Thursday, December 08, 2005

Taking it Like a Professional

One of the many privileges to working in a law office is opening all of the mail that comes through. This is how I figured out how much my attorneys make, how underpaid I am, that prisoners are only allowed to write in pencil, and that my boss� wife subscribes religiously to PEOPLE magazine. Every few months I open a letter from a bright young law student, overflowing with credentials, looking to work here as an intern.

In the beginning of my career here, I destroyed these letters upon receipt, not wanting any competition from someone who would actually know what they were doing behind my desk. A year later, feeling more confident that my knowledge of the law is not what makes me such an asset here, I pass these letters on to my attorneys, whom I will herein refer to as C and J.

The last one I gave to my boss, C, along with her other mail. She asked what this was, and held it up at me as if I had urinated on a document, and then set it on top of her desk for review. I told her that maybe an intern would work for free and that I thought she might like to review her application. C spent five seconds perusing the details and handed it back suggesting I give the application to J, stating that this girl sounded way too professional and smart for our office. Our? This girl was going to loose out on the job because she was smarter than me. While the competitor in me high fived my ego for beating this applicant, my ego used it�s other hand to dial up my self-absorption and insecurity. Was that applicant smarter than me? Do my bosses think I am dull? Well, I am letting them get away with paying me half of what other people doing my job make, but that�s because when I started here I had never done this before.

My entire resume was a lie. On it, I had years of experience as an Executive Assistant, a position I held for one day, as a temp is Los Angeles. I was an administrative assistant for six years at a company that never existed. I had friends lined up, assigned as former employers, ready to help me get a job � and this has always worked for me. I got the interview at the law offices of C and J and marched right in, confident as ever. The trick is, no one cares how well you get your job done if you�re no fun to be around. Fact. But, couple a charming wit, with a false history full of past successes and gushing references and if there�s not some bitch who already has your job opening the bosses mail then you�re all set. I sat on my feet during the interview, talked about my new beagle and did an impersonation of the crack head from which I bought the dog. Hired within three days.

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