Monday, June 21, 2010

A Red Bull Convert Speaks

It is Summer Solstice today...and I've heard its a beautiful day. I've heard the spring was nice too. But I wouldn't really know because I've been in the seventh circle of hell, known in wider circles as my job.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate my job? Well, its getting worse by the day. In March, I was so bored I wanted to pull my hair out. And then April came along and I've barely seen the light of day since. On Saturday, I got shipped off to jolly olde England for the most exhausting of all my cases and all my friends kept saying how lucky I was -- how it was just sooooo coooooool that I got to travel to London on business. So cool my fucking ass. What my friends don't seem to understand, even after I fucking explained it to them, is that the only parts of London I'll be seeing are the inside of my client's offices, the inside of the law offices of our co-counsel, and if I'm lucky, the inside of my hotel room for a few hours each night. I got to see London Bridge, too, but that was only because we had to drive over Tower Bridge this morning to get to one of the offices where I'll be spending the better part of the next week (and then three more weeks in July). And yet, despite being told all this, the friends all insisted, Oh stina, I'm sure you'll have some free time to yourself; you'll be able to have some fun. And something inside me would crack just a touch more.

So I gave up trying to explain the insanity that is my job. I even gave up telling people I was traveling because I just couldn't bear to hear the, Oh that's so cool, nonsense anymore. I've almost given up on getting a good night sleep - but a little part in the back of brain remains hopeful, and I can't in good conscious say I "gave up" on sleep because that would suggest I've done so voluntarily even though the sleep deprivation at this point is more akin to torture than it is due to some undying work ethic or some shit.

And so, to keep myself from falling asleep at my computer and hitting my face on my keyboard (again) I've given up water for Red Bull. Even though the only time I ever used to touch the stuff was after a shot of Jager had been dropped in it. Which, actually, come to think of it, might not be a bad idea right about now. Because, seriously, if I'm going to be delusional from lack of sleep, might as well get a buzz while I'm at it, right? I'm not talking about getting dance-on-the-bar drunk or anything, just a shot or two to take the edge off. Bad idea? Good idea? You let me know. In the meantime, I've got to go see if Marks & Spencer unpacked the new shipment of Red Bull yet.


Kristen said...

Ah, I should bookmark this post for the next person who asks me why I didn't go to law school. I would have loved to go to law school, but to pay for it, I would have had to become a lawyer. And this is what being a lawyer is like.

Then someone comes out with, "oh I know a lawyer who blah blah blah" as in, has a country club lifestyle and stuff, and I ask, "gee, is this lawyer like 200 years old?" because you don't get to there without going through here.

There is a brutal, hazing mindset in the legal industry which has not subsided, that seems to say that if you have the time for a personal life, you aren't working hard enough. Psychotherapist Will Meyerhofer likens the law firm experience to PSTD ( People outside the industry can't think that this is true, but they also don't know the abnormally high rate of suicide, depression and substance abuse among lawyers.

So please take care of you before you burn out. I mean that - and I say it more loudly than the lawyers you know calling you a wimp for whining, and the friends who think you're exaggerating. Your firm isn't going to do it for you.

LSL said...

I used to travel for work and it sucks ass. It can be totally draining, leaving you exhausted, cranky, disoriented, and, oh yes, away from everything comforting and familiar. You just focus on that last day when you get to pack up and go home; it's all you think about the entire time. And then the day before someone calls and says they've extended your trip by two weeks.

And your friends all say, "You are so lucky!" It's true.

Hang in there. And do take care of yourself somehow. They'll run you into the ground without a second thought if you let them.