Bitter Cold (Or, The Importance of Covered Parking)


Being a perpetual Pollyanna, I was resisting bitter. When I got laid off from the law firm that had just heavily recruited me away from another law firm a few months earlier, I was determined not to be bitter.  And I was not going to be bitter that the lady who actually told me I was getting laid off was a former classmate.  Nope.  I was a weeping, tequila-infused mess, but I was not bitter.

I have a bad habit of telling law firms exactly how I feel during exit interviews, so going back to the penultimate firm was not an option. There weren’t very many options elsewhere either. Try, none. Except for litigators, or bankruptcy attorneys, or paralegals.

One of my former clients offered to hire me for a project. (See, no need to be bitter.) They could only afford to pay me one-third of my former salary. They could not offer me any benefits, and they could only provide a cubicle, not an office. A blow to the ego, yes. Bitter, still no. But getting closer.

Fast forward nine months later, and I am sitting in my cube, wearing my coat. I was wearing my coat because the heat had been out in the cube-dweller part of the building for the past three days. My supervisor came to my cube to tell me about her lovely night at the theater and chatted on as if it wasn’t at all odd that I was wearing a parka in my cube in the middle of the day.  Then I started to think about how the first thing that my husband and I decided to give up on my new salary was our season tickets to the theater. Here’s where we begin to cue the bitter.

But my supervisor hadn’t come by my cube to only tell me about the theater. She had actually come to congratulate me.  The company decided to offer me a permanent position . . . as an administrative assistant. (Am I crazy? Didn’t I just mention at the start of this rant that this company WAS A FORMER CLIENT OF MINE??)

I decided to leave the office. After the theater discussion, I churned over my new job title while resenting have to work in my coat. I was very frustrated and a gnat’s knee away from being bitter. Because I work in a windowless area, I was unaware of just how heavily it had been snowing. When I walked out to my car, the car door handle was covered in ice. I had to use my keys to chip away at the ice while the freezing wind relentlessly pelted me with tiny, painful projectiles of icy-snow. It then occurred to me: Last year at this time, I had heated, covered parking. It was at that moment that I went not just bitter but holy friggin’ bat-shit crazy.

You see, I didn’t go to law school for the office with a view, the salary, or the chance to make a difference in clients’ lives. I went to law school because lawyers get good parking. So that day, chipping ice off of my car in the middle of a blizzard, I joined the bitter ranks. After I finally got my car door open enough so that I could reach my snowbrush, I was but an icicle scraping and brushing the ice and snow off of my car. I devised this Yuletide sentiment for my former law firm: “May the stench of one thousand dying rats permeate your heated, covered parking garage.” And that bitter thought caused a tiny flicker of warmth to glow in my heart.

Associate Girl can also be found writing and ranting at Decisions on Margaritas.

Guest posts at Bitter Lawyer are often filed under the name of Bitter Contributor. You too can become a contributor, though we are fairly picky. Find out how.

11 Comments

  1. Guano Dubango

    December 16, 2009 at 5:55 am

    This woman is married, and very whiny.  I could not marry such a woman anyway.  But she does have a point about cold weather.  I do not like it either.  In Ghana, we have very warm summers and very mild winters. I am looking for an attractive lawyer capable of bearing me children.  I do not like a whiner, because we will not visit the USA more than once a year.  My Aunt Ooona has warned me only to bring back eligible women.  If any females are interested, please to let me know through this website.  Also, I do think LF10 is pretty good now.

  2. Ace in the Hole

    December 16, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Don’t do it!  Once you take the admin assistant position, you will never be a lawyer again.

  3. Juris Depravis

    December 16, 2009 at 7:39 am

    I weep for you.  Just like they were weeping in the performance of The Marriage of Figaro last night.

  4. BL1Y

    December 16, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Anyone else think that Ashley Dupre looked like she chubbed up a bit when she was on The View yesterday? (Yes, this is what unemployment is like.)

  5. Juris Depravis

    December 16, 2009 at 9:52 am

    BL1Y, that is a shame to hear. I always thought she was kind of cute, in that stoner-chick-used-goods-hooker kind of way. Good luck with the job search!

  6. Anon Female

    December 16, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Associate Girl, get why you would feel bitter.

  7. Hair Leaf

    December 16, 2009 at 11:49 am

    First off, would not recommend taking any offers for positions in Ghana.  Accra is best seen from the business class seat of a BA flight after take-off back to London. No offense, if you’re a rat. Rats were not only stinking up the uncovered parking, they seemed to be in the soup.  Secondly, she should get herself a professional grade scraper, with at least a level VII de-icer octagon on the end.  Admin assistant or not, I believe she owes it to herself to scrape away what’s hindering her sight line and allowing her to get to her destination. Thirdly, what is it that’s stopping her from sitting somewhere else, eating toasted shrimp sandwiches and consulting online? Start slow and the four walls of that cube may just simply fall down on their own.

  8. son of Guano

    December 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    BL1Y, I’m sorry to hear that Dupree has found the potato chip zone. She looked pretty decent sitting on that yacht when she was first discovered. And she didn’t BLAB to any newspaper…she was a class act compared to Tiger’s molls.

  9. Son of Guano

    December 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Why do women stay married to men that make so little the woman has to work in a cube, wear a parka, give up theatre tickets and park in the snow?

  10. Carl

    December 17, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    I think it has to do with the guy’s pecker.  If it keeps her happy, she’ll work anywhere knowing she will have some fun when she gets home.

  11. Son of Guano

    December 18, 2009 at 10:55 am

    OK that consistent with the “why women date douchebags” view.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>