Wednesday, November 18, 2009


My annual review is tomorrow. The thought makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry.

If you asked me at the end of the summer, I would have said I thought the odds of me losing my job at this review were around 80%. As the fall wore on, I felt a little better about things, though I'm not entirely sure why. In part, I realized one of the partners I was working with just wasn't focused on our case, rather than being pissed at me for some indeterminable reason. In part, I think I was just feeling a bit more optimistic about life. But I probably would have brought the odds down to 65% or so.

Reviews began last week. Rumor has it that there has been a bit of a bloodbath among the junior associate ranks, but it's been rumor with no real proof. I don't know of any people at my level who have been affected. But I also know that everyone else in my class in my department has been busy, but I have had little to no work. And I think this bodes very badly. Last night I had a nightmare about my review. My reviewer fired me, then called me an idiot and mocked me. I tried to defend myself, which only made things worse. And none of my friends seemed to care that I had just lost my job, which made me angry. When I woke up, I was crying, tears streaming down my face. I've been trying to act like I just don't care, or like I'm so prepared for it that it won't matter, but it will. In case anyone is wondering, the blase is an act, albeit one that I myself have bought into. I'd probably put the odds of me getting fired around 95% now. And that scares the crap out of me.

Obviously, there's the financial issue. How will we possibly support ourselves? Then there's the timing issue. How can I look for a job while pregnant? If I wait, that leaves me unemployed (and income-less) for an awfully long time. But if I barrel ahead, I will be looking for a job while pregnant and needing to take leave within six months of starting, which doesn't seem to be the right message to send to a new employer. Plus, I doubt I'd get much leave wherever I landed. And then there's the self-worth issue. Who the hell am I if it turns out I am someone who gets fired?

So I'm scared. But I'm also pissed. I feel like some of the blame for the situation I find myself in is definitely mine -- I didn't ask for work in the weeks following my miscarriage, and I didn't push for work even when I started asking again. But even when I did push for work, I didn't get any, or at least not much. And then I went on leave, and when I came back, getting work was even harder. Other people in my department have been busy. People in my class year. But I haven't. I knew I needed to hit the ground running when I came back in March, and I felt like I did everything I could to do so. I begged for work from anyone and everyone. And I got some. But it wasn't enough. And I got almost nothing through the central assignment system, through which we are supposed to get the bulk of our work. And eventually I gave up. At some point it became obvious that there was nothing I could do to save my job. I felt as though the deck was stacked against me, and now here I am. And I am far from the only woman in my department who has had a child or multiple children and found themselves in this position. All the women in my department who seemed to successfully balance work and family have been fired in the past year.

So I'm scared and angry and anxious and frustrated. And uncertain how to handle the moment. Act tough? Show my anger? Burst into tears? Rage against the system? I suspect I will just react, most likely with tears. There will be a lot I will want to say, but I suspect I'll be so afraid of making no sense that I won't say much. And then I'll have to add regretful to my list.

1 comment:

Danifred said...

I'm trying SOOO hard not to read ahead to find out how the review went, but I've got to tell you, this makes me so mad.
I'd like to know who raised the men who are shunning you? What did their mothers do?
Ugh, stupid people.