Saturday, December 20, 2008

The End of an Era

Im at work. My last day here is Jan 2nd. Since finals work has taken a back seat and I have only done enough work to keep me from being yelled at but today there is much to do. I'm sitting here at my huge desk in my empty office with a beautiful view of the City, and my heart is heavy.

I am going to miss what this place used to be but I always knew it wouldn't last forever. Knowing it would eventually come to an end doesn't make the end any easier. This post is for my lil' sisters who I leave behind and for me.

It all began in February almost two years ago. I answered an ad in craigslist for a legal clerk position. Never having experienced the wonders and chaos of Los Angeles, I was more than a little intimidated. The thought of being the poor trashy girl amongst L.A.'s elite made me hesitant to go for it.

Getting my foot in the door was a priority. Having some legal experience would expose me to the legal culture and hopefully compliment my already awesome resume. What happened was so much more. I come from a simple place where minds are sometimes small and experiences are limited. So I closed my eyes and jumped.

This law firm is not your typical law firm-- it really is a family. When business was thriving we would have meetings daily. During those meetings we would enjoy a huge breakfast supplied by our boss of bagels, eggs, fruit, and other delicious sides then discuss our passions, thoughts, and ideas, our boss listened to what everyone had to say no matter what our position on the ladder. Not only that but these people being the sophisticated cultured individuals they are schooled me on the finer things in life like music, food, wine, film, and sports. Personal golf lessons by my boss, trips to see my co-worker play in the Youth Symphony, lots and lots of good food, and more Tiger Woods than anyone could stomach. They never laughed when I said, "what the hell is that." I was never afraid to tell them that I had never eaten Korean food, didn't care for sushi, or never heard of some wine that they all loved. I can now tell the difference between a Korean person and a Chinese person, I was taught about Judaism, Hinduism, and more liberal politics than I needed. They took me under their wings and opened my eyes to life. I've learned so much.

I have never had to be someone I am not here. At other jobs my passion, drive and intensity always took me to the top quickly but I was never liked very much. I was constantly getting promoted and getting raises and people grew to hate me. (jealousy) Here the same happened but the difference is that my passion, drive, intensity and other quirks like my impatience and intolerance for laziness is accepted. No one gets their feelings hurt if I snap at them and they like me and got to know me for who I really am. I guess that is the difference between working in a professional field of work vs. a huge office full of uneducated "lifers" who hate you because they think complacency is unchangeable.

My favorite memories are of when we had a full staff of like 25 people mostly clerks. The conversations, instant messages, and two hour lunch breaks were priceless. All of us become very close and in a good way. Our happy hour celebrations did not include any gossip. And like my favorite quote goes....little minds discuss people, big minds discuss events, and great minds discuss ideas. We were all full of ideas.

I saw this coming about six months ago. I love business and accounting and money so I made it a point to learn how to check the billing and receivables against the payables, expenses, etc. I knew business had slowed a lot and there was no looking back. Soon M-law would be reduced to where it was in the beginning.....2 people running the show. My firm specializes in Real Estate law and so naturally our business is almost gone.

I quit knowing I would be laid off and made some decisions about moving closer to school. Last week I got a message from one of the attorneys that himself and a paralegal were laid off. That means had I not given my notice I would have been laid off, without a doubt. Im really sad. Being laid off right before Christmas is no fun. Both of those people will land on their feet because they are bright and full of potential but it doesnt make the blow any easier.

So here I am all alone at my desk with the daunting task of wrapping up all my loose ends so as to avoid the inevitable chaos that ensues when you loose a bunch of employees who were right in the middle of projects. I am so grateful that I am going through all of this now, during winter break. Up until now I had blocked this all out and didnt allow myself to think about how much leaving was going to hurt. Change is scary no matter what but when your heart is attached to a group of people it makes it so much worse.

I hate getting attached and I hate feeling like this but I guess its life and I'll be fine. As soon as I am done here I get to go smother my nieces and nephews to death with hugs and kisses and candy and fun. Thats what I have right look forward to.

Why is Christmas so sad sometimes? I think it is because the pressure of happiness is so high. Society demands that we celebrate, and shop, and be Merry. So when things go bad its so much worse.

I need another beer.

1 comment:

Anastasia said...

Good luck! Everything will work out for the best. Now starts a new era! Daunting, but exciting nonetheless.