Tag Archives: work

Well played, Swingline

In addition to becoming part owner of a retail business recently, I also opened a general practice law firm.  I know, right?  So in doing all of the tons of set up stuff I got a business credit card for the purchasing of the office supplies and whatnot.

My first purchase!

My first purchase!

My second purchase: a printer.  Seriously.

It gets better though.  When I got to the counter to pay for my red Swingline stapler (and yes, it’s full size despite looking oddly small in this picture) the clerk informed me that I got this little guy for free!

"The Legendary Red Stapler Ornament"

“The Legendary Red Stapler Ornament”

So now I have a little family of red Swingline staplers!
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When I got it home and started to open the packaging, I discovered this subtle marketing gem.

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Well played, Swingline. Well played.

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Filed under Just a day in my life., pictures

Living as an adult with A.D.H.D.

I try to avoid talking about my A.D.H.D. because people are so understandably skeptical.  There for a while, and maybe still, it seemed like every kid was diagnosed with it.  The symptoms of A.D.H.D. when listed out, just sound like, ok, so your kid’s a kid and could probably use more discipline.  I’ll be the first to admit that I think it’s over diagnosed and that parents are way too quick to medicate their children.

That said, A.D.H.D. is a real disorder.  Its cause is an underdeveloped or underfunctioning fronal lobe.  Basically, that part of the brain that stores, organizes, and processes information is broken.  Because its broken, you can’t just try harder or write things down.  It’s not just a matter of being more organized or putting things in the same place all the time.  Believe me, I try.  I’ve worked hard to develop habits of organization.  I carry a planner everywhere I go and I try hard to write everything down.  I have learned to ask for help.  I try to keep my work area clean and organized so I can find things and remember things and not be distracted.  The problem is, on my very best day, I can’t do those things as well as most people on their very worst day.  It makes me crazy.

Admitting that I can’t control it is the hardest part for me.  I strongly believe that, while medication can be helpful, people need to make a conscious effort to control their thoughts, moods, and actions.  I believe that if you don’t consciously choose to be better, no amount of medication can make you better.  Because I believe this so strongly, I was off of medication from around third grade until half way through law school.  It sucked.

As a kid I remember having panic attacks because I got to school and didn’t have an assignment that I had no recollection of having ever been assigned.  I remember my  desk being dumped out on the floor in front of my classmates and crying as I was forced to look for some forgotten worksheet.  I remember even up through high school, being told that I was lazy, that I wasn’t trying, that I just needed to get organized.  In my professional life I’ve been denied promotions because of “careless mistakes”.  I’ve been written up and even terminated because I just couldn’t complete the task I was assigned in the time I was given with the level of accuracy they expected.  It has been a non-stop frustration for me that, despite the fact that I am extraordinarily intelligent, I am unable to adequately complete even the most menial tasks.

In law school I finally caved in and asked to be put on medication again.  My grades immediately went up a full letter grade.  I was able to work better and more efficiently.  I no longer had to read the same page 3 or 4 times because my eyes were moving over the words but my brain was doing something else completely.  Being on medication again made me realize why everything seemed so much harder for me.  I realized that I wasn’t just lazy or careless.  When I was on medication, I didn’t lose time.  I didn’t wander around wondering what I was doing all the time.  I didn’t constantly lose things.  I didn’t always feel confused.  For the first time in a long time, I felt fairly confident that I was in control.

Since being out of law school, however, I don’t have insurance and my income is unpredictable so I am once again off of medication.  The thing that sucks most is knowing what I am missing.  I find myself once again making “careless mistakes” at work.  Mistakes that I agonize over to the point that I can’t sleep.  I’ve tried to avoid them.  I have proofread and asked others to check my work and still things get lost or there are typos or despite the fact that I am certain I was told to send a letter to a particular address, it should have gone to another.  I can’t think of words when I’m speaking!  Basic words, words that I use every day.  I sound like an idiot.  It’s so frustrating.  I am trying my very hardest and my hardest simply isn’t good enough.  I don’t know what I am going to do.  I don’t think I am in danger of being fired or anything.  Overall I think I do a good job.  This just really isn’t the stellar impression I wanted to make. Mostly I’m afraid this isn’t the type of performance that will lead to a recommendation or permanent position.

There’s also the matter of the bar exam coming up in a few weeks.  I am trying so hard to study but everything distracts me.  If my work space isn’t clean, or I’m uncomfortable, or there’s noise, or there isn’t noise, or the dogs need out, or there’s dinner to be cooked, or there’s something shiny, or whatever.  Something is always distracting me.  I know I should be studying and I need to study and believe me I am TRYING to study.  I just fail, a lot.  My biggest problem is losing time.  I am constantly shocked that it’s already 7:00 or 8:00 because all I did was come home, feed the animals, and make dinner.  The thing is, all of that takes me forever because I constantly get confused and distracted.  It’s awful.  It is absolutely awful that I can’t do something as simple as make tacos and read without putting such great time and effort into it.

So that’s where things stand for me currently.  I am trying really hard and I am extremely frustrated.  Mostly I’m just doing the best I can and getting by.  I guess that’s all any of us can do.

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Filed under Just a day in my life.

It’s not herpes!

PSA – This is a pimple.

It is a very large and disgusting pimple, but a pimple nonetheless.

Pretty much the only place I ever get pimples is right next to my lip.  I think this is probably because I lick my lips a lot.  I also have the unfortunate nervous habits (or neuroses?) of chewing my lip, chewing on my nails / fingertips, and rolling my lower lip between my thumb and index finger when I’m concentrating.  I try not to do these things, but I don’t always succeed.

Before I continue, I want to say, I mean no disrespect to people who have the herpes virus and unfortunately have to live with herpes mouth sores.  I don’t think it means anything negative about you and understand that most people actually contract it as children through harmless daily interactions.

That said, I hate looking like I have herpes.  It’s awful and makes me more self-conscious than I already am.  Plus just having a lip pimple is bad enough without having people think its herpes.  Lips are very sensitive.  Lip pimples are, in my experience, huge, very puss filled, and cause a lot of swelling.  They also take FOREVER to heal.   Plus, because my lip pimple makes my lip swell, it feels funny so I unconsciously keep touching it, which only prolongs the eternity in which I have to live with it grossing up my lip.

If I had other pimples, it probably wouldn’t be as bad.  But when it’s just one, and it’s on your lip, everyone assumes you have the herps.  I am so neurotically worried about this stupid pimple that I have actually questioned whether it might prevent me from getting  a job and have wondered if people go behind me disinfecting things in the office after I leave.  Yes, I know this is irrational!  Haven’t you figured out yet that I am a highly irrational person?

I have had my current facial monstrosity for about a week and it hasn’t improved in the slightest.  Because I can’t stop touching the stupid thing, today I resorted to drastic measures and covered it with a waterproof band-aid.

Somehow this is better in my mind.  I mean, anything could be under there.  Rather than a pimple, maybe I was punched in the mouth during some domestic violence, or maybe I was in a car accident and a piece of windshield cut my lip, or maybe I have such chronically dry skin that it just cracked open.  None of those things would make people wipe down my keyboard while I’m at lunch, right?

These are seriously things that I worry about.  It’s no wonder I’m socially awkward.  I don’t even know how to function inside my own head!

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Filed under Just a day in my life., Miscellany

I guess Ninja Turtles and the Sith Code don’t really scream “professional”

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been working, A LOT.  I clocked in at close to 110 hours over the last 2 weeks!  That said, while I am working full time at the moment, I’m still technically unemployed.  A local attorney has been kind enough to let me work on occasional jobs for him from home so that I can show some experience on my resume.  Hooray for paychecks and experience!

While I usually work from home, the project I am currently working on has required me to go in to the office.  That’s all well and good and gets me exposure and everything, but I have a slight problem with my laptop.

Why yes, that is duct take holding one of the sides together.

The best part is, I’m working in a very conservative law office.  I thought I was all slick though and came up with a back story.  The attorney I work for knows my daughter recently went away to college so I sort of gave the impression that my laptop was really her old laptop and that I had intended to get myself a new one.  Sure there’s an ACLU sticker on there.  My kid could be very political, he doesn’t know.  My point is, I thought I had side stepped the embarrassment of being a 37 year old giant child and could just move on with the project without giving the impression that I am a giant nerd child.  Don’t get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with being an adult kid.  I just really want this job to lead to something permanent, either in this firm or through recommendation.  It doesn’t behoove me to come across as weird or to not fit in.  I’m networking in addition to just working.

Within hours of working on the project, however, my boss proceeded to lean over my shoulder to see what I was working on.  I started explaining what I was doing and then realized he was reading my wallpaper.

My wallpaper is currently the Sith Code, which goes a little something like this:

“Peace is a lie, there is only passion.  Through passion, I gain strength.  Through strength, I gain power.  Through power, I gain victory.  Through victory, my chains are broken.”

Now, I can pretty much guarantee that the Star Wars reference was entirely lost on my boss.  Absent the Star Wars reference, I am entirely uncertain what the words of the Sith Code say about me, especially when read through the eyes of a conservative attorney.  Is it good, bad, confusing, weird?  I have no idea!  Given the awkward situation I was now in, I decided to do what I always do in awkward situations.  I pretended it didn’t happen.  I just kept talking about the project and pretended like I didn’t notice him reading it.  That works, right?

So, I kept working and a few days went by without incident.  Then my boss’ old partner stopped by to see how the project was going.  He came into my office to find me totally disorganized, frantically collating paper, and sitting behind my sticker covered laptop.  He didn’t say anything about the laptop but instead came over and gave me some more papers to add to my collection.  He explained what each was and how it related to the project.  As he continued to go over things, I realized that he too was reading my wallpaper.  Great!  This guy’s seemingly more conservative than the first guy, doesn’t know me, and hasn’t even heard the story about it being a hand-me-down.  Awesome.

Needless to say, I’m not very good at networking and the like.  In limited contact situations I do pretty well at putting on a suit and coming across as both an adult and very professional.  (Seriously, “you look so grown up” is a frequent comment on my facebook photos.) The problem is, it didn’t really occur to me that I need to adultify myself beyond taking out my piercings, making sure my tattoos aren’t visible, wearing a professional wardrobe and carrying a nice briefcase.  Before you ask, yes, I carry my laptop in my briefcase.  I just don’t usually need to take it out in public!  Jeesh

So, I guess I learned something this week.  Probably not any of the stuff I should have learned, but I learned that I need to get a new laptop and put some boring wallpaper of flowers or a landscape or something on there.  Yep, that seems about right.

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