It has been a few days since my last blog entry where I was sure I was being set up to be fired, and to my consternation and disappointment, I wasn't fired. I received a few e-mails from readers about the difference between being fired for cause versus being laid off, and one thing that I kept in my head was that I wasn't doing anything wrong -- despite the fact that I would love nothing more than to be laid off so that I can be free of this negative environment, I still had a halachic duty to perform my work diligently and not to intentionally get fired. I kept a clear paper trail of the work that I did, the results that I produced, and despite the fact that I submitted everything on time and ready to be filed, we still missed the 4-month patent application deadline.
I was quite annoyed at this concept of being fired for cause, but the law in the state that I'm working is that regardless of whether your boss chews you out when you do something wrong, if he lets you go back to work afterward and doesn't fire you on the spot, and if he later changes his mind and fires you for your screw-up anyway, that is not considered being fired for cause because he let you go back to work. In my mind its similar to the adultry divorce cause of action -- you can't use it if you reunited with your spouse after the adultry and then change your mind and get a divorce anyway. You'll lose in court.
Anyway, all that is side news. Aside from the shock and terror of being fired because I felt that I was being set up, I am even more upset now that I haven't been fired at all. Look, I prayed many times for G-d to direct me in the correct path, and if I wasn't supposed to be fired, then I would accept that. I was just hoping that wouldn't be his plan. I have plans. I really want to leave and to move on. I am very -- VERY -- unhappy at my current job. I have no friends there. I have insufficient skills to do the work they're having me do. I can't concentrate because I am so stressed out most of the day. I am tormented by my boss who waits until I have my jacket on to leave for the day before he pulls me into his office for an hour long meeting grilling me about something or other, all the while knowing that I was leaving for the day. Even on Fridays when he knows I need to leave early for Shabbos. Since I've been working for him, there hasn't been ONE Friday these past few months where he hasn't delayed me in some form or another by calling me in for a discussion or asking me to do some task AFTER it became time for me to leave for the weekend. Most of the time so far I've been able to deal with it, in that I usually leave an hour earlier than I need to, just to account for unknowns such as traffic and delays. Cutting back to the point, it's a very negative environment and I wish my tenure there would end so that I can move on with my life.
I made the decision with my wife when I went to visit my wife's family that either way -- whether I'm fired or not -- I'm going to leave my job and we're going to move to where my wife's family is so that we can be nearer to them and so my wife and I can go back to school -- me for an electrical engineering degree, and my wife -- well, she wants to keep that private, because it doesn't jive with her other degree.
That being said, I also decided that I do not necessarily want or need to work for a law firm upon graduation. Rather, I decided that as soon as I can, I will be opening up my own patent law practice. I purchased the "How to Start & Build a Law Practice" by Jay G. Foonberg book, and I've been reading it and I believe that I fit the personality of one who would start his own law practice. Thus, in response to Anonymous' comment, you're right. Law firms suck. They're conformists and they don't give people like me even a chance, EVEN THOUGH I will have the electrical engineering degree. You know what I say? Screw them. I will get the degree anyway and I will generate my own business. I have hundreds of contacts with technology companies from working with them over the past years, and am friends with MANY patent attorney lawyers. I have no doubt that I can generate enough business to keep me busy for the rest of my life. However, I do feel that if I am to stay in patent law (which I must because the state in which I will be practicing patent law and starting a patent practice is NOT a state I am admitted to -- I have checked into this a billion times -- there is no issue with this because the law being practiced is federal law, not state law, and I am licensed by the US Patent & Trademark Office to practice patent law) I do need a specialty, because my liberal arts undergraduate degree just won't cut it in the patent world, even working as a generalist patent attorney on my own. I do believe an EE degree WILL help me get business, and to get a job working in-house for a technology firm later on if I choose to.
Now here's the G-d part. I am under SO MUCH PRESSURE knowing that if I don't get laid off by the end of the summer, I will be forced to quit and forego unemployment insurance and I'll have to find a way to raise money fast to pay for my wife and my schooling and our living expenses all the while I am back in school. This has been putting an undue amount of pressure on me, and I am having a difficult time dealing with it. I am finding myself angry at G-d for not having my boss fire me when he had the chance and when I had no work to do, and I don't understand (not like I need to) why he is not making things easy for me, and if he has other plans for me like he usually does contrary to what I think his plan is for me, I wish he'd make his plans known so I don't have to have a heart attack or a stroke from the stress of not knowing what is in store and hating... HATING where I am in life. I was crying today and I asked G-d, "what have I done that is so bad or so wrong that you punish me each day having me stay in an environment where I'm tormented and kicked around like a punching bag? Why do I deserve this?" and I find myself getting more and more distant from G-d in SPITE and ANGER at him making my life so difficult. I have paid my dues. I have always worked hard. Why is it that life is so darn difficult? Why is it that people who did not go to college and did not get educated take home more money every week with their $25,000 annual income than I do with my six-figure school loans and mounting interest that I can't get out from underneath? Why am I forced to be a slave in this lawyer job world system? Why can't I just say sionara to all my debt, declare bankruptcy, tell everyone to take a flying hike and just disappear out of the system?? Why?