Thursday, March 03, 2005

Sooo...

I emailed precisely two people asking casually if they knew of anyone looking for a construction paralegal, and yesterday one of them called me and said that the "first name on the letterhead" partner of her firm wants to talk to me, because he is a construction guy and is dying for a paralegal. The other firm is in hiring mode too. I haven't even asked among the people I really thought might be interested yet.

Boss is dyin' because he's afraid that I will get an offer I can't refuse, and he would never ask me to refuse it, but he is pre-emptively freaking out at the idea.

Tomorrow I will talk to our real boss, and I will have to lay it on the line. I'm drowning in this job. I took it with the idea that I would be picking up secretarial functions and that was fine, because I was assured that I would not be judged on my secretarial skills. Now internal corporate issues have changed, and we are ALL judged on our filing - but Boss and I have enormous, voluminous cases with 12-15 lawyers, and no secretary, and this is bullshit. I cannot do two fulltimeplus jobs and I don't freaking want to. We should not be side by side in the mailroom stuffing envelopes on a regular basis. We have more than enough work to keep a third set of hands busy. Substantive work is going undone because I have to keep up with the internal demands for file maintenance. Boss asked me to work on two motions for summary judgment in mulitmillion dollar cases, and damn, I would love to dig in and start pulling the exhibits together and start drafting them, but Somebody Has to Do the Filing, because we are in a file maintenance crisis mode.

And so it's either accept that we need a secretary and figure out how to get one, or they'll be losing both of us, because this is nuts. This has been going on in various degrees since last summer, various half-assed solutions have been floated and nothing has changed. It's time to just be honest and say I'm not using this threat of leaving for money leverage because honestly, money will not fix this. My job is making me stressed and sick. We need a functional work environment or I'm outta here and Boss will be not far behind. Boss already said he can't do this without me, and I can't stay in a job that is now 80% file maintenance while the substantive work goes begging, and the frustration is freaking killing me. I didn't go to college, get a professional certification and spend 15 years in construction and development to be judged on the status of my filing.

I love my real boss and he's a great guy, there is nothing hostile or angry about this. It's just reality - I am not going to kill myself for a dead-end job in an outfit that constantly demands more and offers nothing in return. I want to stay, I really do. I am not planning to flounce out in a snit. I love the cases, the clients, the Boss, the real boss, the short commute, but those things are not enough. Not when I'm accumulating a foot of filing every two days and still have to prep for, uh, three, or is it four, multi-party mediations, and work on those MSJs, and there are document productions we haven't had time to take, hearings that need to be rescheduled, deposition schedules cratering because we don't have time to beat up on other offices and make it happen, and on and on. It's madness. It has to be fixed, or I will have to leave, and if I leave, Boss will be gone shortly thereafter. We are still looking at moving together and that's why I am a bit freaked that Name Partner wants to talk to me like, 24 hours after I send out my first feeler. Sheesh.

Knitting: I came home to my box from KnitPicks! I fondled the Shimmer but resisted the urge to grab the ball winder and swift, because I am afraid in my current tense state I might mangle it. I came home today with a tension headache and a stiff, knotted neck - my neck and shoulders hold all my tension, and yoga does help, but it seemed like a bad time to start winding laceweight yarn. Maybe Saturday, after a nice workout. It's lovely - soooft, and rich color - lots of purples, fuschia and turquoise. I want to make a simple feather and fan shawl - as my few and faithful readers know by now, I'm all about the basic patterns - but I wanted something handpainted and special. I ordered three skeins, just to be safe - 1500 yards should be enough for a nice wrap, I think.

Meanwhile, I'm working my way down my Koigu sock. It's cold and rainy and miserable here today - we are wusses about weather like this. I came home from work and kicked off my heels and peeled off my thin office socks, and went for my old faithful Koigu socks and my felted Fiber Trends clogs. I am wearing layers of wool on my wussy little Florida feet on these cold tile floors. Koigu socks are winter luxury, and of all the things I've knitted in recent years, nothing has seen as much action as these felted clogs. They are too wonderful.

8 comments:

caroline said...

ah, chica. I'll hold the light for an offer that is fast and encompasses you both. you know that the existing place will only offer bandaids. their entire approach is rotten to the core and bereft of sound management. and if we are freezing down here (low in the high 50s) you must be bundled UP. go, wool.

Catherine said...

Yeah, what you said about the bad management is totally on they money - I could go on at length, but it's Pointy-Haired-Boss World. I'm not going to settle for another band-aid, and I will keep fishing the waters - one worm brought two prospects, so the odds are fine. I'm not worried about finding another job, I want to find the right job.

Geogrrl said...

Yeah, it's good to explain why you're leaving. As you say, youre real boss is a nice guy, but I think his hands are tied by the corporate culture. It's nice of you to give your employer a chance, but you know damn well nothing's going to change. It didn't last time, hasn't over the past year, and is even less likely now.

Catherine said...

I'm not sure if my boss's hands are totally tied or not. I am sure they are to a degree, but I was hired via a blessing from somewhere in the mid-Atlantic, and I'm thinking another call there might do something. I would be quite comfortable with sitting down with the big boss and outlining our needs - he's an old construction guy and and very nice, if there is any way to get a functional office I think he would make it so. If he can't, I'll know it's time to pack up and pull out. But I'm very gratified that it only took one two-sentence email to get back into circulation and get one firm seriously biting at the bait. But that also tells me that this is a good market and we have a fair chance of doing this together, which is my preference. I've worked with this guy for, uh, 12 years? We are virtually married, work-wise, and we are more valuable as a team than either of us is separately. So that's why I'm not just leaping at the first bite on the hook. I'll go, I'll talk...I'll see what they have to offer. This is a hot market.

Geogrrl said...

Definitely. There's no need to rush, so weigh your options carefully. But.... take what they say with a grain of salt. I mean, they've known for the past year you've been drowning, and they've been throwing you anvils... or at the very least, useless administrative types.

Bess said...

Good job chants humming south to you.
I love that shimmer yarn. I've got 2 skeins to make some sort of lace with, but am resisting because I WILL finish

Bess said...

I'm sending good job chants humming south to you. What can one say about corrupted environments that you haven't. Dilbert is only funny as a cartoon, not a life.

Glad you liked the Shimmer. I have 2 skeins and drool over them all the time. but I wont wont wont start on my lace project till I finish my other lace project. And it's right at the point where it would be easy to quit.

How nice it is Friday.

Mia said...

I am sure that if you point out the long term savings (and the possibility of more billable hours)of hiring some one to do the actual secretarial work, the big boss will find the money to hire some one to do that work. Bosses always seem to think in terms of profits. But if not, make sure that yuo have everything in writing before leaping. But we are here for you.