March 27, 2008
Yeah, yeah, everyone LOVES to bash lawyers. I get the amusing jokes in my email every now and then. Oh, funny-ha-ha. However, in these litigious times, more people are finding themselves in need of an attorney's help, to extricate them from the big fat mess they've made of their lives. And this is across the board: marriages, business decisions, real estate purchases, etc. And of course when things don't go their way, who do they blame? The lawyers, of course.
I've been pretty fortunate to have worked for some of the best, highly respected, most ethical lawyers around in the Bay Area and at my current job. OK quit laughing. There are lots of ethical lawyers. The few unethical ones give the rest of them a bad name (think: suing McDonalds b/c their coffee is too hot or b/c eating their food made someone fat). I've also had the misfortune of working for some real assholes. When I first moved to Washington, between June 1989 and March 2001, I worked at 5 different law firms. Five. I kept bailing b/c I hated my bosses. So when I find a job I like with a boss I like, I stay put.
Well, right now, we have a whole passel of pain in the ass, unreasonable and unbelievably demanding, and verbally abusive, clients. They act as if we are here on earth to serve them and only them. They expect us to drop what we are doing and wait on them when they drop by w/o an appointment. Oh yes, that's it, that's it exactly. We've been waiting all fucking day for you to call or grace us with your presence, Your Majesty. Or, "I called Steve this morning and still haven't received a call back". Well that was 2 hours ago asshole and my response is the same as it was then, "He's down at Court at a hearing, I'll leave him another message that you called." Then they try to trap you with, "Can you make sure that he calls me?" Oh yes, fer shure. Let me just get my trusty revolver out and hold it to Steve's head and say, "CALL MR. X", and keep it there till he makes the call.
On Tuesday, a particularly pain-in-the-ass-thorn-in-our-side client came in to our office, demanding to see Steve at 3:30 pm. Meanwhile, he is getting ready for a trial, our fax machine is spewing out 50 pages of the opposing party's trial stuff, he's on the phone w/ our client who is flying up from San Diego, and so we told her that he was unavailable. Then the bitch has the unmitigated gall to whine, "HE NEVER HAS TIME FOR ME" and storms out, slamming our door. I was apoplectic. Then the bitch comes back in, and proceeds to stand at Debby's desk, weeping about how unfair this is. BTW, sorry to sound racist or whatever, but she's white, her ex is black. Shocking that he's a deadbeat dad.
I had to go in the back, to the conference room, and wait till she left b/c I was seriously in danger of telling her off: "Listen bitch, how dare you say Steve never makes time for you!! YOU are the one that married the guy. YOU are the one that had a kid with him. YOU are the one who divorced him, THEN LET HIM CONTINUE TO SLEEP WITH YOU TILL HE KNOCKED YOU UP AGAIN! And now you are whining that he won't pay child support? We've done everything you've asked: Garnished his bank accounts, subpoenaed thousands of pages of real estate documents, dragged him into Court FOURTEEN TIMES since February, 2007, entered multiple Judgments against him and are now requesting jail time. It's not our fault that he's making a mockery of the system. It's not our fault that the Judge keeps giving him a chance to get an attorney. It's not our fault he filed for bankruptcy. So fuck off and shut up and oh here's a little hint, keep your fucking legs shut next time, you stupid whore. And by the way, you owe our firm about $7,300 so how's about bringing your account current before you start bitching that Steve can't see you every time you barge into our office demanding to see him."
Then we have who we'll call "Client X". We divorced him in 2005. We got him awarded custody of his kids. We also helped him out of a real estate jam he got into as well. So we find out last fall that he went to China and married himself a bride. We shook our collective heads...."What was he thinking?" Almost immediately after returning here, with the wife still in China, he decides he needs to get divorced. He has waffled over this for about 6 months now. He'll call, then change his mind. Last month he asked me to locate the Chinese marriage license he'd given us, b/c he needed it. He picked it up and that was the last we heard. Till yesterday. At 3:45 pm. He calls, "I NEED TO START DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS RIGHT NOW!!!" So again, Debby has to drop what she's doing to prepare the initial papers and get them ready for Steve to sign b/f he leaves for vacation because Client X got himself into this mess w/ a foreign bride. And by the way, it's now 3:50 pm, over 24 hours since Client X's frantic call. Has he shown up to sign the papers? No, of course not. He was called last night and told he could come in first thing in the morning, and by first thing, I mean 7 or 7:30.
And our favourite client, whose last name rhymes with "McPain", which is what we call her.....she's deceptive, a liar, demanding, verbally abusive, hears what she wants, and then misrepresents what Steve told her to her husband....in writing no less....which he then gives to HIS lawyer, and we get a nastygram from said lawyer, and Steve's left w/ egg on his face b/c he either never said what she said he did, or she's grossly misrepresented it. She and her husband despise each other. They have 3 young boys, who they are using as pawns, to piss each other off. And it's only hurting the boys. The 9 year old is reverting and trying to breast feed. On Easter, the youngest refused to put a stitch of clothing on to go to visit his father. Can you say, "serial killers in the making"? McPain has the kids on the most rigid schedule I've EVER seen. She calls it "The Happy House Rules". 7:00 wake up. 7:00-7:15, practice piano. 7:15-7:30 eat breakfast. etc etc etc. For grins, I started reading the schedule out loud, in an exaggerated German accent, "YOU VILL COMMENCE PIANO NOW! YOU VILL COMMENCE BREAKFAST NOW!" then I launched into a rousing chorus of "Deutschland Uber Alles". Steve and Debby were in hysterics.
We don't trust her at all. We have to write down the details of all conversations w/ her as a "CYA" thing b/c in all likelihood, she'll turn Steve over to the Bar Association. It's bad enough that she's still attorney-shopping behind our backs, b/c one called to ask Steve what her deal was. One day she called in a snit that "He changed the locks! I cant' get in to get the rest of my stuff! I need my work stuff now!" So Steve fires off a terse "how dare he" letter to the other attorney and we get one back w/in 20 minutes saying that the guy did not change the locks, and has no idea why she can't get in, and baseless accusations will not be tolerated. Then the bitch admits that SHE FORGOT TO BRING HER KEYS. Did she actually think she was going to get away w/ her accusation? And she LIED to us, making Steve look like a fool. Yesterday was the last straw though, and we're withdrawing as her attorney. Princess Bitch McPain can go bug someone else for a change. And incidentally, the bitch makes about $10,000 PER MONTH, but has she paid her bill which is over $8,000 now? Of course not.
I know that I'm extremely terse w/ the clients on the phone. I'm not a "soft touch", I won't mollycoddle and I won't get sucked into their dramas. I can't. It's bad enough that I'm covered in disgusting itchy hives, which have been diagnosed as stress-related. Debby, on the other hand, spends WAY too much time holding their hands and letting them whine and cry. I'm sorry, but I have a job to do & I have to keep them at arm's length. I'm sure that many of the clients think of me as a bitch, but I don't fucking care. If they are going to call me multiple times a day, demanding this and that, whining that it's "not fair" when they are the ones that created the mess to begin with, then don't expect me to be all soft and fuzzy. That's not to say that I hate ALL our clients, b/c I don't, and I'm not terse w/ all of them either. Only the ones that insiste upon calling 3x a day, plus sending emails up the kazoo. We have many good people who did get screwed, and who pay their bills. Ironically, it's always the clients who truly don't have a pot to piss in who regularly send us $25 a month, good faith payments. It may take them years and years but they send in their payment religiously. The wealthy clients who routinely carry mega balances w/ us are the ones who never pay and are the most demanding.
Just leave me alone and let me do my damn job.
March 26, 2008
Despite her atheism, Ayaan was offered and accepted a position at the conservative Washington DC think-tank "American Enterprise Institute." AEI is the only place to offer Ayaan a job so that she could emigrate to the USA, when security fears caused her to leave Holland. She received her green card last fall. Although the AEI is conservative and Ayaan liberal, she welcomes the opportunity to protect free speech and discuss divergent ideas and philosophies with her coworkers.
I hope that you can take the time to join us for this interview. And as always, thank you for your support.
March 22, 2008
March 19, 2008
I'm sure you have all heard about the protests in China, over their forced occupation (and rape) of Tibet lo these many years. It sickens me what they did. Steve gets lots of travel magazines and he brings them in to work, and many of them offer these package tours to "Tibet". The tours promise visits to "monastaries to see the monks". It really chaps my hide to see these ads, because the tours show you only what China wants you to see.
Brian and I are not really "Summer Olympics" fans, but occasionally we'll find ourselves sucked into something. But this year, we are boycotting the Olympics and we're not gonna watch them. I heard about a website today, http://www.iwontwatchtheolympics.com/ and they have a petition going. I am sad that the Dalai Lama stated that he will resign his position if the Tibetan people can't commit to peace and shun violence.
I hate the fact that our country kowtows to China. Can someone please tell me why that is? We have a ridiculous trade embargo against Cuba, supposedly because they are commies. Well, HELLO! So are the Chinese! Instead of keeping Americans working and producing goods, we outsource to China, so that we don't have to pay a living wage or provide benefits. Meanwhile, honest Americans are fighting to survive on unemployment and China's sending us substandard garbage that's poisoning our pets and children alike. I mean seriously man, what the fuck?! If we were making the stuff, unemployment would be way down, the quality of the items would improve substantially, and people would be spending their paychecks and contributing to a booming economy. And now the Air Force decides to outsource planes to France instead of giving the contract to Boeing. Another black eye for Western Washington, thank you very much.
March 18, 2008
March 15, 2008
This was written for male supervisors of women in the work force during World War II. Snaps to my friend Charlene for sending me this in an email last week:
Here are eleven helpful tips on the subject from Western Properties:
2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting themselves and are included to be cantankerous and fussy. It’s always well to impress upon older women the importance of friendliness and courtesy.
3. General experience indicates that “husky” girls - those who are just a little on the heavy side - are more even tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.
4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination - one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit, but reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job.
5. Stress at the outset the importance of time, and the fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up.
6. Give the female employee a definite day-long schedule of duties so that they’ll keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves.
7. Whenever possible, let the inside employee change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be less nervous and happier with change.
8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day.
9. Be tactful when issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive; they can’t shrug off harsh words the way men do. Never ridicule a woman - it breaks her spirit and cuts off her efficiency.
10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women. Even though a girl’s husband or father may swear vociferously, she’ll grow to dislike a place of business where she hears to much of this.
11. Get enough size variety in operator’s uniforms, so that each girl can have a proper fit. This point can’t be stressed too much in keeping women happy.
March 14, 2008
When Brian picked him up and brought him home, he told me that the techs had a "pawty" for him. They blew up balloons and made hats. I got the pictures developed today! Sagan sez, "Chicks dig me!" He can't get enough lovin', this dog. I always knew that German shepherds were nice dogs, but I had no idea how unbelievably sweet and affectionate they are too. And goofy. But when he wants to turn it on and be the "guard dog", he does it in a flash.
March 13, 2008
Sea lions in Monterey Bay.
Lone Cyprus, 17 Mile Drive, Monterey. That brown patch in the water is a kelp forest, a vital sea plant in Monterey Bay.
Carmel-By-The-Sea. It's just too quaint for words. And also too expensive for words. I do love all the little alleys and shops tucked away here and there. It's easy to get lost when you are exploring in and out of the alleys, but it's a beautiful town.
I could absolutely kick myself for not buying this damn poster. It was only $18, but I wasn't that big a Clint Eastwood fan, so I just took a picture of it instead. Clint was the Mayor of Carmel when I visited in 1986 w/ Charlene, and again in 1988 w/ my dad. Apparently there had been a law banning ice cream cones as well as other "fast foods" in Carmel. He repealed the law, hence the poster, "Law, Order & Ice Cream". Now this poster is extremely collectible.
Ceilings from Spain, furniture from France, rare pots and vessels from ancient Egypt....all lumped together.
Back on the road headed up to Carmel, we drove past Big Sur. I had to get all my "scenic view point" pictures on the way back b/c we were running really late on our way to the Hearst Castle that day, so I was unable to stop going down there.
Otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Which, by the way, is extremely anticlimatic. I, too, had heard of the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.....but it's not that big for one thing. For another, it ONLY features life found IN Monterey Bay. You won't find rooms of exotic, tropical fish tanks, humid environs for reptiles, or performing dolphins and whales (which I don't like anyway). But that's OK, I could have spent all day watching the adorable otters. I had my face pressed up against the tank and I heard my dad sidle up to me and say, "Yes. I know. You want one." Pleeeeeeese dad! We can keep him in the bathtub!!!
Then I dragged my dad to Mill Valley because "that's where Bob Weir lives". Dad's like, "who is Bob Weir and do you know where his house is?" lol Here's a deer on one of the quaint streets.
March 11, 2008
This quiz popped up in my inbox today from Dogster.com.
These were my results:"Wow, You're a German Shepherd!
Doggedly dedicated to getting the job done, you don't let silly little distractions get in the way of putting in a full day's work. And after you come home, chowing down on a little grub and taking a little catnap is all it takes to get you up and at 'em for round two, whatever that may entail. Your dogma emphasizes the importance of hard work, and you swim laps around your dog-paddling, time-wasting co-workers. Your cleverness leads to you often being entrusted with some pretty important tasks, which you are always more than happy to sink your canines into. You really dig being outdoors and love a bit of exercise, but you draw the line at the ridiculous stuff, choosing a game of beach volleyball over Pilates in the park any day.
FAMOUS GERMAN SHEPHERDS: Teddy Roosevelt, Queen Elizabeth, Humphrey Bogart, Oprah
LIKELY PROFESSIONS: Professional Athlete, Policeman, Wilderness Guide, Meteorologist."
Oh yeah, that's it, a Wilderness Guide. I can hear Julie laughing her ass off all the way up here.
March 9, 2008
When we visited in 1988, there was a small concrete walkway that you could take to climb onto this rock, where people would try to fish. Unfortunately, many people were swept away off the rock, and you can see here how easily that could happen. The Pacific was really churning the night we were there. After Brian and I moved to SF, the City decided to blow up the walkway because it was just getting too dangerous.
That greyish bumpy hill in the background is Mt. Tamalpais, in Marin County, a place Brian and I visited all the time. There are some great trails up there.
I was so hoping to capture that green from the sunlight and the mist blowing off the wave in the wind!SPLOOOOSH!!!!!
Beautiful sunset that night too.
And people wonder why I refuse to move back to the east coast.