It’s interesting how the little things in life can give you so much happiness and perspective. For instance, a delicious coconut/white chocolate iced latte and watching t.v. with Zak makes me forget about the shitstorm that is my work like right now.
I haven’t really talked with anyone but Zak and some of our friends in town about my situation, but it’s been so frustrating I need to vent. So I’ve had this job as a legal assistant for the past two months. And I hate it. The biggest reason is that it is incredibly stressful and that there is enough work for at least 1-2 people more, not just me. It is just me and my boss in the office, she has over 100 current clients and hardly any time. She is bad at saying no (she doesn’t advertise, all her work has come from referrals), time management and no time for training. Granted, you’d think that by two months I should be with it, but despite all my best efforts each and every day, there is still TONS I don’t know or understand. I came into this with NO legal experience and still have only scratched the surface.
I don’t have an issue with working hard, or a quick-paced environment, or learning new things. I really AM a good worker and smart, but every day I feel like I am just the dumbest person on the planet. The way my boss talks to me is incredibly condescending. We’ve had several talks about my performance, she has emphasized the necessity to be a ‘self-starter’, etc. and after each talk I have tried to improve my performance. And it never is enough. When I ask questions, she talks slowly to me, as if I am a child. And if I don’t ask questions and do something wrong, I am chastised. I know most of the time she isn’t trying to be mean and that she is just being professional, but I truly feel stupid when I’m at work. There’s no winning with her.
I have come home several times and just cried and vented to Zak. He has been so great, he just holds me and lets me cry and tries to cheer me up, convince me that I can do this. And each time I believe him and try to do better the next day.
Last Friday we were talking before work and I thought I was doing better, I was reading the client files and understanding the process for probate or divorce battles, and doing projects on my own. And then I got to work and Outlook stopped working. I have no idea why (it’s fixed now, some guy came today and made it work, thank heavens), and it was an incredibly frustrating couple of hours at work. I found another way to check the calendar and my work email account, but was unsure if there were any emails I received from the day before. While my boss was out to lunch, I went onto her computer to see if she sent me anything - tasks or notes about a client or something to do.
And then I accidentally saw an email referencing my boss getting an new assistant. The comments that followed weren’t great, basically calling me stupid and only a slight step up to way she actually talks to me. Thankfully, Zak was not at work, so he met me for lunch and I talked with him about it. Obviously, I wouldn’t let on that I knew about the email and my imminent departure, which would be difficult. I made it through the day, but it was hard.
I spent the weekend trying not to think about it, but as Sunday night ended, I thought about when I’d actually be let go. Don’t get me wrong, I applied to a bunch of places over the weekend and have been following up on them like crazy. But if I haven’t secured a job before she fires me, perhaps I’d be able to get some unemployment benefits while I looked for a job (one can hope, right?). Well, it didn’t happen yesterday and didn’t happen today. I leave for California soon, so I wonder if that’ll play into it, or it could just be tomorrow. I don’t know. I’d kind of rather she just do it so I wouldn’t have to think about it anymore.
It’s weird, after I saw that email, I felt a bit relieved. I have spent the past two months SO stressed out, almost having anxiety attacks about this jobs and now…well, it won’t matter because it’s already in her mind that she’s going to fire me. So I just don’t care as much. I’m still doing my job and trying to get everything done, but I’m basically just counting down the hours until I don’t have to be at that job anymore.
So that has been my life as a legal assistant. I’m not saying I wouldn’t mind a challenging job, but shit, for the amount of pay and lack of training, the expectations were too high. This isn’t a career level job, I shouldn’t be coming home in tears a few days a week. My boss seriously needs at least 1 more person to help out in the office, it is entirely too much work for just me. Whenever we have talked about it, she mentions that her two previous assistants only had 2 days of training too, but they managed. Well, I bet that my boss didn’t have nearly as many clients as she does now, but whatever.
Maybe I’m just dumb, I don’t know. It’s been a rough few months; this job has kind of taken a beaten on my self-worth and confidence. I don’t know. It’s hard to feel any kind of good when you’re constantly being told you’re doing everything wrong all the time. Well maybe it is me. I have trying very hard to catch mistakes and do things correctly, but it never seems to be right. It’s hard because my boss just expects me to know what she’s talking about and get it done. Sometimes I can manage, but other times I have no clue what’s going on.
I can’t talk about this anymore. I’m so tired and frustrated and just want this to end. It’s disappointing, I feel like a failure. :(