caminante haciendo camino
good clerk or bad clerk
2004-03-18 | 9:54 p.m.

Last night was the second night that I dream of being caught up in a flood. The situations were slightly different. But the rising waters, the increasing anxiety, the desperate search for a way out, were all the same. Im no dream interpreter, but Im fairly certain that the overwhelming and desperate feeling I have over the huge amounts of work I have yet to do is creeping into the few hours of sleep that Ive been managing to steal each night. Damn it. Its not enough that work commandeers every waking hour of my life, it now has found its way into my dream life too. Listen, you piles of worthless legal briefs, stay the fuck out of my dreams!

I did manage to escape the office for a few hours tonight to grab dinner with Mary and Kelly from Judge Ms chambers. Dinner was fabulous. It was great to catch up with them. We had a really good group last year. I miss that camaraderie.

The great latina judge whos been helping me with the job procurement plan was at the restaurant too. (She is also a Judge M, but a different Judge M, so Im having a hard time finding an easy way to refer to her. Maybe Ill call her Judge M2.) So, Judge M2 was there and she came over to say hello. Which, to be honest, many of these judges wouldnt do that. Even though we work for them and with them day by day, they wouldnt take the time to stop by your table and say hello as if speaking to a peer or a friend. But she did. Which just makes me think shes all the more wonderful for it.

I also got to visit with Judge M (the original Judge M, the one I actually worked for last year) for a bit before we left for dinner. I miss working for him. Hes wonderful. Hes going to be writing reference letters and making calls to the powers that be at the agency I want to snag a job with. He thinks Im all that and a bag of chips, so Im sure any recommendation from him will be positively glowing. Once he told me and I was completely blown away by this that in all the years hes been on the bench, his law clerks fell into three categories. Most were very bright and very talented; they did good work for him and he expected that theyd go on to make good lawyers. A few, he said, turned out to be less than expected; they were mediocre as clerks, and he imagined that they were never more than mediocre as lawyers. Then, he said, there had been a handful (maybe 4 or 5 clerks in his 18 years spent on the bench) that were truly extraordinary as law clerks, they were intelligent beyond the average really bright clerk, their analytical and communication skills were exemplary; these few clerks, he said, he would watch their careers with great anticipation because he was sure that theyd be as extraordinary as lawyers as they had been as clerks. Then to my utter shock he said, You, Jess, are one of those few extraordinary clerks. Damn. This was a man who I thought practically walked on water, not only because he was an excellent jurist, but because he was one of the most decent human beings Id ever met. And he was saying that he thought I was one of the extraordinary ones?!?! I was floored. Flattered beyond belief. And inspired to work hard to be even half of what he thought I could be.

It was easy to work hard and produce excellent work when doing so for someone who had so much confidence in me. For some reason, I feel so inept working for Judge C (my current judge). Its not that Ive screwed up, or that hes ever communicated that he was displeased with my work. I just always get the feeling that hes thinking why did I hire this crackerjack? Maybe it has something to do with MM always referring to me as the bad clerk? Its meant as a joke, but maybe somewhere I think that she, or, worse Judge C, is really thinking that. Its probably all in my head. Anyway, its just not the same dynamic as it was with Judge M. I miss that.

Good clerk or bad clerk, I must bring these ramblings to an end and get back to work.

Listening To: something by Matchbox Twenty
Reading: legal briefs, what else?
Feeling: inept and overwhelmed

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