Monday, 1 December 2008

All Change

It's been an interesting few weeks, recently. As some of you know, I had a bit of an uppy-downy-mostly-downy sort of summer, and a lot that downy-ness (that sounds much nicer than I intended) seemed to be work related.

You probably all know that I work as a lawyer dealing with civil court actions. You probably don't know that I ended up doing that entirely by accident. When I was a trainee I got roped into helping with a whole bunch of court actions my firm were handling which had arisen out of the prison riots that happened in Scotland in the late 1980s. (The fact that I was involved in these actions explains my oft-mentioned claim to fame: that I have been on the roof at Barlinnie Prison. The fact that I used to chat to one of the governors at Barlinnie whilst he tended the tomato plants he kept on the roof is a bit less impressive, but no less true.)

Anyway I stayed on at that firm after my traineeship to help finish off those cases and by the time I had done so, I discovered that I seemed to have become a civil litigation solicitor. Whoops.

In fact, if you go further back, the fact that I ended up a lawyer at all was a bit of a mistake. I was good at languages at school, did SYS French and German and decided I would like to do a groovy sounding course in Marketing and Modern Languages at university. In those days, you filled in your application to university and took it to your Guidance teacher who checked it over and then filled out the school's part of the form. My Guidance teacher took one look at my form, declared my chosen course to be (and I quote) "A total waste of your qualifications!" and she ripped it up. "Do Law instead" she said. "You can do anything with a law degree".

And because I was 17 and didn't know anyone who had gone to university and was very biddable, I said "Okay!". And here I am. If I had a time machine I would go back and slap her one. It would be worth it to see the look on her face. And then I would go off and study marketing and French and German like I wanted to.

This is all a long way of saying I never wanted to be a lawyer in the first place, but that is what I am qualified to do. However, from the end of this year, I am not going to do it any more. At least, not as a solicitor in private practice.

I have a new job. Let me just say that again. I have a new job. Hee! I love saying that! As from 5 January I will be working in a managerial capacity in a public body. I will still be a lawyer, I just won't be running court actions for clients. I dithered and swithered about this but now I am absolutely delighted I decided to go for it. It is taking all my willpower not to blow raspberries at the clients that bug me as I run off giggling hysterically and shouting "I don't give a monkey's about your contract dispute! I'm off!"

And that's not even the best bit! Do you know what the best bit is?

I will be working part-time. I will be able to pick the boys up from school every day, help with their homework, spend more time with them. My Mum and Dad will be able to retire properly and go back to being Granny and Grandad rather than having to be surrogate parents so much of the time. I think they will like that. I know I will (except the part where I have to do my own housework and cut my own grass. I really liked having my parents around for that stuff!)

The boys are happy too. First Born reckons if I am working part-time, there is now no rational reason why we cannot get a dog and it is only a matter of time before I am worn down by the force of his rhetoric and get him a puppy. Or two. And a parrot. Ah well, we are not all going to be universally delighted by the changes!

I do have to say a quick heartfelt thanks to Husband who cajoled and coerced me (nicely) into making this move and has been so supportive, even though I will have to take a salary cut to go part-time (hee! I typed "party time" there!). He will also lose his lift home of an evening and will have to brave the bus home most nights. I tell you, that's dedication that is.

And I also want to thank my work colleague who I will call Semolina, because that's what we call her. She looked after me all summer, talked me through some of the worst days at work, wouldn't let me hide away and forced me to get back on the bike after I fell off. She was also totally supportive about my new job even though it means I am effectively buggering off and leaving her to deal with the fallout. Thanks Semolina. I will make the tea next time. Honest.


  1. Yay! Congratulations! That's made me feel all smiley :-)

  2. CONGRATULATIONS! What a wonderful thing!

  3. COngratulations on your new job!

  4. Oh excellent!

    If I'd known you were going to be at Craigmillar Castle, I'd have waved to you from our back windows. (Which are too far away for you to see us, really. You could see our house.)

  5. Oh now, that is absolutely brilliant news! Good for you, I'm so pleased to hear it! Working part-time sounds like a dream come true - enjoy it and make the most of it. It's something I'd love to do as well but it's logistically not possible at the moment, unfortunately. Maybe one of these days but I'm not holding my breath!

    Isn't it funny how people just land up doing something they never wanted to do? I never wanted to be a legal secretary, that's for sure. (I understand completely why you really want to get out of private practice, UGH!) Thank goodness I got out of it years ago, but then again, I never thought I'd wind up being a trade union officer. Funny old life.

    But your good news, it's excellent! Big congrats!

  6. I'm so pleased for you - that's brilliant news! Work can have such a terrible affect on your personal life sometimes. It sounds like the change will do you the world of good, and I'm sure you will love having some 'free' time.

    Also, I totally think you should get a dog!!! Especially if it's a Labrador - they're so much fun.

  7. Congratulations!! That's such great news! I'm thrilled for you.

  8. How farking exciting! I'm so pleased for you. I love reading about your boys and your family life and if you can spend more time with them then that's brilliant. They must be so excited.


  9. I found your blog via those of seome other exiled Scots and was following your uppy-downy-ness earlier in the year but felt that posting a comment at that time would have been a tad intrusive.
    It's wonderful news about the change in direction and adjustment of work/life balance.
    You have some wise friends and a very supportive and sensible husband.

    On the topic of well intentioned but rubbish advice - I'd like to turn the clock back and administer a sound slap to the careers adviser in our school who told me that all I could do with a degree in geography was teach. I lost the plot after that, faffing about until I hit mid-thirties and realised what I really wanted to do.
    Still - had I gone down the geography route, I wouldn't have met the man I married nor produced my lovely children.
    Isn't it strange how we sometimes only realise certain things once the distance of a few years gives us sufficient perspective?

    Anyway - good luck with everything.

  10. Ah, brill news. Congrats to you.

  11. Oh, wow! Congrats! Sounds like you've earned to work part-time!

  12. So exciting!! Congrats!

  13. Excellent. I'm so pleased for you. Well done!

    Now, I wonder if I could persuade my husband that I should go part-time too...

  14. By the way, I think Katie Mellua (is that how she's spelt?) is sweet and I like ... um... I can't remember but there's one song about love and another with film stars' names in it that I quite like. In fact, I have sung along on my way to work, when she's been on Terry Wogan's show. I have been alone in the car at that point.

    We're all different...

  15. Thanks for dropping by my blog... we will indeed be back in Edinburgh next week. :-)

    And congratulations on your new job. When I eventually go back to work, I will have to find a new career in anything other than law. Because I hated being a lawyer. Hopefully, the old 'you can do anything with a law degree' will hold true over here.