Totally Divorced From Reality

, , , | Legal Right | December 3, 2018

(Our office used to be a family practice with three separate lawyers. Because the father is soon to retire and our office is an older house, his children (two sons) have moved to their own offices. We now have a much smaller staff, and I’m one of three people who open the office before eight each day. Our clients understand the lawyer doesn’t come in until nine, so they tend not to call before that time. However, when I come in one morning, the phone is going off at 7:30. We are expected not to answer phones so we can get morning tasks done before we answer, so I wait until eight to answer the first call of the day.)

Me: “Good morning. [Law Office].”

Caller: “About time! I’ve called seven or eight times already!”

Me: “I apologize; we don’t open office until eight o’clock. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Until eight?! This is life or death, and you’re going to make me wait until eight? What if I had been dying?”

Me: “Then I would hope you’d call an ambulance or the police. How can I help you?”

Caller: “I don’t know if I want him helping me anymore, if that’s how y’all act. Maybe I need to be calling someone else.”

Me: “That is your prerogative, sir. I apologize we couldn’t help you when you liked, but no one is able to answer your calls before eight. Thank you and—”

Caller: “Wait! I want to talk to Mr. [Lawyer #1] about representing me! Don’t be hanging up on me yet. Any chance I can talk to him?”

Me: “Mr. [Lawyer #1] isn’t in until nine o’clock. Is this about [type of law]? If so, I can get you to our intake to get a name, number, and some information.”

Caller: “What? No. This is about family law. Isn’t that who I called?”

Me: “Ah, no, sir. That would be [Lawyer #1]’s son, [Lawyer #2], who moved out six months ago. The phone books are still catching up in changing his information online. I can give you his new phone number.” *relays number to him* “Thank you, sir, and have a nice day.”

(A minute later:)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Law Office].”

Caller: “Yeah, I got a divorce case and—”

Me: “Sir, I believe you called earlier. I gave you [Lawyer #2]’s number, correct?”

Caller: “D***, this ain’t his number?? What’s his number again?”

Me: “The only number that [Lawyer #2] has is [number]. If you’re unable to reach [Lawyer #2] at his number, it may be that his receptionist wasn’t able to reach the phone. Try again.”

(The caller hangs up and a few minutes later:)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Law Office].”

Caller: “D*** it!” *hangs up*

(I guess he didn’t believe me when I told him that was the only number that lawyer had. Aside from that, I’m not sure how a divorce is a matter of life or death.)

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