethe: (angel)
And we're on our way out the door, but I forgot to mention: I have two job interviews on Monday. One is a callback for the place where I did an interview last week, the other is for the City of Brecksville Law Department, one of the first jobs I applied for and one for which I didn't really think I had a chance of getting interviewed. I would really like that one, even though it's out of my way. Working for the government is always the best benefits, the most holidays, etc. And it may be the excuse I need to get Ferrett to move over to the east side of town (where most our friends live) and get a house with a big front porch and enough bedrooms for the kids (you didn't see that last sentence, Ferrett [g])
zoethe: (Default)
I visited the ATM today for some "walking around money." I took out $20.00, and then found that my balance was $2.97. Wow. I am breathtakingly, heart-poundingly, cold-sweats-and-shakey-hands poor.

And still unemployed.

Rumor has it that a paycheck will be arriving from the aborted job, which should cover the mortgage payment. Other than that there is no cash on the horizon until January, unless I get a job.

I am remarkably calm about this, calmer than I think I should be. I think I still have faith that the job thing is going to get straightened out, and Ferrett has an income. So I'm nowhere near actual danger.

Or I'm completely numb.

It's sobering to realize how quickly the pavement comes up when you are in financial divebomb mode. I am looking at a stack of bills that are going to have to wait. The cold breath of poverty is on the back of my neck like a whisper. I don't want it to get any louder. I want to move to a warmer room where there is music and laughter and people talking and I don't have to feel that whisper.
zoethe: (Default)
I have a 4-page paper due in legal writing tomorrow. I have written almost half a page of it.

My problem is that I have far too much time on my hands. There is always some nebulous "later" in which I can accomplish these tasks. And the really frightening part is, I have managed to use up all the "later" on two separate occasions.

I really need to be working.

My working schedule is planned out like D-day. Every hour is accounted for, and if I am not accomplishing in that hour that which is on the schedule, I am concretely, definitively falling behind.

Not so, now. Now I have great rolling meadows of time, puffy hours within which to do as I please. so every day I fall a little further behind.

Intellectually, I know I should not be allowing this. Yet the time spins on.

Next Tuesday, Jeff and I go back to work. We hit the ground running in a new firm, where we will have to build a practice from scratch. The stress will be high, the hours long,and the work strenuous.

Thank goodness. I might otherwise flunk outof law school.

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