Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Interview

I was so shocked that I got an interview  because I have no experience in the areas of law that the firm practices in.  I just figured I would apply for the sake of applying and take any lack of interest as either a mistake on my resume or my lack of experience in the area.  I just needed to test out my new updated resume. 

Well the new resume worked, my interview was yesterday afternoon and I think it went ok.  My interviewer was late and we did the interview in a big open conference room.  (Very nice office-by the way).  He did not have any materials with him because he was late-but I had prepared a packet for him to review and gave it to him upon his arrival.  He was nice, funny, friendly, but seemed a bit distracted. The interview was fairly short-not more than 25 minutes.  I think I did most of the talking and asking questions, honestly.  I really felt like I was interviewing him. 

I like the model of the firm- everyone gets a decent basic salary when they start.  Salaries don't really increase over time-but the firm gives large bonuses at the end of every year.  According to my interviewer often times the bonuses are bigger than the employees salary for a month.  The bonuses are based on merit, essentially, everyone is not entitled to the same bonus.  I like that structure because I'm a hard worker and (since I'm single with no kids) I have nothing else to do, but work.  He said if you are doing well he would make sure you are making more money every year.   He was hard to read and I was a bit off kilter since he was late and had time to get more nervous and worry.  So, all I can say is that it went okay.  There were no major foibles.  I will let you know the result as soon as I know- which probably won't be until January.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!  In the meantime I will keep looking for a new job.

Monday, December 22, 2014

I got an interview!!

Thank you everyone for all of your positive thoughts.  My interview is this afternoon so I will try to fill you all in on how it goes when I get home this evening!  Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 18, 2014


My boss and I spoke briefly on Monday and I reiterated that I was still unhappy.  I told him since our last conversation nothing had changed.  He didn't do anything to implement my idea for a new division after stating that he would, he continued to be absent from the office, he continued to drop assignments on me on the due date, he continued to argue with me about projects (rather than working with me or having a productive conversation), etc.  He has a very bad habit of attacking people in a conversation, rather than simply asking questions.  This behavior is applied equally office-wide to every employee.  He acknowledged the behavior, but nothing more.  Indicative of his lack of change is an argument we had on Tuesday wherein he accused me of doing something wrong, he was very condescending in his comments.  I told him it was right and that it was a basic element of Florida law that he should know (I've only been practicing 9.5 years and all).  After the conversation I sent him a rule proving that I was right.  He did not apologize, but did admit that I was right.

Then, yesterday, he called (from home) and said that he wanted to use my picture and bio in some marketing materials.  I told him no.  He was upset that I didn't want to be included in the marketing materials.  He realized that I may be thinking about leaving the firm.  He, however, included me anyways and had his assistant forward it to the printer.  I don't care if he uses my information in the materials, I just don't want him to waste time including me in the materials since I don't know how much longer I will be working for the firm.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Budget Breakdown December 16-31

Utilities $220
Groceries $100
Christmas $1,700
Spending $204
Savings $90
Gas $100

I'm trying to buy a few nice gifts for the family this year because I haven't been able to buy much this year due to all the dental work I had to pay for.  Looking at my debt, my small student loan is at around $3,700.  I know it's a bit early to discuss goals for 2015 but I am really going to focus on getting that loan paid off by the end of April 2015. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

The deed is done

I just submitted my resume and cover letter for the recent job that posted.  I am excited, because even if I don't get an interview (and believe me the job market here is tight) I feel like I am doing something to achieve my goal. Also, I like submitting resumes because, if I don't get interviews, that serves as a flag to me that maybe I need to change something on my resume or that maybe there is a typo that I missed.

We are not getting Christmas bonuses this year (surprise, surprise) and that's a little disappointing, but it was never expected. After, I spoke with my boss a few months ago ( I think in October) he mentioned the possibility of a raise.  Nothing has materialized. The lack of a raise and now confirmation that we are not getting Christmas bonuses is telling.  My last raise was 2 years ago, the only raise that I have received at this firm (I have been here 3.5 years).  As I have stated previously my boss' secretary has received numerous raises in her 4 years of employment at the firm.  No one else has received such frequent raises- not even the paralegal that has been here over 20 years.  The lack of a raise is very frustrating to me: First, I out bill everyone else in the firm.  We do insurance defense work and the business model is: we do the work and bill the insurance company for the work we do based on an hourly rate.  Every attorney is required to  submit timesheets for the work that is completed.  I out bill everyone in both offices. Secondly, since my last raise I have been tasked with handling ALL of the appellate work out of both offices.  Thirdly, my boss' assistant has worked at the firm for about 6 months longer than me and has received approximately 6 (that's a pure guess, I have lost track) raises in the 4 years she has worked there.  She last received a raise in December 2013. She often complains how bored she is at work and has developed quite a attendance problem.

These are the reasons (among other reasons) why I am looking for new employment.  This is a cycle for me.  I always end up taking on extra projects at work without being compensated and then I end up frustrated.  I need to find a way to break the cycle. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A job posted!!

A rare December job opening posted in my area!  I decided on Sunday, that I would only look for jobs on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays-just to limit the amount of time that I spent looking for jobs. However, just out of the blue this morning I got up to exercise and I picked up my phone to set the stopwatch and I had an email from one of those job sites- you know, the ones where you can set your preferences and it sends emails of jobs that meet your preferences.  Again, this is not a job that I am super qualified for, but I am going to apply anyways. One- I hope they take a chance on me and give me an interview, Two-I need to send out my revised resume and see how it is received by potential employers, Three- I just feel the need to try! Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Student loan numbers for 2014

Okay, I couldn't wait!  Here are the figures for my student loan debt for 2014.

Amount paid to student loan: $5,524.74
Amount Paid to principal: $4,753.79
Amount Paid to Interest: $770.95

Note: I will likely make one more payment on these loans on December 31, 2014. That amount should be included in these totals, but I'm a nerd and I wanted to see the final figures.

Frankly, these numbers are disappointing. However, when compared to the figures that would have resulted had I only made the minimums the numbers are great.  See below for the totals if I had only paid the minimums.

Amount that would have been paid toward student loans: $2,428.44
Amount that would have been paid toward principal: $1,500.00
Amount that would have been paid toward interest: $928.44

Note: these figures are loose approximations.  I did not actually go through and do the necessary calculations to figure out the exact numbers. 

Student loan update

This month I only was able to put $250 on my student loans.  That sucks, as I really wanted to pay down my student loans down significantly this year so that next year I could pay them off easily.  Well, that did not happen. However, I did get my big student loan down under $20,000!! Just barely, but that's okay.  I'll take what I can get.  I will have one more payment to make on December 31, 2014 so I will do my final totals then with regard to how much I paid off on my students loans this year. 

I have updated my resume to reflect some articles that I wrote for an internet publication.  I also am trying to figure to how to include my new "so-called" position as the managing attorney of the division of the law firm that I suggested opening.   My boss says it's not new- we have always done the work-we will just promote it more.  Again, thus far, nothing has happened.  So, I am getting my resume together so I can start looking for new jobs in the new year.  I keep thinking that even if I am miserable, I can get paid more money to be miserable elsewhere. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014


I know it's early, but I am starting to feel a bit of stress about the upcoming Christmas Holiday.  I did not do any preparation, as far as saving in advance,  although I did write Christmas gifts into my December budget (You will see it in my December 16-31 budget).  I plan to do most of my Christmas shopping online so I need to start ordering things now in order to avoid delays and other timing mishaps.  I would prefer to wait until my December 15th pay day to start ordering things, but I think I'm going to have to start now.  That bothers me only because the law firm I work for (as I have discussed numerous times) does not have its sh*t together, so I never know what kind of craziness to expect come pay day. 

I have also started thinking about getting my taxes together for next year.  I'm so stressed out.  I have all of these medical expenses to track down and add up.  I have most of them in a folder, but I also need to find out the cost for all of the prescriptions I have paid for, etc.  I also need to add up all of the homeowner's deductions that I can take.  I want to get that all done in December to see if I need to make any charitable donations order to get the most benefit from my deductions. 

Anyways, I have to go get cleaned up and dressed so I can go stress at work!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December 1-15 Budget Breakdown

$1,447 mortgage
$250 student loan
$60 pet plan
$80 groceries
$227 spending
$100 gas
$250 dental fund

This is going to be a tight month because of Christmas.  I will be setting aside a significant portion of my December 15 paycheck to cover Christmas expenses.  Last year I saved over $600 specifically for Christmas, but I was not able to do that this year due to all of the medical expenses I have incurred. 

I'm still feeling a little down, but I have adopted a new attitude which prohibits me from focusing on the bad things at work.  So far it has worked, in that I have been able to redirect my thoughts whenever I start thinking of things that make me upset.  I will write a post on it later and let you know how it goes.