Becky Says...

November 2001

Current Entry
Previous Entry
Next Entry

Personal Sites
and Forums/Boards

The Hunger Site

Write to me

Subscribe with Bloglines

November 28

The law firm where I work administers estates occasionally. I have gotten used to getting mail for dead people, but I got a phone call for one of our deceased clients yesterday. At first, I thought it was someone calling about a claim against the estate. The attorney handling that one was not in the office, so I offered to take a message.

The caller got smart-alecky with me and wanted to know why I wanted him to speak with an attorney. At that point I began to suspect that he didn't know the man he had asked to speak with was dead. And I wasn't at all sure it was allowed for me to tell him (it would have been, but I didn't know that at the time). So I merely said that the gentleman was not available.

Then the caller told me the true nature of his call: he wanted to know who was making decisions about this gentleman's long distance telephone service. I decided that I was the person in charge of that, and said we weren't interested in changing carriers.

At that point I hung up, because there just wasn't anything else to say.

But let that be fair warning: even death doesn't prevent you from getting telemarketing calls.

November 27

Sometimes clients of mine don't quite know what they're asking for when they get in touch with me. I have taken to referring to those requests as being asked to take the sun, moon, and stars and make Star Soup from them. So far, I've been able to get them to rethink their requests so that something within their budget and my lifetime is possible.

I'm not talking here about potential clients I want rid of, like the woman who wanted her fifty-page paper typed by 9:00 on a Monday morning---and called me at 8:30 on Sunday night to ask for that. I'm talking about people who know they want research done, for example, but ask for too broad a scope. These people are usually delighted to learn they can save money by narrowing their requests.

So far, it has worked out that when I've helped these people save money, they've come back another day to spend some more.

November 26

I was reminded this morning of something that happened a lot of years ago. Something that I'm still angered by whenever it pops to the front of my mind, and why there is a lawyer I don't trust as far as I can spit. He was quoted in a recent news article, and that's what brought the following back into my active thoughts.

The lawyer in question was new to the field at the time. He had been quite the student activist during his days as a student at UNC-Chapel Hill's Law School, and during those years I admired him. A lot of locally-important people were bigtime supporters of his efforts. But then his stupid kicked in, and he made a complete ass of himself.

This all happened in the early days of heavy use of the Freedom of Information Act. I suppose it could be chalked up to his youth, but because it was so egregious, many of us still don't trust him.

Young lawyer pulled some information under that Act from former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's files. He thought he had really stumbled onto something fascinating, and he went public with it. His piece of fascinating information was that William C. Friday, who was at the time President of the University of North Carolina System, had seemingly acted as an informant to Mr. Hoover.

He should have checked a little further. He would have found out the truth of the situation without much more effort. The truth that Mr. Friday had indeed corresponded with Mr. Hoover, providing references for UNC students who applied for positions in the FBI. This was all done at the request of the students.

When the late Gilda Radner did her Roseanne Roseannadanna character on "Saturday Night Live," it was funny when she got to the part at which Roseanne was informed of the error of her prior commentary and said, "nevermind!" When a lawyer does likewise, though, after hurling accusations at one of the state's most respected people, the humor is missing.

Text copyright 2000-2001 Becky