Tomorrow is my last day at my current job.
The last couple of weeks have been very stressful . Despite the previous excellent interviews, no offers – and the very real fear that I would be forced to accept unemployment, which would barely cover my mortgage. I might find myself sitting home and coffee-klatching with the loony neighbor! Aargh.
Late last week, I received an text message from a paralegal who happened to be down at the County Clerk’s Office doing a closing. The text said that Attorney Z is looking for a real estate paralegal – call him! Um, I already interviewed with Attorney Z, and he’s still asking around for candidates? Guess I didn’t get that job. Nuts.
On Indeed.com, I learned that a local car dealership had viewed my resume in reply to my application to be a new car salesperson. (Heck, I certainly buy enough cars, I should be able to sell them, right?)
I received a call from a foreclosure law firm which needs a paralegal to be in charge of the Buffalo office. They were seriously impressed by my experience (“We’re having trouble finding someone qualified …”) – but the entry-level salary they offered was too close to maximum unemployment benefits, and the stress level would have been humongous. Sorry, if I’m going to be paid entry-level wages, it’s not going to be for a high-stress job.
This past Monday was my normal day off. On Tuesday, I walked into my office at 8:15 am, and heard the boss say “Good Morning!” My boss hasn’t said Good Morning to me in the 17-1/2 years that I’ve worked for him. Not.A.Good.Sign. The boss followed me into my office and before I even sat down informed me that Friday would be my last day. At that point, I noticed that all my active files were gone.
Ok, I knew it was coming, but I expected more than 4 days actual notice! Especially since just last week, the boss had told me I could stay on until mid-August because the firm wouldn’t be officially closed yet.
Time to get serious.
Not that I wasn’t serious already.
For years, I’ve considered becoming a real estate agent and seeing what it’s like on the other side of the deal. So, I met with the recruiter from one of the large local companies to discuss training and cost. Definitely do-able, and definitely something I plan to do as part of my long-range goals. It would be a dandy way to supplement Social Security, especially if I can build a clientele before then.
But I still need to eat now.
The boss seemed surprised that I had not yet received The Call from his golfing buddy, Attorney X. To be honest, I was a little surprised, too – but I had since learned that the reason Attorney X loses employees is because he’s abusive. Rumor has it that he once threw a stapler at his assistant, hitting her in the forehead and requiring her to go to the ER for stitches. Allegedly, she sued and subsequently retired.
But hey, Attorney X is willing to pay! (If he ever calls, that is.)
Meanwhile, I frantically worked to clean up my office and close all the older, inactive files. Maybe I was being booted out, but I still wasn’t going to leave a mess behind me.
Long about Wednesday, I received a call from a colleague telling me she had dined with an attorney friend whose firm is considering adding a paralegal position. I fired off an email attaching my resume.
Shortly thereafter, on the same day, I received an email from the first attorney I had contacted (the one who warned me, “Just don’t go to Attorney X, he’s terrible.”). There’s a sudden change in her office, and if I’m willing and able to do two types of legal work, she might be able to use me. Would I want to meet with her?
Tomorrow is my last day at my current firm. Will I find myself unemployed at the end of it? Will someone take pity on me and offer a mercy job? Will my boss feel remorseful and drop a ton of money on me? Will I go out looking for that tall building to jump from?
Come back tomorrow to find out.
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Image by Cordelia’s Mom