I find that when I mess up one big thing at work, for the rest of the day, I can do absolutely nothing right. I’m getting nagged at and lectured and chastised the whole day. I went home last night and plopped my sorry butt on the couch, watched Angel on Netflix and ate almond rocha, washed down with milk. Tom came home with a dozen pink roses (one of which I managed to kill immediately) and a bottle of Pinot Noir. I kept thinking, I’m so bad at this job. I’m not in the field I’m supposed to be in. I don’t know what else I could do for a living. I don’t know why I even bother. And then today. Oh, today!
Today, a client came in with a serious issue with his license. I made a phone call, it’s bad news. I didn’t ask for enough information, so I got a little chastised for that. But then I was making phone call after phone call, faxing fax after fax. I was on hold, answering phones while on hold, typing letters, managing the office, receiving appointments, etc. All while trying to fix this crisis. (It turns out, I had absolutely no fault in this matter.) I got it fixed. I hustled and I worked and I was very unpleasant to some of the people who were unhelpful. I became like a lionness, hunting down the Department of Licensing people and figuring everything out. The Department of Licensing is the most frustrating bureaucratic branch in all of the United States government, swear to God. And I fixed it all. Me! The perpetual screwup! I kept thinking REDEMPTION!!!
It drives me bonkers when my bosses get on my case for a mistake. Oh, if this one had been my fault, I can’t even imagine the crapstorm that would be raining down on my head right now. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t equally hard on themselves. Most mistakes can be fixed, even in law. That’s what one of my bosses told me when I first started out. “But with the Department of Licensing,” he said, “all bets are off.” Well, I’ve had my share of screwups with the DOL in the past. I’ve learned to be very attentive, extremely careful, and pray a lot every time I have to do anything DOL-related. I’ve also learned a few tricks of the trade. For example, when continuing a DUI hearing to a later date, always do it first thing in the morning. The DOL employees are angry, bitter people. First thing in the morning, though, they’ve just had their coffee and haven’t had to deal with many idiots yet. They still have patience. Try to get an early-morning appointment when continuing the hearing. Same reason.
So after all of this hard work, all this panic and flurry of action, it works out. It’s never not worked out since I’ve been at this job. But it has been a long, difficult, and stressful process. I just feel like I finally proved that I am a useful, dedicated, and talented employee.