Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

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

Posts Tagged ‘United States Peace Corps

Meet George Jetson

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Total Black: $2,364.76
Total Red: $270,000.16

Talking with Officemate yesterday got me thinking about my plans after clerking.  Officemate will be finishing up soon and moving on to something new.  I feel confident that I’d have the opportunity to continue for a second year here.  Whether I want to and whether I should are two separate considerations.  But I got thinking about my career path.  I don’t know that I have one.  Keep reading . . .

Keeping It Down

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Total Black: $143.32
Total Red: $226,236.75

Finally!  My debt is slipping back!  In fact, I’m so ecstatic over this news because it is the lowest my debt has come since starting this project!  Even if a portion of the reduction in total red belongs to an as yet uncapitalized amount, the total is still down.  At this point, I’ll take whatever I can get.  Now just to keep it down.  And speaking of keeping it down, I arrived home to a curious piece of mail with another set of my financial data kept down in records. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

February 27, 2010 at 22:26

Purpose

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Total Black: $83.81
Total Red: $228,811.79

My day started at 7am when I was woken by my mother calling.  I haven’t been able to speak with her much lately because of the hours I’ve been pulling.  I’m also not much of a telephone person these days.  Once you and a friend or family member fall out of touch for a bit, it always seems like it’s going to require a long telephone conversation to catch back up.  So more time passes.  I mentioned this back in Never Been Further Apart.  Perhaps I need to be the one to start telephoning people.  I am good about texting though.  And to that end I created a monster in my mother.  I told her I’d send her a text message when I returned to New York.  She’s the type who invents every scenario of disaster until you’ve informed her you’ve safely arrived.  Well, in turn, my sister taught her how to text message back.  Now she’s enjoying it to the fullest and texting fairly often.  And teaching other older ladies too.  (If your moms all start texting you unexpectedly, it might be all my fault.) Keep reading . . .

Dreaming In Tongues

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Total Black: $85.68
Total Red: $229,309.51

Total black is down even further from throwing money at another of my credit cards.  I sent over three hundred dollars through to the card in smaller payments.  As I noted in Change Is Gonna Come, who says you have to make your minimum payment to a credit card in one lump sum, especially when, as with Bank of America, you can just transfer money from your checking account directly to your credit card accounts.  That’s one way I intend to get my Bank of America accounts down—slowly and steadily chipping away at them.

Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

January 15, 2010 at 06:06

Back to Basics

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Total Black: $88.80
Total Red: $230,621.20

The focus of this blog has strayed a bit afield of late.  I started on this path with two goals: to eliminate my debt in a year and to blog about debt, my efforts to get out of debt, and all things debt-related in general.  Perhaps I’ve let the blog devolve into a bit of an online journal.  That isn’t the focus.  While chronicling my efforts to get out of of debt are a component, I started the blog as a means to an end, not as an end in itself.  I need to keep that at the forefront because I think I’ve found myself slipping into the blogdom a bit too much lately. Keep reading . . .

Secret Santas

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Total Black: $6.70
Total Red: $230,660.74

It’s nearly Christmas.  The time when gift-giving abounds and generosity’s cup runneth over.  At the temp job yesterday, I bought twenty dollars worth of $2 scratch-off tickets, ten a piece, for my two fellow contract attorneys.  They were pleasantly surprised.  One had never bought or received an instant lottery ticket.  He won ten dollars.  The other won seven.  Nothing extravagant, but a nice gesture.  Of course one possible downside to such unexpected giving is that people may feel obligated to give something to you in turn.  Today one attorney bought me a coffee at Starbucks while the other bought Starbucks gift cards for me and the other attorney.  I was happy to receive their gifts, but I just they purchased them out of a desire to give and not a feeling of obligation.  That’s why I understand the urge to give quietly and anonymously. Keep reading . . .

The Powerful Process of Gratitude

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Total Black: $63.41
Total Red: $230,611.32

Between interviews with temporary attorney staffing agencies today, I took time in the afternoon to read a bit more of the The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.  I’ve been reading a bit each night before bed in an effort to finish the book.  This afternoon I got as far as the first few pages of the chapter titled “Powerful Processes” before I got too antsy and had to leave.  Perhaps because I was reading the book on my iPhone in a Barnes & Noble cafe on Fifth Avenue.  The first process the book discusses is the power of gratitude.  This morning I had a brush with gratitude as I awoke.  Unemployment benefits did not come through today as they should have.  Luckily, I received a donation of fifty dollars.  My second donation and it came from the same person as before.  I owe him much, particularly today, because without that donation, I wouldn’t have been able to pick up my suits from the dry cleaner.  I would have had to wear something nice, but clearly not appropriate for an interview.  Explanations and apologies may have helped, but they wouldn’t have erased first impressions left by me arriving in cargo pants.  So, I thought I’d take the opportunity to note my gratitude to my benefactor, if you will, as well as in general. Keep reading . . .

Vacancies Vacanies Every Where . . .

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Total Black: $237.20
Total Red: $228,519.06

Significant drop in total black.  I bought food.  Yesterday’s post about my Bob Barker daydream probably spurred me on to go to the grocery store and buy some.  But that’s ok.

I noted in previous entries that I receive daily emails from USAjobs.gov and Idealist.org.  So, I went trolling the depths of USAJobs.gov again earlier today.  I applied for a position with the Department of Justice in the Civil Rights Division in Washington D.C. and with the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.  One thing that I’ve noticed though is that there aren’t many positions available at my level.  The bulk of the positions advertised require upwards of five or more years of experience.  Where did all those people go in order to create these vacancies?  And why are these vacancies mostly at that middle level?  Did everyone flee . . . er . . . leave the federal agencies once President Obama took office?  It’s the same in the non-profit sector too.  Did Obama’s election clear house at the non-profits? Keep reading . . .

Change to Spare?

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Total Black: $406.64
Total Red: $228,519.06

In a prior entry, The Lowly Penny, I wrote about my own struggles to unclench my hand.  Unfortunately, despite quite a few opportunities, I still haven’t given anything to people I pass on the street.  In fact, at one point last week, the only money I had was $2.50 in my pocket from one of the participants of the bookclubs I organize when she paid her RSVP fee in cash moments earlier.  As I walked home with that money in my pocket, I wrestled with giving it away versus getting something to eat to hold me over until the morning when unemployment money came through.  I don’t know which is more embarrassing, that I kept the $2.50 or that I used most of it to purchase an instant noodle dish for dinner.  I must have stood in Duane Reade for about fifteen minutes thinking through all the variables of the items I could afford.  A box of pasta for $1.99 would supply at least three meals, but I’d have to eat it plain because I didn’t have any sauces, oil, or even butter to dress it up.  A can of tuna fish for $2.09 would’ve worked, but it was tuna in oil and I don’t really care for that type.  Tuna in water cost more than I could afford.  I debated the chicken-flavored Ramen noodle six-pack for $2.49 because that would have provided at least three meals (I usually double-up on the Ramen noodle packs because they’re small portions).  But I decided not to chance it because I was unsure if New York charges tax on food and I didn’t want the embarrassment of having to give it back because I didn’t have enough on me.  None of the credit cards had room to cover the few cents extra it might have cost.  I had to laugh though as I stood there comparing prices.  I had this image of myself on The Price Is Right deciding whether the actual retail price was higher or lower than the price being displayed on the can of stew or box of mac & cheese in front of me.  I knew the answer, I explained to Bob Barker, because of that low point in my life in Duane Reade figuring out what I could afford to buy. Keep reading . . .

When I Grow Up

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Total Black: $187.65
Total Red: $228,153.42

Good news: total black went up.  Bad news: total red went up too.  Getting there though.  Just the climb is starting to ache a bit.

One of the organizations I’m involved with, the New York Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society, had it’s annual planning meeting tonight.  Just before the meeting, I got to talking with a woman I met at the same meeting last year.  She is also unemployed.  After the meeting I got to talking with someone I hadn’t met before.  She is employed.  The first woman and I spoke about our frustration with our job searches.  She chronicled all the reasons why she shouldn’t take temporary positions, including no opportunity for skill development.  Catch though she’s not developing anything by doing nothing.  The second woman and I spoke about of frustrations about not working in an area we’re passionate about.  As we spoke, she shared her frustrations with her meaningless law firm work and expressed ambivalence about another job offer that she received.  Funny.  Only just now did I get the irony in her talking with someone who’s out of work about the frustrations in determining whether to take a different job or keep the one she has.  But I suppose it’s not fair to reduce her confusion to a quip.  The position the second woman is debating is overseas, in India where she comes from.  And the advantage, she explained, is that her family is fairly well-known and that would significantly enhance her career.  Doors would open for her.  But law school debt could block her way.  And she struggles with swapping one corporate position for another, and possibly giving up any chance to “make a difference” like you can in America.  She joked that she needed to find a rich husband so she could work for Amnesty International and not worry about how much she’d earn.  It seems a sign of the times that we all could talk at length about our career angst.  A fairly typical conversation too.  The irony that we have careers to gripe about does not escape me. Keep reading . . .