Monday, September 8, 2008


I am so tired. I woke up last night and couldn't fall back asleep and now I just feel completely wiped out. And overly emotional.

I got to work this morning and pushed the elevator button. The light above a car flashed, as the car was already there, but the door closed when I pushed the button, and the button deactivated, so I couldn't get on that one or summon another. Then two women with too much makeup and too much perfume got on the first one that came, along with seven other people, all of whom were going to lower floors than I was. By the time I got to my office, I was on the verge of tears for no reason at all. And I still am.

This is all made worse by a combination of my truly ambivalent feelings about work and my overwhelming (and not at all unrealistic) fear that I am going to be fired while on leave. My hours have been really bad for a long time now, and that is how we are judged here. From what I've heard, they give you one review period (six months) before they let you go, but with a second you are at real risk of firing. And my review will be while I'm out on leave, and my hours sucked this period too (as they did in the last), putting me in that "real risk" category.

Were this to come to pass, I don't know that it would be that hard to get a new job doing the same basic thing at a decidedly similar place (though I probably won't be able to go part time, which could be a real problem, since I'm not sure who will take care of our child if P gets a job an hour from our house, which is what he wants, and I have to work 60+ hours a week, as day cares don't do long hours, and I would really prefer not to have to do that), but, coming back to that ambivalence, I'm not sure I even really like what I do. But I earn 80% of our household income, and P really wants/needs to get out of his job, which will entail a further paycut for him, so I think I'm stuck doing this for a while longer (which seems fair, since it's only been three years and I still have 40K in law school debt, plus we have a mortgage, payments on the new car, the rising cost of oil to heat our drafty house, etc.). My other ambivalence issue is that fact that in addition to not being sure I like what I do, I'm not sure I'm very good at it. I think this is in part what kept me up last night and is contributing greatly to my stress these days. But I don't know whether I'm really not good at it or if I just feel that way right now because I'm tired and probably should have stopped working a week or two ago. Right now, I just wish I had an easy job with some real job security.

Today may be one of those days where I close my office door and cry for a while.


Jen said...

But if they do fire you, just think how much fun you will have at the pregnancy discrimination lawsuit!

I always hated work with a vengeance when I was tired. I hope that is all it is for you right now. :)

Future Mommy said...

Ok, deep breath! Even though you're 80% of your household income, this is the time when, with 6 days to go, you need to concentrate on baby instead of on the potential of losing your job. Once baby's here and you have a good routine established, then worry about possibly moving on! And let me know if you need any help...I'm a former recruiter and write a mean resume. :-)

Katie said...

As a fellow attorney, I completely relate to how you're feeling and have found this sense of inadequacy common amongst my friends and colleagues. I don't know what causes it, but I went through it earlier this year (following a miscarriage - which certainly was a contributing factor), and looking back on it now, it seems irrational. I think you may find the same thing a couple months from now (at least in terms of your adequacy and likelihood of being fired) and then you can deal with your ambivalence about the job itself. Good luck.

Nicky said...

This sounds awfully familiar (overly emotional, feeling like a failure at work, exhaustion and ambivalence, ...). My advice: start your maternity leave! You're not doing yourself any good going into the office right now, and no law firm is going to risk firing you while on maternity leave. Once you're at home and a little more rested (naps are amazing things during the last few weeks of pregnancy) you'll have better perspective. I promise. Though, if you're at all like me, it means you'll just get overly emotional about something else.

As for the job long-term... I really think that being away for a while will help. You'll either miss it or you won't, and that will help you to make a decision about whether to return to this job or look for something else down the road. It's just the pregnancy hormones that are making it feel like you need to be thinking about that right now, while 39+ weeks pregnant. It's definitely a decision you should put off for a month or two, until your life has stabilized a bit.

In the mean time, hang in there! Cry when you need to! Good luck!

Meghan said...

I'm sorry work is so hard. I have no idea how you are still doing it. I was planning on stopping just before I hit 39 weeks. Go easy on yourself and cry whenever you want to---it really makes you feel better sometimes

sue said...