Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

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

One Long Day

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Total Black: $3,071.10
Total Red: $235,268.81

Another long day of work in New York City.  It started around 7am this morning and didn’t end until after 3am the next day.  After the nice afternoon yesterday, discussed in A Nice Afternoon, I ended up having pay back today the time taken from yesterday. 

My shifts at the theatre last night started at 7pm.  About an hour before, I received an email asking me to print out, assemble, staple, and deliver to the partner a set of documents by Saturday morning.  Rather than return to the contract attorney position at 11:45pm, however, after my shifts at the theatre, I opted to bifurcate the task: from home I logged into the firm’s system and assembled the documents to be printed, then emailed them to myself; then this morning I arrived at 7:15am to print and assemble the materials, and then walk them over to the firm.  Sounded like a reasonable plan to me.

So, at about 8:30am—on a Saturday—I walked the materials over to the firm, only to find the partner already there.  He’d also sent off emails inquiring as to the location of the copies since they weren’t on his chair when he got in.  Yes, really.  8:30am on a Saturday was already too late.

I worked another hour at the firm before leaving for a  long day at the theatre: a 10am hawker shift, then 2pm ushering The Gazillion Bubble Show, followed by a 4:30pm Gazillion Bubble birthday party, and finally taking tickets at 7:30pm.  By 9pm when I finished up, I was quite tired.  But duties still called.

I headed back over to the law firm to help finish assembling yet another binder for yet another witness.  The other contract attorney was there already and had been there for upwards of twelve hours.  Yes, on the day before Mother’s Day.  And she’s a mom too.  With a 90 minute commute back home.  So once she brought me up to speed with what remained, she left.  Things went smoothly enough except for one small hiccup.  I broke the key in the door.

I don’t work daily at the law firm.  The office is small to provide space for me and the other contract attorney and the staff attorney they brought on all for this matter.  So I never received keys to anyplace except the temporary attorney staffing agency’s space.  No need really.  But now with increasing late night tasks and all-nighters, I’ve needed access.  And in the desk at reception was a slightly bent key.  I tested it out before using it—it worked except for a bit of tension.  not a smooth turning of the lock.  So I said I’d use that key to come and go.  It worked, right?  So no problem.  Until it got stuck in the lock and couldn’t be retrieved and then broke off entirely.

Yeah.  I felt that rush of white heat come over me.  It was already nearly 9:45pm on a Saturday.  The idea of having to email people to both ask them to come in just to let me into the space and to also have to tell someone about the broken key was quite frightening.  Thankfully an associate was still at the office—as was the other contract attorney—and he heard someone jiggling the door handle and the lock.  I spent the first hour at work dealing with getting a locksmith out to the space to extract the broken key.  Grand total: $300.00  Thankfully the associate had the cash on him (not sure why) and he paid the bill.  Plus, the firm could more easily reimburse him than I.

What a night.  And that was only the start.  I was there until after 3am assembling those binders.  My mother and sister were supposed to visit today as well for Mother’s Day.  We planned to spend the day together.  Unfortunately, earlier in the week a co-worker at the theatre emailed around looking for someone to cover his 10am hawker shift today.  In that hazy sleepy state, I checked my calendar, saw availability, and then offered to work it for him.  Then a few hours later came that white heat again when I realized I had pretty much slammed the door on my family’s visit.  Eventually my mother understood.  But only because any opportunity I get to make more money is crucial now to bringing down my debt and saving for my upcoming relocation.

Both the other contract attorney and I put work before family today.  I wonder why that is.  Do we take them for granted that they’ll be there?  Is it a hard-worker mentality that puts labor before family?  At least she left around midnight to get back home and had said she wouldn’t be in tomorrow because of Mother’s Day.  I’ll probably end up working the whole day again like today.

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