On Searching For Answers On the Internet

10/20/2010 By Shawn Burns

Our recent vacation was only tangentially related to a deadline I had for submitting a draft chapter for my dissertation. The real reason for our sudden surfeit of leisure time was that Emily quit her law firm job.

I talk a lot about myself here, slightly less about the kids, and only rarely about Emily, and the fact that for the last few months a very high pressure job crisis has been dominating our lives accounts for a lot of my own reluctance to write anything of substance. If you Google “Backpacking Dad” now you might not even be directed to my blog anymore, it’s been such a wasteland. I didn’t want to involve the Internet in what was a pretty personal and difficult process for our family. It is only now, after the dust has settled, that I feel comfortable talking about it. If you Google “stressed-out family” you will see pictures of us.

Emily found herself with choices. Her options were fantastic and it was the hardest decision she’s ever had to make, and Googling “how to make hard choices” wasn’t helpful at all. But we are both very happy with what she chose to do.

That she had the options she did is entirely due to her work ethic and her refusal to change into someone who would step on or belittle subordinates. She doesn’t have a manipulative bone in her body and I am so proud of her for creating opportunities without sacrificing her integrity or her family. Google “awesome” and there will be seven fan pages to her.

Her new job means no more billable hours, so no more stressing about the conversation at the water cooler that might cost her a bonus because she missed the minimum billable hours by a tenth of an hour. It means no more trying to make up hours on the weekends or at night, when she could be spending time with her family or just reading a book. It means an almost non-existent commute. And it means practicing exactly the kind of law she wants to practice.

After Emily quit I started calling her “No-Job” and “The Freeloader” even though she already had a job lined up, because I thought it was hilarious that for about two weeks I’d be the one with the paycheck. In retrospect I should have tried to get her to do yard work or something. But Disneyland was beckoning, and neither of us had the patience to Google “how to landscape a yard”. So while Emily was briefly unemployed we took a vacation.

And now Emily is happily ensconced in her new job trying to figure out how the details of it work and seeing how very different it is to work in a company that has lawyers instead of a company of lawyers. She’s been spending a lot of time looking things up on Google.

Was that too subtle?

She’s working at Google.