Everyday Life

February Temp Job

After my LSAT, I started working at my old job. Not my regular old job, however. This job was in the main office instead of a branch office and it had more responsibilities, such as dictation and money-handling in amounts over $18,000.00. There’s also a lot more filing involved. 

Now, why am I working at my old job that used to make me so miserable? Well, now that I have an automatic out, I’m not to miserable! Kind of. Even then, it was hard to turn down the one person that was always so nice to me. She needed a surgery and… I couldn’t say no. Also, I need money. I’m also keeping the hope alive that I might be able to harass one of the lawyers into giving me a reference letter for law school.

So, I’ve been working and the transition has been… difficult. Something about being awake to the morning makes me miserable. Also, my road rage gets pretty insane and it’s an hour’s drive to the office. Also, also, we have had the worst weather in the three weeks I was working there. 

I went in for training the Friday before I started working, which lasted two hours. Overall, a success. The different tasks were written out in a packet and the other tasks were ones I pretty much remembered how to do. Even if I didn’t remember, I would have someone else there for me to bother with questions. So I left the office on Friday feeling pretty confident in my abilities and only slightly nervous about work on Monday.

Enter:  Monday. 

I got to work at the crack of dawn, or what felt like the crack of dawn. I walk inside and hang my coat, walk over to my desk and see Mattie sitting at hers (Mattie is the paralegal for the other lawyer). Then she tells me that she has the stomach flu and is going to go home. 

So that first day was off to a good start. A third of the staff was gone and I was still not sure of what I needed to do, since I was replacing the office manager instead of being someone’s legal assistant. Surprisingly enough, that first day went by pretty smoothly. I answered the phones, didn’t make clients angry and managed to keep the lawyers happy. 

It was day two that the horrible excitement started. 

One of the lawyers had recently withdrawn from a case (because lawyers can indeed fire their clients, just like clients can fire their lawyers) and the client was a bit difficult and demanding. She was calling all day and I could hear the crazy in her voice, which was quite a feat. She had that kind of voice that sounded like she was barely hanging on to her temper. Barely. And I was dancing with that hanging string. She wanted her file from our office, which was not going to happen, but she was insistent on that and on getting a refund, which I can’t give her. 

Thankfully, the regular staff was there and they handled most of the situation. I was used as the messenger, since my voice is so sweet and pleasant and I’m terrified of people that are barely hanging on to their anger. Anyways, at the end of the day, Mattie turned to me and said: “You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if she came with with a gun tomorrow.”

Nope. Of all the things I thought I signed up for when taking the job, dying was not one of them! I did not want to die in that office. 

With all that build up, when she came to pick up her documents and refund, she seemed very nice and sociable. Thank goodness, because I didn’t want to die or even fear for my life. She walked in, said hi to the receptionist and took her things. She left quietly. I never saw her face. Everyone was surprised though. The receptionist came to the back and said: “Do you think she was on drugs? She was nice!” So there’s that. 

That was really the most exciting thing to happen at my job. The two weeks after that passed by full of paper cuts and collection calls. I have, by the way, apparently, found my calling in contacting clients who are long overdue in making payments. I didn’t want to be good at it and I’m not fully convinced I’m good at it, but these people started making payments after I called them. One guy made a payment when I called him. I couldn’t argue with facts and I couldn’t convince my temp-boss that I wasn’t good at it.

Also I got paper cuts in the most painful places:  the pads of my fingers, my pinky distal phalange, the skin between my thumb and pointer finger, my chin, all over the back of my hands, and in the palm of my hands. Many have bled. I was displeased, especially about that thumb and pointer finger one—I couldn’t drive because of the pain associated with it.

The joke around the office was that they were going to have to get me a helmet. I couldn’t argue with that logic.

I have finished working there. I’m not sure if they’ll ask me to come back, but… I am employable. If anyone knows of any jobs in Chicago… you let me know. I’m really a super employee.

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