Friday, October 25, 2013

The Prostitutor

The other day I was in ToysRUs with both kids shopping for a friend's birthday present. After perusing several aisles with the kids, I realized how utterly unhelpful the entire effort was. Surprisingly, Jacob understood and accepted the fact that we were not here to buy toys for him and he never asked for a single toy once. But he was easily distracted and not helpful in picking out a toy for his friend either. So I had Jacob and Ryan go play with a train table display so I could get shit done. In peace.

After a while, I heard Jacob talking to another kid at the train table. The kid's mother was standing by watching. The kid started telling Jacob about his mom's work (something to do with large, fun construction equipment). Then Jacob, who apparently cannot pronounce the word "prosecutor," blurted out, "My mommy is a prostitutor!" The kid's mom looked very puzzled. I got such a kick out of it that I didn't even bother to correct him, which probably confused the mother more.

I look forward to more stories from Jacob involving, "my mommy the prostitutor."

Speaking of "prostituting," I'm still loving my job. Almost in a scary way. Most of my time is spent preparing for trial for a really fun personal injury case. Both sides have filed summary judgment motions. The issues involved in this case are novel and interesting and there really is no controlling case law. I've been doing a lot of the drafting for our motions and oppositions. Motions practice is by far one of my favorite things about being an attorney. I love to craft arguments, attack other peoples arguments, and basically take a bunch of weird cases and try to make them fit into the way I'm framing the issues. Whenever someone asks me to draft a motion, I get so excited, it feels like my eyeballs are going to explode from the pressure.

We attended a summary judgment hearing the other week and I sat in the benches while my boss argued the motion. The judge was also very fascinated by our case and you could see him getting all excited as he heard our arguments. As the opposing party was arguing their side, the judge took an argument I had written and promoted it. It was so awesome to hear a judge use an argument that I had created. At the end, he ruled in our favor and made a point to compliment our briefing. I was beaming with pride. I had spend at least 16+ hours researching and drafting that sucker! (Side note: this is another thing I LOVE about general counsel work versus law firm practice, I don't have to worry about over-billing so I can take my time on assignments, know every nook and cranny of the law, and do it all right without rushing or stressing!).

I'm also helping on non-litigation projects, which I'm still getting used to. Often times I will be thrown an issue in which I have absolutely no background knowledge. But the issues are always fascinating and my passion for public policy carry me through 800+ pages of public comment on rules from government agencies, almost without a headache. Administrative law was not my strong suit. My recent project has to do with law enforcement and mental illness, a topic that is very current right now.

Basically what it boils down to is that I love feeling connected to public policy. I love working on projects that will impact the community. I love being involved in local government, even if it is just a minor capacity. This job is my dream come true.

As far as the office goes, I'm slowly getting to know my coworkers better but I most often still feel like the new kid at school. I don't feel like I have a whole lot in common with my coworkers, although they are very nice. I know most people show a different version of themselves at the office. But I can be such a shy person, especially when I really want people to like me. I feel like the me at work is such a disconnect from the real me. I can't wait until I'm more comfortable and become better friends with everyone so I can feel like myself again.

My attempts at small talk are so freaking awkward and hilarious. I wish someone could film my attempts to interact with coworkers all day. I passed one attorney in the hall as he was taking his plate of lunch to his office, and desperate to start a conversation, I made a comment about the shape of the carrot on his plate. OMG. One of the legal secretaries has an office that inclines upward. Today, trying hard to start a conversation, I told her that she would be the most safe in a flood. Then there was awkward silence. I resisted the urge to laugh maniacally just to break that silence. Then there is the elderly coworker who asked me to have all of his babies.

There is one senior attorney in our office who is a very strange, but very smart man. I have a soft spot in my heart for strange people with weird people skills (because they are my people!). He likes to talk. A lot. The mind-blowing thing is that he can start talking to you about one subject and then go off into a series of tangents only slightly related to that subject but, eventually, he will always wind his way back to the original topic without missing a beat. He starts out talking about health information disclosures, then before you know it, it is two hours later and we are talking about meat packing at the grocery store and right when I'm about to give up hope that I will never get the answer I came in for, he will link meat packing right back to health information and - voila! There is my answer.

When he talks, he closes his eyes for up to 90 seconds at a time. Sometimes he flutters his eyelids uncontrollably it is like they are having mini-seizures on top of his eyeballs. Oftentimes, about 2.5 hours into his monologue, my ass is sore from sitting and my brain freezes over. I'll stare at him blankly and unfocus my eyes to create a double vision effect. Then I'll change the focus of my eyes to give him multiple eyeballs. Adjust the focus a little and he had three eyeballs. Adjust a little more and he has four eyeballs. Rotate my head a little and his four eyeballs begin to slant downward across his face. This is what I do to keep from pocking pens into my eyeballs.

Oh.. and you know how some people say, "yada yada?" Well, instead of that, he says, "smoochie-smoochie-smoo." The first time I heard him say that, my zen face cracked and I erupted into laughter in the middle of his office. I've found myself resisting the urge to incorporate that phrase into my daily conversations. What is happening to me?!

Oh how I love office socialization!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you're loving being a prostitutor! I agree, it's so great to be able to take all the time you need on something without worrying about bills. And "smoochie-smoochie-smoo" is bizarre. I had a manager once who used to say "motherhood and apple pie" in place of "yada yada," which was weird but nowhere weird as that.