On September 4, 2019, just two days after my 29 year work anniversary, I announced my retirement! While I am very much looking forward to this new chapter in my life, after coming to work for approximately 60,320 hours in the last 29 years (minus vacation days and a few sick days – but wait – there has also been a lot of overtime over the years so that might just even out!), I’m just a little concerned about what I will do with all of my time. I’ve been talking about retiring for the last 5 years and now that it’s here, I’m a little nervous.
I have six lovely grandchildren that are beginning to start school so I’m sure school activities will be abundant. I love to make things and have so many crafting ideas in my head – and probably thousands of Pins on my Pinterest boards to keep me busy. I enjoy baking lots of different things – cookies, pies, cupcakes, cakes, bread, brownies, etc. I also enjoy reading. I hope to work outside and have loads of beautiful flowers and a pristine yard. I should be able to keep myself busy, don’t you think?
You know a person loves what they do when they continue to do it for 29 years! When I was 19 years old, I applied for a job I saw in the newspaper for a law firm in Wheeling. The firm was Riley & Yahn and the attorney that interviewed me and hired me was Jim Bordas. After working there about six months, I remember Jim giving me a booklet about being a paralegal. I had never heard the word paralegal and had no idea what that even was. At that point in my life, I was more interested in getting married and having children. I was only at Riley & Yahn a short time when Jim went out on his own and left me behind.
Fast forward to 1988. I was actually looking for a job for my sister when I came across an ad in the paper for a law firm. The actual phone number was printed in the ad. I looked it up in the phone book and saw that it was Jim’s firm. I called him to see what the job was and to see if he would consider hiring my sister. He would hear nothing about my sister – he wanted me to fill the position. At that time, my youngest child was not even in kindergarten. I met with Linda Bordas and we talked about my working at the firm but I decided it was not the right time.
In 1989 and 1990, I drove to Pittsburgh 3 days a week to attend the Paralegal Certification classes at Robert Morris college. It was an 18-month program and I completed the program and received my certification. I finally accomplished what Jim had put in front of me some 13 years prior. Now I just needed to find a job.
After receiving my certification and looking around for a job, Linda found out that I was looking and called me to invite me to come work at Bordas & Bordas. I met with her on several occasions and decided to take the plunge. I started at the firm working as Jim’s secretary. I was only going to work 3 days a week from 8 to 2. But there was so much work to do! Next thing I knew, I was working 5 days a week from 7:30 to 3:30. I could put the kids on the bus and be home about the same time they got home.
In 1992 when Scott Blass joined the firm, I began working exclusively for him as his paralegal. What a wild ride that has been! There were times when Scott first joined the firm that I was not his biggest fan – he did come from a defense firm, you know! The longer I worked for Scott, the better I liked working for him. He is a machine, that’s for sure, but I always enjoyed being busy and I learned so much from him. I have hundreds of Scott Blass stories but I won’t go there for now – this is my story, not his!
I have made so many friends over the years and met some of the most interesting people! Staff members, attorneys, clients, judges, court personnel, court reporters, other paralegals and on and on. Some defense attorneys have even become great acquaintances.
The best part about working at Bordas & Bordas has been believing in what we do and knowing that we make a difference in the lives of people who need help getting justice. I can’t even begin to think how many cases I have been involved in over the past 29 years. It’s probably in the thousands. Most people don’t realize how much work goes into handling a case, how much knowledge it takes, how much fight is involved and how much stress is involved. The attorneys have to have broad shoulders to stick up for their clients. It begins with not backing down to adjusters, then not backing down to defense counsel and then not backing down to the judge in the presentation of evidence to a jury. I have been proud to stand behind the attorneys in this office and hope I have helped in some small way with getting clients what they deserve.
I am grateful for everything Jim Bordas, Linda Bordas, Jamie Bordas and, especially, Scott Blass have done for me and done for my family over the years. I have been treated so well by all of the attorneys I have worked with, but the partners hold such a special place in my heart. I am grateful to have worked with so many wonderful staff members. It’s a challenge to have as many people work in one place as we do and get along as well as we do.
As much as you all are going to miss me (c’mon you know you will) – I’m going to miss you more! I love you all!