Archive for April 3rd, 2007

One Vacation Begins, Another Ends

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

As of yesterday, I am officially on Spring Break. Whoo-hoo! It’s needed, believe me. I’m getting a little burnt out on school. Which really sucks since I’ve got eight months to go. At least the summer and winter semesters won’t be quite so busy, since I’m taking nine and eleven units, respectively.

The summer semester will be all Gen Ed, and all via internet. I’m taking Business Communications (aka “No Brainer”), Creative Writing (oh won’t that be fun), and Cultural History of the North American Indian. I’m a little less than excited about that last one, mostly because it wasn’t my first choice. But it fits the GE niche and it’s offered via internet, so there ya go.

Winter will be Torts, Crim Law, some sort of speech class (yuck), and Worksite Learning. Worksite Learning means I have to work in a real office and I get credit for it – 1 credit for every 60 hours unpaid, or 75 hours paid. I need a total of two credits to graduate. I don’t think that will be an issue.

Speaking of paid jobs, I may be getting one in the very, very near future. As in, perhaps in the next few days. I wasn’t really looking for a job, but seem to have found one anyway.

It all started back at the beginning of the year when one of my instructors pulled me aside and said an attorney in her office was looking for a part-time receptionist. I put in my application and was called for an interview. It was one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever had in my life, and believe me, that’s saying something.

The interviewer said things like “Mr. X is a good guy. He won’t ever yell at you. But he has bad days, and you have to know he’s having one so you can leave him alone. You don’t want to be around on one of his bad days.” Huh?? Then she started going on about what a flake Mr. X was “Sometimes he’ll be scheduled for an 8am meeting, but won’t show up in the office until 10, and he won’t answer his cell phone. You won’t be able to find him anywhere! One time he did that, then said ‘Oh yeah, I lost my phone two weeks ago. Guess I should have told you that’. He does things like that all the time!” Since I was in an interview, I tried to capitalize on this by saying “I had one position where I used to print out my boss’ schedule for the next day and give it to him his way out of the office.” She sort of got a weird panicked look on her face and said “Oh no, Mr. X wouldn’t like that at all. You can’t give him any information more than an hour ahead of time, or he gets overwhelmed.” Holy shit.

Then my interviewer started filling me in on office politics, telling me that some of the tenant attorneys were about to be evicted because of conflicts between them and Mr. X, who is the new owner of the building. Somehow it seemed like she shouldn’t be spreading that around in the interview process. Then she told me that the temp who was filling in kept calling the office in another town (where the interviewer was from) because she was feeling bullied by some of the tenant attorneys. Some of these calls involved tears and were made via cell phone from the bathroom.

The trainwreck only got worse when I stopped by my instructor’s office on the way out and was further enlightened as to the horrid state of office politics. Apparently the place is a real nuthouse. I was strangely challenged by the level of dysfunction, but was not-so-secretly praying that I wouldn’t be offered the job. Thankfully, I wasn’t.

The day before I went to my interview, I heard about another job, this one for a Legal Secretary at a non-profit place that offers legal services to persons of low income. I know a few people who volunteer at this place, so I got a sort of inside track on the opening. I put in my resume on that one, more on a “oh what the hell” than anything else, since they were asking for a minimum of one year of legal experience and for a full-time position. I made it abundantly clear in my cover letter that I couldn’t work full time at least until this semester was over.

Weeks went by and I didn’t hear a peep, so I thought it was dead. But out of the blue I got called for an interview. Go figure. I walked in, expecting to face a single person, but instead got a panel of five. I know I turned 47 flattering shades of red several times, and stumbled so badly over my thoughts that a few times I just sort of sighed and said “Let me start over.” I came out of there knowing that these five people had just met an idiot.

But apparently I’m an endearing idiot, because I got a call last week asking me about my salary requirements. The caller then went on to tell me that I was their top candidate. You’re kidding. I have zero legal experience and the interview was well below my best work. And I am only willing to work part time until the semester is over. I got another call yesterday to make sure I knew they “hadn’t forgot me”, explaining that some approval had to come from another office before they could make me an offer, and that the approving party was on vacation.

So it looks like an offer is going to happen, and unless the salary is below the range listed on the job posting, I’ll likely accept. Which means that even though Spring Break is here, my vacation from employment is probably going to end in the very near future. I’m not sure how I’m going to handle a full load of classes and still pull it off, but it’s only for the next few months, so I’m sure I’ll find some way to manage.

If not, I’ll probably be bitching about it here. See? There’s a bright side to everything.