Things I hate about my job:

1) Responsibility. Being an attorney comes with a lot of responsibility. I have to be responsible for keeping up with everything. I am responsible for keeping up with court dates and filing dates; for keeping up with my clients (even ones who've stopped paying me until such time as I withdraw); for keeping up with my own schedule, my billing, and my timeslips. I've also got to keep up with my taxes and filing the right business documents at the right time. It's a lot to keep on top of, and I'm not always the best keeper of myself.

2) I'm always on the job. It's 6:30 on a Sunday night, and I've already fielded one call from a client. I've got loads of stuff I actually need to get done before I go to court in the morning, so I need to spend most of the rest of the evening working. I regularly have to work on Saturdays and Sundays, and my workday rarely ends at 5:00 on a weekday. I used to have an 8-5 job. I liked that. At 5:00, I went home and left work behind. I did not get panicky phone calls at 9:00 at night. My weekends were entirely my own. From 5:00 Friday afternoon to 8:00 Monday morning, the last thing on my mind was work. I miss that.

3) Advice. People are constantly asking me for my advice. My FREE advice. I have spoken on the phone with so many people and given up far too much free advice over the past few months. I have got to stop giving people ANYTHING over the phone unless they're already established clients with money sitting in my trust account. People do not understand that over half of what they're paying me for is my advice and my knowledge. If I advise you, I've given you something of value for which I should be recompensed. But no, people think that if all I've done is give them advice and I've not done any paperwork or appeared in court or even met with them face-to-face, I've not done anything that they should be expected to pay for. And the worst thing is that I have trouble making myself harass people into paying me for these things! ARGH!

4) People. I am strange about people. On the one hand, I get along exceptionally well with most individuals. I am a people person. I am good at finding happy mediums and facilitating conversations and negotiations between warring factions. And some days I absolutely love people. On the other hand, I am something of a misanthrope when it comes to humanity as a whole. I think people in general are pretty stupid and they regularly piss me off.
Generally, I'm a cynic. But what I'm finding now is that the longer I serve as an attorney, the more cynical I become of people as individuals. Dr. House's motto is "Everybody lies." Well, that's even more true when they're in court. What's really frustrating to me is that it's both sides that lie to me. I have clients I can't trust and I have social workers and attorneys I can't trust. It's a major problem when I have to play the game of "who's the biggest liar," especially knowing which of the liars the court is most likely to side with. It's very, very frustrating.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate everything. There are things I even like about what I do. Otherwise I really, truly, honestly would not be doing what I'm doing. I'm just more frustrated than happy right at this particular moment in time, and I wanted to rant. I've had a few phone calls this week from an unofficial client (as in I've given advice and taken phone calls but haven't officially done any work for--yes, this is one of those "I'm screwing myself" situations) with a very nasty problem. And while I hope she's telling me the truth, certain facts have me very concerned about what's going on. It leaves me in a moral and professional quandary where I'm really not sure what I should do next and I'm stressing out more than a little bit right now. (Especially since I've got two hearings scheduled for tomorrow that have me more than a little unhappy.)

Okay. I need to go do some work and try to think about some positive things. Of course, the problem is that doing the former almost precludes my ability to do the latter.

Hm. Okay, at least I have work to do. That's a pro.
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