Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fish-eyes and gauntlets

I was really excited yesterday because I was finally going to be getting new glasses.  Mine broke about a year and a half ago and I have been living in contacts ever since then, which has resulted in a lot of burning, angry eyes from having contacts in for too long.  So, yesterday, I went to get my new, stylish, sweet glasses and I was pumped to be able to have some non-contact time at home. (Only at home--I look dorky in glasses, so I almost never wear them out of the house). 

I get them home, whip out my contacts, pop on my glasses and realize instantly the prescription is wrong.  Everything looks like it's filmed in that stupid fish-eye lens that music videos love so much. 

Balls.  So, I have to take them back today and wait to get the correct prescription in there.  I don't know what happened--I had an eye exam last year and my contact prescription was right.  I had a contacts AND glasses exam, so they both should have been right.  But, apparently not.  My glasses prescription came out waaaay too strong.  Sigh...more eye burning for the time being. 

In other news, work was beyond horrible last week.  You may have surmised that from my post about crying.  I wasn't just crying--I was full-on sobbing like a crazy nutcase.  I was also kicking my office wall (better not break that state property!) and throwing my stuff around in my office and letting out a litany of swear words that would have made a sailor blush.  

The problem was a pile-up of cases--2 juvenile trials (same client), two sentencing hearings, a Rule 8 hearing, an omnibus hearing, and two contested probation revocation hearings, all scheduled in the same afternoon, divided between two courtrooms.  I thought that everything other than my trials would be re-set (since that's what normally occurs when I am in trial) but they weren't.  Once I was done with the trials, I was told I needed to handle the other hearings still.  I had not had time to prepare for all of those hearings--most notably, the contested probation revocation hearings.  The state had their witnesses there, however, so they were ready to go.  I had assumed the hearings would be re-set, so I had not been super concerned when I ran out of time to prepare for the hearings.  But, I was wrong, so I again had to stand up in court and throw myself onto the sword and say, "I'm not ready."  When the judge asked me why, I had to try not to burst into tears right then out of frustration.  I could give a myriad of reasons--an unreasonable caseload; an excessive number of in-custody clients who demand my attention before my out-of-custody clients; a serious lack of support staff to assist me with things; a lack of any type of training on what I'm doing with these felony cases, causing me to take much longer than other attorneys would take simply because I have to learn everything on my own; an extremely heavy court calendar every week that prevents me from having much time in my office...the list goes on and on. 

But, since I was on the verge of tears and the last thing I wanted to do was start bawling like a moron right there in court, all I could manage to say without totally losing composure was that I had two trials that afternoon to prepare for, two trials and two contested hearings the day before to prepare for, and my caseload was ridiculous, so despite my best efforts, I just couldn't get to everything.  Since I was about to cry, I didn't say that I'd been working until 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. most nights just to stay on top of things and I was working so much I don't even have time to do my own laundry (thanks to Hat for being willing to do that for me) or clean my own house (again, thanks, Hat!).  But, I certainly was thinking it.  I was thinking that I simply could not work more than what I already have been, since I am at work almost my entire day.  I wake up, go to work, spend all day at work, usually skip lunch to work, and then stay there until 7:00 or 8:00 working, get home with about an hour left until bedtime, eat, then go to sleep.  Repeat the next day.  I was so overwhelmed at that point that I was about to just lose it right there in court, so I couldn't say any of those things because I was going to start crying.  And that's not professional at all. 

The next day, I looked like hell (as I usually do the day after I have a big old cry-fest, since my face doesn't take well to crying).  I had the biggest, purplest bags under my eyes I've ever seen myself with and I had a headache, so I was not feeling well and that showed on my face.  I think everyone at court could see that, so people were generally pretty gentle with me the next day and a lot of people seemed to avoid talking to me.  Maybe they were worried I was going to throw myself out one of the court windows if anyone pushed me too far that next day.  Not out of the realm of possibilities...

Things have slowed down a bit since that Tuesday from hell.  But, it's still in my mind and I know it will happen again.  Unfortunately that's the situation the court system is in.  Sardine-can-style court hearings.  Crammed in because there are too many hearings and not enough staff of any kind to handle them all.  It's sad and disappointing that it's come to that. 

I think what I find most frustrating is that there is a big focus on the cases I can't get to--the one or two every couple weeks that I'm simply not able to get to for whatever reason.  The other 12-15 that I did get to, that we got resolved, that we got take care of--those get overlooked.  No one seems to realize that getting to 15 cases and not getting to 1 case is a pretty good ratio, given the circumstances.  So, I am questioned and hassled about the 1 case and the other 15 go unnoticed.  It seems like no matter how much I do, it's never enough. 

I keep trying to stay positive that maybe something will change, maybe something will work out, but I'm having a harder and harder time believing that.  I want to believe it, but it's not easy when the same problems keep recurring.  

Court has started to feel like I'm going in to run the gauntlet.  Keep my head down, prepare for some blows, and try to minimize the damage.  It's not fun.  It used to be fun.  It used to be something I enjoyed doing--which is why I wanted a position that would have a lot of courtroom activity.  But lately, it just feels like some horrible punishment for something I did that I don't know about.  

In a nutshell, it effing sucks. 


  1. That is exactly how I feel about my glasses too! Wear them all the time at home. But never in public because I look like Groucho Marx - and not even good Groucho but more like those fake plastic imitation Groucho noses.

    Anyhow, I'm so sorry that work is still sucking!!

  2. Wow... mega annoying!! In my experience, opticians tend to be one of the more sloppy branches of the medical profession! :-\

  3. Anonymous10:51 AM

    I know what you mean.