Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I Hate Working

Not, you understand, that I am currently working. My bank account stands at - are you ready - $0.05. Yup, you read that right - one nickel. And I have fourteen dollars in my wallet. This is NOT one of your better situations.

And my temp agency is trying to get me more jobs. Unfortunately, there is a huge drawback to this, which is that these law firms want to test you.

Now, in the old days, you took a vocabulary test, a grammar test, and a typing test. That was it. Finis. However, we have the miracle of computers these days, and they want you to do all kinds of complicated maneuvers. Format a document. Make a table of contents. Rebuild a document (I always think this involves Lego blocks and am always disappointed when it doesn't).

I have spent the day going over and over no less than FOUR reference works on legal secretarial work. And I have practiced this, that and the other. In theory, (and for that matter, except for a couple of things, in practice) I can do all the stuff they want me to do. But here's the kicker.

NOBODY WANTS ME TO DO IT. The chain of command at a law office goes like this. The partner gets a case. He hands off the legal nuts and bolts to the senior associate, who slams something down on paper and hands it to the junior associate. The junior associate then sends the whole mess to Word Processing. Word Processing makes it look legal and then we start at the top again. Now here is where I come in, as a partner's secretary. I make the minor corrections the partner wants and back down we go through the chain of command again. Every now and then I type a whole paragraph or two.

Point is that as a partner's secretary, what I do is type letters (few), make lunch reservations, arrange for travel, answer phones. And do billing and diaries (the daily log of how the partner spent his time, apportioned out by client for billing purposes).

So unless it's an extremely special case (and I've never run across one), there is NO REASON why I should learn this stuff.

I have now spent the better part of the day going over and over technical legal formatting. I can do just about anything, but there is one small point that I cannot get my mind around, and that is a following dot leader. I mean, you type "Revenues........". There seems to be a method of getting the dots to turn up after the word, but I am goddamned if I can find it in any one piece of my copious collection of computer literature - including online help. I am flummoxed, and after four solid hours of attempting to figure this out, I have decided that if a firm doesn't want me because my dots aren't in the right place, to hell with them. This is silly.

Meanwhile, the girls are on their way to Arizona, in the most complicated fashion I've ever seen in my life. They found a lady who wanted to drive to Arizona with her seven show cats (don't ask me) to work in drag clubs out there (again, don't ask me), but somehow Mel got it into her head that it would be much cheaper for Mel and Rebecca to fly out to Arizona, pick up a car there, drive it back to NY to pick up the lady and the cats, and then drive back to Arizona. This doesn't sound right to me, but then I'm not doing it - I don't even know how to drive. However, evidently cooler (and less complicated) heads prevailed, so the girls are now out renting a car - or something. Call me extremely confused. And of course, Joshua, having invited them in to begin with, has now decided that they've been here much too long and is bitching all over the place.

And Mel tried to fix the towel rail in the bathroom again by setting it into a piece of wood so that Joshua couldn't yank it out of the wall as he usually does. Guess what. He yanked it out of the wall again...out of the wall and out of the piece of wood. So now we have a completely extraneous piece of unpainted wood on the upstairs bathroom wall. No towel rack - just a thick piece of wood. According to Joshua, this is because he simply had his hand on it while he was putting on his pants after his shower. One can only assume that Joshua puts his pants on while doing one handed pushups on a towel rail. I'm not quite sure exactly HOW you'd achieve this, but clearly he did.

I am going to bed. This STUPID test is tomorrow and I am going to get up very early and write myself a cheat sheet. Growl.

Love, Wendy


SaintTigerlily said...

Pleeeeease let me introduce you to my temp lady. Pleeeeease. I don't recall any horrible tests.

Sarah Booz said...

I thought the towel rack was fixed! I thought we would no longer have a problem!

Why is he putting his pants on in the bathroom anyway? It is a very small bathroom.

What is WRONG with him???