Less than two months after we decided for sure that we were going to move, I found out a position was open in Denver for what I considered a dream attorney job and promptly sent in my resume, writing samples, recommendations. Almost immediately, I received a request for a telephone interview. After that, an in-person interview. I met one portion of the legal team for one hour and then met with the Boss for another. Yes, a two-hour interview. Ugh.
The Boss was a little … odd. Amber, the attorney who currently holds the position, had been there one year. It became clear that the Boss had either point-blank asked Amber to leave or that, at best, it was a mutual decision between the two, but that she’s working through August. The Boss alluded to various things she disliked about her, though said that Amber did good work. Then the Boss stated that what she valued most in an attorney holding this position was “authenticity” and that she was always on edge with Amber because she never felt like she was dealing with the “real person.” Um, authenticity? Real person? This is a legal research and writing job, there’s not even very much interaction. I’ve discussed the Boss’s comments with several people who, like me, currently hold a similar position, and even with those who currently hold the Boss’s position elsewhere, and no-one can make heads or tails of this. The Boss also repeatedly and with unbridled affection referred to the attorney, Jane, who held this position for four years prior to Amber. In the hour I spent with the Boss, even I was getting a little tired of hearing about Jane, I can only imagine Amber’s thoughts on this woman over the past year. (Indeed, after returning from my interview, Jane became instant legend at my office. “Jane could have written this better, in half the time, while being real and probably with better hair.”)
In spite of these, and other, red flags, the opportunity was too good to pass up just because the Boss might be a teensy bit crazy. I mean, does that really separate one boss from another? Aren’t they all slightly irrational? I’m not sure you rise to any position of power if you’re not, at best, unbalanced. Or maybe those are just my bosses. Which could explain some things, really. It’s the classic chicken and the egg. If I’m the common thread, and not all bosses are a little psycho, then maybe I just drive them there quickly?
This is not beyond the realm of possibility.
Anyway, I was going to take the job regardless of the crazy. The pay was awesome, the benefits as well. It was down to three candidates
I got the rejection e-mail today. Polite, generic, thank you for your interest, it was a very difficult decision, blah, blah, blah. I wonder if bosses ever want to say things like “I thought you were a pretentious twit” or “I would rather claw my eyes out than deal with you every day,” as much as anyone receiving that e-mail wants to say, “I didn’t want to work for you, anyway, psycho b*tch. Plus, I think you torture kittens at night.”
Authentic enough, you think?
*sigh* I’d have preferred to stick it out with the crazy for at least one year while Jo got her firm off the ground in Boulder. Contributing to our starting-over adventure would have been worthwhile enough to make up for the lunatic who, one year from now, would quite possibly be telling interviewees about my lack of something or other while continuing to lament the departure of the saintly Jane. (I can’t imagine her complaint with me would be a lack of authenticity. My mouth is perpetually two steps ahead of my brain. A little less authenticity would serve me well. I bet my crazy bosses would concur).
Still, as Jo has repeatedly said, we’ve waited this long to take the leap and rather than going into a job that seems doomed from the start, I should use this time to find something new, that I actually enjoy (I know, novel idea). Veterans rights and benefits, education law, estate and family planning, long-term care planning for developmentally disabled adults – all areas I feel passionate about. But turning that into legal work and livelihood is daunting. As an attorney, I’ve always worked for either the federal judiciary or established firms. Safe routes. I like safe. And predictable. None of this feels safe and predictable. And yes, I realize everything we’re doing right now is risky and unpredictable, but the crazy Boss would have given it some illusion of stability.
But Jo has done the research on the nuts and bolts of starting the firm. I suppose, if we’re packing up and moving, I may as well go all in.