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NWR-Coworker update, work situation

Chipmunk415Chipmunk415 at the corner of Wine Ave. and Margarita Ln. member
500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
I've posted before about CoWorker (CW).

Background:  She's significantly older, set in her ways, and good friends with Big Boss (BB). I've mostly complained about her dumping assignments/work on me, her being my supposed mentor, only I'm not getting any mentoring/getting one set of instructions from her only to have her claim she never said that/I misunderstood her,etc. She's also in charge of supervising the support staff, all of whom dislike her as their boss. The woman is good as a lawyer, but not good at giving directions, and disagreement/questioning of her self inflated authoreteh- such disagreement results in her being a total bitch towards the offending party. This isn't just me, this is the opinion of 6 other people.

While I was out of the office getting married, CW had a health crisis. From what I understand, she collapsed (either at work or at home) and had to be rushed to the hospital, where she stayed for several days. She's home on BB-imposed medical leave until 4/1. I mentioned she's older- she's 64, nearing retirement age, but she's the type who will die in the desk chair if she can. Therein lies the interesting part of the situation. Chatting casually with members of the support staff (whom she supervises), I've learned that she will probably (98% certainty) not be supervising them anymore. She may be given a lighter work load, and moved to part time (not that I'm sure that's even possible). All in the name of decreasing stress on her and her health. My Jedi senses tell me more work will be piled on me as a result, in terms of cases to handle, documents to look at, etc. Unconfirmed rumors have BB and her boss, Director, discussing having a conversation with CW about gracefully retiring. One of the supposed comments was that neither of them was willing to have an ambulance come to the office to haul her to the morgue. I'll be monitoring this one carefully.

Additionally, I'm feeling less and less satisfied with my job (govt attorney). I feel all I do is review documents. Granted, that's part of being a lawyer, but the review projects assigned to me consume all of my time, leaving no room to try to get in on anything else/barely any time to work my assigned cases properly (note, the review projects are not cases I'm directly involved in, I'm merely manpower and a pair of eyes). BB had previously told me, when she was put in charge, that I'd be working on the large cases doing more than doc review- I'd be drafting, editing, working on motions and other filings, and my name would appear on this stuff with the other lawyers- very very good to get my name out as a young lawyer. Well, that hasn't happened. I've done some drafting and editing, but my name isn't on a darn thing. I'm the little mouse in the back room, figuratively surrounded by file boxes, with a single bare bulb over my desk. 

I'm getting worried, as my 2 yr minimum commitment ends in late August (BB knows this; they can't force you to stay for the time period of 2 yrs, but they can refuse to give a recommendation). DH is starting the job hunt (graduating in May), and BB knows I'll follow my husband wherever he has to move to (though DH is aiming to stay in City A where we live now). I'm concerned I'll go to her and say, "well DH got awesome position in City B, we're in City A, but City B has a branch of our office, soo....." only to have her cut me off and say "good luck finding a position down there" rather than letting me transfer out from under her direct supervision (still working for her, but no day to day in person interaction). I'm afraid that all I can really say about what I've been doing at my position is document review. I did file motions and whatnot during law school in clinic programs, but it's been almost 2 years since I graduated, and I've not filed much since (maybe 2 relatively unimportant documents). Most positions I'm seeing either want beginner, entry level, no experience, or minimum 3 years active experience. I'm in no man's land in the middle. I'm debating applying for a position with another govt entity. 2 positions have opened up in that entity, one in the section I previously did a clinical program in. I just don't know whether I should do it or stick things out where I am and see what changes after CW leaves, if she does.

So, if you skipped to the bottom- my irritating coworker may be leaving for health reasons, which may or may not improve my current working conditions.  I'm getting dissatisfied with my job, out of a feeling of lack of actual experience and development in my field, and concern over how it affects my future prospects as a lawyer. Thanks for listening!

Re: NWR-Coworker update, work situation

  • larrygagalarrygaga Czechoslovakia member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Look for a new job? Quitting a job you don't like and isn't good for you isn't a bad thing at all. In the meantime, stand up for yourself if your boss tries to overload you. 
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  • larrygagalarrygaga Czechoslovakia member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    BTW how are they keeping you there on contract? Did they pay for classes?
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  • InkdancerInkdancer The Shire member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Even if you don't feel that you've gotten the professional growth you wanted, you've had a job all this time and you've gotten a lot of experience out of it that you can leverage for a new position. Take this as a learning experience, do what's best for you, and move on if you need to. It doesn't sound like they really want to help you grow as a person or a professional, and that to me would be a major red flag.
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  • Chipmunk415Chipmunk415 at the corner of Wine Ave. and Margarita Ln. member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper

    @larry, when you take a position with this gov't entity, you verbally say you'll committ for 2 years. They can't force me to stay, but my boss can refuse to give me a recommendation. While I think she'd be ok with giving me one despite the lack of 2 yrs (my 2 yr anniversary comes up 5 months from yesterday) if we were to move from City A to City B,C, or D, I don't think she'd give me one if I'm just trying to switch from gov't entity x to gov't entity y. They didn't pay for any of my education, but I have been here a while (if you count volunteer intern and law clerk time with my attorney time, I've been here 3 years already). I'm also big on sticking with my committments/not screwing others over, so that's tearing me a little- break the committment to do what's best for me professionally.


    @Ink, I feel like i'm just getting lip service from the higher ups about what I will be doing "eventually." I did end up applying last night for a position with another gov't agency in my city, and it's actually in a division in that agency that I interned at when I was in law school.

  • I don't have a lot of advice--but I'm an attorney, too. And feeling dissatisfied. I just changed jobs looking for something better and it, so far, hasn't been much better.  I keep hoping and looking for other opportunities that might be more in line with my interests, skills, etc.  For now I am grinning and bearing it, but I just wanted to pipe up and say that I feel (some of) your pain! 

    (I moved from giant firm to small firm to avoid being stuck on document review--I am a good project manager so I kept getting put in that role, but wasn't doing anything substantive.  Now I am at small firm with some nice people but they are not super mentors and I feel like I'm out here alone...and still doing a lot of document review and management.  Sigh...and I've been a lawyer for 5 years.)

    Hang in there, chica!
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