Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Post-Grad Lyfe, A to Zed: Law Lyfe Edition II

It was my hope to finish this one LAST weekend, but I found myself engaged in a Helm's Deep meets Battle of the Bastards struggle with a cockroach the size of a Maine coon.
Two glasses of wine Mary did not want to deal with it, so I spent five minutes refusing to leave the room,
and then five more minutes psyching myself up and arming myself (a towel I was hoping would have some sort of
cat o' nine tails effect; motorcycle boots to lessen the crunching sensation as I stamped out its life;
and hairspray because the bug poison was in the kitchen, which my opponent had claimed as its stronghold.)

When I charged onto the battlefield after those oh-so-necessary ten minutes, the enemy was nowhere to be found.
Being the battle-hardened and skilled strategist that I am, I quickly implemented the ole "Turn into a Statue so as to Not Frighten the Bug" tactic.
Upon sensing motion on the wall to my left, I turned, pointed, and yelled "YOU!" in an accusatory manner.
Because I am a Scooby Doo villain.

Oddly, my weapons were insufficient, and so I admitted defeat, retreated to my bedroom, barricaded myself in via towels stuffed under the doors, and went to sleep.
I spent the next day unable to focus on anything but the simplest of tasks, as I imagined cat-sized cockroaches were lurking behind every corner.

Kafka would have much to say about this, I'm sure.

If you managed to stay with me through that rousing war story, we'll now round out this edition of Post-Grad Lyfe, A to Zed:

Of which I have none. I am really trying to put money into savings and whatnot,
but there are just too many pretty things to buy.
My apartment complex is probably going to start demanding payment for every package of mine that they have to sign for. It would be fairly lucrative for them.

Of which I put up with a lot.
Most of my co-workers at this current job are great, provided we discuss nothing of importance.
Once we enter the realm of politics or religion or values, it's an SJW paradise and I'm in my own personal hell.
I got into an actual argument with a co-worker because he said he "feels" that golden retrievers are racist.
Because feelings = facts. He also claimed that there are more golden retriever attacks than pit bull attacks per year.
This must be the sort of "attack" he's talking about.
This was quickly becoming a very, very thinly-veiled race conversation, and I'm fairly certain that the blinding whiteness of my skin is actually offensive in and of itself to certain people, so I took my leave of the entire discussion.
In another conversation, he compared a violent cult to the pilgrims and to religion in general (saying that there is no difference, really), then regurgitated that tired, false "Christopher Columbus knowingly killed all the Natives" narrative, then claimed that anti-Semitism and nationalism are the same thing. It was a doozy.
The running joke at work is how "judgey" I am. Like, duh. But tell me how that's a bad thing.
I wear my judgment like a badge of honor.
Overtime...doesn't exist
At my prior Job-That-Must-Not-Be-Named, I was a salaried employee.
Meaning, I got paid the same amount regardless of the number of hours I worked.
At first, that was fine. But then. BUT THEN.
I started to lose my weekends. I was asked to come in very very early and stay very very late.
For the same amount of money.
I had no time for friends, the gym, a personal life, anything.
I would have been (relatively) fine with this if there was any sort of upward mobility.
But it was made very clear to me that there was no chance of ever making partner and any sort of raise would be in the distant future.
Not my jam.

That word should really be in quotations. Lawyers are absurd.
There is an obsession with professionalism, and ethics, and reputation,
except that obsession is quickly pushed aside in favor of snarky tone, disrespectful words, and outright name-calling.
Hypocrites, all of them us, I guess.
There are all sorts of unwritten rules you're supposed to follow, but few of them make sense to me, and I can never get any justification other than "that's just how it is."
An appeal to tradition is right up my alley, but only if it works.
Law school sucks, lawyers suck, the legal field sucks. Let's maybe change something?

I went to law school. While there, I worked various jobs and internships in the legal field the majority of the time.
Then I graduated from law school.
You'd think this would make me qualified for something, right?
Always and forever struggling with that whole "need experience to get experience" conundrum.

I see my family once every few months. And then just for a whirlwind couple of days.
I see my boyfriend once a week (twice if I'm lucky).
I would get a dog, but that relationship would likely be neglected too.
Sisyphean tasks
I sort through file materials.
I chain title.
I identify problems.
I write a title opinion.
Done? Start all over again with another file.
But change the specific tasks and that is just every job.
We are all cogs in a machine. Accept it.
I've mentioned it before, but I'm in a contract position which means my taxes aren't withheld from each paycheck.
I understand that this doesn't mean I'm paying any more in taxes.
But it does mean that I have to personally witness and ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in the withholding of said taxes myself.
I am fully complicit in the government's THEFT of my rightfully earned wages.

Unwanted solicitations
Before being barred, unwanted solicitations used to be telemarketers and guys at bars.
Now, I get asked legal advice from people I haven't spoken to in years.
The least you can do is buy ya girl a bottle of wine for that free lawyer ish.
(Disclaimer: Any advice given is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice and also might be a huge joke. You should contact a real grown-up attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem, because I am but a baby attorney. Actions taken in accordance with said advice does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are taking your own life in your hands by listening to and/or taking any advice. You are on your own. I will deny even knowing you.)

My life. I do nothing risky whatsoever.
I put more aside for taxes than is necessary, so *fingers crossed* I get some back later.
I got very excited about a shelf to put in my closet for shoe organization.
I'm considering switching my wine shipment from all red to half red, half white for the summer.
The craziest thing I've done recently is rabbit-hole pretty hard on Unabomber research.
Also I yelled at someone in traffic the other day, which actually is high risk behavior in Houston.
Also I bought romaine lettuce the other day.
So I guess you could say I really do live a little dangerously.

Wake-up Call
This is real life. 
I'm not an intern or clerk anymore.
Yes, my work is still approved by a supervising attorney, but this feels more serious.
I know it inspires confidence when one's attorney forgets that she's a real attorney.
Shut up.

EXclusivity (X is difficult. Give this one to me.)
Lawyers like to pretend that this is an elite field.
Except I witnessed the actual meltdown of an attorney via rant on an oh-so-exclusive lawyer FB group (bar number, SSN, and blood of your first born required for membership) in which she mentioned being a stripper before law school
and used language surely not allowed in a courtroom.
Clearly, the legal field has flung open its doors to all sorts of gutter trash.
You can take the girl out of the strip club...

Your Honor ... is really hard to remember
I don't go to court. I never want to go to court. For so many reasons.
One reason being that it is a certainty that I will screw up the courtroom decorum.
Combine anxiety with a complete disdain for most of the pointless legal conventions, and you get me accidentally calling the judge "Your Majesty."

I have a job. As mentioned, I'm a contract attorney, so that job has an end date.
As such, I have become well-acquainted with Ziprecruiter and all of the other job search sites.
They are the death of me, but I just keep coming back.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Post-Grad Lyfe, A to Zed: Law Lyfe Edition I

Just when you thought I was out of the post-grad rant game, I'm post-grad again!
I went back to school just so I could extend my ranting.
You're welcome.

It's not like I entered law school a super empathetic human.
I've never had a ton of patience and compassion for stupidity, and I tend to think that a lot of things are stupid.
But law school took my tiny Grinch heart, shrunk it even more, and then froze it.
I'm mixing animated movie metaphors here, but still. I had a slip and fall case where the woman actually died and I spent 100% of my time thinking about what a giant, dead con artist she was.
Billable hours
The actual devil.
Whoever decided that 6 minutes is a better increment than 10 minutes is a moron.
Math is hard and I never asked for this.
Also, realizing that you just spent 3 hours on something but only half of that is billable is the worst feeling in the entire world.
Honorable mention: Bar exam
I know I mentioned doing a whole post dedicated to the Test-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named, but I just don't think I have it in me. It's stupid and maybe if we all stop talking about it it will go away.

Contract vs. employment
I quit my stable, "cushy" job for a contract position.
Some would say I'm an idiot. They could be right.
I have to put aside money for taxes, I no longer have benefits, and my job ends at a predetermined time.
Also, I kind of feel like I'm becoming a jack of all trades, master of none.
I'm pretending to know about oil and gas right now, and the client doesn't even realize that an IMPOSTER ADULT is giving them legal advice.
It's a little terrifying.
(Disclaimer: I'm competent, I swear. But I have hardcore Imposter Syndrome, so there.)

Disposable income
I've purchased way too many unnecessary things.
But also...super necessary. Get out of my business.

Ennui + anxiety
Work is boring.
But I also feel intense concern that I'm not working smart enough or hard enough or fast enough.
My days consist of interpreting small town Texas real estate documents from the 1800s to present day.
It is so utterly tedious that I have become thoroughly invested in the lives of these people.
A contentious divorce was the highlight of my month.

Free time
Most first year associates basically sleep in the office and have soul-crushing hours.
I'm in a very unique situation that I never want to end but is guaranteed to end.
For the first time in absolute ages, I have free time and I have no idea what to do with it.
I have shows to watch, books to read, crafts to craft.
The world is my oyster, but I spend a lot of time napping.

Gym membership
Ugh, I'm doing the damn thing.

Honorary advisor
I may have finished, but that doesn't mean I can wash my hands of it.
I am playing school/bar prep/job search advisor to my boyfriend, who has RUDELY decided to still be in law school despite my repeated requests for him to graduate and support me in the lifestyle to which I've become accustomed.
But joke's on him because I should not advise anyone on school, bar prep, OR the job search.

I hate the adult I've become -
worried about things like insurance and IRAs.
I have neither, so I'll continue to worry, thank you very much.

Job hunt
Uhhhhh right. I guess I should be doing that again, seeing as this Nirvana of a job is going to end at some point.
However, all of the job postings are asking for 2-5 years of experience. That age old problem.
So my solution: stop looking and just sit it out for a year. Because then I'll have 2 years out of law school. That's how it works, right?

(It's a stretch. I know.)
In another life, I was a Jewish grandmother.
I legitimately don't know why you're here, if not for the snark.
Little White Lies
"I'll get to that immediately" ... as soon as I finish my morning scroll through Drudge and Daily Mail.
"Traffic was terrible this morning" ... as you stroll in, Starbucks in hand.
"I've been swamped lately" ... if by "swamped" you mean binge watching Parks and Rec for the 8th time with some freshly Uber Eats-ed orange chicken, then sure.
But really, "we need to get together for drinks!"

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Sunday Currently, Vol. 10

Currently, I'm ...

listening ... Louder with CrowderSword and Scale. the latest Taylor albumprotestors.
hey, so approximately 2 seconds after my last post, I quit my job because *reasons*. I'm back in oil and gas and so so so much happier. AND my situation is such that I am able to listen to podcasts/music all day. I could use this as a chance to grow and stretch myself...or I could continue on in my conservative vacuum because the other side is stupid and what's even the point in trying to understand them. So I've been listening to Louder with Crowder, Ben Shapiro, and the Federalist Radio Hour. On the off chance I want a break from politics (but I'm a Deal and we can survive off of conservative talk radio, arguing, and red wine so that break is rarely needed), I switch to Sword & Scale. If you haven't given it a listen and you like true crime stuff, I highly recommend it. However, I do not highly recommend it for your morning walk to the train because it can be a bit graphic and hearing about some pervert fantasizing about eating a child may not be the best way to start your day. Take my word for it. I've also been jamming to Taylor's latest album non-stop because she can do no wrong, musically. I will actually fight you if you disagree. Another benefit of this new job is that it happens to be in the same building as Ted Cruz's office. That may seem like a bit of useless trivia to you; for me, it means that every Tuesday, a group* of very dedicated idiots spends the noon hour yelling into a bullhorn about DACA, gun control, and healthcare. Contrary to what they are yelling, this is not what democracy looks like.

* I use the word "group" very...liberally (ironically). It sounds like the same 2 people. Every Tuesday. Probably until they both die.

watching ... Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Nailed It. Supersize vs. Superskinny.
Sorry for being late to the game by literal years, but Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is cute and clean and lighthearted for a crime show. I needed a break from my usual Forensic Files and cult documentaries. If you haven't seen Nailed It, it's a baking show on Netflix that is an actual disaster. Terrible, awful, ridiculously optimistic people attempt to imitate trendy baked goods and fail miserably. The host laughs out loud at the contestants multiple times a show. I like a show that makes me feel better about myself. As for that last show...I am full of shame. I am trash. I accept it. I ran through all of the American fat shows, so I've had to move on to mediocre British ones where they constantly say things like " prevent Britain from turning into the public health disaster that is the U.S." Not to get political, buuuuuuuut YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY, YOU SNIVELLING, AFFECTED, DOLE-DWELLING, PEDOPHILE-PANDERING, RESTING-ON-YOUR-NONEXISTENT-LAURELS TWITS.

drinking ... so very much coffee. so very much wine.

wearing ... a sweater for the chilly morning, shorts for the 90° afternoon, heels because I'm a professional. We are reaching peak Texas spring.

feeling ... distressed because this past week was my first spring break WITHOUT a break. rude.

wanting ... A SPRING BREAK, DUH.

making ... that money, honey.

reading ... The Count of Monte Cristo. Roanoke, the Abandoned Colony. Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence.
With this new job, the stress has melted right off - the pay is better, my hours are better, the people are better. So now I'm attempting to better myself. I'm attempting The Count of Monte Cristo for the umpteenth time. An abridged version because I take it with me to work and I'm not absurd. We'll see how this goes. My nightstand book is about Roanoke, which I've had a weird obsession with since I was a child. The one unfortunate, bittersweet fact about that is that NO ONE KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED AND PROBABLY NEVER WILL SO THERE IS NO RESOLUTION. Like...there kind of is no end to this book. My final, for-my-own-welfare book is supposed to help me find inner peace and happiness and whatnot. I got it as a gift from sweet Teresa Mull, who seems to be perfectly content roaming the wild woods of Pennsylvania, so let's hope it has the same effect on me.

traveling ... home from a wedding in Austin. Aggie weddings are fun, but I might advise not to have a wedding in Austin the same weekend as SXSW. Or an outdoor wedding in Texas in March (or ever, really). just a little tip.

This post may be disappointing. idk. maybe I'll get back in the swing of things, maybe this thing will die a natural death. I repeat...idk.