Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Hopping Season

It is desk hopping season in the world of the Trainee. The process where the next 6 months of training life will be finalised.  It is, of course, hugely important to those in the seats and not of much concern to anyone else in the process as long as there is someone to give the donkey work to when it has all been sorted out.

This process has been going on in my firm since before Christmas. I unfortunately forgot about the deadline for submitting our seat choices, due to snow, the VAT deadline and executed documents seemingly dotted about the country. In my defence being called hourly by snowed in clients wanting to complete to avoid the £15k it would cost them if we waited for the thaw is a bit distracting. That and being the only fee earner in my department at the end of the month (yes, a trainee in charge of billing!!!). The late hour that I finally was reminded (half way out the door on Christmas eve) lead to me selecting 4 seats off the top of my head and promptly forgetting what they were. Such is life.

Not knowing what I had let myself in for was actually a blessing. For some reason the seat organisation has taken over a month to finalise so my ignorance was bliss. I have seen the other trainees sweat, drink, lie and generally fret over what is happening. There have been rumours abounding due to the indiscretion of the supervisors and heads of departments. Couple this with the R word (redundancies... announced first week back in January) and the trainees are being pushed closer to their traditional role as career alcoholics!

Today was D day (well actually, 2 weeks ago was D day. Then last week was postponed D day. This is D day: the afterthought. The troops would have got scurvy if they were waiting to land this long) and I have had a total of 4 seats. I started the day thinking I had the dreaded Family Seat. I have always shied away from anything to do with crying women (yes guys cry too, but that, for some reason, doesn't bother me nearly as much as a mascara goop covered eyes. I think this is because I personally cannot cry in public and any other woman reminds me of this fact) since I chose law. Couple that with the children in this area of the country mostly having children themselves and you can appreciate my less than enthusiastic view of that department. I had resigned myself to that seat (mostly from being told that none of my selections, whatever they were, being available) and was happily (debatable) researching family law.

I then had a call down to HR where about to pop (baby not head) HR manager told me that I was actually in line for Property Lit. This made me happy. I wanted a litigation seat and although it wasn't a large step away (I am in property right now) at least I knew something about it. And I had the added bonus of being offered the elusive 'first choice next time' to butter me along. Really they just had to offer me anything but Family and I would have snapped it up. As it was I (shrewdly it seems) played the nonchalant, will put my all into it but would have preferred something else, I understand the business need, model trainee.

I also was told that there had been a shake up of seats (due to lack of interest the Family seat was withdrawn - no one else wants it either) but this wasn't final so to keep it schtum. Disgruntled SIT (self important trainee) actually emailed the rest of the trainees explaining what had happened to her choices. I believe this is due to her 2 choice technique (first years get four choices as 2nd years are allocated first. SIT only put two choices, obviously because the rules don't apply to her) hadn't paid off and she did not get anything she wanted. So of course everyone else had to know.

Anyway, next I know someone else preferred property lit so I was then offered Commercial Lit with apologies. No apologies needed, this was almost my perfect choice and I couldn't have asked for better. Especially after the last 4 months of property doldrums. One very happy Miss TS.

Almost immediately the phone rang again. Ready to Pop. It had to be something worse, had they changed their minds and want me, Miss TS (flexible) to willingly give up almost perfect seat in commercial lit to torture in Family? No, they wanted to offer me my (apparent) first choice - Insolvency. Almost next door to commercial lit location wise, but with added interest (I was hooked when helping family following the winding up of one of their tenants. Creditors meetings are like commercial soap operas). One very very happy, please don't jinx it, Miss TS.

I was promised an announcement today. I want it in writing (understandable given the roundabout of seat hopping and the perfection of the choice I have got right now) but the email never pinged its way to me. So, now, sat at home blogging away on my first blog (my idea of therapy!) I am in the boat with all the other trainees. I STILL DON'T KNOW! so much for blissful ignorance.

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