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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Interruptus Gesticaticus

The sloppy title hopefully gives it away - I have been absent from my inept attempt at blogging due to a sudden onset of gestation!

Which is pretty weird since a) I am not married (no biggie there), b) I was on birth control when I got knocked up, and c) I haven't done this in more than a decade - the youngest around here is eleven.  But, the more the merrier, etc, and onward we go, if a bit green around the gills and way too old and tired to enjoy the joke yet.

On the job front I am keeping this schtum, mainly since, haha here's more irony, I am something of a role model in my GAL role and perhaps an unwed, unplanned, late in life pregnancy won't be well met in my court or with my other coworkers.  This isn't too easy with my often twelve hours straight through court days where I now MUST take pee breaks (and no one else including the judge ever does).

The job is already a bit tense, since I may be having my pay cut significantly as my job splits in the new year.  My current job is both GAL and delinquency defense, and frankly, I have too many clients to be ethical at either job; new state laws regarding GAL standards have put the onus on me to inform the court of this overage of clients.  I have done so and the solution is apparently to split the job (which is needed very badly, not only due to head count but also due to raging conflicts of interest that are coming up in at least one-fourth of the cases - call it small town, everyone knows/screws/deals/perps together or on one another - a very sick version of Cheers).  The bad news is, the county can't pay me my salary and still actually pay a delinquency defender...so instead, my pay gets cut.  Gotta figure out some way to make the numbers crunch in a way that doesn't leave us homeless with a newborn. 

I might add here, with every understanding that I begin to sound pitiful, I also have no health insurance outside COBRA from my divorce ($$$$) and no time off unless I pay a replacement.  I'm a contract employee, which I now understand to mean "screwed."  There is a job on the horizon which I could take, one which would give me insurance and time off and the whole normal spiel, but it would be far less flexible than my current setting, where I have some ability to work from home at least. 

In spite of all the shocking and/or nearly Dickensian sounding news here, I am pretty happy and the kids are thrilled that we will have a baby next year.  Who knew this was the direction we would take, with one graduating and leaving for college in 2012?  What fun, to have a small one again! 

Typed while munching broccoli and carrots and swigging back not rum and diets but Crystal Light ;-)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Workload

My workload is at a crazy level.  I have a number of cases that I consider way beyond what can ethically be handled - 273 at this time.  I am working a court day this week (four for the week today, but one specifically bad ones) that I anticipate will run from eight a.m. to ten p.m. 

Yes, you read that right.

And, we don't take breaks.  Not for lunch, not to pee.  Well, that is  a slight exaggeration.  At around three or four in the afternoon we will have a twenty minute break - but I won't, because during that time we do the adoption docket and I am on those too.

I sound complainy again, and I am in fact complaining, but I am also wondering - is this the normal working day for an attorney?  Tomorrow I will have what I think of as a normal day - eight to five in court with a lunch, then two hours of phone conferences on the drive two and from.  Oh, and at least two hours after the kids are in their rooms for the night, prepping for the nightmare day described above. 

The day after nightmare day, I will have a half day of court and then six hours of phone conferences.  Thursday will be all day phone conferences and meetings, no court appearances, and then Friday I have two half day trials - that's the easiest day of my week.

I knew I would work many hours as an attorney, but I truly had no idea that any court worked fourteen hour days with no breaks.  Anyone else in that situation?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Difference, Part Two

So yesterday's post was pretty bleak, and today's won't be much better.  Basically, my kids and my job are both going well - so I almost feel bad complaining.

However, my dad had very emergency surgery earlier this week, following the discovery that his heart issues, known since last year but inoperable due to his very poor healthy, were at a near fatal level.  It was scary and very stressful, but he came through as well as could be expected.  I'm hoping he will bounce back - but there is now a spot on his lung and poor lung functioning awaiting him, after he recovers from a partial heart transplant.  So.  That's that.

And, boyfriend's daughter is making some choices that I can't allow in my home.  He is holding her accountable so far, but I fear that is temporary.   And if that's the case, I can't do anything but boot her - because my kids come first for me.  That will hurt, for me, for him, and I honestly think worst of all for her, because she is a hot mess right now and needs stable, good role models. 

So things are not so dandy right now - medical and personal stress almost overwhelmed me till last night, when I decided, no.  This is not going to beat me.  I survived domestic violence and heartbreak and loss; I made a happy life for me and my girls.  Parents die (that's hard to type) and men come and go, but my life is mine to make a good place. 

That's my attitude today.  Or, it's what I am faking till I feel it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

what a difference a week makes

Future Doc and SnarkyTeen are owners of a car.  My dad is the owner of a new partial heart.  And I am considering booting boyfriend and all that comes with him.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Drowning

...

After a very unexpected four day "break" from work (family medical crisis, not yet resolved and very scary), I am drowning in a) papers, b) motions to file and c) laundry.  In that order.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ethics versus politics

My "boss" is the Juvenile Officer.  Well, not really, because I am a contract worker, hired as required by my state, by the county and not any agency.  But, in practical day to day operation, my "boss" is the JO.  The JO is an incredible person, knows a ton, and should be an attorney (but isn't).  The JO is also very very Type A, in a way that is increasingly causing the movement on cases to slow to a dead halt. 

So, up till the last three months, the JO and I have had a cordial (not close) working relationship.  I pretty much always agreed with her, perhaps due to my own newness at the job and perhaps due to trusting her knowledge on cases.  Recently I have begun to be more independent in recommendations, as required by statutory changes.

The independence plus success of many of my recommendations has become a really big problem, it seems.  My relationship with the JO has soured to almost nonexistence.  This is fine with me personally, but politically and perhaps even in terms of keeping my job, it is bad news.

This is scary.  I have four kids depending on me to have a job in a bad economy, and the job I have barely pays the bills.

At the same time, statutory requirements of my position are clear, and so are my own personal ethics; I cannot change the things I am doing.

Advice welcome.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Columbus Day - really?

Most of the world still works on this day, right?

But court employees don't.  And bankers.  And post persons. 

Columbus did claim to discover a land already happily occupied by native Americans, right?

OK.  Just checking.

Is there some shopping attached with this holiday?  What would be appropriate?  Those weird fake totem poles?  Maybe some Indian corn in light of Halloween coming?