File This One Under Crazy

, , , , | Legal | July 27, 2018

(The office I work in only has three employees for one lawyer: the legal assistant, the medical records worker, and me, the receptionist. It is a busy day, with a constant flow of clients and the phone constantly ringing. The medical records worker comes up to my desk after a lengthy phone call.)

Medical Records: “I just had a nasty call from a previous client’s daughter. She’s on the way up here for a letter from her mother’s closed file, even though I told her there’s no way we can get it right now.”

Me: “What did she say?”

Medical Records: “She told me that she’s still coming from [City 30 minutes away], and that we had better d*** well get it, even though it’s a closed case from 2012 and we filed it away already. I tried to tell her we won’t have it today, but that we may have it tomorrow, and she hung up on me.”

Me: “Well, [Legal Assistant] would know where that is, but she’s with clients all day. I’ll just tell [Client’s Daughter] that we can’t get those files.”

(Thirty minutes later, the client’s daughter shows up as I’m in the middle of a call with another client, loudly interrupting me.)

Client’s Daughter: “I called earlier about my mom’s letter. I need it now!

Me: “One moment, please.” *puts the caller on hold* “Yes, you were told over the phone that there’s no way we can get that letter for you right now. Our legal assistant is the only one who knows where those files are, and she’s currently with clients.”

Client’s Daughter: *looks around our now empty waiting lobby* “I don’t see anyone here. I need that letter now. My mom almost died, and she needs this letter to help her get healthcare. They told me I need to have that letter by tomorrow or she’s not getting it.”

(I can already tell she’s lying, because we talk commonly with doctors and healthcare agents. They never give an ultimatum like that — not without calling us first.)

Me: “I am truly sorry to hear that. And still, we cannot get that letter yet, because the legal assistant is with clients and is unable to retrieve that file. She will need a few days to find it and make copies of the letter. Which one is it that you need?”

(The daughter names off a letter that we wouldn’t even have.)

Me: “You could have saved yourself a trip. We wouldn’t have that one, anyway.”

Client’s Daughter:What?! I just drove 30 miles to get up here, and you couldn’t have told me that over the phone?”

Me: “Do you mean when you hung up on us?”

Client’s Daughter: “Whatever! While I’m here, I want my mother’s files. We’re going to take the case to someone else.”

Me: “We would still have to find the file, which is in storage at a location away from here. We would have to do this on a day we don’t have clients, since we are currently busy with clients–” *motions pointedly to my phone* “–and can’t take the time to drive to that location to get it. The best I can do is take a message to give the legal assistant. Or, you can wait an hour to see her. It’s 3:30 now, and we close at 5:00, so you’d have only 30 minutes to convince her to drive there and get it for you. Or, you can wait for us to get it for you and call you to pick it up at a later day.”

Client’s Daughter: “I’m not leaving without my mother’s file. You need to get it now.”

Me: “No, I don’t. I don’t know where it’s located. I’m not leaving my station because you were too impatient to let us get it for you and call for you to pick it up.”

Client’s Daughter: “My mother almost died last week, and you’re going to go get that file right now! She’s outside in my car, in the boiling heat, with my child and husband! They cannot wait a d*** hour for someone else to go get it!”

Medical Records: *messages me over our network* “Tell her to wait one f****** moment. I will go outside to see if it’s still here on premises or out in the storage room, or if we’ve moved it offsite.”

Me: *to client’s daughter* “[Medical Records] has kindly offered to go out to our supremely hot storage room to see if it’s out there, since your dying mother can’t sit outside in this unbearable heat. It can take her a while, so I would suggest you bring her inside.”

Client’s Daughter: “She’s fine outside. Besides, my husband is in a wheelchair, and it would take too much work to get him inside of here.”

Me: “We have a ramp you can use to bring him inside.”

(The client’s daughter ignores me and instead takes a call, so I resume my conversation with my previous client. As I’m talking, I can overhear the client’s daughter telling whoever is on the phone, “Yeah, they told me they were tired of fighting with me about it, so they’re getting the file right now.” I make a point to message the medical records worker and legal assistant. Almost fifty minutes later, the medical records worker returns with the file. She takes it to the legal assistant, who finished with her clients a few minutes ago. The legal assistant comes out shortly after.)

Legal Assistant: “We need to make a copy of your driver’s license. Here are your mother’s files. You were told over the phone that we do not have the time, and you still decided to disrupt our work period for something that was clearly not that important. Nothing in your mother’s file is going to help you to get insurance. You were told that. You still decided to keep your dying mother waiting in the hot, blazing car while you sat up here for this. I wish your mother the best in her endeavors, but you are not welcome up here for any reason. Do not return. Do not call. We don’t care to have anything to do with you any further, and no longer have a reason to. There is the door. Leave.”

Client’s Daughter: *to me* “It didn’t take that long to find her file.”

Me: “If your mother was really sick and near death, then she’d have died by now, waiting outside for an hour for you. Goodbye.”

Parked On That Decision

, , , , , | Legal | July 27, 2018

(One day I’m sitting in a parked car outside a supermarket, writing up the mileage/petrol expenses. Out of nowhere a car drives straight into the back of me! BANG! Glad I was wearing my brown trousers that day, I step out the car only to be confronted by an old lady.)

Lady: “You crashed into me!”

Me: “I was parked.”

Lady: “You reversed into me.”

Me: “No… I was parked. You have driven into me!”

Lady: “You reversed your car into me!”

Me: *sternly* “I. Was. Parked. I need your details, please.”

Lady: You reversed into me! I want your details!”

Me: “Madam–”

Lady: “DETAILS, NOW! YOU REVERSED INTO ME!”

Me: “I… was… pa–”

(The lady waves dismissively and turns to get back in her car. I write down her license plate number before she drives off, and go into the store to report the incident.)

Me: *to security* “A woman just backed into me while I was parked. She tried to say I reversed into her. Then she drove off, but I’ve got license plate number. Can you check if you have it on camera?”

Security: “Sure. Where were you parked?” *gives location* “Yeah, that should be covered. Have you called the police?”

Me: “Not yet.”

Security: “Okay, give me two ticks and I’ll drop them a call. Would you mind waiting here?”

Me: “Not at all!”

(Security closes off their console and goes into the locked control room. About two minutes later, the old lady who ran into me wanders up to the security console.)

Lady: “Is the security here? I need to report a mad man! It was terrible! I was sitting in my car and he just smashed right into me! He got out and he was so rude! He tried to blame me for smashing into him! He was such a horrible person! He threatened me and then he just ran off!”

Me: *after a pregnant pause* “That was… How terrible!” *walks away to avoid actually decking her square in the face*

(Thankfully one of the cameras caught it and the police dealt with it pretty swiftly. In the footage you could see her driving along and turning as if to enter a parking spot, only to discover there was a car parked there already. She later changed her story to, “she didn’t see me parked there.” Some people shouldn’t be allowed near a car, let alone given a license.)

Ask Questions First, Don’t Shoot Ever

, , , | Legal | July 26, 2018

(I teach Forensic Science. We’ve been studying firearms and ballistics, and today was the test.)

Test Question: “At a crime scene, you find a handgun. How should you pick up the gun for evidence?”

The Expected Answer: *something along the lines of “by the trigger guard” or “the checkered part of the grip”*

My Favorite Answer: “Without shooting.”

Police Work Doesn’t Have To Go To The Dogs

, , , | Legal | July 25, 2018

(I’m walking my Labrador dog at a nearby, off-leash dog park. As most people know, Labradors are generally grinning, friendly, food-obsessed goofs. If you want a guard dog, get a German Shepherd or a Doberman, not a loopy Labrador! Anyway, I see a man walking towards us. He doesn’t have a dog, which is a bit strange in an off-leash dog park. I can see my dog is thinking about going up to say hello, and realising that not everyone appreciates strange dogs doing that, I call him. He obeys immediately, never coming within 15 feet of the guy. As the man passes us, I hear him mutter something under his breath.)

Me: “Excuse me? What was that?”

Man: *waiting until he’s a good distance away from me, then shouting* “I said you should have that f****** ugly mutt on a leash!”

Me: “It’s an off-leash dog park!”

Man: *still walking away* “Don’t f*** with me, b****, or I’ll report you and have that f****** dog shot!”

Me: *getting angrier now* “Hey! Come back here and say that to my face! We haven’t done anything wrong! Don’t be a f****** coward!”

(Right at that moment, I hear a calm, deep voice behind me. I turn around and find myself staring up at a very tall policeman. I don’t know where he came from but he clearly heard the whole exchange.)

Cop: “Please wait here, miss. Sir! Sir, please come over here. Yes, sir, you, the one shouting threats. Please approach.”

(The man shuffles back over to us, looking alternately furious and scared.)

Cop: “Thank you. Now, sir, from what I heard, you threatened to report this dog and have it euthanised. Please tell me what happened.”

Man: “It’s not on a leash! It was going to charge me! It could have attacked!”

Cop: *looking down at my Labrador which is now leaning against his leg and slobbering on his trousers* “…this dog?”

Me: “It’s an off-leash dog park! There are signs!”

Cop: “Miss, please calm down. Sir, please take a deep breath and answer my questions carefully. Question one: did this dog physically attack you?”

Man: “No.”

Cop: “Did this dog growl, snap, or bark at you?”

Man: “No.”

Cop: “Did this young woman at any time give her dog a command that you might have interpreted as a sign to attack?”

Man: “No.”

Cop: “So, would you now please clarify what this dog has done that warrants being reported and subsequently euthanised?”

Man: “It was her! She started yelling at me!

Cop: “I see. So you’re saying she should be reported and euthanised?”

Man: “Uh…”

Cop: “Sir, you are clearly not a dog lover. That’s okay — not everyone is. But I do suggest that for your peace of mind, and your blood pressure, you take your walks somewhere that is not a registered, off-leash dog park. You see, yelling threats like this to someone who hasn’t done anything to deserve them could end badly for you, when all you needed to do is avoid registered dog parks. Okay? Good. Now, let’s all of us carry on with our day. Miss, enjoy the rest of your walk.” *gives my dog a good pat and ruffle on his head and neck* “Good boy. Sir, come along. Let me escort you from the park. There’s a good chance you’ll run into other dogs, otherwise.”

(It worked. We’ve never seen that guy in the dog park since. Lovely Mr. Tall Policeman, if you’re reading this, thank you so much!)

A Light Police Story

, , , , | Legal | July 24, 2018

(My father and I are driving a motorhome down a deserted stretch of interstate highway, under the speed limit, at night. No other cars are visible at all, when all of a sudden a state trooper comes up behind us with his light on. We pull over and the officer gets out:)

Officer: “How are you folks, tonight?”

Father: “We are just fine.”

Officer: “What did you pull over and stop for?”

Father: “Where I’m from, at least, we are supposed to pull over for police cars with their lights on.”

(The trooper looks at his car and turns back to us, looking a little embarrassed.)

Officer: “I’m sorry. I was out making sure that no elk were on the interstate. The lights scare them off the road and I forgot they were on. Have a good night.”

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