Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Working & Moving

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Total Black: $741.32
Total Red: $235,224.00

Since I started working at the theatre, and then even more so once my hours at the contract attorney position increased, I’ve not spent much time applying for, or even looking for, other gigs.  But last night while head ushering my usual Friday night shift—Naked Boys Singing—I overhead the stage manager mention that he needed people to help him move.  And that he’d pay.  So I offered to help. 

Moving sucks.  It has to be one of the most stressful and annoying experiences in life.  I’d rather be in a hospital about to undergo surgery.  At least then people visit you, send flowers, and nurses supply pills to dull your pain.  But if you’re moving, good luck getting anyone to visit you or send or bring you anything.  All your “friends” suddenly become very busy.  And any you can get to help, tend to just want to hang out and chat—not get dirty.  I’ve been lucky in that I have had exceptions to the rule: especially when moving from Washington D.C. to Brooklyn after law school.  And again when switching from Brooklyn to Manhattan.  Luckily, the friends who stayed with me—the same who discovered the bedbugs, as detailed back in Bring It On—they helped unload the moving truck . . . at like 1am while in New York on their vacation.  That is true friendship.  But I’ve also packed and unpacked and loaded and unloaded trucks mostly by myself so I knew what Stage Manager was about to embark upon.  Plus he had mentioned previously that he was celebrating a year since his stroke.  So yeah . . . I offered to help.

So this morning, instead of going in to the contract attorney position for a few hours before my shifts at the theatre began, I caught a cab up to Spanish Harlem and helped pack and load a moving van.  Stage Manager said to arrive for 10:30am.  And I had to leave by 12:30pm for a 1pm shift ushering at White’s Lies, a comedy staring Tuc Watkins, Betty Buckley, Peter Scolari, and Christy Carlson Romano in a play examining truthfulness and philandering intersecting with parental love.  I couldn’t be late, of course, so I only got to put in about two hours of work.  But Stage Manager paid me sixty dollars for my time.  That’s about the same amount I would have gotten if I had gone to the contract attorney position—but in cash and without taxes being withheld first.

I saw Stage Manager again later that night for the Saturday performance of Naked Boys Singing.  He explained that his former roommate—the same whom I helped pack and load the truck—took too long and didn’t leave him time to do anything but drop his personal property in the backyard area of his apartment in Queens.  (Queens—such the anomaly; they have backyards!)   He needed people to help him once again, but this time to cart everything into the house.  Despite predictions of a downpour—both in the weather and in work from the law firm—neither occurred, so I offered to help once again.  I’d been checking my iPhone all day—I almost wrote blackberry; I don’t have one.  I’m not an associate—but it feels like it sometimes.  But nothing came through.  Sure there’s some tasks I could do at work, but we’re in a slow spell so I thought I’d take today off.  So just as I began my day, so I ended my day, helping Stage Manager move.  And once again, after about ninety minutes of work, he paid me, and Drunk Texter (who accompanied us), and another employee from the theatre, each thirty dollars.  Ninety dollars for a few hours of work!

I need to get in on this moving business.  Maybe that’s something I can do before I leave or even while I’m in the new location.  Off my services to help people move.  I certainly was appreciative of the money.  And though I would have helped him for free—without second-thought—I took the money because I need it and because I didn’t want him to feel like people pitied him given his recent medical problems.  Felt good to get a taste of moving because it’ll be my time soon enough.

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