So, by now you’re aware that I have a new job. If not, go back and read about it. I’m a Legal Secretary. What is a Legal Secretary? A legal secretary does an attorney’s bidding, tells them when to go where, makes sure their files are in order, and pretty much does their job for them, except for dealing with the clients-at least not in my office. (I’m sure if you’ve been keeping up, you’re well aware of how much I hate dealing with customers and will realize how I am perfectly happy doing all the paperwork while leaving them to deal with people. I don’t deal with people.)
My first day:
1-Write up a Motion to Compel
On my first week, I was told to do all sorts of things that I didn’t have clue about. I now do, but I’m still slow at times. Oh, and—
2- Take a letter.
aka, have a pad with you wherever you go, period. I don’t care if it’s to the bathroom. I can’t go anywhere without, “I need to write a letter to someone, ‘Dear XXX’…” I’ll be standing there with paperclips in my mouth and arms full of papers/files, and they just dictate a letter like I have the memory of a computer, and THEY DON’T STOP!!!
It doesn’t matter if I say, “Wait a minute.” They don’t care. They just keep going. And—
3-They change the letters constantly.
Well, one of them does. There are two attorneys in my office. A younger one, and an older one. The older one is really cool. He’s patient and kind. He explains things. I like him.
The younger one has less patience, but a better memory. He explains things the older one will forget. I have to plan my questions carefully. Who do I go to with each one?
I have two templates on my Mac (I hate Mac btw. SERIOUSLY hate Mac! I didn’t HATE Mac before now. I would just say I did. Now I truly do. I reprogrammed my keyboard, so it’s not as bad, but I really really really hate Mac. Why? For many reasons, but the main one is that they truly go out of their way to be different from the PC/aka Windows. Geez, seriously? Are you that arrogant? Apparently. Ugh!)
One template is for the older one, “General letter.” The other one is for the younger one, “General letter for XXX.” Why? Because the younger one drives me nuts! “Put the signature over here. No no no, over here. Sigh, I’m sorry, change it back.” He is constantly changing how he wants his letters. I kept wondering why previous letters stored on the Mac were all different. Now I know why. The secretary wasn’t crazy or stupid; the lawyer has issues. Serious issues. Ugh again!!
4-I don’t get a lunch if I try to eat in the office.
Seriously, I actually had lettuce coming our of my mouth. They saw this and asked a question just prior to giving me an order. Dude-it’s my LUNCH BREAK! I don’t get a break at all except for lunch, and now I can’t even enjoy a lunch break in my office. When I’m left alone for lunch, I would turn on youtube and eat a warm salad (the fridge either doesn’t work, or isn’t plugged in—grr). Now I have to spend an extra $20 a week on lunch. Double Grr!!
So—the cool thing is now I know how to do things I would have never thought I would have known before. Like, Motions and Notices and Releases, etc. The last secretary left no help at all, and I spent the first week, nearly the first two, trying to figure out where old files on the Mac were and finding old paper files lying around. You would not believe the mess I was left with!
I come home exhausted everyday, although that is getting easier. My exercises have gone from one hour a day, five days a week to 30 minutes a day on the days I can, hopefully eventually five days a week again, but only just 30 minutes. I leave at 7 in the morning, and return at 6. (I get off early two days a week, but I usually wind up doing enough in town to make up for it.)
But it’s worth it. I enjoy my job a great deal.
My anxiety has never gone away. It is a daily struggle, but I am getting better. By implementing my own techniques of realizing that anxiety is an emotion and can therefore be controlled, I am in control of myself. Mostly. As I sit here writing this, I wonder, “Did he really mean this when he said that? Should I worry? Am I going to get fired?” But, I have to just say, “I don’t want to feel like this.” That’s the only way for me to control it. I can’t rationalize the fear away. Let’s face it. I don’t know what he’s feeling. How can you possibly rationalize that away? He may fire me for no reason whatsoever over the weekend, and there’s nothing I can do about it. That’s life, but I don’t want to feel that way.
Like I said, it’s a daily struggle. But more on that later 🙂
PS-I will say this. My Human Communications class has really helped. Going back to school was a wise decision. Not only did it land me a job via helping me with the interview, it has helped me be more assertive. I have also worked on personal growth. I had a lot of personality problems I needed to work on. I’m doing better in those categories now-yay!