My First Office Job

A few days ago a friend of mine passed away and her memorial service was Friday.  It was really sad to see her two young children saying goodbye to their mom when just a few years prior it was their father who passed.  Both were my friends and former co-workers.  The husband, whom I first became friends with at Walmart  introduced me to his wife.  It was just about the time that I was graduating from college with my Paralegal degree.  She was working at a small law firm and thought perhaps I may also be able to get a job there.  So she set up an interview with one of the attorneys – and subsequently I started my career as a professional office worker.

My first office was in their tiny, walk-in-closet sized kitchen.  There was a small oval table with 2 chairs.  On one wall was the microwave, mini fridge, coffee maker.  That’s where I sat, wearing my fancy pants and having to scoot my chair in every time someone wanted to retrieve something.   I didn’t have any desk drawers, or places to keep anything.  We weren’t a poor office, it’s just that I don’t think it was really set up for me to work there.

glojek office 1

My first office – 2003

glojek office 2

2003 – my first desk and piles of work waiting for me me to complete

glojek

The outside of the law firm (left side)

Looking back on that job, I can see that college does not prepare you enough for starting in an office.  Sure they tell you all about how to look up laws and what the laws are, what the procedures in court are, and a bunch of fancy words and definitions.  In my opinion they don’t do enough to help prepare you on how to function in an office environment.  My prior jobs were totally different.  From my teenage years I was employed as a dog babysitter, a laundromat cleaner and a waitress.  It was a giant leap for me to transition into an office environment.

I was scared, but having my friend there made it so much easier.  She taught me a lot about filing, organization, and phone etiquette…. the basic things that are necessary to work as a legal secretary.  I made a lot of mistakes along the way.  I am not exactly proud of my work there, but people have to start somewhere.  I wonder how long I would have lasted if the attorney I was working for hadn’t left the firm, thus forcing my exit not long after.  Even if I had been there longer than the 8 months I was, I wouldn’t have made it anywhere else if it weren’t for the good heart, and generous kind nature of my two friends.  They were also instrumental in my getting my next big job at City Hall.  May you both rest in eternal peace.

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