my job is harder than your job

Here are some snippets from actual emails I’ve sent to opposing attorneys in the past week:

  • All my client wants to do is see the doctor to whom your client agreed to send him, but your client won’t let him. Is this really worth going to court over?
  • It’s been 30 days now since you promised to do what you’re required to do under the statute anyway. Thanks. You’ll get your service copy of our Complaint tomorrow.
  • You know, before I changed sides, I thought it was the plaintiffs’ attorneys who were deceptive and conniving. You’ve convinced the reverse is true. Congratulations.
  • My client just got evicted from his trailer, and your assistant says you won’t get back to me until you get back from Hilton Head in two weeks. I would’ve left a voicemail were my mouth not full of bile.
  • Let’s have the mediation in your office. I’ve never seen the inside of the Death Star.
  • I’m emailing you instead of calling, because I don’t understand parseltongue.

The first thing I did when I joined the local trial lawyers’ association was to search for my name to see what others had said about me during the 5+ years I defended insurance companies. All of the comments were positive:  “reasonable to deal with,” “professional,” “honest.” Except for one person, but she’s a fat whore, and I hate her.

Some of these emails were to lawyers whom I consider to be friends, even if I dislike their clients.  But I’m finding myself spending more and more time pissed off every day, now that I represent real people with real pain and problems:  ie, not insurance companies trying to save a few thousand dollars here and there by delaying action.

It’s the nature of our adversarial system of justice to get riled up every once in a while, but can you imagine what life would be like if other professions were adversarial?

What if every time a cardiologist had his hands inside a chest cavity, some nefarious son of a bitch were releasing rabid gerbils and blowing anthrax spores throughout the OR?

Or if every classroom had a teacher in front and a Ron Jeremy shoot in the back?

Or if every writer had a cymbals player shadowing her from coffeehouse to coffeehouse throughout the day?

Or every musician were assigned a heroin dealer immediately upon learning the first barre chord?

Or every archeologist had a bulldozer operator waiting for the chance to undo a day’s worth of meticulous unearthing in 5 seconds?

Or every salesperson had hecklers show up to every appointment with a chorus of “this shit sucks–don’t do it!” in the background, like a real live version of negative Yelp reviews?

So think about that next time you see a bunch of men and women in suits sitting around a table littered with empty wine and beer bottles on a Thursday evening, their voices a few decibels too loud, and their language a few four-letter-words too profane.

And don’t hesitate to buy me a drink.  Unless you’re that whore from the listserv.

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  1. Not cymbals, but two children, so I don’t feel bad for you.

    I do, however, appreciate that you give a crap about your clients.

  2. Okay. So I’m laughing pretty hard, but I *do* understand where you’re coming from. I work for a hospital and if I didn’t understand that some of these parents are stressed and worried about their little precious, I would be hard-pressed not to punch a parent or two RIGHT in the mouth…

  3. Try being a veterinarian for a while. The best days are when you get bitched out by the clients because the medication/diagnostics/surgery/whatever else is too much money (which they’ve obviously already spent because their so-new-it-doesn’t-have-plates-yet BMW is taking up the two parking spaces next to your ten year old Honda), and then they don’t give the medications anyway because their second cousin’s friend’s dog walker swears that if you just coat the feet with tar it will be a miracle cure.

    Yeah, I couldn’t take it either.

  4. Oh big effing deal.

    My job is harder than your job. But I can’t blog about it because we fire people for that. I know, I have been on the saying “you’re fired” end, like Donald Trump, but with better hair. And by that I mean no hair, which is way better than Donald Trump, who is a money-grubbing bottom dwelling whore.

    Is nice that you care about your clients though. I do also. Really I do. Except the nasty ones.

    • @brahm, It is? What do you do when you’re not firing people? I agree that such would be difficult–I have a friend who’s an HR exec and basically flies around to different stores firing people. I think I’d rather have my job than his.

  5. I would buy you a few rounds, for sure.

  6. I think the difficulty stems from who you represent more than anything else. Everyone has assholes at work, people who are lazy or confrontational or difficult in some way, but not everyone has the responsibility of representing people in distress or times of need.

  7. In my job, I only have to deal with people who don’t understand the basic laws of reality, such as that numbers added across or down should yield the same result, and that you can’t run a report based on what happened before it happens, but they’re usually pretty nice about it. However, when they do get nasty they lack the wit of the stuff in the e-mails above. You have to admit the parseltongue and Death Star references were pretty funny.

  8. my old career entailed some pretty nasty stuff, which i can’t even talk about since, well, that case is still in front of the courts.

    i also worked with foreign trained doctors and engineers who came over and couldn’t find jobs and wanted $8/hr assembly positions so they could pay their childs tuition and would cry to me. so that sucked too.

    i would find your job hard too.

  9. my job is harder than your job but i feel your pain.

  10. I feel you. Lots of people think being a Children’s minister is just “babysitting.” F@#$ that. And see how I swore there? My swearing has gone up 100 times because of Seminary and dealing with pretentious asshats who don’t give a damn about people. They just care about becoming the next big thing and getting their “controversial” books published.
    Your soul dies a little in seminary.

    • @amber-lee, Wow…what a disappointing realization! I figured they were all like Mother Theresa, but they stand up to pee. Well, at least I know you’ll be one of the “good ones.”

  11. Attorney Muskrat, I take exception to being called a “fat whore”. And I still don’t have my check.

    (Laugh, dammit, I’m funny.)

  12. The less-than-honorable members of your profession are the ones that cause everyone else’s job to be adversarial. Think about the cardiologist who is so worried about being sued about a risk factor of which he informed the patient. Just one example.

  13. I loved this post. It made me laugh. On the other hand, you probably know I lost the use of my rt arm when an ijit ran a stop sign and t-boned me. The biggest asshole I’ve ever met was brought in as an extra attorney by his insurance company. He insisted I should have “no problem” carrying on with my life with just my left non-dominant arm. I mean, that IS why God gives us two arms, right? So we have a spare. Hate that man to this day.

  14. Dude that sucks. I’ll buy you a beer or two the next time we meet. In the meantime, please be sure to get Darth Vader’s autograph for me. My kid would love that.

  15. You should get an award for the last two bullet points on the list.

    My wife is an attorney who, like every other attorney I know, hates her job with an unholy fury. Mainly because of the constant adversarial context you’re describing here. I’d show her this post, but I’m afraid it will make the vein in her forehead start throbbing. Again.

    P.S. Why has it taken me so long to find this blog. Officially following, starting……. now.

    • @didactic pirate, I don’t hate it, but I wasn’t very happy when defending the insurance companies and billing by the 1/10th of an hour–that’s for damned sure. Now, I just get overwhelmed and frustrated, but I believe in what I do, at least. Lots of attorneys don’t. I’d wait til she’s had a glass of wine on a weekend night before showing her this (and some of my other posts under the “law” category).

      Glad to have you stop by from time to time–I try to write once a week. Wish it were more frequently.

  16. I normally don’t do this because I find it kind of irritating, but great post!
    I have nothing clever to add though and really thought you should know- great post!

  17. @swedishskier, Thanks! Usually, only the spammers say that. It’s nice to hear it from a real person.

  18. Nice. Thanks for posting this. Its always cool to see someone give back to the community.

  19. I ponder if it is going to be right? Is The Trump going to go after president? He would gather a ton of votes!

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