Bippity boppity boo
So today I met with a colleague at work to “revisit” my February performance review. Back in February, it was brought to my attention, in a rather constructively critical manner, that I was a bit of a clock watcher and basically inept (per one partner). However, it was decided that I would be given 4 months to “improve” and then be given the opportunity to “revisit” the issues – I know you are jealous.
Well it has been over 4 months but I was in NO hurry to be reviewed again. Sitting across a desk from someone as they rattle off a list of negatives (no matter how “constructive”) is not really my idea of a good time (such as say a PAP smear) so I ignored the 4 month mark.
Honestly, I thought work was going pretty well. I was covering for another paralegal on maternity leave and that had kept me busy. I was working with different lawyers and it was a nice change of pace. There were no major catastrophes (at least that were brought to my immediate attention) and I was feeling somewhat confident – anyone who knows me knows that me using the word “confident” is a big deal since I am not typically a confident person.
Anyway, I decided to bring the review up last week when my supervisor was visiting my office and figured I wouldn’t hear anything more about it. Wrong.
So here I am today feeling OK about myself as I shut the door to C’s office. I make myself comfortable, amidst the folders and papers on her guest chair, and brace myself for the news. C starts off telling me that the majority of the “talk” was “positive” BUT there were some episodes of “self-sabotage” and plenty of room to grow (I do too much personal stuff and one partner never knows when I am “around”) but overall I had “improved” since February. Whew…but wait there is more.
It seems the overall opinion, among the lawyers, was that I am not very “remarkable” and that I do nothing to distinguish myself from any other Tom, Dick or Harry that could sit at my desk.
Do you feel the love???
How does one respond to that? Do you smile and say thank you? Do you cry and leave in a hurry or do you just take it all in and pretend to give a shit?
My reaction was a combination of all three. After a HUGE pep talk I left C’s office feeling…well…like crap but knowing it was up to me to make a change because no one was going to do it for me.
C said I was allowed a brief moment of pity (I took an hour) and then I needed to focus on what I could do in my life to make me happy (in work and home) and “shine”.
I feel like I am at a cross roads lately. I know that there is no way I was put on this earth to be a paralegal. Seriously, there had to be some other purpose for me other than being unremarkable at a law firm satellite office in Princeton, NJ. But what??
C had asked me today in her office what I liked to do and what made me happy. I toyed with a sarcastic rebuttal but decided against it. Instead I told C that I enjoyed blogging and working with parents of kids’ who have autism (like my 4yo).
Ok, great, wtf am I going to do with those 2 thingd?? While I would love to be a professional blogger, I don’t think bloggers get medical benefits – a necessity with 4 kids (one of whom has ASD). Also, I really have a clue as to how you become a full-time professional blogger.
As for working with parents, this is something that sort of took me by surprise. Last year, I was given the opportunity to sit on a parent panel at an autism seminar. At first I was terrified thinking who the hell would care what I would have to say????
Then something strange happened that day, not only did people listen to me but they asked ME questions and even emailed ME. They actually cared about what I had to say and to paraphrase Sally Field “they really liked me”. It was a great feeling and I volunteered for any other future parent panels.
I started networking among the ASD professionals and even volunteered to work at a carnival hoping to get my name out there and be remembered. I don’t know if my efforts will pay off one day but at least I know that a couple of times a year I get to take part in something that really makes me feel good about myself and makes me feel like I am making a difference.
C told me today that I can’t expect instant gratification and that I need to keep working and making a mark for myself, to plant the proverbial seeds that will someday grow.
I guess C has a point but all I could think of when I got home is how I wish I had a real Fairy Godmother who would swoop down and shout bippity boppity boo! before making all my wishes come true.
I know, I know, I am a 40 yo mom of 4 and I can’t expect anyone, let alone a Fairy Godmother, to make my dreams come true. It is up to me to do that but really, just one time, I think it would be FABULOUS!!!
In the meantime I will continue to do my best at work to be more “remarkable”. I will put on a fake smile and look happy as I sit at my desk “working” and doing NOTHING personal (like everyone else is doing). Who knows, maybe it will all pay off and someday I will get to do something I truly like.
In the meantime, I will keep hoping and praying to hear the magic words bippity boppity boo!!