Sunday, July 26, 2020

Dinosaur breath, or: Moving on.

Copyright 2020 Lynne Cantwell
I write to you for the last time from this desk in this room. The next time I blog to you, I'll be in Santa Fe.

The moving glitches continue: I took a carload of stuff to Goodwill today, only to be turned away - not because of the virus this time, but because it's going to be hotter than 95 degrees today and they won't let their workers stand in a broiling parking lot and sort people's junk all day when it's this hot. "Try the Salvation Army," the guy turning away donations said. I already knew they wouldn't be open for anything on a Sunday -- and by the time they reopen tomorrow, I'll be halfway to Front Royal.

I'm moving on.

The Tarot card in the photo is the Eight of Cups. It's perhaps not the best photo, but I think you can see that it shows eight full cups in the foreground, and a person who has turned their back on them and is walking away. They're kitted out for a long journey -- cloak, boots, and staff.

That should give you a pretty good idea of the meaning of this card. It's about setting aside one's comfortable life in search of something more -- more meaning in life, perhaps, or a deeper spirituality.

Right now, I just want to get out of Dodge. I've had two careers so far (not counting the indie author thing), and in both of them, I felt dinosaur breath on the back of my neck by the time I got out. By 1998, radio news had already consolidated to just six major players (ABC, CBS, NBC/Mutual, NPR, and the Associated Press), and with the merger of the NBC/Mutual Radio and CBS Radio newsrooms, it went down to five. The job I had still exists, but fewer and fewer people do it.

Now, the position of legal secretary appears to be going away. Law firms want to pass on as many of their costs of doing business as possible to their clients, but the clients won't pay for admin costs. The solution, at least at our firm, has been to transition anything that can be even remotely described as "legal" to paralegals, who bill their hours exactly as attorneys do. Well, they charge less than attorneys do, but you get the idea.

So my job as a legal secretary had devolved from a 50-50 split of interesting work and mundane admin stuff to almost 100 percent mundane admin stuff. And when we shut down due to the virus, a lot of the admin tasks dropped away. I can't answer attorney phones from a virtual phone. There are no catered meetings to plan when everyone is working from home. There's no travel to book, as no one has been traveling -- which means there are no expense reports to create, either. Not that I missed doing any of that stuff, mind you, but the shutdown has made it obvious that the firm can get by with fewer secretaries. My job, specifically, was never in jeopardy. But I wasn't interested in having additional mundane work loaded onto my plate as other secretaries left the firm.

In short, it was time to move on. Friday was my last day. Tomorrow, I turn my back on DC and hit the road. It's going to be wonderful.

I won't have internet turned on at the new place by next Sunday, so I won't blog to you again until August 9th, the week after Lughnasa. I'll tell you all about the trip, and the new place, then. In the meantime, have a fabulous First Harvest!

These moments of bloggy momentum have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Wear a mask! Practice social distancing! Wash your hands!


Shawn Inmon said...

So excited for you at the beginning of this journey.

When things evolve on the Covid front, I hope we can entice you up to the Evergreen State for a visit. It's not that far!

Lynne Cantwell said...

I would love that! And you and Dawn are always welcome in Santa Fe!

Unknown said...

Very exciting! Take care and keep us posted!
Laurie in Michigan City

Lynne Cantwell said...

Thanks! Will do! :)