I haven’t talked a lot about my work, so today I thought I would show you the building I work in, and the stellar ladies from our Alex City office who help to keep me straight.
This is the front of our building:
Our building, the white triangular-shaped one, began life as the First Presbyterian Church around the turn of the century. Since then, it has been many things, including a doctor’s office and a bank. (One of the relics from the bank era is a room-size fireproof vault on the bottom floor.) We first moved into the basement floor in 1991, while the upper two floors were occupied by another firm. We merged with them in 1992, and then about 10 years later began an extensive renovation that resulted in the exterior you see in the picture above. The renovation also included make-overs for the side and back of the building.
Like many small Southern towns, our downtown has lost some businesses, although Alex City has done better than most in trying to get, and keep, other businesses to replace those that have gone away. Our choice to renovate the building and stay in downtown rather than moving out to the four-lane highway was in part a statement of belief in Alex City and its downtown area.
Every working woman, whether you work solely inside, or also outside, the home, needs a support structure, and the women in my Alex City office are part of mine. (To the guys in the Alex City office, the investigators and all of the people in Birmingham, you are part of my support structure too, but none of you were present on the same day that I had my camera at the office!)
All of them are mothers, two of them are grandmothers, two have children younger than Kayla and two have children older than Kayla. I learn an awful lot from them, and when I need them, these ladies will circle the wagons around me.
My office is on the top floor, the floor behind the fake window on the top of the front of the building. Next door to me is Lauren, who has known me through work since our firm opened in 1991.
Lauren is our bookkeeper, and has the distinction of being the grandmother of twin boys in Michigan. (She has other wonderful grandchildren in Alex City, but I find the idea of twin boys fascinating!) She is level-tempered, exceptionally organized – you can ask her for a receipt from four years ago and she can produce it in less than a minute – and diligent to the highest degree.
Kim is one of the other attorney’s right hand man, and we have worked with each other at least 10 years, if not more. (I think it’s more.) She is down the hall on the left from both my office and Lauren’s office. No matter how bad she feels, Kim usually has a smile ready to greet anyone, and is willing to laugh at bad stories told by co-workers who write blogs!
Kathy, the lady to the left in the picture, and Hanlon, the lady on the right, work for one of our other attorneys. Both of them have organizational skills which leave me awe-struck. It is a level of organization I can’t even imagine!(Since I lack organization, I very much admire those who have it.) Both of them help keep the second floor a pleasant place.
Moving on down the hall, Amanda is our newest attorney and someone who has made my life a lot easier. She is working on some of her own cases, and on some cases with other attorneys, but she also gives me a lot of help with the research and writing end of things, which is an immense relief. I have known Amanda for years – she worked for us as a runner during high school summers and as a law clerk a summer or two during law school – so it was a natural fit to bring her in as our ninth attorney – and I am very glad we did!
Our receptionist, Angela, was unfortunately away from the office the day that I was taking pictures and is our newest employee in the Alex City, having only been there a couple of months. However, she has to me the other name of She-Who-Makes-Sure-I-Have-A-Diet-Coke-Before-I-Go-Upstairs-In-The-Morning, which makes her very special!
Carla’s office is on the bottom floor, far from the madding crowd. To make up for that fact, it is extra big, although I don’t know if she thinks the extra size is a blessing, or a curse. Carla used to be my assistant, until she was moved over to another attorney, and I miss her. She can properly attest to my lack of organizational skills! Her daughter was our baby sitter for a while, and while we were happy for her when she got a full-time job at the hospital, there also was a great deal of sadness in our house because we miss having her as a baby sitter.
So, anyway, these are the ladies I work with in the Alex City office almost every day. There’s not one of them who wouldn’t come to my rescue at the drop of a hat, not one of them who is not extraordinarily gifted in her own way. Thank you ladies very much for making my workplace a pleasant place to work!
Have a great day everyone!