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11/18/16

EB1 Specialist: Entry One

That up there is my official job title. It's misleading, though. After barely three months on the job, I can hardly be called a "specialist" of the EB1 Visa.

It's not the only misleading thing about my job. Here's another one. When I write the arguments, I call myself "Counsel." This, of course, is not true. I'm not an attorney. I have a B.A. in English Literature, not a Juris Doctorate in Law. But there's nothing illegal about this minor detail. After all, in the end, it's my boss who assumes responsibility for what is produced in my workplace and goes out into the world. And my boss is a decent man. He puts effort into training me. He really tries to produce work of  a high standard for his clients.

But here's the thing. Capitalism corrupts.

My boss is a businessman before he's a lawyer. So his priority is making money. Down further down the scale of his priorities are the ethical considerations he learned in law school--a long time ago.

He always wants more. More is never enough.

So he pulls of a few stunts that shortchange his clients for the sake of sales. What is this awful thing he does? He sells more cases than can be processed at a reasonable speed and quality. So, for example, right now there's a backlog of cases. Instead of doing the sane thing and stopping sales so that we can regain control of our workload he adds fuel to the fire. He sells more cases. He doesn't do it himself, of course. He has a saleslady.

Does this critique make me a hypocrite? After all, I take the money he earns from the excessive sales he makes. I don't think the answer to this is simple, but before I jump to conclusions and declare myself a hypocrite, let me point out a few things.

For starters, for the kind of work I'm asked to do, for the responsibility inherent in the success or failure of my work, I'm woefully underpaid. I make $15 per hour with scant benefits: a few days of PTO each year, overtime pay. That's it. No medical, dental, or vision. No paid vacation.

In the meantime, each deliverable that I produce, which takes me anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, is worth $1000.

On my performance rides the dreams that a foreigner has of getting a green card. That's a pretty big responsibility for fifteen per. Don't you think? I mean, I wonder how clients would feel if they knew that someone without a law degree, someone who didn't even know what an EB1 visa was three months ago, much less knew the law behind it, someone who, until one week ago, was expected to process forty cases by himself, was writing the arguments that would determine if their multi-thousand dollar investment would pan out in Immigration granting them a green card, or not?

Now to be fair, lately my boss has made some intelligent changes. He realized my arguments weren't cutting it yet, so he assigned me to write one type of category only. It's not a difficult category to write, it's cut and dried. The repetition is making me good at it and my boss is checking each one before it goes out into the world.

Now, not everybody at the office is green like me, or is completely new to immigration law.

The guy next to me is a legit attorney. He graduated from law school just under two years ago. The young woman in the adjacent office is also a young attorney. The saleslady, who also writes arguments, is not an attorney. She's a certified paralegal. But she's been at this for over five years and she knows the law like the back of her hand and she's an excellent writer. The case manager is also an attorney but she doesn't do any argument writing. She manages cases, like her title implies.

So what am I doing there? It's simple. I won a job there. They advertised for a "writer." I went through the hoops, I earned that job. Now I'm in that space of time where I'm working my ass off to keep the job. I need to learn it. I need to be successful. I need to write professional-grade arguments.

Today:

Today I finished writing a "Lesser International or National Award" argument, I talked with a Venezuelan process engineer who works for Big Oil and an Information Technology Project Manager whose case is almost wrapped up. Next week I talk to a pretty blonde who has lived in 95 countries and who, if anyone does, deserves an EB1 Visa.

Today was Friday.


6/7/16

Dear God, give me this job

 I am waiting on the results of an interview I had yesterday.

It was the third interview I experienced in chasing this job.

The open position is Quality Assurance Reviewer at a local market research firm.

I was interviewed over the phone by the department manager. The interview went relatively well. I prepared for it with diligence and determination.

Source: corecopywriting.co.uk


In the course of my preparation, I found the website www.theinterviewguys.com significantly helpful.  The "interview guys" taught me the art of tailoring your responses to the specific company you are applying to. They taught me that the job interview is about them, the potential employer, not about me, the job seeker. In each of my responses yesterday, I conveyed to them that I was a candidate with all the traits in their ideal employee: works well in a fast paced environment, pays attention to detail, and has the ability to accept constructive criticism well.

I smiled largely during the whole interview even though the interviewer couldn't see me. These things transmit themselves across the phone line, help keep an energetic tone in your voice, and keep you encouraged. I stood up during the interview and kept my computer open to the document where I had written all my responses.

Even though I'm in the final stage of the recruitment process and the interview went well, I don't "know" if I got the job or not. The current job market is tough, very tough. There are a lot of qualified people out there without jobs. Each job posting that comes up attracts applicants like a magnet iron shavings. Applicants need to be on their A game and this is exhausting.