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stages of tedium, or, bad fit

The path to acceptance and leaving the law.

Showing up for work, day after day, in a place where you feel like an outsider and utterly unconnected to the work you do is a tedious thing. Well, first tedious, then demoralizing, then frustrating, and, perhaps finally, intolerable.

You treat the days like an exercise in acting. You perfect the “I’m totally listening and engaged in what you are saying” face. It’s a tricky combination of eye contact, nods, and note taking. And then there’s the “yes, I am so excited to learn more about this fascinating subject and am committed to working hard and becoming a partner” routine. That takes more effort – you have to verbalize the right amount of enthusiasm and have thought out all the right points that they want to hear from you. And finally, you have to accept critiques with enough grace, but also some shame, to convince them that you really care about rectifying things.

All the while, you are plotting your escape and dream of a career spent discussing topics that matter to you, with people who don’t condescend.

The drudgery of having to continue to do your job (because mortgages, health insurance, and student loans cost money) with no end in sight (all the while counted in six-minute increments because the billable hour is king) makes your blood run cold. You dream up scenarios in which you are potentially incapacitated for a time, but not permanently, just so you can escape for a while. You fantasize about winning the lottery and either flouncing out of the office middle fingers raised, or just not showing up ever again.

And when I say you, I mean me. Because, I, Marginally Professional (MP) am an aspiring former attorney. I am working through my own stages of tedium, trying to have the good sense to make my exit on my own terms lest I explode and am unceremoniously shown the door. Join me as I chronicle my journey, while also distracting myself by writing about what makes me happy – feminism, fashion, sustainability, food, travel, and politics.


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