Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Threat of Mental Collapse - Part I of II

Well, I think I'm losing my mind this time, this time I'm losing my mind, that's right, said I think I'm losing my mind this time, this time I'm losing my mind...

Working at a plaintiff’s law firm has caused me to grow to hate the winter holidays.  Annually, starting in mid-November, I receive countless phone calls from clients wanting to know the status of their cases. (I’m talking several stacks of phone messages over the course of a single day!)  The subtext of their update requests is this:  “Will my case settle before Christmas?  Because I really need to pay my utilities, make a house payment, buy my kids some toys, purchase groceries, replace my furnace, repair my roof, …[ad nauseum].  Also, I’ve confused my case with a money tree and so I didn’t properly save over the course of the year, because I was counting on this settlement to getting me through to 2010.”

Ironically, I can not really fault our clients for their poor money management and resulting over-eagerness since I want their damn cases to settle as badly, if not more so, than they want it. "And why is that?," you may ask. Well, we historically receive bonuses at our Christmas/holiday party. Really generous, often equal to a two-week paycheck, bonuses. And the way we can most easily ensure our receipt of said bonuses is by bringing in a lot of fucking money in December.  Therefore, I put the fire on at the start of the fall season. I start working my cases the way an amateur stand-up comedian works a bad joke [or an amateur writer works a bad metaphor, as the case may be].

This year (and honestly MOST past years, too), I’ve been counting on that sizable (hopefully!) bonus to come through and it isn’t even guaranteed that we will get it.  Sometimes it is only half the size of a good year’s bonus, and I’ve heard talk of them not even giving bonus checks out before (not in the near decade that I’ve worked at the firm, but it has happened). So, what I am saying is that I am no better than our begging clients. I didn’t prepare any better than they did for the hard times. I know some of them make a heck of a lot more money than I do (because I know all of their salaries), but for those of them that do not earn as much income as me, I can’t blame ‘em. Times are tough. However, to the ones who are incessantly calling me and bringing home two, three, four times what I make in a year:  FUCK YOU PEOPLE AND YOUR FUCKING PRIVILEGED CHILDREN, TOO. STOP FUCKING CALLING ME EVERY FIVE GODDAMN MINUTES.  I COULDN'T GIVE A SHIT IF YOU ARE ABLE TO REMODEL YOUR CONDO’S KITCHEN, YOU SELF-INVOLVED ASSHOLES.

Wow, that felt good. I heart capital letters. But seriously, why do my clients pressure me like this?  I’m going as fast as I humanly can.  Their repeatedly calling my office and subsequent wasting of my obnoxiously limited time does not expedite the processing of their cases.  In fact, it simply slows everything down and puts me off my game.  I’ve had to ask our receptionist to hold ALL of my calls for two of the past three business days b/c the assholes just don’t stop.  I can’t even think straight with their constant pestering.  Over and above that, my boss is out on sick leave this month so I am taking DOUBLE calls this year; plus, he is having me cover most of his work (which is nice that he trusts me to handle the majority of his workload, but also nerve wrecking in and of itself).

I just want to answer the phone like this for every single phone call--

So what'cha what'cha what'cha want? (What'cha want?!)

and then hang up before I have to listen to yet another person inevitably ask me for status.