Feeling Blue About Signatures

, , , , , | Working | June 26, 2020

I’m a legal assistant. Half the attorneys I work for are well advanced in years. One day, one of them emails me the most mundane assignment: format and print a letter for him. I do so and take it to his office for him to sign. He looks it over, has no changes, and signs it… in bright purple ink.

I’m very confused because one of the most fundamental rules you don’t even need to be a lawyer to know is that you only sign legal documents in black or blue ink. Despite being nervous about how it might come off, I give in to the urge to question what I just saw.

Me: “Is it okay to sign this in purple?”

Attorney: “It’s blue.”

Me: *Pause* “No, it’s purple.”

Attorney: “It is?”

Me: “Yeah, a bright, pinkish fuchsia or lilac.”

He stared hard at his signature, looking as confused as I was… and that is how we both learned he’d become color blind. Rational or not, I felt horribly embarrassed, but he just laughed it off.

We keep our pens in their original, clearly-labeled boxes in the supply cabinet. He simply made it a rule never to take colored pens into his office. Whenever he passes by my desk, he’ll routinely pause, hold out a pen or paper with his signature to me, and ask, “This is blue, right?”

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Working Pro Bonehead

, , , | Legal | June 19, 2020

Me: “Good morning, [Attorney]’s office.”

Man: “Yes, hi, I need [Attorney] to help me with my real-estate matter—”

Me: “[Attorney] does not practice real-estate law.”

Man: *Not listening* “—in New Jersey—”

Me: “[Attorney] only practices law in Maryland.”

Man: *Still not listening* “—and I have no money now, but I’m sure I’d be able to pay them once the matter is thoroughly settled.”

Me: “[Attorney] does not now and has never worked pro bono; they require a retainer and a signed Representation Agreement upfront.”

Man: “Oh… so will they meet with me or what?”

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Unfiltered Story #197479

, | Unfiltered | June 18, 2020

At least once I have the following conversation with a client.

Me: Hello, this is [law firm], how can I help you?
Client: How is your family?
Me: Good and how is yours?
Client: Good

Me: What can I do for you?
Client: How is your family?
Me: Everyone is good, what can I help you with?

Client: Can I have an appointment?
Me: Yes, my next available appointment is [date and time, usually 2 weeks out].
Client: Okay, can I come in today?
Me: No. The next appointment is [date and time], I cannot meet you before then.
Client: Okay, how about tomorrow?
Me: No. Look, I am booked, completely booked, until [date], I can meet you then, but not before then.
Client: Okay. I will see you Friday.
Me: No. Do you not understand me? Are you having an emergency? I cannot meet with you until [date] at the earliest. I have several appointments after that available as well on [date, day, time, options].
Client: Oh! Monday it is then. I will be there at 7 AM.
Me: Fine, you can show up at that time, but I will not be here.
Client: Why would you schedule an appointment for me when you are not there?
Me: I did not, you chose that time, after I already told you when my next available time is. You can either take the next appointment, a time after it, or I am done with this conversation.
Client: Okay, I will see you on [first date and time].
Me: Great! See you then.

[24 hours before the appointment]
Me: *calls client* Hi, we have an appointment tomorrow at time.
Client: Okay! I will be there.

[Appointment time]
Me: Where is the client?

[15 minutes after appointment, I call client]
Client: Oh! I’m sorry, I will be there in two hours!
Me: No.
Client: Oh, can I reschedule?
Me: Yes, but you have to pay $300.
Client: Okay, I’ll be in this afternoon.

[Later in the afternoon, while working with another client]
Client: Hi!
Other Client: Uhm, what is going on?
Client: I have an appointment now?
Me: No, your appointment was this morning at [time].
Other Client: Uhmm.
Client: That’s ok, [other client] you can leave now, this is my appointment.
Me: No, no, and no. You can leave, you are not getting an appointment. I have now cancelled our other appointment.
Other Client: You have the patience of Job.

[And no, this is not the same person every week.]

Unfiltered Story #195834

, , | Unfiltered | June 3, 2020

Me: *on phone* “Good morning, [Lawyer 1]’s office, how can I help you?

Caller: “Hello?”

Me: “Yes, [Lawyer 1]’s office. How can I help you?

Caller: “Is this [Lawyer 2’s] office?”

Me: “This is [Lawyer 1]’s office.”

Caller: “So, [Lawyer 2] isn’t at this number?

Me: “No. This. Is. [Lawyer 1]’s. Office.”

Caller: “Oh. I must have dialed the wrong number.

Hungry For Legal Advice

, , , | Right | April 19, 2020

Me: “Thank you for calling the Law Office of [Lawyer]. How may I help you today?”

Caller: “I missed a call from this number; is this a restaurant?”

Me: “No, ma’am, I’m sorry. This is a law office.”

Caller: “Oh! I’m sorry, then. Thank you!” *Hangs up*

Not even two minutes later, I take a call from the same caller. This time she has the right number and I take her message for the lawyer to call her back. Before the call ends…

Me: “Thank you for calling! I’ll make sure the attorney gets your message.”

Caller: “Thank you! And by the way, this is not a restaurant, right?”

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