Monday, August 18, 2008

My J-O-B

I began working for M-Law approximately 1 and half years ago. At the time I lived about 30 miles away and would have to endure hours of traffic each way. The interview was strange and I was completely intimidated and overwhelmed. I was invited to join M-Law for their standard Monday morning meeting before I actually began working with them. I sat in this huge cold conference room surrounded by melancholy looking zombies. Must’ve been their poker faces? Then the food came. Monday’s were good.

The meeting began and it was like war. The boss required participation, each person arguing with the other about what works and what don’t work. It felt hostile and I figured everyone hated each other. I was so uncomfortable that I decided to send the parking key back and decline the job offer. I was taking a huge pay cut to work at this place. I was not about to sit my ass in two hours of traffic to get attacked at the weekly staff meeting for minimum wage (well amost). For the next week I spent a couple of hours discussing pro’s and cons with good friends. Being the drama queen I am my friends and family convinced me that I was making this shit up in my head.

I took the job despite my anxiety about it. Within weeks I was moved into my own office, given state of the art computer equipment, scanners, speakers, 2 monitors, huge wrap around glass desk, office with a window and all the yummy food I could eat. What more could I ask for? With time I came to find out that I work with the most interesting, nice, smart people I have ever been exposed to. The difference between a job in just any ol’ office and a job in a law firm is that in the latter you are immersed in an intellectual environment. When we go to happy hour we discuss events and ideas not people. Gossip is almost non-existent it’s remarkable.

My boss encourages demands excellence from everyone and has no problem giving you all the responsibility you want. He is a very strange man to say the least but I wouldn’t trade this experience for ANYTHING. I went from file girl to contract drafter with business cards in a matter of weeks. I have learned to find laws, read laws, deal with crazy attorneys who yell and throw stuff, deal with clients, billing, writing letters, and other things that will prove to be invaluable.

Everything about this office is unconventional which as a management major is hard to swallow. I was able to develop and implement quite a few procedures that proved to increase productivity, efficiency and accountability. And I slept better at night knowing who did what.

This was not limited to office procedures but also trickled over into hiring practices. My boss asks questions like “Do you eat meat?” If you are interesting and brave enough to look him in his eye……….you are hired no matter what. It Doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to use Microsoft Word. We still end up with a solid group---guess he is a good judge of character?

August 2008 was supposed to be my last month here. But they are letting me work part time and from home! Anyway, a few very special people have moved on and our office is down to a few people. I miss the two-hour lunch breaks. I miss walking to lunch laughing the whole way, listening to my friend Disney chatter about law school and how she was going to change the world. It was about 5 of us and we laughed ourselves to tears and laughed and laughed and shared the best IM”s in existence, good stories, and advice.

We all take a lot of pride in always trying to be a better person, harder worker, and just happy. I miss them terribly and feel very lonely without them. Today is my orientation for law school. I hope the “like minds” I find myself sitting next to tonight can help fill the void left by all those who shared a little bit of their souls with me this past year at M-Law.

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