Wednesday, October 24, 2007

the intricaces of workplace communication... as perpetrated by a bulldozer.

let's talk about work, shall we?



it seems that some time last week a decision was made by the powers that be. it went something along the lines of, "well, the plan was to hire a new paralegal to do trial work. but mel has proven that she can do trial work. so why don't we just have her just keep doing trial work and hire an entry-level para to take over some of mel's old responsibilities? yeah! that sounds great! let's do it."

fine. awesome. good plan, oh management team-a-go-go. it really is a perfectly good plan, nothing wrong with it. they hired a lovely 22 year old girl, straight fresh from college, to take over inquiries and eventually more, to start the following monday. they told a few of the paras. they told the receptionist. but guess what? ooh, ooh, yeah, i bet you already guessed it...





well, at least not until friday evening around 5:30. of course, by that point i'd caught wind of it. nothing stays a secret around my office. they'd already hired someone for the position and told at least five people, and i gots friends, you know? i didn't know exactly how it was gonna play, but i had me a hunch.


i'm now officially a trial para. not a big shock; i've been doing ever-increasing amounts of trial work since may. and the decision does make sense from a managerial point of view. why hire a newbie to put on a trial when i've proven myself to be capable and willing? on that point i agree with them.

now, there are those who would say that they could have *asked* me if i wanted to give up my old position. there are those who would say that they could have at least *told* me about the plan, perhaps before hiring someone or letting half the staff know (before i knew). but to those people i say, naive fools! haven't you been reading my blogs? that just ain't how these people operate. they don't mean it. they're just idiots when it comes to dealing with people. after all, they're just lawyers.

overall, i'm a bit put off by how the whole thing was approached and carried out, but i'm not unhappy that it's happened. i very much like the girl that they hired (she started monday and i've been training her), and at least this is an acknowledgment that i had WAY too much work; was essentially doing two peoples' jobs. right now i actually have more work, since i have to train newgirl. but that's alright. she's picking things up quickly, and it means that soon i'll have less work.

also, one of the trials has been taken off of me, and not a moment too soon either. the attorneys on it (or, well, the one really high-maintenance-hard-to-say-no-to one) were asking me for things that i hadn't been able to touch, despite my 60 hour weeks... very stressful. so the trial, my original trial, my baby, was handed over to probably my favorite co-worker. seriously, no sarcasm. a good friend of mine and an asset to the team. she too has a ton on her plate, but she's been wanting some trial work and she's ready. plus, this trial is already well groomed, with just one defendant, exhibits already in order, etc, etc. she already works well with both attorneys, has had some involvement with the cases, and we sit in the same office. i think it will work out well.

so once again work has been flipped upside down and backwards. the big differences, this time, are that a) there is a recognition that i was being given much much much too much, b) something was actually done about that, and c) the overall effect is (i think going to be) positive.

well, positive on my work life. on my personal life? that's another story. remember my leaving-in-january plan? can you say out the window? i don't know if it officially is, but i think it might be. it's really hard to see how things are going to play out right now. i feel like i just need to tuck my head down and get through the winter, wait till the sun comes back, and then take a look around and see where i'm at.

remember those plans of applying to nyu? gathering dust. literally. i don't know... i might still do it. but the more i think about it, the more i know i'm just teasing myself. affording that? what a joke.

paralegaling, it seems, is my career. for now, at least. TERRIFYING thought. if you could go back in time and tell my 11th grade trig teacher that this is where i'd be now... hell, if you told anyone who hasn't spoken to me in the last 12 years or so what i'm up to now... well, let's just say jaws would drop. to the floor. even those that have watched the progression don't quite believe it.

who knows. life works in strange ways. i guess we all find a niche... mine at the moment just happens to be in a windowless room in a law office in midtown manhattan.


it could be worse.

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