February 17, 2004

Some crud people try to pull just goes a bit too far, I think

I just spent about 20 minutes on the phone with some lady with whom I supposedly am acquainted ... now living in another county. She had called me previously about assisting her with some matter and I had discussed the price of service with her. She called this evenin' to discuss paying me a hundred bucks to just do the paperwork for her. She is of the opinion that she can handle this modification of child custody matter on her own when it goes before the court. When I first answered the phone she attempted to tell me who she was and she asked me how I was doin', I said "I am tired. I am brain dead as usual after a long day at work, and I am just sittin' here watchin' TV tryin' to unwind." I mean, fuck, lady, it is 4 hours past closin' time and you want to waste my time tryin' to convince me you are not tryin' to beat me out of money. I thought it strange that she had the audacity to describe what she was askin' me to do as mere secretarial work, like I was just typin' up pleadin's she was gonna have already prepared. No lady, you are tryin' to pay me chump change to do that which I am generally paid $150 an hour ( $100 an hour less than most of the other local attorneys, I might add) to do, because I know what the fuck I am doin' and you don't. I went to school for a lot of fuckin' years, spendin' a lot of money on my education, and passed a really fuckin' hard test to become an attorney, ya know? It ain't like I just one day hung out a shingle and said I am gonna screw a bunch of people out of money because I know a lot of big words that no one else understands.

I am really pissed . . . but I am not so pissed at this pain in the ass manipulative wench that destroyed the greater part of this evenin's free time . . . no, I am pissed because I didn't immediately tell her to piss off and just hang the phone up. I actually just listened with half an ear as she droned on and on and on and finally told her to come see me and we would see what we could do. crud, sometimes I fuckin' hate bein' the softhearted pushover I am. I really do. No fuckin' wonder I eat Pepcid Complete tablets by the handful.

[UPDATE: Well, thanks for the advice and the light of day! The lady just called me back and asked if I was still interested in assistin' her. I advised her I had several people tell me to not do so. She asked me why they said that. I said because I am not a secretary and that if someone comes in asking for an uncontested divorce, most of my service would be preparin' the necessary paperwork, this is about the same kind of deal. I charge much more than $100 for doin' uncontested divorces. I told her to go to her local county law library and look for the resources to prepare that paperwork herself. I can still remember the part of the conversation we had last night when she remarked how I would actually be out so very little except for a bit of paper and ink. To tell you the truth, she should pay me that $100 for all of my time she wasted last night and for the great advice I gave her today.]

Posted by notGeorge at February 17, 2004 10:06 PM

It frosts my ass when what we do is viewed as constituting "paperwork." OK, Zippy. If it's only "paperwork," do it your damned self.

Posted by: Parkway Rest Stop at February 17, 2004 11:48 PM

Your desire to help is laudable, but your unwillingness to cheerfully insist on being paid is going to do you in.

I have had several woman do the same to me and their affectionate approach fell completely to pieces when I said I would love to work with them, were they going to feel comfortable with my consulting rates?

Just putting the question out there shattered their confident assumption that I should be happy to help them out. By the way, these all turned out to be women who had reputations for using their friends in various ways.

I think you should give her a call and remind her that your client hours are billable. Tell her to bring her checkbook if she is serious.

Good luck!

Posted by: David at February 18, 2004 08:10 AM

Good luck. The sad thing is, if she does proceed and loses in court, it won't her fault, *no*, it will be your screw-up, and I bet she'll be sure to let you know.. People of this ilk are *perfect*. Not.

Posted by: Frank Patton at February 18, 2004 11:06 AM