Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

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

Posts Tagged ‘Colleague

What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

with 9 comments

Total Black: -$199.61
Total Red: $269,947.74

This is the end.  My only friends.  The end.  Of my elaborate plans.  The end.  Can’t you picture what could’ve been?  So limitless and free.  Desperately in need . . . of some . . . stranger’s hand.  In my desperate land.  It hurts to set you free.  But you’ll never follow me.  This is, after all, the end.    Keep reading . . .

At Last!

with 6 comments

Total Black: $236.65
Total Red: $234,983.78

First words that leapt to mind.  “At last!”  I could hear ol’ Etta’s sultry sigh whispering in my ear as I opened the mailbox today.

Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

April 21, 2010 at 22:06

Slipped My Mind

with 6 comments

Total Black: $73.51
Total Red: $234,846.52

Last night was the first night I somewhat voluntarily chose not to blog.  I say somewhat because it was only at roughly 2:25am that I woke up, slightly inebriated still, and remembered that I hadn’t posted.  But I was too tired to bother getting out of bed, running the numbers, and putting up a place holder.  So that means I’ll have two gaps in my year: one voluntarily and one not.  Keep reading . . .

Tax Day

with 14 comments

Total Black: $734.79
Total Red: $234,846.52

Yes.  It’s Tax Day.  At least in the United States.  I filed mine today.  Keep reading . . .

Fool Me Once

with 3 comments

Total Black: $3.94
Total Red: $229,702.52

Yes, it’s that time of the year again.  April Fool’s Day.  Quite a coincidence that I heard from the Colleague today.  About a week ago I emailed him to check back about getting paid for the work I’d performed for him a few months back.  Last communication we had occurred on Valentine’s Day—and it didn’t go well, as noted in Stupid Cupid.  So today’s email took me by surprise.  Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

April 1, 2010 at 23:02

Black and White and Red All Over

with 4 comments

Total Black: $1,070.69
Total Red: $

Total black is up because pay came through.  A portion has already been allocated to bills, however, so the numbers aren’t exactly accurate.  Total red is actually lower than what is shown.  It’s probably back down to $229K.  Of course, I say “back down” but really it’s back up. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

March 25, 2010 at 22:01

Something’s Gotta Give

with 2 comments

Total Black: $389.73
Total Red: $229,121.20

I woke four times this morning: at 6am, 8:30am, 9am, and then finally at 10:40am.  I had intended to get up early to put some hours in at the contract attorney position before working at the theatre gig at 11am.  My body just wouldn’t let me get out of bed. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 21, 2010 at 15:25

Stupid Cupid

with 11 comments

Total Black: $1,066.57
Total Red: $228,913.98

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Not much of one here.  I worked two shifts at the theatre and had to smile and beam at all the happy couples (both straight and gay) and giddy families coming to see the shows.  And both shows were sold out too so that meant a lot of patrons. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 14, 2010 at 23:02

Colleague Confusion

with 28 comments

Total Black: $750.64
Total Red: $229,126.19

Numerous comments over the past few months have taken me to task for daring to expect something additional from the colleague I’ve worked for since August.  Way back in Hang A Shingle.  So, I thought I’d take the time to lay out some of the back and forth between him and myself.  Might help to make for a clearer picture.  Note that I’ve changed any identifying information as to persons or corporations. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 4, 2010 at 23:27

Pushing Back

with 8 comments

Total Black: -$66.73
Total Red: $229,112.23

Not much to update today.  Just waiting.  A lot it seems.  Both today and of late.  Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 3, 2010 at 23:59

Sleep, It Does a Body Good

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Total Black: $83.81
Total Red: $228,965.35

Short post today.  I spent much of the day sleeping.  Over the past seven days I have been working as much as possible at the contract attorney position while also allowing for shifts at the theatre gig some nights.  Yesterday, for example, I worked at the contract attorney position from 8:30am to 9:30am, then left for New World Stages for a 10am shift, then back to the contract attorney position for 1pm until 4:45pm when I returned to the theatre gig for three more shifts until I finished up around 10pm.  By the end of the day, my throat had started feeling a bit sore, so I asked the bartender to whip me up a hot toddy to help numb it.  One of the cocktail servers overheard and asked whether I was still feeling ill.  I wondered what he meant until a bit later when I recalled that last Sunday I also felt ill: sweaty, tired, achy—and I had asked him pick me up some chicken soup from a nearby supermarket when he went out for his lunch.  From last Sunday until today I have only slept about five to six hours of sleep each night.  Not good.  Not getting enough sleep doesn’t let your body recover from any cold or flu you might be fighting off.  I made up for much of my sleep deprivation today—only one shift at the theatre today and it lasted just under two hours.  Thankfully this upcoming week I am only scheduled to work on the weekend at the theatre. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

January 24, 2010 at 20:38

Change is Gonna Come

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Total Black: $1,088.80
Total Red: $230,621.20

As I noted in The Rat Race, a change has already come and more is on the way.  I stopped being frivolous with my money.  The thousand dollars reflected above in total black, part payment from the colleague I worked for since starting this project back in August, it’s already been allocated to a credit card and is just waiting to be debited.  That payment cuts that card in half.  On track to paying off at least one credit card by the end of January, as I vowed in Resolutions For the New Year.  I had said I’d pay rent with that check, but the landlord can wait a bit longer.  I didn’t work all those hours for the colleague to send that money to the landlord.  Hair-splitting, I know, but it’s the principle of it.  I also worked eleven hours today and I’m on track to do so again tomorrow.  And I’ve picked up quite a few shifts all this week and next at the theatre gig.  Cashing In My Karma once again. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

January 12, 2010 at 23:37

Sixth Day of Accounting

with 13 comments

Total Black: $708.59

Here’s the Breakdown:

Primary Checking: $9.95
Secondary Checking: $609.42
Savings: $0.00
PayPal Account (Personal): $2.43
PayPal Account (Blog): $0.00
Amazon Payments Account: $0.005
Mutual Funds Account: $86.79

FICO Score 501

Total Red: $230,476.54

Here’s the breakdown:

Credit Card Debt

MasterCard: $5,713.17
Visa: $8,232.42
Visa: $5,644.17
American Express: $2,200.00
Raymour & Flanagan Credit Line: $6,068.68

Student Loan Debt

Federal Stafford Loans: $96,810.17
Private Student Loans: $33,414.26

Back Taxes

IRS (2007): $1,285.85
IRS (2008): $28,116.66
NY State (2008): $0.00

Other Loans

My mother: $42,973.16

Once again, it’s that time of the month.  Keep reading . . .

Back on the Chain Gang

with 4 comments

Total Black: $539.47
Total Red: $230,761.09

Starting a new temporary attorney assignment tomorrow. The hours could be long and the pay is ok.  A dollar less than the last temp assignment I had.  But with more hours I shouldn’t really notice the difference. Keep reading . . .

Almost Unemployed . . . Again

with 6 comments

Total Black: $748.08
Total Red: $230,715.35

Today will be my last day working at New World Stages—at least for a month or so.  Two shows will close today: The Toxic Avenger Musical and Love ChildAltar Boyz will close on January 10, 2009.  For the next month or so, only Avenue Q and the Gazillion Bubble Show will be the primary two shows performed at the location.

Once the new season starts, management assured me they’d call me back to resume working at the theatre.  More than a few ushers and management told me that I’m one of their favorite new hires.  That really feels good to hear.  It’s not something you’d hear from lawyers.  Keep reading . . .

Yet Another Update On Efforts

with 17 comments

Total Black: $279.58
Total Red: $230,715.35

I thought I’d take today to give an update on efforts.  I’m at a stand-still.  I suspect it’s because of the nature of the past few jobs I’ve had.  It is a bit befuddling to be running so long and hard, then realize you’re on a treadmill and the horizon hasn’t gotten any closer.  So far since starting this project, I’ve worked as an art seller and now an usher at at theatre, in addition to working at three contract attorney positions.  Each lasted just long enough for me to get things under control and then stopped abruptly.  But clearly my numbers aren’t moving much yet.  So, what’s been the problem? Keep reading . . .

Semicolon And

with one comment

Total Black: -$28.87
Total Red: $230,428.32

I spent a few hours over the weekend helping my colleague again. Yes, the same colleague who has not yet paid me for work done in August and who seems to trigger multiple comments. I guess I’m a sucker for helping people in need. But in his defense, I don’t think he’s billed the company yet for our hours, so it’s not that he’s holding out on me. He’s received an offer from the government office we both worked pro bono at so he needs to finish up his consulting work as quickly as possible. You can’t work as a government attorney and have clients on the side. Keep reading . . .

Consulting My Paycheck

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Total Black: $66.71
Total Red: $230,428.77

Another contract attorney and I got to talking today about legal consulting work.  He told me about a friend of his who suggested he help out a third person who had been having difficulty collecting on a promissory note.  This third person had loaned ten thousand dollars to another person, who also happened to be an attorney, and he was not paying and now wasn’t even returning her calls.  Upon hearing from his friend about this woman’s matter, he didn’t feel particularly adept in handling it so he passed along the name of another attorney she might call, also a friend of his.  Sometime later he met up with that friend and asked about the outcome of the woman’s debt collection efforts.  His attorney friend told him that there was nothing he could do to help the woman because the promissory note she had was usurious.  She put in a 10% interest rate.  And if a lawyer had tried to collect on the note, my co-worker’s attorney friend informed him, that lawyer would have been subject to sanction by the court for attempting to collect on a usurious debt—akin to loan-sharking.  What makes this story so noteworthy?  My co-worker and I would have never thought to even consider the interest rate.  Ten percent didn’t seem all that high to me given that credit cards can legally charge up to 30% on your purchases.  His story represented to me the dangers accompanying legal consulting work. Keep reading . . .

Another Update on Efforts

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Total Black: $1,316.20
Total Red: $230,870.71

I thought I’d take today, like I did back in September in Update on Efforts, to give another update on my various ventures, joint and several.  I had visit ten today for the medical experiment.  I believe there are a total of thirteen.  Two weeks separates most visits so that means another two months roughly until I earn the $540 or so.  The doctor today observed that I have “slight tremors” in my hands when I hold them out straight.  I wonder if its from stress or the drugs.  The only other complaint I have is just muscle aches and pains.  But that too can be a symptom of depression.  I’ve noticed my vision getting blurrier.  Not good, especially since I had LASIK done back in February 2008.  I wonder if the blurry vision comes from the experimental medication or doc reviewing.  Both seem hazardous for your health. Keep reading . . .

Riding the Roller-Coaster

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Total Black: $76.36
Total Red: $231,096.13

It goes up and down and all around.

The temporary project I’m on ended today.  It’s so odd too because, as I plotted in More Shenanigans, I casually asked the paralegal about the expected duration of the project, noting my interest in finding holiday work.  He said he didn’t know but would find out for us.  Curiously, he only circled back around to talk with us after I met him in the lunch area a few hours later.  And just like that, the project was over.  Today.  The client, I suppose, wasn’t willing to invest further in contact attorneys.  One of the temp attorneys disappeared before we got this message though.  Desk wiped down and cleaned up as if he hadn’t been there.  No good-byes.  We don’t know if he was told to leave or had just happened to leave early for the day.  At any rate, we won’t see him again.  See, there’s good news too.  The firm is rolling us over onto another project.  Well, that is, all but one of us.  The departed attorney will not be brought back in—hence our wonder where he went and whether he was asked to leave.  The bad news though is that the associate who will supervise the new project—its only new for me and another temp attorney—is a real bitch, according to the two contract attorneys I sat with who had worked on this same matter two weeks ago before I arrived.  I don’t do well with moody, unprofessional women who make faces and sigh and expect people to read their minds.  (Just a few of the descriptions I’ve heard of her.) Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

November 20, 2009 at 23:55


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Total Black: $427.04
Total Red: $230,977.94

Looks like there’s work to be had again with the colleague I spent the month of August working for.  He called again tonight.  Actually, a few days ago he texted me to ask about more work.  I bunted by saying I needed to write up my hours.  Frankly, I wasn’t willing to work more without seeing any money.  I did though tonight.  I had finally written up my hours for the work I started in Hang a Shingle.  I don’t know why I’ve dragged my feet on it.  I guess I just hoped that he would pay me the $1,500 fee that we agreed upon.  I asked him for it in Pussyfootin’ Around.  It still hasn’t materialized.  He hasn’t billed the client yet though, so it’s not as if he has the money and is keeping it from me.  It looks like the work for him might heat up again, especially through the end of the year because he may have a job offer that would prevent him from doing any other work.  I’m wiling to help.  I like him and enjoy the work.  I just need to get paid for it. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

November 14, 2009 at 23:55

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

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Total Black: $889.52
Total Red: $230,285.21

As I left my apartment this morning, I decided to stop by the post office on my way to work.  The temp position has had me going for roughly twenty-seven days straight now without a day off.  It’s getting difficult to recall which day of the week it is especially without weekends to mark time by.  I received a few notices from the post office of letters and packages they couldn’t deliver.  So finally today I thought I’d stop and pick them up.  I’m glad I did. Keep reading . . .

Take Two

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Total Black: $113.55
Total Red: $230,281.21

I didn’t work fourteen hours today, despite my best intentions.  Once I hit 8pm and realized that I could leave before 10pm for the first time in over three weeks, well then I had difficulty staying longer. I did make it straight through for about eleven hours though.

Today’s post is short because one of the justifications for leaving “early” tonight was because I needed to finally put together the hours that I worked in August when I helped a colleague with his consulting work.  I’ve been dragging my feet on putting my hours together because it’ll be complicated reconstructing it now months later and because I’ve just been so tired.  It’s taking an enormous amount of energy right now to even keep writing.  I was tempted to just post total black and total red, per my commitment to this blog, and leave it at that.  I know it’s worth it though.  Getting rid of this debt will make all the difference in the world, not least of which is because it’ll free me to work for a “normal” government or public interest attorney salary.  With over $230,000 in debt, I couldn’t afford a $50,000 position.

This week will be a week of reflection for me.  This week last year is when the firm laid people off.  I thought I’d use these next few days to think back on different aspects of my time at the firm and on firm life and culture in general.  More on that tomorrow.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

October 13, 2009 at 23:04

Third Day of Accounting

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It’s the 10th and my third day of accounting.

Total Black: $673.47

Here’s the Breakdown:

Primary Checking: $43.21
Secondary Checking $507.02
Savings $1.73
PayPal Account (Personal): $0.52
PayPal Account (Blog): $48.25
Amazon Payments Account $10.14
Mutual Funds Account: $62.60

FICO Score 565 (unchanged from last month)

Total Red: $230,280.28

Here’s the breakdown:

Credit Card Debt

MasterCard $5,650.00
Visa $8,050.00
Visa $5,728.28
American Express $2,500.00
Raymour & Flanagan Credit Line $5,698.98

Student Loan Debt

Federal Stafford Loans: $96,810.17
Private Student Loans: $33,891.93

Back Taxes

IRS (2007): $1,231.72
IRS (2008): $27,792.93
NY State (2008): $2,926.27

Other Loans

My mother: $40,000.00

Just in time for my third day of accounting, my internet service has been restored. It cost $538.70 too. I guess I was quite a bit behind. It’s been a busy past few days. Keep reading . . .

Pussyfootin’ Around

with one comment

Total Black: $625.15
Total Red: $230,649.18

In Never Been Further Apart I referenced the anxiety I feel when the telephone rings.  Since no one calls me on my home telephone number, it’s bound to be one of the debtors trying to get hold of me.  This morning both my cellphone and home phone rang at the exact same moment: 8:20 a.m.  The home phone was a credit card company; the cellphone was my mother calling to tell me that SallieMae was now calling her.  She’s a co-signor on one of my student loans.  And wonderful mother that she is, she made a payment on my student loans last month and asked SallieMae to send her the bills until I get back on my feet.  Only downside is that SallieMae will only apply her payments towards that loan she’s tied to.  Without the contract attorney position I’d continue to fall behind on those payments despite my mother’s help. Keep reading . . .