I officially hate my job. I love what I do, and I'm good at what I do. But the environment in which I work is toxic, and it has finally gotten to me. I haven't posted about this before in case my anonymity was blown, but at this point, I just don't care.
The turnover in my firm is astronomical. It is no secret in the local legal community that my boss is particularly difficult to work for. But I have been floating along because my boss seems to like me and his tirades are generally directed elsewhere. Still, the entire office is on pins and needles when he is present and breathes a huge sign of relief when he is out.
I am the only associate working on the majority of Big Boss's and Partner's cases. There are a couple of new associates, but they work exclusively on one big case. So I get to work on everything else. I have been incredibly busy lately, because several of our cases are ramping up for summer trial settings and we have a couple of new cases that we are trying to get a handle on. I had three significant motions that required responses within a 1 week period.
Big Boss got PO'd with me because I didn't have one motion, with a 12-day deadline, turned around quickly enough to send to the client before filing (it was complete on a Friday and due on a Wednesday). Two days later, Partner was PO'd because I had not completed what turned out to be a 15-page privilege log that required the review of two boxes of documents, 3 days before the deadline. And in the middle of all of this, Big Boss was in my office every 5 minutes giving me inane tasks that could have been done by his secretary more quickly and just as effectively. Neither one seems to have a clue how much I am doing--even though both have asked and I honestly told them that I can't take anything else on and still make my deadlines.
Part of the problem is that Big Boss freaks out if I work on a project that is not exclusively his. He will then come and load me up with stupid stuff for his cases. A few weeks ago, Partner was called out of town and was unable to attend a scheduled meeting with our consulting expert. I was to take the meeting, along with another attorney who was only tangentially involved with the case. When I told Big Boss that I had a meeting that day he said, "We'll I don't think you'll be in that meeting, because I need you to meet with me during that time." After he had just given a 4-hour time frame of his availability, only one of which would have been consumed by my meeting.
Oh, but here's the kicker...15 minutes before my meeting with the expert, Big Boss disappears. He finally reappears an hour later, eating an ice cream cone. And then another hour later, he cancels his meeting. So, there was absolutely no reason in the entire world that I couldn't have met with our consulting expert. How whacked is that? I felt like I was dealing with a jealous boyfriend. And the other Partners just said, "Oh, well, that's just how he is."
Then, he tried to get me to agree in writing that I would put in 200 hours this month--because I only billed 175 last month and that was too low. (Umm, no, not doing that.) Are you freaking kidding me? When I was hired I was told that there were no billing guidelines, but to try too hit 170. I usually average 180. I wouldn't have accepted this position for this pay if I were expected to bill 200 hours every month. I will do what is required to meet my deadlines (and it looks like I will hit 200 this month anyway), but I am not going to do it in perpetuity.
And then yesterday, I got a call from the school nurse that SS wasn't feeling well. I decided to go pick her up instead of calling the nanny because I had already put in at least 50 hours this week, everything I had planned for the rest of the day could be done from home, and I hadn't seen the kids all week.
I went to tell Partner that I was taking off and he gave me the evil eye. Even another associate commented on it. He has 4 kids--and a wife who stays at home. Guess he doesn't have to deal with kid stuff. Ignoring the evil eye, I was packing up to head out when I got a call from the receptionist to meet Big Boss up front in a conference room. I had no idea what for.
It turned out that he wanted me to sit in on a meeting with a new client. And I had no opportunity to tell him that I was on my way out. Fortunately, about 10 minutes into the meeting he sent me out to have a copy made. I was able to call DH and have him deal with the SS situation.
But the whole ordeal left me feeling like the loser-mom of the year. I never play the kid card. My kids have been remarkably healthy this year, and I haven't missed any time from work because of them. There was no reason for the silent, but obvious, flak from Partner.
Part of the reason that I wanted a professional career is to have some modicum of flexibility over my schedule. The majority of what I do, I can do from home so it shouldn't be a big deal to take off early on a Friday to deal with a sick kid. But this is one of those firms that insists on face time--if you're not at your desk you must not be working. (Big Boss's secretary can barely leave her desk. He actually got her a scanner so that she doesn't have to leave to make copies. I expect a port-a-potty next.)
I am so frustrated with my job right now. I put in 110%, but I am not willing to turn my whole life over to my job. The only night this week I saw my kids before bedtime was Friday. I am not cool with that. But apparently Partner and Big Boss think I should be working more. I can't complain about having too much to do if I'm not putting in 200 hours/month.
So my plan for this weekend (in addition to drafting a cross-claim, an MSJ, 2 affidavits to support the MSJ, 2 client reports, and discovery responses) is to update my resume and start the whole job search all over again. Of course, this is not the ideal climate to be job-hopping, but I have too. I'm generally a tough cookie with no tolerance for whiners, but this week has brought me to tears (silently, in the bathroom). No job has ever done that before--and I've had some really crappy jobs.