I just received an email from USAir. It's my frequent flier mile update. Now, I don't frequently fly at all, but this statement has me scratching my head. This is how it reads:
Beginning balance -2,654
Miles deposited this period 0
Miles debited this period 0
Ending balance -2,654
How does one get negative miles exactly? Go back in time? I'd have to fly across the country just to get to zero. And you wonder why they went broke.
I'm a Marketing Assistant. I may have a JD, but I'm still a Marketing Assistant. And yet, I had to go hunting for a Bluebook yesterday. You know the thing...bane of existence to every 1L, ringbound goodness that is the Bluebook. Why? Because deep inside of me I had to be sure I had done the cite right for a publication for the firm's website. I could have gone ALWD, I could have gone for the Chicago Manual, but no, I had to get all law-like and hunt down a Bluebook. Which, I would have thought would have been easier to find. And hell, would the 17th edition do? Is the 18th that much more cutting edge? I'll never know, because we only had 17's. And I did find one, and I did use it, and yea verily it was good. So perhaps, just maybe, I did learn a hint of something in law school? Westlaw and Bluebooking in one week? What's next, actual law stuff?
I got my Westlaw password today. You may ask yourself, why does someone in Marketing need a Westlaw password? I did as well, but when you ask me to do a full background on a potential client including any cases, I can only do so much with a Google search. (Though that being said, I did a lot before asking for the password.) I didn't even really have to ask, with my background it was assumed that I could handle the responsibility of having a real live lawfirm Westlaw password. And when I signed on...it was like I got my fix. It's been nearly a year and a half since I got to use Westlaw, and I'll admit it, it gave me a thrill to be back in the game. And my weekend bonus? I was able to score Anonymous Lawyer from my local library. Yes, Jeremy's hit the big time...it was at the library. Though really, it seems nearly obscene to be sitting in the firm's lunchroom reading it...but I did it anyway.
Fall is here in full effect, as much as I'd like to deny it. The leaves are starting to slip into full technocolor, the nip in the air is bringing me to wear fleece. The light is fading quicker and quicker each evening. I'm finding myself getting angry about it too, which is sad because I always used to like Fall. Fall was always a favorite of mine because it was an easy happy season full of new beginnings, fresh school supplies, and crisp apples. We went and bought donuts and cider today as well as some crunchy apples. I hope this puts me in the mood.
I'm still in marketing, and will be for the foreseeable future. Any hints of research have gone up in smoke. This depresses me deeply. I was keeping myself perky by holding on to the hope that any day now my job description would change radically. So not happening any time soon. So instead my days drag on interminably, and I have a hard time bring myself to do anything. For instance, I found out today that the filing system that I inherited for all my invoices was wrong. So wrong in fact that it all has to be redone...for the entire year. Yes, it is September. Do know how much I wanted to cry at that moment? This job has been nothing but one big clean up of everyone's messes that had ever worked in this position, ever. A few times is cute, but this is insane. As a result, what little effort I had been putting into my day just evaporated. (Just tried to come up with an evaporation simile now, and even that went poof.) I foresee a long lunch and perhaps a lobotomy?
I've never been in Sales. I've done inventory control, been a bookkeeper, cashier, snack bar attendant, bank teller, but never sales. In my position now, I get cold called...a lot. Being the last line of defense for these calls, I try to pawn them off as quickly as possible. Now I don't begin to think I know how to do cold calling, but I have some helpful hints of things not to do.
1. Do not snicker/laugh when I offer to put you through to my boss's voice mail. If you haven't come up with a good short pitch for a voice mail message, that's not my fault.
2. Do not make me do your job for you. That meaning, yes, I will take your presentation, email, whatever and forward it on to my boss, but don't make me give your pitch with it. I realize I'm the assistant, but if your presentation isn't good enough that you expect me to play it up for you, you don't deserve the sale.
3. Do not pitch a product and then make me fill in the details that you were too lazy to get before the call. I.e. you're pitching click-thru increase via a third party website. Do not then ask me to tell you what our website is. Do your homework before you call me.
3. And finally, when you call back...and I know you will, do not ask me if I've "rattled the cages" of the people you wanted me to forward it to. First off, what the hell kind of catch phrase is that? Second, that rates right up there with "hey baby, what's your sign" in things I never want to hear again. Third, you're checking up on me, and I don't like it.
Suffice it to say, I don't like being cold called. Perhaps I'm being too blunt here, and some of you who have actually done this can enlighten me on appropriate techniques of dealing with such things. In the meantime though, if I get one more call for the Yellowpages.com, I'm going to have to hurt someone.
Seeing as how I missed it last year, I wanted to make sure everyone knew that today, September 19 is Talk Like A Pirate Day. I know for a lot of you it's asking alot, talking like a pirate at work. Heck, there's not much place for me to say Matey or Yaaarrrr here in Marketing. But just once today, try and work in "Aye, Captain!" to your boss. They'll appreciate it.
I've always been one to seek out music in commercials. All the cool tunes from the Mitsubishi commercials, VW and the "Da Da Da" song, usually the edgy commercials seeking a young audience uses new and upcoming music. My iPod is full of these tunes. However, I saw a commercial this weekend that made me just scratch my head. The newest Ford commercial, sans Kelly Clarkson or Taylor Hicks just shows a woman talking about Fords. Nothing edgy, no quick edits, just a very basic and somewhat boring visual. But in the background? Nth Degree by Morningwood. No words either, just a Musak version of Morningwood. I don't think I blame the band for selling out, more the advertising firm who thought this was a good idea. But I guess if I'm blogging about it, it's working...I guess.
Why is that I can never have a normal job searching experience? No, none of my interviews ever come out quite right, though not for a lack of trying on my part. Take yesterday. I arrive a wee bit early, and when I'm brought into the office it turned out to be a conversation not an interview. The attorney talked about the office, what they did (everything), told me what I'd do (everything), and then pretty much said, "So, when can you start?" No talk of benefits, what would happen if I passed the bar/or didn't, just a very low hourly rate and that tomorrow would be good. I found myself scrambling for words. I might be a temp, but I'd have to give notice. That didn't go over well. And that's when it hit me...I wasn't interviewed at all, the plan was merely calling me in to the office to see that I wasn't a freak and offering me the job. Whomever willing to take the wage (and since a misread of my resume made it seem like I wasn't working) and was desperate enough to start tomorrow would get the gig. I bought myself until this morning to decide. Of course, the more I talked about it after the fact, the less I actually wanted the job. When I asked the question as, "If I gave notice tomorrow at work, would I have a job in two weeks?" and really didn't get a straight answer, I had pretty much made my decision. The kicker? When I called this morning to explain my decision...I got an answering machine, not a person. So much for having to have to know by 10:00 a.m. It's back to the drawing board for Beanie.
Just when things started to get really boring, something new and exciting pops up on the radar. I have a job interview scheduled for tomorrow at a small firm. Doing the research about the place, it's everything from soup to nuts, but I like it like that. I'm not holding out a ton of hope, but since the position is for a "law clerk" and not an "associate", I hope they understand I have not passed the Bar yet. I hate to have my ship sunk before it gets a chance to sail. Let's all cross our toes now!
I spent most of the weekend dreading coming to work today. No real reason I could give, I just didn't want to go. I now realize why. It has to do with September 11. I'm going to tell a story now, and feel free to skip it. I know I haven't told it before on the blog, but I thought today would be appropriate.
I was at work on September 11, 2001. I was working as a paralegal in a small firm. I was sitting at my desk when the first pop-up came up on my screen. I had MSNBC News Tracker as a download, and the first story that morning was that a plane had crashed into the Trade Center. The story was quite nebulous, but it was believed at the time it was a small plane. I told some people in the office, and went back to work. It seemed only minutes later, the pop-ups became insistent. No, it wasn't a small plane, there were two planes now, the other tower was hit, there were multiple hijackings...it just went on and on. I ran down the hall and told the partners what was happening. I was the only one in the office who knew. We found a small black and white TV and the managing partner just stood there, slack jawed looking at the screen. I ran back to my office and called my spouse. He knew now too, and we both wondered aloud what we should do. (For the record, neither of us worked in NYC.)
Normally, the story would end there. However, it was what happened next that left the greatest impression on me. While standing in the lobby discussing what exactly was happening, one of the other partners came out and insisted that we get our pleading done right that moment. It needed to be FedEx'd and sent overnight to make the filing deadline. I wasn't even that partner's paralegal, but I remember saying, "Sir, they've shut down the airports, there's no flights anywhere." The response was, "I don't care, it has to go out today!" To which I responded, "Sir, you don't understand, the court will be closed, there will be no filing of anything." The partner turned around and went back into their office. Time had passed, and there was great concern that there were planes still in the air, and schools were being evacuated and sent home. My spouse had called to tell me the plant was closing and that I should come home too. I voiced my concern to the powers that be, and was told in response, "We're not going anywhere...go back to your office." What I didn't know at the time, but learned later was the rest of our building had left due to a possible threat across the street. We stayed put...until 2:00. The city was a ghost town. There was no traffic, there were no people. The staff wasn't getting anything done, we just kept fielding phone calls from concerned family wondering why we weren't home.
It was that day that I realized my firm didn't really care about us as human beings, but just a means to an end. We came to work to service their needs, and our needs just didn't count. Panic, fear, concern, it all didn't matter that day...we were supposed to act like nothing had happened and to keep typing. It all changed for me that day. I knew I didn't want to be there anymore. The partner I worked for made comments about my change in attitude after that, but no one seemed to understand why I was so angry about things. I left in 6 months, not because I was fired, but due to my disillusionment. I could never get over that feeling of abandonment and callousness. I should have left. Looking back now, I would have told them to screw their stupid filing.
I know this seems horribly self-absorbed considering the events of that day, but that's what happened to me that day. I hope I never have a day like that again.
This last rejection hit me really hard. I'm trying to figure out why, and all I can come up with is that I've been working here really hard to try and "prove myself." And from all accounts it is working. However, I'm in this nasty Catch-22. This firm knows I sat for the Bar in July. I may pass it come November. Therefore they believe I wouldn't want to stay here. There's one too many assumptions in that argument. I could possibly not pass the Bar come November. I do want to stay here. And even if I do pass the Bar, it's not like you get a job offer with the pass letter. There's a time lag there that needs to be accounted for. If the new posting here is a good one paying a good wage, I'd want to stay at least for a while. But instead I'm still a temp, and will remain a temp for the immediate future. This pseudo status is baffling, and really never seems to get any better. But at least I'm making money, since I'm definitely not feeding my soul.
I almost had a real live job. By almost I mean I was told by one party that I had an offer, only to find out that they had misunderstood someone else and that there really wasn't a permanent position available. So for about 12 hours I believed I had a good permanent job. This depresses me. And the fact that it happened today just makes me sad. Today is my 8th wedding anniversary and I got flowers at work. I should be over the moon, but instead I'm dwelling on the fact that I really don't have a permanent job. So not fair!
So there goes summer. With a whimper and a raindrop the summer of 2006 poofed out of existence. We're back to the regular dress code now, so no more sandals for you! My toes are already sad. My car can stop now without making ungodly sounds, and I didn't even have to beat down a service writer to get it fixed. I got in one round of golf over the weekend and honestly, it didn't go so well. But on the bright side, I can now say I've played and walked 18 holes. It's called exercise people, and I just don't get enough of it. I so need help with my mid-irons from the fairway. I swear if I gouge the ground one more time without actually advancing the ball, I may just throw a tantrum on the fairway like a 3 year old. I've now been playing a whole year (if you count winter where absolutely no golf action took place) or one season. I hit 113 yesterday. I had one par. I lost one ball. I was called incorrect names by one of my foursome. But it wasn't raining. And I broke 50 on the back 9. Things are looking up.
I just realized that the post that had so carefully drafted earlier this afternoon seems to have been lost in the ether...the nice way to say that Blogger ate my post. Suffice it to say, it was mostly me whining about how a holiday weekend is supposed to be full of merriment and holiday making. All I've gotten so far is rain and eating way too much food. I guess the latter could be considered merriment, I call it just fat making. Here's to better weather tomorrow and maybe for once a decent round of golf. Here's to breaking 100! (Okay, you can stop laughing now...)