Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Day 1: Mastering the Document System

So, my first day. It was good, though rather anticlimactic and full of computer training. The morning went well. JP left for school at 7, so it was a little crazy getting myself and my stuff together while stopping Landon from treating the dog bowl and/or toilet as his own personal bird bath, but luckily he was happy to bang my hair products on the floor while I got ready. I had the hair styled and outfit donned by the time the sitter arrived at 8, so she played with Landon while I did the make-up and accessorizing. I then showed her around the house and gave her the partially filled-out "Baby's Schedule" the nanny agency had sent me (it had super helpful comments like "well, he used to take two naps, but lately he's been taking one, so he may go down at this time, or possibly this other time... basically if he's fussy and doesn't want food, try a nap!"). Landon was already giving her his scrunched up smiles and crawling amongst his toys trying to decide which to show her first, so I knew he was happy. I thought that I might get a little emotional when I kissed him goodbye, but I was running a late and grabbing stuff from the diaper bag to throw in my purse and tearing through our junk drawer to find a check to void for direct deposit, so I just didn't have time to wallow in the "I'm leaving my baby" thing. And he was fine, I could hear him happily babbling to the sitter, so the whole transition was drama free.

At the office I was presented with a welcome gift (beautiful snow globe with the Austin skyline from Saks), large insulated plastic cup and coffee mug with my name on it (part of the firms' effort to be green, no more styrofoam or other disposable cups), two huge binders full of training manuals and employment forms, and my personal favorite - a stack of empty legal pads with the firm name on the top. Oh how I love a freshly bound stack of blank paper. We ("We" being me and the two other associates who chose to start on the first day possible - I think everyone else is starting on the last day possible, 5 weeks from now) had introductory meetings with HR, Marketing, and our secretary staff, went on an office tour (oh my office - so pretty! with such a beautiful view), and then out to lunch with our mentors. The entire afternoon was spent in computer training, which we will also be doing for 8 hours tomorrow. I now have a snazzy laptop and docking station, black berry, and a growing fear that sometime soon I'm going to have to do actual work involving real legal matters and someone might find out that I know nothing at all. Luckily my desk is big enough for me to hide under whenever I feel the need.

Training was over at 4:40, so I was home by 5. I could hear Landon squeaking in the dining room when I opened the door, and I got the biggest, scrunchiest face smile I've ever seen. He exclaimed "Dat!" when he saw me, which we thought was his word for "dad" but now I think it's just "parent!". And really that makes sense- to him, JP and I aren't very different. We both do the same things with him, and pretty evenly divide his care, so just as he has two dogs that are different but both called "Dug," he has two "Dats" - his mommy and daddy. I kind of like that.  He smiled and flapped his hands enthusiastically as he waved goodbye to his new lady friend, and then we went inside to chase each other around the living room.

I'm now sitting on the couch next to a one inch thick stack of employee benefits papers, feeling very grown up as I select insurance and retirement plans.  It's a new responsibility for me, being the provider for my family, but one I'm happy to take on.  It still feels weird to be starting something without an end date, which is a first for me.  But I think it's going to be good - exciting, fun, challenging, stressful - really, all my favorite things.


  1. Congratulations! I was thinking of you last night and sending good vibes and I'm sure you'll be a great lawyer.

    By any chance to Maya or either of you say "Who's that?" a lot to Landon when the other is around? .

    We do that with my niece a lot. "Who's that?" has an affectionate tone of voice on the "That" so it would make perfect sense for Landon to call you "Dat"

    It's really neat to hear he's using words now.

    And you get to work with a new vocabulary too!

    Have you got business cards yet? I loooved my first business cards.

  2. LL- Delurking to say that I'm glad that you are blogging about starting your career. You were a great comfort during my bar prep, and now I have a feeling you'll be a great comfort as I prepare to start work in a couple of weeks. While my experience will be a little different in that I have already worked at this firm since the winter of my 2L year, it still seems scary now that I'm actually going to be a lawyer and not just a law clerk.

    So, anyway, good luck with the rest of your training and I'm sure you'll be fine when they give you "actual" legal work. :)

  3. Congrats!

    And I, too, was enthusiastic about getting *back* to work after most of my kids. I have five. Kids, not careers. At any rate, I felt that working WAS a good example.

    Landon will be fine, as you will, too.

    Referring to the other comment - my nephew would point to his body parts... "where's your nose?"
    -point to his nose-
    Where's your ear? -grab his ear-
    Where's your other one? -grab the other ear-

    When he started speaking, he had an ear and another-one, referring to his second ear. Very cute!

  4. Great report! I do find it a little sad to start something with no end date, even if I like what I'm doing.

  5. OMG, how WONDERFUL! It sounds like a perfectly exhausting and good first day ... your office sounds so nice! And it sounds like Landon likes his sitter, which makes all the difference in the world.

    By the by ... I tagged you for a meme this morning. ;)

  6. I am so glad you posted an update. I was hoping for one after your post yesterday.

    Glad you have a great view - It will help!

    Good luck on the stack of papers - I always hate filling all those out.

  7. Very cool! I LOVE The First Day. No real work, just "play" work like insurance forms and patting your pretty new desk and computer and brand. new. paper. Lucky duck.

  8. Congratulations! I'm so glad your first day went well. I can't wait to hear more!

  9. Yeah, welcome to the working world! It sounds like things went well for you. This first month hopefully you will just be eased into everything slowly. You seem to be on top of everything so I know you're going to be just fine.

  10. Sounds like a great first day!!

  11. Yeah for anticlimactic easy first days!

  12. Yay first day! How exciting!

    That is cute about Landon calling you the same thing.

  13. Sounds like an awesome first day. I am so excited for you. I can't wait to hear more when you actually get into doing some legal stuff.

  14. Congrats on entering the working world! Wait until you get your first business card with your name on it. I couldn't stop staring at mine and gave them out to everyone I knew.

    Our son used to call everything Dad when he was that age. A Pepsi can was dad to him. The other day he called a total stranger Dad and was so excited. The guy looked nothing like my husband and I was so embarrassed! My husband wasn't happy to hear that he called someone else dad either.

    Good luck with the new job, from reading your site I can tell you're very driven and you'll do great!

  15. What a perfect way to start this phase of your transition! It sounds like it is working out even better than planned.
    Do any of the other associates starting with you have spouses or children? It's always nice to have people in the same boat as you--and potential friends--and I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in good company as a summer associate, so I wonder if that is prevalent beyond my particular firm...

  16. Congrats on surviving your first day unscathed! Sounds like a lovely place to work.

  17. Congrats! It sounds like they went easy on you. :)

    and you even got a travel mug with your name on it??? that's pretty cool!!! mind if I work there, too?...it sounds like a fantastic place.