The Waiting Game

Well, I thought I’d have something new going on by now…and I don’t.

STILL waiting to hear what’s going on with the job in the Islands-basically playing phone tag for a whole week. Annoying. But I’m trying to stay positive-which, it turns out, is a lot easier said than done after a year of nothing but discouraging news heading my way. Hopefully I’ll know more in the next few days.

In other news-I have now seen old insurance policies for Kiefer Sutherland, Steve Jobs, Desi Arnez Jr. and C. Thomas Howell. This is really the most exciting thing that happens at my document review job. It’s all I have for entertainment. Sad, isn’t it?

Kiefer and the Virgin

Two quickie updates:

1) Today I went through old insurance policies and came across Kiefer Sutherland’s auto insurance policy from 1990. My brush with fame.  I now know his driving record from 1990. WOW. 

2) I was offered a summer law clerk position in the Virgin Islands. A trial run of sorts so that all involved can decide if it’s a good fit (all meaning me, the firm and the island). I need to get more details, but I’m thinking this could be good news- my way out of a career full of dusty cardboard boxes. It’s not an offer for a forever job yet, but it’s a start. A dust-free start.

So The Horror Stories Are True…

I have started my life as a document reviewer. Wow. Wow. Wow. 

It really is as horrible as everyone makes it out to be. But way worse. Way way worse. And why? For many reasons really, but mainly because it’s a paper document review-a paper document review with the bulk of the papers dating back to the 70s and 80s. And old documents= old dust. We really do wear gloves and face masks to deal with the massive amounts of dust accompanying these old documents. It’s a very glamorous job. So glamorous in fact that someone even came across a dead, petrified bird in a box on Friday. A fairly typical job hazard for new attorneys, yes? 

Also, the people on the job make me feel even better about the situation. Remember that old Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer claymation movie? If so, do you remember the Island of Misfits from the movie? I work on that island–although it’s not a tropical island locale, it’s a large room in a boring ol’ office building chock full of misfits. Which at least provides for some entertainment. But at the same time it makes me question how I am perceived through others’ eyes…am I too a major social misfit? Probably. Thankfully, I’m assigned a seat by some normalish people so we can be snarky and bitter while we “work” (i.e. go through old dusty papers for 8 hours). 

But, all in all, I am a LOT happier. So, even though it is horrible work and much worse than I ever expected it to be, I am enjoying my life a whole lot more now than I was a few months ago. I  much prefer crappy document review work to working for a jerk who makes life miserable for everyone. A no drama work place means that I can come home and completely forget about the day. A career it is not, but it is not a bad stop-over…as long as I don’t develop black lung from the dust.

I Predict A Difficult Interview

I just found out that I have a job interview tomorrow-before I leave for the tropical interview. Good stuff. I go to all interviews, I take all interviews. I am desperate.

But the really good news is that this interview is for a firm that actually does stuff that I’m interested in! Woot. These little gems don’t come around every day. I don’t have to feign interest-how new and different!

One potential roadblock-and it’s a big one. I looked at the website to scope out the attorney I’ll be interviewing with tomorrow. He looks like this:

gollum-pic

Only with more hair, better teeth and clothed. The eyes are pretty dead-on.
Should be interesting.

Isn’t One Of The Perks Of Working Supposed To Be Pay?

I’ve been writing to the HR person at a certain firm, trying to nail down whether or not I care to actually interview with their firm. An e-mail I received today helped me make up my mind. Here’s what they wrote that really sealed the deal: 

“You stated that you would hope to be compensated at a rate of $ per
year.  This is certainly attainable within our pay plan.  However, it would
not be guaranteed.  For the first year in the firm, the pay that you receive
is based primarily on the income that you generate for the firm.  For the
first three weeks, there is no salary paid, and you receive 80% of the
income that you generate.  Each three week period after that results in an
increase to the base weekly salary, starting at $200, then $300, then $400,
until it reaches $500 per week.  With each increase, the accompanying
percentage decreases.”

WHO ARE THEY KIDDING? I’m willing to take a pretty low pay rate-no lie, but I would actually like to be paid for my work. Is that too much to ask? Do they actually expect people to take them up on this offer?

Well, Isn’t That Annoying?

There are three things that I find really annoying about this whole job-search business:

1) Firms that ask you what kind of $ you’re looking for. 

  • This is a no-win situation. If you ask for too much you could price yourself out of a job. If you ask for too little, you undervalue yourself and they may not see you as a worthwhile hire. How the heck do you get around this? Why can’t all firms just man up and give a range for how much they’re willing to pay a new hire? 

2) Firms that want you to pay to interview-even though you’re clearly poor. 

  • So, I’ve opened up my job hunt again.  I’m no longer dead set on staying in the city I’m currently living in.  One of the jobs I’ve applied for is on a tropical island. The job posting said that they’d do a phone interview and then they may do additional interviews in one of two cities, one of which is about a two hour drive for me. The firm has scheduled a phone interview with me (good), but they also want to know if I’d be willing to come to the city that is NOT within driving distance (bad). I really cannot afford to do that. I’ve already paid SO much money to go all over the place for interviews. I just can’t do  it anymore. So, I replied that I could go to the far away city, assuming that they’d foot the bill- or I could meet them in the other city mentioned in the job posting. They wrote back saying that it’s a firm policy not to pay for travel expenses. Well, that’s just great. I can’t wait to pay to fly to an interview for a job I may not get. That’s just fantastic. Because, God knows, if you’re unemployed and looking for work you have SO much money to spend on such things. 

3) Firms that are blatantly taking advantage of lawyers who are out of work. 

  • I hate the ads for all of the private law firms that are seeking unpaid interns. Unpaid interns should only be asked to work at non-profits. For profit firms should get it together, remember what it was like to be a new lawyer, and have a heart and scrape together a salary for someone if they’re going to be working for them. Christ, even minimum wage is better than nothing. 

That’s all. I just needed to get that off my chest.