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Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Small town paralegal in the city. Once ran a law office, now being run by one. Med mal defense litigation. I think it's growing on me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

End of an Era: Part II

Time passes and the guilt passes. I seem to have transformed from the paralegal who knows her move is negatively affecting the Boss to the paralegal who is working like crazy to make the transition as trouble-free as possible for him.

I still understand, of course, that my move is not a good thing for him. But we've put on our brave faces as we work toward the approach of the inevitable future. The Boss has been interviewing candidates to take my place. I've been disecting their resumes and personalities. I don't want to stare into the face of the person who will take my place on the team, but I do want to help him find the best possible fit. Is it narcissistic of me to believe that the best possible fit is the person who is most like me? In trying to shy away from that assumption, I've offered positive reviews of some stand-out individuals who are not like me at all, but I worry that he won't be able to get along with anyone the way he gets along with me. And don't even get me started on the trust issue.

In preparation of the end of this era, I have made a list of my regular administrative tasks with directions describing how to do them. It isn't rocket surgery, but in my first two years as a legal assistant, I learned a few things about efficiency. Now that the Boss will have toperform some of my tasks, he needs to know the most practical ways to do so.

I wonder what our job candidates think when they come to our little office for interviews. Most of our furniture is antique and in fair shape. Our welcome mat has seen better days. Our office plant is dying a slow death at my brown-fingered hands. And our fish tank remains in a continual state of greenness in response to the constant sunlight streaming in through our large front windows.

When they walk into the Boss's office, they see scattered accordian files and a 12-inch tall To-Be-Filed stack. I try not to take guests back to our kitchen/copier area. It isn't dirty, but it can get cluttered.

It feels like inviting people to your home to live. You love the place. It is comfortable and welcoming to you, but you know it's faults and worry that another person will not be able to appreciate it the way you do. I mean, who else will understand how silly yet necessary it is for us to keep our boxes of closed files in the bath tub? (Yes, we have a real bath tub in our office, which we have converted into storage space.)

Oh, the things I will miss when I'm gone. And the things I will worry about! Deadlines and final orders will keep me up at night for awhile as I contemplate the outcome of a trial or the possibility that the Boss might miss a court date. Thank goodness for the internet age, though. As I've told him multiple times (mostly so that I can hear the words outloud), if he needs to know how I do something or where I've placed an item, even in Memphis I will be one phone call, email or text message away.


  1. Melissa, I love this post - and not just because you guys have files in a bathtub - but because you are so genuinely invested in The Boss's future success. Hopefully, with your input, he'll get someone who will be a wonderful addition to his firm, just as you will be to your new firm.

  2. Moving on from something that is going well is hard. It feels uncomfortable. It is not narcissistic to chose someone just like you because you know that the personality type works with you boss and he is going to do that consciously or unconsciously anyway. Might as well go with what you know already works rather than picking someone just because they are not like you. Another great if I would expect anything else from you :)