And So It Begins. Again.
This was supposed to be the last post for Confessions. I hoped to post some nostalgic piece with some feel good wisdom. I hoped to show that blogging was so easy even a dog could do it. See, the dog found a laptop and is about to blog. Confessions represented a phase of my life, but my life had finally moved on. I had a job that would be interesting once I was integrated in. I wouldn't be desperate for money or health insurance. I could starting thinking of dating again. I liked dating this spring, but it proved that women have gotten more expensive, and the poverty level wages of a substitute teacher wouldn't sustain such an extravagance. As I've aged I've discovered women have an inflationary index. Yet I digress. I could finally fix the leaking bathroom pipe after 4 years. I could repair to rotten shed and fence. I could redo the entire patio with cobblestone pavers. The VISA statement could be lowered. Perhaps next Spring I could take a vacation for the first time since 2001. At the very least I could take weekend trips and not worry about the gas money. My life was finally moving on and in a good direction. I was looking forward to the new journey with sweet anticipation. It was an appropriate time to shut this blog down.
Then last Friday happened.
I WAS LET GO. The problem with non-profit groups is their cash flow tends to be very bad. How does a business pay the bills when income doesn't exist? It appears the cash flow for non-profit, public interest group went from bad to horrendous. Like any business in bad financial straits, they cut costs. They cut me. In 3 weeks I didn't have time to really do anything special. I helped with some Board members on some projects they needed performed. I spent a good deal of time helping clean up the small details for our fundraising conference and dinner. That final Thursday I spoke with my boss on various projects that looked like they needed to be done. I wanted to make sure we were on the same page. I updated the webpage. An intern was scheduling speaking engagements for me. They won't be done now.
I'm very angry at the entire situation. The good news is the boss agreed to be a reference.
And Now For Some Commentary
One small sliver of good luck is I have this one month project for a night job. It goes to early November and could be extended. A small sliver of income for a short time. Next to me is a 2006 grad of the law school and on my other side is a student of the law school who is taking a year off to get in-state designation. They agree with my take on things so now I'll share with you.
THE ENTIRE SYSTEM IS SCREWED UP! Law schools are only concerned about one thing: money. Money comes from letting in as many students as possible. Obviously the profession can't handle the number of graduates exiting the schools. I don't hear about doctors unable to find employment. Med schools actually limit the number of students to what they feel the profession will need in a few years. Thank you law schools for flooding the market.
Some students are a problem. While in school I heard numerous fellow students state they came to law school to find themselves. This was ALWAYS from a 20-something who realized they were going to graduate from college and didn't know what to do next. The real world is icky. Med school meant dealing with icky blood. Business college meant dealing with icky math. Law school didn't seem icky. Thank you early 20-somethings with no real world experience for flooding the market.
The State of Indiana is a problem. This state simply doesn't care about smart people. For my entire life I've heard of this brain drain. It is so difficult to keep the people with degrees in this state. Not enough jobs exist for them. College graduates leave the state in droves. I wonder now if post-college grads should leave the state in droves. The culture of Indiana doesn't even care about educating people. 3 out of 10 freshmen will NEVER GRADUATE from high school. With that kind of attitude is it obvious why so many educated compatriots flee? Indiana keeps claiming it will diversify the manufacturing economy to a more skilled one. They've claimed that my entire adult life. Yet the recession is still here for us. The first to lose jobs and the last to recovery because we're so dependent on the almighty factory. When I began this process in 2000, I seriously thought about where I wanted to go to school. I did apply to several out of state law schools. I chose Indiana as a statement to fight the brain drain. I would help change this state to what it needed to be. When I wondered what bar exam to take I thought about my plan: should I continue to fight the brain drain? I said yes, I will be the change this state needs. Here we are 17 months later and I very much regret that decision. Now I'm overqualified for part-time jobs I want to take just get some cash. Now I keep fighting for a job that makes use of this degree. Thank you Indiana for reducing the degreed labor market to the size of a postage stamp.
The Catch 22 is a problem: we want people with experience, but you don't get experience until you're hired! I'm a nuts and bolts type of guy. That's why I enjoyed my computer classes. We mixed theory and reality. Law school is far too theoretical. Even my internships didn't provide much real world practicality. Once again, the medical profession has it right in my opinion. You get your degree and then you're matched with your apprenticeship aka residency. I truly believe it would be far better for students, graduates, and the entire profession if someone could figure out a way to have law graduates apprentice for 2 years or so. At the end of the apprenticeship the lawyer knows the day to day nuts and bolts of the profession. Doctors to brick layers and plumbers have more real world how-to experience in their respective professions than lawyers do. Thank you legal profession for being backwards from every other professional school I know.
These are the thoughts and feelings I've tried to hide from you for about a year now. Frustration, anger, exasperation, confusion. Those feeling are so unlike me. This is why I didn't really blog much the past year. I didn't want that negativism to seep into the writings. In the end I feel betrayed. Betrayed by my own ideals. Betrayed by a system that is run amok. Betrayed by all the conventional wisdom that failed me. You need to make your resume stand out. Be involved in student government. I did that! You need to get some pseudo-real world experience though a few internships. Been there, done that! You need to get onto law review and get published. I wrote the note on that and cite checked it! I did everything I was told to do and it hasn't worked at all. The American ideal is that you didn't have to be the best and the brightest (I never claimed I was), but if you work hard and do what you're supposed to do you will have success. I always believed that until now. I didn't expect acquiring the first job to be easy, yet has it become impossible?
Winston Churchill said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Great words, but easier said than done. Courage is in short supply at the moment.
Which brings me back to Confessions. I've said before this blog is no longer a good vehicle for the journey I'm on. As a public blog I wondered if it was a boat anchor on my job hunt. As a public blog I felt it constrained my writing too much. As a public blog I can't show the gritty reality that needs to be shown sometimes. Humans like the rose colored glasses too much. In the end I'm more the darkness than the light, or perhaps the gray in between. Is that just a fancy way of saying I'm extremely cranky at the moment? I want to say controversial things. I want to analyze taboo subjects. You can't do that in the politically correct environment we live in now. At least you can't do it when you're a powerless person dependent on forces greater than you to reach your goals. A instructor at the CLE class I took a few weeks ago told a tale of a new attorney being fired for his blog. Their presence makes employers nervous. To a potential employer why take the risk in the first place is what my paranoid mind thinks.
Regardless after 968 days (2 years, 7 months, 24 days) and 1,643 posts this blog stops. Where I'm going now, you can't follow. For the most part I don't want you to come with me, not right now. I found instructions on how to archive Confessions. It will be like the pictures of an ex-girlfriend. That chapter passed long ago, but you can't throw her out completely as she changed who you are. In order to prevent cybersquatting by some porn site (a process I find abhorrent) I will not entirely delete this blog. I'll leave up a few good posts as a reminder of what once was. The rest will be dismantled starting soon.
Concerning the new virtual Batcave I don't know when and if it will be built, or if I've already laid the foundation. When I'm ready and willing I'll let those who expressed interest earlier know where to go for a good drink. You can be on the next phase when I'm ready.
As this is Friday I need another quote to maintain the tradition. This one sums up so much. This one might be perfect for this final day.
"If there's no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters...then all that matters is what we do."