Sunday, March 02, 2008

Are We Our Jobs?

This is not meant to be a follow up to Belle's earlier post, even though the subjects are generally the same. No, think of this more like two studios developing similar, yet unrelated films: Deep Impact versus Armaggedon, or Dante's Peak versus Volcano. Anyway, great minds think alike, right Belle?

In my practice as a government lawyer, I work mostly with non-lawyers (thank God!). One of the things I notice is that my non-lawyer co-workers possess an innate inability to separate me from my profession. I mean, they don't think I'm a sleazy, ambulance-chasing lawyer. Yet, they still reference me in terms of being a "lawyer." For example, a friend once forwarded me a lawyer joke, but she made sure in the e-mail to note, "This is so NOT you. . . " Another friend mentioned to me that his wife considers me the first lawyer she's ever liked.

Now if you've read my previous post on Hemingway, you get the picture that when I'm all snug up in my office in legal, I'm a far cry from being the "lawyer." I'm often more akin to someone who went to law school because they were too risk averse for film school. They see me stalking the halls in my power suits and mentos-influenced shirts and ties. What they don't see is me sitting at home blogging away in a Georgetown sweatshirt (yeh, I'll give you that but I didn't say which degree) or sporting the grunge look wearing my vans. But, it does still beg the question, am I really my job? Maybe all of the anti-lawyer ambiance is just another form of the Lady doth protest too much?

There's a Seinfeld episode where, in the stand-up portion, he compares lawyers to those kids that used to read the rules on the board games. Well, I was one of those kids! I mean I hated the Harlem Globetrotters because I felt that what they did constituted traveling. So, perhaps, while maybe I'm not a stereotype, I'm also not too far removed from legal eagle alter-ego.


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