I am here with a collaboration between Angela and Becca of Writers Helping Writers, and the authors behind the numerous description thesauri that have been a staple in my writing. This is a promotional blog post for the upcoming book, The Occupation Thesaurus, which is coming out SOON! Be sure to preorder with the link below and remember, the inn is always open.
To win readers over we need to write characters so authentic they feel like real people. How do we do this? By brainstorming a character’s backstory, personality, needs, desires, and their day-to-day world. Lucky for us, one aspect of their daily life is a goldmine of characterization: the type of work they do.
Think about it: a job can reveal personality, skills, beliefs, fears, desires, and more, which is why Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi created The Occupation Thesaurus, a writing guide that profiles 124 possible careers and the story-worthy information that goes with each. To help with this project, I’m sharing my experience as a Process Clerk below, in case this career is a perfect fit for your character!
You can find the full list of Contributed Occupation Profiles and check out The Occupation Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Jobs, Vocations, and Careers at Writers Helping Writers.
OCCUPATION: Process Clerk
I worked at a process service company specializing in foreclosures. This doesn’t necessarily mean we issue foreclosure statements, but this meant that we serve legal documents on behalf of banks and law firms to their clients. There are various circumstances as to why summons and complaints are provided to people. Missing payments, a homeowner passed away, the people moved out without selling the property, no one lives there despite a mortgage attached to the property.
Much of my tasks involved e-filing legal documents and distributing paperwork. Other tasks in our office involved working with our process servers, making sure we find not just the property, but the homeowners as well. Others work with the law firms to make sure our jobs are executed properly, making sure information provided by the law firms are correct, and other assorted tasks. My job was to upload affidavits to a government website that our clients can refer to on a regular basis. Attention to detail and computer skills are definitely needed, but you don’t necessarily need to be a law major to get this type of job. Understanding basic law terms is a plus for this job. This is an otherwise typical office job, so sitting at a computer all day surrounded by a cubicle is part of the job.
ALERTNESS, COMPUTER KNOWLEDGE, COMMUNICATION, EXPERIENCE WITH EXCEL, WORD, AND OUTLOOK, DETAIL-ORIENTED, EXCEPTIONAL MEMORY, GOOD LISTENING SKILLS, GOOD WITH NUMBERS, LAW KNOWLEDGE, LEADERSHIP, MULTITASKING, ORGANIZATION, OUT-OF-THE-BOX THINKING, TYPING, WORK ETHIC.
SOURCES OF FRICTION
Process servers can’t find the defendant’s property.
Blowing a Lis Pendent for a case.
Process servers being harassed or even threatened by defendants.
Risk of making big mistakes.
Filing the wrong affidavit for a case.
Using the full name of a minor (Legally must only be initials. NEVER the full name).
Managers and Bosses giving you a hard time.
Sleeping on the job.
WRITERS SHOULD KNOW…
Usually foreclosures are a bad thing and it sucks that people lose their homes in times of struggle. However these aren’t as common as some would think and while lack of payment is usually the case, it depends on the circumstances mentioned above. Paying a mortgage is important for homeowners and situations can arise where banks get involved. Sometimes it’s as tame as the homeowner passed and contacting the heirs of the estate. Other times more questionable situations arise that need attention from the mortgagers. Being a process server means delivering legal paperwork and affidavits to defendants and are not legal experts as opposed to the lawyers they work with. While knowledge of law is important (especially where notary laws are concerned), you do not need a law degree to become a process clerk or even a process server.
Have any questions about this job? I’d be happy to answer. Just leave a comment below!