I am having a stressful week. I shouldn’t tell you why, but I will. I am up to my ears in legal crap this week. Legal paperwork and legal meetings. I don’t think I am allowed to tell you why that is true. There is some absurd rule with legal cases that if you talk about them you die … or something like that. I have actually had dreams/nightmares that I accidentally slip-up and have a lengthy conversation on the case only to be marched out in front of a firing squad for execution. No one really needs to impose this "no talk" rule on me, because the fact of the matter is that I don’t know what I’m talking about in legal terms enough to make any sense whatsoever anyway. And anything I might say is probably some huge misinterpretation or misunderstanding on my part of what is really going on. The point being, I am pretty much a worthless source of information even on legal matters I am involved in. Oh – and yes, I was in a pretty bad car accident nearly two years ago. Some
asshole guy ran a stop sign and … Oops … was I not supposed to say that?
I worked in a law office for 3 years while in college to help pay for school. I ran errands like making bank deposits, running documents to and from the courtroom, helped out with bookkeeping, etc. Whatever they needed on any given day I would do. The office I worked for paid well and was flexible with my hours which was always a huge help around finals. I enjoyed the job and I especially enjoyed that the Senior Partner in the firm owned a Porsche which he gave me free use of. He was the nicest boss. I even got to take it on weekend trips and I have loved Porsche’s ever since. I considered going to law school because I made so many lawyer friends while working there and I had a strong academic record. However, financially it did not seem to be an option for me at that point in my life. Instead, my college boyfriend (not Briefcase) went on to law school and I was the supportive girlfriend but did not go myself. Supportive girlfriend – yes, the expression makes me gag even now!
Because of my law office experience, I really thought I liked lawyers. I know you hear all the lawyer jokes and blah, blah, blah, but I have never had any legal headaches. I made a lot of lawyer friends through that job – some of which I still have many years later. In fact, my son, PR, is named after a lawyer friend I met at that point in my life. As the years have gone on I have had many other friends who are lawyers too and I have always had respect and appreciation for the fact that they had to suck up the years of law school and get through bar exams to accomplish their goal.
A few years back I heard that my old college boss (Mr. Senior Partner with the Porsche) was serving time in prison. I was SHOCKED. I was more shocked when I found out why. Apparently he was convicted of embezzling funds from clients. I immediately flashed back to when I would run from bank to bank depositing money from one account to another for him. I never knew why I did that – he just told me to. Did I aid him in embezzling? What about the bookkeeping I did for him? How long did he embezzle for, and when? Was it taking place when I worked there? To this day I don’t know the answer. I do remember some elderly clients that he managed trusts for and I have been told that those were indeed some of the accounts he dipped into … supposedly with the intention of eventually repaying. I was young and naive, and possibly he used me to help him. (Hmmm … should I be writing this? Can I be arrested all these years later?)
The discovery of his crime and resulting imprisonment was my first experience with lawyer-friend let down. This is someone I had looked up to and respected. I felt betrayed – who WAS he, really? Obviously he was not the man I thought he was. And had he really used me to help him? If so … how could he have pretended to be my friend and mentor? Now, many years later I have had other experiences of lawyer-friend let down. People I thought I knew, trusted, and respected as friends who turned out to be shallow, fake, insincere and intentionally hurtful. I realize that in any profession there are good and bad people. Sincere and insincere. When it happens with a lawyer though people act like you should expect it … it is their profession to manipulate facts, so why be so surprised when they try to manipulate you?
That brings me to now. Sitting here stressing over legal papers strewn everywhere. Staring bleary eyed at ten-part question after ten-part question written in legalese. Wondering why the hell lawyers can’t just ask a simple ten word concise question like the rest of humanity? I can’t think of a single positive thing to say about lawyers at the moment. I am also stressing over the legal meetings I will be sitting through this week. How many times will I need to ask, "Can you repeat that please … in English?" How many times will my lawyer remind me during those meetings, "A simple yes or no answer is always best"? The fact is … a simple yes or no answer is almost impossible for my willful, stubborn personality. Will I be able to control my tendency of being a smart ass? How about my sarcastic sense of humor? One of my current lawyer friends cautioned me against "trying to out think the lawyers". Clearly he knows me too well, because how can I NOT be thinking a few steps ahead when I know they will have "crafted" their questions in an attempt to manipulate the answers? Today I procrastinate working on the remainder of this mountain of legal paperwork (yet again) by getting another coffee refill, changing the play list on my iPod, writing this blog, and glancing at the clock while pondering how many more hours of work I still have ahead of me. Coffee anyone?