Thursday, March 05, 2009

Subprime, part I.

I missed you. Did you miss me?

First things first: I'm not dead. Although I have to admit I get a sick little thrill when I imagine the idea of my being referred to as such. Clearly there is something wrong with me; I generally rely on the "Comments" section to begin to figure out what that something is. I would love to tell you that I was on some ashram for a year and a half, fixing my life and learning the true meaning of Christmas, etc., but I wasn't. I did get my J.D., finally. Two law firms, a lot of snooze-bars, tardiness, absenteeism, subpar legal work and a generous severance package later, here I am--gainfully employed again. For now. Tomorrow, in fact, is the day that we're all expecting to get laid off on account of the financial crisis. Of course it will only be about 10% of the Firm's associates, but I can't imagine I won't be among them.

How do I know? Lawyers at firms are notorious for their reticence about criticizing an attorney's work product. They're generally not a confrontational lot. But I've gotten several talkings-to in my very brief tenure here: "We're troubled by this." "Is everything ok?" "You really need to pay more attention to detail." "Please review, on a non-billable basis, what I ultimately sent to the client and compare it to the draft you sent me." These are all bona fide clues. But what really does it that the secretaries on my floor can't even look me in the eye. They are the ones with the worst poker faces (get it, ha ha). They see me showing up at 10am most mornings and leaving at 1:30 with my laptop bag, feigning some sort of work-related hurry. The ones with a maternal instinct probably worry a little bit; the other ones probably think I am a little such-and-such. Of course, I am a little such-and-such is the thing, but I still resent their knowing it.

On the bright side, I've got some dollars in the bank. But I really can think of only one thing to do with those dollars, and I can assure you it's not to set up responsible payment plans with my increasingly vocal roster of creditors.

I will talk more about money in the next one I post, which will be sometime before 2011, I promise.