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Adina Sara

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Member Since: May, 2006

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100 Words Per Minute - Tales From Behind Law Office Doors
by Adina Sara   

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Publisher:  Regent Press ISBN-10:  1587900920 Type: 


Copyright:  2006

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An intimate look inside the quirky world of law offices. The author's career spans over 25 years in the legal field, from naive clerk typist, to stressed-out secretary, to slightly elevated, but no less conflicted office manager. Weaving humor and pathos together, 100 Words Per Minute takes a hard look back at one woman's unintentional career in the legal field, offering a raw perspective on uncelebrated office workers whose stories are rarely told.

from "Poverty Law"

The hook of my connection to legal work was so gentle that I never noticed when the jab actually went in, twisted, and then lodged itself resolutely for the remainder of my working years. Something in me snapped, sealed like rubber to wet surface. This is something I can do. Not what I really wanted to do, but then, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Into that void of not knowing, something slick and promising formed itself over and around my will. And slowly, ever so slowly, it proceeded to seal my future.

from "Inflections and Innuendoes"

I could hear her footsteps coming down the thick, institutionally elegant carpet. It wasn’t really a sound I heard, more like a shift in air pressure, thickening and narrowing as she swathed wide steps toward her office door, and inevitably toward me. Door closes behind her, I release a short sigh, and a little bit of spittle slides out. I wipe, then continue to type. Maybe today she’ll stay in there and leave me the hell alone.

from "Noon to Six"

The elevator smelled of radon or boron, something distinctly carcinogenic. The building was a relatively new high-rise, magnificently situated on the edge of landfill, overlooking The City in all its glory. When the elevator doors opened, I did not have to look too far. Directly across stood a set of monstrous mahogany doors, decorated with bold and very gold letters announcing the firm’s title. This place wasn’t on the eighteenth floor. It was the eighteenth floor. Like Alice, after popping the small pill, I slowly walked inside, feeling overwhelmed and distinctly outsized.

from "The Interview"

Doreen McAllister’s makeup was thick, tasteful for being tasteless, and her interview pants entirely too tight. She was not chewing gum, thank goodness, but she talked as though she had something large in her mouth, something capable of spitting forth giant loud bubbles. She appeared to be someone who never knew fear. I settled hopefully on Doreen. It might have been her gravelly voice, gritty with self-assurance and fearlessness. She answered each of my questions with a languid roll of her eyes and a clever little snap of tongue that said, “Honey, I’ve done it all, a thousand times.”

from "Expendable"

The stress has grown on me. I wear it casually now, like an occasional scarf. Tempers flare, intermittently, like little wild fires sparked by the wind. But they die down just as quickly. I watch the heat rise and fall and stick to my business. Shut my door if it suits me. At any given moment, something or someone, be it a printer or personality, comes unraveled. Dissent is constant but also calming in its consistency. I walk through the maze of it, cut myself on the edges, and don’t even bleed.

My career was purely accidental. There are others like me, I have worked beside them, who had imagined working in a profession that stimulated and satisfied their well-deserved egos. But like me, they stumbled, somewhere between intention and chance. They stumbled and then stayed, for lack of any better ideas. As it happened, I swerved onto a road marked “Law Offices.” It was cluttered with diversions and unexpected side roads that cropped up like mirages, leading me farther in. For the past thirty years I have wandered loosely through the folds of this accidental career. I tried retracing my steps, hoping to find the place where I missed a step and tripped into my destiny.
But you cannot move backwards. And though I don’t often say this out loud, it really isn’t such a bad thing to have your work life choose you, instead of the other way around.
It keeps you honest. It keeps you alert.

Professional Reviews

Alice Kisch, Editor
"A Masterpiece of workplace sociology! Sara is an amazing writer: the poetry throughout, even in the prose, is beautiful. And the service she has provided to clerical workers and their bosses by writing 100 Words Per Minute is immeasurable and invaluable."

Amazon Review
"What the Nanny Diaries did for babysitters, this book does for clerical wrokers. Its combination of prose and poetry perfectly captures the spirit of a person trapped in a cubicle. It cuts chillingly close to the bone."

Blue Collar Review
"A touching, unpretentious examination of a lifetime of law office work. Paced for the coffee break, denizens of cubicles everywhere will recognize themselves and know they are not alone in their isolation."

"An extraordinary work indeed--a rare look inside the human heart of unrecognized labor, made visible by Sara's forceful strokes of language." Joseph Matthews, Attorney, Author

"This is not a book that was sanitized into conventionality. It is so well written and so literary, it makes me shudder to think she spent her life typing Requests for Change of Venue." Marty Nemko, KALW RADIO

"Don't let the size fool you. This little stick of dynamite will blow you away! If you work for an attorney,you have got to read this book. Dee Sullivan, Paralegal, Author

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Reader Reviews for "100 Words Per Minute - Tales From Behind Law Office Doors"

Reviewed by Adina Sara 9/8/2006
Don’t let the size fool you -- this little stick of dynamite will blow you away. If you work for an attorney you have got to read this book.
Dee Sullivan, Paralegal, Author

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