The worst part about being a lawyer (or working for one), it seems, is having to track down your clients like dogs in the street so you can take the steps necessary to get them the money it takes to fix the utter ruin their has become due to their back surgery/brain injury/knee replacement following the car accident/slip and fall/divorce. It's an inconvenience for Christ's sake that their lawyer can't just handle the entire case until the check signing (when are they sending my money?) Lawyers ask all these questions about when and how and who the insurance carrier is. Fucking Lawyers.
At Rick's Cafe Legalese we seem to attract more than our fair share of clients who require not a retainer agreement and a contact number, but a GPS dot and a tranquilizer gun.
Neck Crack has gone AWOL. Both numbers are disconnected and two letters have gone unanswered. Rick dictates another one and I sip coffee, kinda hoping Neck Crack has cut his losses and skipped town. The phone rings: It's Neck Crack, just want to know what kind of progress we're making on his case.
I can't decide whether to throw the copier at his head or drink the toner cartridge.
Later, maybe a week, maybe a month, he's crying and angry--we just don't understand--he doesn't have the time or the money to request medical records--can't we just tell them he's hurt? Why are we so mean? He's complaining to the wrong person about broke and busy--I had peanut butter for breakfast and I'm not wearing underwear because I haven't had time to do laundry in 3 weeks. I'm in no personal rush to get the records and settle the case--I'm not the one with a medical file the thickness of the Complete Works of Shakespeare and a gajillion dollars in back child support. And, oh--when can he expect his money? I pick up my notepad and take a look at the toner cartridge, looking for weak spots.
Phone call: Can we sue a motel for having bedbugs? He stayed there for a month, they never did anything about it. His girlfriend just pulled one out and now it's swimming in a water glass. I almost lose the peanut butter.
Phone call: Can we sue the vegetable company--She opened a can last night and there was a grasshopper in the spinach. Switch to Green Giant, and for the love of God, can't people buy Raid?
Phone call: She fell at a bar a month ago and got a boo-boo. No, she doesn't know why she fell. Her drink intake? More than my party of six drank watching the game last night. I might know why she fell.
Nikki and I are continuing our exorcism of the office. It's like the beach invasion at Normandy, only with a shredder, file folders, and a can of furniture polish. The filing cabinet drawer opens--pleadings drafted around the time I was born, maybe even before. Not to give too much away, but we're talking Reagan Administration.
Nikki's on the phone, just checking to make sure you're still coming in to meet with us twenty minutes ago. Oh, you were planning on swinging by in a few hours instead? Thanks for the heads-up, Asshat. No, it's no big deal, we just need you to pick up some stuff and sign off on it. Asshat explodes into Hulk-like rage. I've never met him, but I imagine a mustache, resembling a furry animal, that jumps around and collects spit flecks as he screams. So, one-thirty then?
I wonder if I possibly put LSD in my coffee this morning...
Rick wants to hang a picture--how did we hang the cork board? It might be true that Nikki and I used our feminine wiles to Shang-hai a nearby construction crew into doing it for us. It might work again.
Nikki looks at me and cries, in an oh-so-tortured voice--"This is the skin of a killer, Bella!" It makes as much sense as anything else that happens on any given day.