Monday, September 18, 2006

I guess work is good, but I don't really have an opinion about it.

So . . . work. What can I say about it? I like it. The job is as low-stress as a legal job can get. I like my boss and everyone I work with. What I don’t like is that feeling in the back of mind that hovers around like Hamlet’s ghost, the feeling that I just don’t have any idea what I’m doing. I have that feeling because I do not have any idea what I’m doing.

See, when you work as a new lawyer (which, technically, I’m not until the bar results are released), you get the same basic types of assignments almost anywhere you work. “Here,” they say, “go research this issue and tell us what the law is.” That’s all fine in good in law school, when it’s all theoretical, but when it’s real life, it’s scary, because, oh crumb, what if you’re wrong? It matters that you not be wrong. It matters professionally, because you don’t want to be known as the idiot who can’t get simple law right. It also matters morally and ethically speaking, because you are dealing with real people’s problems, and the law decides who’s going to win and who’s going to lose, so you don’t want to screw it up.

Plus, I’m just so indecisive. I mean, no one who knows me well would ever ask me to pick out the movie we’re going to rent, or what restaurant we’re going to go to, because (a) I just can’t get emotionally invested enough in that kind of issue to be moved enough to exert the energy required to make a decision, and (b) [and here’s where it’s important career-wise] I just can’t make up my mind about almost anything. I’m one of those “on the other hand, the other side also makes some good points” type of people. Give me any two items to choose from and I can make an excellent argument for both sides . . . and then I can’t pick between them. I can’t even buy shoes on my own, because the dilemma of having to pick between two equally comfortable and cute pairs renders me immobilized. I just stand there glued to the spot thinking “which ones which ones which ones which ones which ones,” like the background lyrics of a pop song, while the lead singer lists off the various attributes and advantages of each shoes. “This one has the cute heel, but this one matches more, unless you want to wear less black, but then this pair might not match those brown slacks, and don’t forget you have to walk all the way to the parking garage . . . which ones which ones which ones!”

It’s really awful when a judge asks my opinion, because inside I am yelling “No, don’t ask me my opinion! I don’t have an opinion! And I don’t know the answer!” But of course, you can’t say that. So instead I just say “I don’t know,” and then I look like the idiot I am trying so hard not to seem like. Anyway, even if I did know the technically correct answer, I probably wouldn’t care, because I just don’t like to have opinions. I consider them a burden on my psyche. I only like light, helpful opinions, like what bakery in the area has the best chocolate cake, and whether or not I think the bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups I’m about to buy have been sitting on the shelf in the store too long, or whether or not I think I need to stop for gas on my drive home or maybe I can make it another day.

But the job is interesting. You see all kinds of things in the judicial system. It makes you cynical, and a little scared to leave your house, but it’s interesting. It’s also sad. Especially because I work for an appeals court, and when you appeal a case, it’s not like you get to retry the whole thing. You can only appeal certain types of errors in the trial court. And if you don’t raise the right error on appeal, you lose your chance to bring it up later. And if you don’t take certain steps in the trial court, you can’t appeal some issues at all. So when you are looking at the appeals people are taking, sometimes you see good arguments they could have made but didn’t. And that’s really sad when the person who missed the argument is going to jail, when maybe he shouldn’t be, or he’s going to have to pay a lot of money, when he shouldn’t have to. That’s why it’s so important to get a good lawyer if you ever go to court. Do you hear me? GET A GOOD LAWYER. Don’t try to cheap out on it. I mean, you get what you can afford, but get what you can afford, not just some guy you find in the phone book who will cut you a deal.

Of course, just because they charge a lot doesn’t mean they know what they are doing. . .

Anyway, so that’s work.

What else is going on with me? Nothing. RR and I have switched roles. She now spends all of her time studying, and I mean all of it. I keep forgetting and trying to have conversations with her. She has not yet snapped at me and told me to, for heaven’s sake, just leave her alone so she can study. She just says sweetly, “that’s ok,” when I remember (again) that I should not be talking to her and apologize, because she is sweet, and she should really just shut the door to her room so that I can’t come in.

Well, that’s it for now. I will be back when I get my first paycheck, and I will write a post about the new shoes I buy with it part of it. Don’t worry, I will take my mother. She does not have the problems that I have with decision making, so I will be able to leave the mall, in less than 6 hours, with shoes, and probably ones that fit.


Amstaff Mom said...

My indecisiveness takes a firm hold when it comes to eating. Which restaurant? AUGH!!! How am I supposed to know what EVERYONE wants to eat. And then once we get there. I need about 30 min. to pick something.

The Cheesecake Factory's menu is the worst. 20 pages. Narrow it down to one per page and then go from there. Normally I just end up waving the white flag and getting the exact same thing as last time, so that I'm safe.

Sigh. So good to know I'm not alone.

Deals On Wheels said...

Me, too. I just stick with what works.

At certain restaurants (cough, cough, Picardy's) they know what I want even before I sit down. Branch out?...I think not!

JLR said...

deals: mmm. . . picardy's french fries. *sigh* oh, how I miss them.

AM: I KNOW! Cheesecake factory is the worst. And sadly, most everything there is so good, it's extra hard to choose.

Katie said...

oh oh oh oh oh I volunteer to go shoe shopping, I'm great at making decisions, and I love shoes

oh and if I ever need a lawyer, you're on my speed dial, except I don't have your phone number so my one phone call will be to jess or jcol and they will have to call you