Giving Way More Than Your Two Cents On The Situation

, , , , | Legal | July 16, 2018

(I work for a civil division small claims court, where you sue people for smallish amounts of money and represent yourself in court. An older man comes in the office and up to the service counter with a wheelbarrow. In the wheelbarrow is a burlap sack full of… something.)

Defendant: *after ranting about the case he was involved in with a neighbour/ex-friend and the judgment rendered against him* “I am here to pay my judgment BUT I am paying it in PENNIES! If [Plaintiff] wants his money, FINE, but he’s going to have to work for it!”

Me: *looking at burlap bag and realizing what’s in it* “Um, I’m sorry sir but we cannot accept that here.” *IN MY HEAD: “Never mind the fact that WE would be the ones ‘working’ for it, not the plaintiff!”

Me: “If you wish to bring them to the plaintiff directly you can see if he will accept them.”

(After grumbling a bit more, the defendant leaves. The judgement was $800 so it would have been 80,000 pennies, weighing around 50 pounds. About 30 minutes later I answer the phone and immediately know who I am talking to:)

Plaintiff: “[Defendant] just showed up at my door with a bag full of pennies! Do I have to accept them?”

Me: “Well, sir, you can refuse it but then you will have to take further proceedings to collect on your judgment, such as a garnishment, which will take time and cost money. Monies paid out for further proceedings are recoverable and added onto the judgment, but seeing as the courts are not a guarantee that you will get your money it might be in your best interests to take the pennies.”

Plaintiff: *lots of swearing and ranting about [Defendant] and the case in general*

(In the end the plaintiff took the pennies and had to roll them all by hand because change sorting/rolling machines had not yet been invented for the casual user. I thought to myself then, and still think now, that if I ever got sued and had a judgment against me, that’s exactly the way I would pay it, too!)

Gunning For A Win

, , , , , , | Legal | July 15, 2018

(I work at an indoor gun range where people can rent and try different guns. Every customer has to sign a liability waiver stating what their firearms experience is so we know better how to serve them. It also serves to protect us against people who may injure themselves and try to sue us. A woman who rented a gun minutes ago comes out holding onto her hand which is lightly bleeding.)

Me: “Did you get cut by the slide? It happens to everyone at some point. I’ll get you a bandage!”

Customer: “I don’t know what happened! I shot it and it cut me! I’m taking you all to court! This is your responsibility!”

Me: “But, ma’am, I thought you had extensive firearms experience. That’s what it says on your waiver!”

Customer: *frustrated and distracted from the bleeding* “WELL, I WAS LYING!”

Me: “Oh… Then you should not have lied!”

Customer: “No. You should have known what my experience was!”

Me: “I don’t know, ma’am, they don’t pay me to assess that… but they do pay me to get you that bandage!”

(She called a lawyer and lied to him, too. When she and the lawyer came in requesting the video, we showed him the liability waiver that she’d signed but neglected to mention to him. He looked at her for a moment, then walked out of the store.)

Mothers Can Be Scarier Than Robbers

, , , , | Legal | July 14, 2018

(While he was in high school my brother worked graveyard shifts for a rather shady motel. At the time a man had been going around robbing people at gunpoint, and had already killed a clerk who refused to hand over the money. My brother was unlucky enough to have that same man come in and rob him at gunpoint, and he was obviously terrified. He handed the guy the money and luckily wasn’t shot. Later, when the police and ambulance arrive, his boss finally comes down from his room in the motel.)

Boss: “You gave him all the money?! Even from the safe?!”

Brother: “Yeah, he said he’d shoot me otherwise.”

Boss: “That’s no excuse! These people never actually shoot anyone. You should have called their bluff. Now I need you to pay back the money he stole.”

Brother: “What?! I don’t have that kind of money!”

Boss: “Then I’ll keep all your paychecks until it’s paid for. Now finish out your shift. I don’t want to hear anything about you going home due to ‘emotional distress.’”

([Boss] then went back upstairs to his room and my brother finished his shift. My mother was furious when she found out, and stormed in to rip the boss a new one. Eventually the boss decided not to make my brother pay, offered him free psychological services, and gave him three days vacation time. My mom, being similarly generous, decided not to sue. My brother didn’t stay at the job long after that.)

They Are Legally Dead

, , , , | Legal | July 13, 2018

(One of my bosses goes to a hearing where the client fails to show up. The particular cases we deal with are not criminal and don’t involve much attorney-client contact outside of the initial interview and the much-later hearing, so it’s not uncommon for clients to disappear in the interim, failing to return calls or changing their address without notifying us. This time it is unusual, however, because it turns out that the client has died.)

Boss: *agitated* “I really wish she would have called to say she didn’t want the hearing anymore.”

Me: “She died.”

Boss: “Well, she should have called to tell me she was dead!” *storms off*

(He later apologized and dealt with the ensuing paperwork more rationally, but at the time, I was torn between laughing and being appalled.)

Break-ing The Law

, , , , | Legal | July 12, 2018

Boss: “You can’t go on a break. We don’t do breaks here.”

Me: “But I’m working seven hours. It’s obligatory to let me have a break.”

Boss: “Sorry, there’s no time for breaks.”

Me: “Then you should have more people working.”

Boss: “We can’t afford that.”

Me: “Well, if you can’t afford to run your company in a legal way, you’re obviously doing something wrong.”

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