Working At It

Monday, September 29, 2008
I sit here furtively typing this entry on my very first day back at work after a long, 8 month maternity leave. I am hiding behind piles of "important documents" and muttering legalese in case anybody walks by. I am a cubicle gangster! (Okay, no I'm not. I have an office. It has a door. And the most gangster thing about me is that I grew up in a suburb of Michigan that is vaguely near to Eminem's 8 mile...key word being "vaguely.")

But I am back at work. And of course I am torn about whether I should be here right now or--it being 11:59--whether I should be at home, hanging out with my little one, getting ready to pick up my oldest from school. When I ask him about his day at school later this evening, when I get home, will I get the same answers and animation I have become accustomed to when we have our drive back from school together everyday? Will 6:00 be the same as 2:30?

My plan for the day involves going through the 14 inches of mail that has piled up. I am fairly confident that there will be little urgency to any of it but I have already come across some interesting material. Looks like it isn't just Devis with Babies pondering the work-life-balance (shocking I know). And looks like it isn't just mothers either. The text below arrive on a rolled up scroll that was in a cylindrical container, perched on top of my 14 inches of mail:

"We know the feeling. There's nothing quite like it. The feeling of standing before the judge and presenting the perfect argument, or hearing the opening bell on the morning the startup you've been advising goes public, or even that moment late at night when the light bulb goes on and the solvable is solved. Yes, we know the feeling. And we love it. Problem is, we also love watching our kids blow out the candles on thier birthday cake. And training for that first, second, or third marathon. Or learning to make the perfect souflee. Our needs are simple. We want it all. We want to be David and slay Goliath in court, but we want to be spouse, parent, and individual. We reject the belief that you can have a career, or you can have a life, but you can't have both. We believe these two parts of us can not only coexist, but can inspire, edify, and strenghten one another. We are attorneys who are passionate about practicing law, not billingh ours. Attorneys who see time with the family as being equally important as time in the boardroom. Attorneys who solve the legal problems of Fortune 500 companies with the same passion that pushed us through law school in the first place. That's our axiom. What's yours?"

It sounds utopic to me...and while it was not espoused by my particular employer...if the field of law can produce such a manifesto, then the world may not be as messed up as it sometimes seems. (Then again: With the economy we are currently in, we may not have any jobs to balance the birthday cakes and marathons with. These are some crazy times).
shalini said...

Axiom is gaining a good reputation. Would be interested to hear from anyone currently working for them.

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