Thursday, May 15, 2008


Update: It only took a year, but yesterday I GOT A JOB!! Yup. I'd like to take this time to thank all those who supported me in my multitude of dark hours, along with the little man and the Fonz.

I'd especially like to thank the Fonz. Hey!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Play it one last time, Sam

So here's an interesting concern. What if the main reason I didn't get so many of these jobs is because I didn't know the right people?

It sounds like my most recent rejection was due, in part, to someone at the office knowing a guy who had applied. If it is the person I think it is, I'm pretty sure my grades are better or at least the same; I've had an extra year of experience; I worked in a law related field last summer; I have any experience with the judges and court in Topeka; and I'm really an all around more interesting and outgoing person.

However, the person who got the job had an relationship of some kind with an associate, and I have a friendship with a part time law student who is also working there.

I mean, in retrospect, shouldn't I have given that job up for lost the second I found out about this other person? His qualities over-power mine in every way.

It's possible that my current year long job hunt has, and is continuing to make me a bitter person. Here I was, thinking the only thing missing in my life was the ability to get a date. I had no idea that getting a job can be so equally horrible.

It'd be neat if every three years or so, from this point forward, I became terrible at one more thing successively, so that, by the time I was about 75, childless, and reviled by all those around me, I could die mercifully in my sleep.

Wow. Even I thought that was a little too dark. But dammit, I HATE this process.

Tomorrow morning I'm driving to Topeka (that'll be today, for those of you reading) to be pleasant at ANOTHER job interview, just so I can rejected again. Mind you, the odds for this job sound slightly more decent. It isn't being advertised at KU. I applied because I had an in. Thing is, if they only hire one person, it is simply impossible for that person to be me. This, I've learned, is a maxim of the legal profession.

"Thou shalt not hire NJ, for he is flabby and unworthy."

Update: It's funny reading some of these recent postings again. They remind me of my "why can't I find an attractive woman who is even vaguely interested in me" speeches. In those speeches I spend a great deal of time wondering exactly what, in the rational world, could be the reason for my failure. Usually, I decide it comes down to my weight. And my incredible lack of trying and fear of failure.

The nice twist on the job front is that lack of trying isn't an issue anymore. I've definitely put myself out there plenty of times.

If I had to compare the two, I would say I prefer my lack-of-women thing. For one thing, I'm probably richer for it. (You know, a penny saved...) The other nice thing about is it the notable lack of complete failure. Oh sure, I've been rejected occasionally, but never as many times in such a brief span of time. My dating rejections have had good healing time spans in between. With this job thing, since August I've been rejected every month but January and maybe March. Big difference there.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Late Night Musings - Stream of consciousness rocks!

It's funny how much doom and gloom a person can feel during the hell that is finals. Ditto in the world of job searches.

I just googled myself. Turns out you can get to this blog from my real name in about 3 clicks.

That's not a lot of clicks. Honestly, it's pretty unnerving. What if some hot chick, or God forbid, some employer gets to this blog and figures out what's going on? I seriously sound like a whiny little bastard who is possibly crazy and almost certainly a depression risk.

I imagine I also sound like a self-involved writer of mediocre talents who does, admittedly, have the ability to turn the average joke on occasion. Talk about a terrible representation of... well, no, that's about right.

At least I'm honest with myself on here. I may not come off as the greatest job candidate of all time, but dag-nabbit, I'm an excellent first alternative!

Anyway, I really like approximately the third day after finals. You know, that's the day when you've finally gotten enough sleep; you're pretty sure you're not going to be having any finals-related nightmares; and life can start being good again. At least, this is true until you start worrying about grades, but that's not for like another whole week!

(I almost wrote "a whole nother," but recalled the Family Guy episode where that was frowned upon. See! You can learn English everywhere!)

What are some other things going on in my life? Um, I keep meaning to call D. It's weird. It seems like every day for the past 3 weeks it occurs to me to call her, but then something either comes up or I assume she's working. Can't say I approve of that behavior.

I recently dropped a few places on the Facebook compare people application. I'm still holding steady in my better upper rankings, including smarts and reliability (I know! Reliability? Really? Maybe I define reliable different than other people). Plus, I'm holding steady in my two favorite upper categories, Best Singer and Person I would Most Rather Travel With. So that's awesome.

But I have sadly dropped to 17th sexiest and 20th most likely to succeed. I guess I can't fault people for the sexiest thing. I mean, there's no reason to split straws about that one. But 20th most likely to succeed!? Gosh, people, talk about no faith.

You know, Eisenhower was voted most likely to be a librarian. Maybe we should all remember that when we go around picking "most likely to succeed." Seriously, I am unimpressed with that ranking. On the other hand, there was only a vote 3 times, and I won 2 of those three, so I guess it's not all bad.

OK. I'm done. Bed time. After rereading this post, I can definitely guess that I'm tired... in a good mood, certainly, but tired.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Rejection. Failure. Choices.

Tonight, I'm going to try to tip-toe around some depressing topics without getting all depressy. This is partially because I don't want to go there tonight and partially because I've been thinking about some things that I find interesting.

My focus tonight is a topic, or series of topics, maybe, very near and dear to my heart. Rejection. Failure. Choices.

That's what an awful lot of the world is all about. And I don't understand why.

I mean, think back on the evolution of our species. Choices, certainly, were pretty big for us. Failure, also, meant quite a bit. Both issues were crucial in the long term outcome of mankind.

But rejection. What's that about?

No, even that's the wrong question. There are a million things that rejection can be all about. Most obvious and simple is that we're all looking for the fittest of the fit.

So what am I getting at tonight?

Yesterday I got rejected for approximately the 8000th job. Last night I went to a dinner in which one of the chief justices of the Kansas supreme court and I reminisced about our job interview failures.... Only Madam Chief Justice's story was about how she'd forgotten the name of one of the five high power, high money Washington, D.C. firms she'd interviewed with, and my story had to do with being rejected over the phone for a job that - I think - paid $11 an hour.

Talk about two distinct points of view.

Almost all of my law school friends have jobs now. The ones who don't have summer plans.

Maybe that's it. I've never been here before. (I've also never used as many 'e's in a sentences as that. Two in every word but the first! Wow!)

Um. Back on point. I've never been in this position before. I am the odd man out. I'm, all of a sudden, the kid who gets picked last for kickball, not because I suck at kickball, but because everyone else just happens to be a little bit better than I am.

And it's true in every aspect of the job search. I don't have the grades to go into the big time defense jobs. I don't have the interviewing skills to wow the mid-size firms of the world. I don't have the integrity to send out a million applications the super small time firms of the region. And I don't have the personality or connections to accidentally fall into a job.

I'm the first alternative. The first runner-up. The person they'd hire if they could hire two. And even that is on a good day. On a bad day, I'm the person who gets rejected out of hand.

Thing is, I think we all already know that. Lord knows I've bitched about it enough. Why write tonight? Why keep going on about these things, if the problem has already been so well-defined?

I keep writing, because I keep looking for the way out of this mess. The third issue. Choices. For all that I complain about the problem, I've never really addressed the solutions. And why haven't I addressed them?

I don't know. (Mind you, this isn't the pissed off, defensive type of I don't know. This is the kind of "I don't know," where the tired old man shrugs his shoulders and hangs his head.) Maybe it's a little to do with fear. Some of the choices leave me a poor, financially strapped man with very little hope of ever breaking my head above water. I mean, do I stop? Is that the solution? Do I quit law school altogether? Sure, I have a ton of loans, but a law job won't get rid of them, if I don't GET a law job.

There are other solutions, beyond giving up, but giving up feels so much like a nice enemy that I know. I know where that path will lead me. I don't have any idea my current path is leading. I'm not going to be on the KU Law board of governors. I can comfortably say that, I think. I'm probably not going to be a judge. I will not graduate with honors. I will not have been on Law Review, Law Journal, nor the Moot Court Council. I'll have gotten nearly every position I've ever won because I ran either unopposed or against disinterested competition. I will never have received a CALI award of excellence.

And, with all of that said, my resume still looks nice. The thing it is missing is the thing that would turn me into a good lawyer. The instinct. The will. The WIN.

That's it. That's the thing I'm missing. The win. I am not the best at anything at all. I'm the guy who is decent at things. I'm a middle cog. To borrow from another metaphor, I live in a perpetual state of spinning my wheels.

Thing is, I don't think I can change that. At least, not while in law school. Maybe when I hit the real world and things start to count. Maybe then I'll be able to move out of this malaise.

But perhaps not. Perhaps the options are really very simple. I can either quit/finish law school and stop this whole lawyer thing altogether, or I can finish, become a public defender, do the loan forgiveness thing, and quietly accept that I am who I am.

And, for my most likely option, maybe I'll go another way completely, ending up doing something that is acceptable but not optimal. (i.e. Montana State... eh, not bad. Not the George Washington U., but not bad.) I guess I can cross my fingers for that one.

But wouldn't it be cool if I wasn't stuck with these choices? Wouldn't it be cool if I were the person who was having a hard time, because I had two awesome job offers, and I couldn't pick between them?