Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pet Peeve Day

I think I'll start a regular feature regarding my pet peeves. Shouldn't be hard for me since I have so many! I'd also like to hear from others regarding their pet peeves. Perhaps writing about them will be somewhat therapeutic.

Today's pet peeve is having my accomplishments misstated or glossed over. I'm actually not one to toot my own horn too often, and I usually am dismissive of most of my accomplishments. However, when I was recently introduced at a speaking engagement, the person reading from my bio got most of it wrong. I don't expect an introduction to include every detail, but this introduction misstated positions I've held, organizations with which I have held leadership positions, and generally left out the parts of my bio relevant to the topic on which I was speaking. It wouldn't have been so bad but since there were no written materials for the attendees, I'm worried I looked like an unqualified goober. (Of course, one of my greatest fears in any situation is looking like a goober. That's a position I'm unfortunately well-qualified to hold.)

Paralegals are accustomed to being overlooked and not taken seriously. Years ago when I returned to the office after being out for three days to prepare for and take the (then) CLA exam, my boss asked me how I enjoyed my CLE. When I passed the CLA and other exams, no one in the office made mention of it. I didn't want a parade, but a public (or even private) "atta-girl!" would have been appreciated.

Fortunately, most paralegals I know do what they do without expecting any acknowledgment. They do the best job they can every day, and achieve voluntary certifications, volunteer with professional organizations, and serve the legal profession in other ways.

While it's true that a paralegal's primary job is to make the attorney look good, and most of us know we won't receive much (if any) public glory, I would like to let all paralegals know that you are appreciated. I value the achievements of every paralegal before and after me. You are what makes this profession what it is and your accomplishments remind us all of what we can do.

So, here's to all of us: Way to go! Good job! You make us all proud.

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