It's about half an hour before the UH Cougars tip off against the TCU Horned Frogs. I'm at my near courtside press seat just taking things in and eating my free sandwich from Chick-Fil-A. I don't have to file a game story tomorrow -- I've got a Texans thing all set for Thursday and an Astros thing all set for Friday -- so this is just more of a watch the team so I can things up to date in my head for when I have to write on them again.
Anyway, I'm just kind of thinking about things, and in some ways, it's kind of amazing. At this time last year I was pulling all-nighters and 20 hour days, and I did so from Thanksgiving until just about this time. It was an emergency document review for the old firm -- my speciality was the emergency document review by the way. I was working under an associate and an attorney who was Of Counsel, but I was essentially running the thing for the Houston office. There were two other staff attorneys working the thing, and a couple of associates, but they were all coming to me for the assignments and with questions. I billed about 250 hours in a three-weeks.
And a little over three months later, they laid me off because there was no work.
I've been working a temp job since the first of November -- and I did one for most of October, as well. I'm not even making half of what I was making last December, but I'm doing the same work -- legal document review. But I'm one of about 30. I'm nowhere near to supervising anybody, and I'm pretty sure most of those I'm working with see me as the old-man-failure and are vowing to never end up like me. And I wish them luck, and I hope that they never end up like I do, either.
Somehow, I've survived this year. I'm almost out of money, though. And I don't know what will happen if I have a long stretch of non-work next year -- and for me, a long stretch is going to be about a week, maybe two. But I'm still healthy -- though the insurance companies would disagree -- and I'm still paying all of my bills on a timely fashion. I was able to get my nieces and nephews some great gifts for Christmas.
I don't know. I just never thought that I would be nearly my 45th birthday and be in a situation like this. But live, and learn, I guess. And I've just got to remind myself that I'm still in better shape than a lot of others who lost their jobs this year.
Thanks again for reading me this year. I hope I've given you some fun and thoughtful material.