Doesn’t Exempt You From Being An A**hole

, , , | Legal | September 23, 2018

(I work in a hotel. In any business, tax exemption in the US is a huge pain in the ass. The rules are Fizzbin-esque, and when someone turns out to not be exempt for whatever reason, they always pitch a fit, even though it’s the freaking LAW. This guest is another matter, though. While I’m working the front desk, a guest comes up to hand me a piece of paper.)

Guest: “I need you to deliver this to the general manager, and you need to sign this copy for me stating that you received it.”

Me: *immediately wary* “I’m sorry, what is this regarding?”

Guest: “Just read it. And sign my copy. What you’re doing is illegal!”

(I do read the letter. It is apparently a notice threatening legal action if the guest does not receive his taxes back from us, as well as some more colorful demands regarding penalties levied when a tax-exempt entity is denied their exemption status. Note that he was charged taxes due to refusing to produce an ID when presenting his disabled veteran card. While there isn’t TECHNICALLY a law stating that you have to show an ID, most people would appreciate that we are trying to prevent someone from mooching off of their benefits by using a stolen benefit card. After some conferencing between the Manager On Duty and me, and a call to the GM, we decide to acquiesce and sign his copy, adding a note that the signature ONLY acknowledges our receipt of the letter and not any promise of action.)

Guest: “Fine! Add your note! I don’t care. I’m a lawyer, and I know my rights!”

(He takes his letter and leaves, and I just shake my head. The MOD gets a chance to read the letter in full.)

MOD: “Oh, my God! He wants [Front Desk Worker] and [Supervisor] charged $500 each for refusing his card! That’s more than they make in a week!”

Me: “I know. I feel bad for his clients if he really is a lawyer.”

MOD: “Why?”

Me: “Well, according to the passage he helpfully quoted in this letter, any institution denying tax exempt status will be fined $500 per infraction. So, he could plausibly have the hotel fined…. but [Front Desk Worker] and [Supervisor] are just employees. They can’t be personally fined. What an a**hole.”

(By the way, the amount he wanted two workers to lose more than a week’s pay over? Less than $6.)

Legal Lightning Struck Twice

, , , , | Legal | September 22, 2018

When I was six years old, my father was struck by lightning while he was lowering a wheelchair ramp for the last passenger on his bus. Thankfully, he survived, but the injuries put an end to him working. Since it happened while he was on the job, this was clearly a case for workers’ comp. The problem? Dad was working for the city, who in turn controlled workers’ comp. Long story short, they desperately did not want to pay. So, my parents needed to get a lawyer.

While preparing the case, my mother asked about getting a hold of the aforementioned passenger, who was the only witness to my dad being struck. The lawyer waved her concerns away. “They’re not contesting the fact that he got hit,” he said.  

Flash forward much, much later to their meeting with the opposition. The workers’ comp lawyers’ argument? “We don’t know for sure that he was even hit by lightning at all!”

Mom was livid, especially since by this time, the witness had moved out of town. Fortunately, a family friend had taken it upon herself to track the guy down, and he was able to testify that, yes, my dad was hit by an enormous bolt of electricity, and the “singed and delirious” look wasn’t just a new fad he felt like trying.

Phase two was, “But surely taking one billion volts to the head didn’t hurt him any,” but that’s another story.

Death Is Not Outside The Law

, , , , | Legal | September 17, 2018

I am a sole practitioner in a small town where everyone knows me. I’m lucky enough to have a good reputation with the local Bar, so everyone is quite understanding when I have to take time off due to an unexpected death in my family… all except one pinhead junior lawyer, who refuses to consent to the postponement of a trial, and is quite nasty about it.

Ultimately, the Judge rips him a new one and accommodates me.

When I return to the office, I send him correspondence, in which I “sincerely apologise for any inconvenience my mother’s untimely death may have caused.” He replies that I am “sarcastic and unprofessional.” One of us is one of those things; one of us is the other.

Cheating You By The Hour

, , , , , , , | Legal | August 25, 2018

We had a cleaning lady who came by every week. Things started off rocky when, after her first visit, she left a note asking if we could “tidy up” more before she came and maybe vacuum, as well. We were like, “Excuse us? That’s what you are for.”

So, we let it slide, and for a few months things went well. We would leave the money on the counter, she would come in while we were at work — we gave her a key when we hired her — and she would clean, take the money, and leave.

But after a few months, my husband lost his job. Because it was only temporary, we decided to keep on the cleaner rather than fire her and rehire once he had a new job. During that period, whenever the cleaner came over my husband would go out swimming or something until she had finished.

One day, however, circumstances were such that he came home after only two hours. Lo and behold, the cleaner had left, taking the full four hours’ worth of money with her!

The next week, my husband returned early again, planning to claim he “forgot something,” and after only an hour and a half she was gone already. We called her asking for an explanation. She claimed she had to “pick up her child from work” and that “she didn’t take any breaks so she finished early.”

Now, you can take as many breaks as you want, but if you are being paid for four hours of work, that doesn’t mean you get to skip off after two hours and leave stuff unfinished.

After a few more repeats of this, we decided to fire her. I told my husband to wait until the next time she came over, hand her the money for that day, request our key back, and tell her not to come back.

Sadly, he’s a bit spineless and prefers to avoid confrontation, so he fired her over social media and asked her to bring by the key.

Two weeks went by and there was no word from the cleaner and no key. We started to get somewhat worried, as we live in an apartment building, and that key opens the main entrance and the shared garage. As such, if one of the keys is unaccounted for, all the locks in the building have to be replaced, costing upwards of 10,000 euros.

Since we willingly gave the key away, our insurance wouldn’t cover it and we were liable. In a last-ditch attempt, we call our legal insurance — basically insurance that supplies a lawyer when you need one.

We explained the situation, and they told us that technically this didn’t fall under our coverage, but they were having a quiet day, so they’d give the cleaner a call.

That evening the cleaner called us, panicking because a lawyer claiming to represent us had left her a voicemail claiming to investigate a lost key. She then claimed that she mailed our house key, by post, and it must have gotten lost in the mail. She promised that she would call the mail company in the morning to ask them to investigate.

We were livid at this point, as truly nobody could be so stupid or careless as to mail a key to the house it unlocks. Two days later, she called and claimed that the post office had miraculously found our key and mailed it back to her. If there was the tiniest chance she was telling the truth, that spoiled it right there; no way in hell the post office is that fast or efficient.

She asked if she could come by that evening to drop it off and insisted we take a picture of her handing it over as proof.

And that is how our lawyer saved us 10,000 euros and helped us catch a crooked cleaner in the act.

Claim Loss Of Memory, While You’re At It

, , , , , | Legal | August 20, 2018

(I was involved in the Blue Line Train fire about ten years ago. The train caught fire after leaving downtown Chicago because there was something wrong with the rails and it caused so much friction on the wheels, the train caught fire. I have decided to get a lawyer to represent me. I notice that two girls who were also on the train work for a law firm and mention — in the news story — that they are using their firm to represent them. When I read the story in the paper the next day, I decide to contact them to represent me, as well.)

Me: *sitting at home with friends* “I hired a personal injury attorney today to represent me in the Blue Line Fire.”

Friend: “Who did you hire?”

Me: “[Firm].”

Friend: “Why did you hire them?”

Me: “Because I don’t know any personal injury lawyers.”

Friend: “Yes, you do! ME!”

(Yes, I had completely forgotten what my friend did for a living. He eventually forgave me.)

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