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Two of Us Riding Nowhere
April 25, 2003 - 8:47 p.m.
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It was another wasted day today.
Hoover wanted me to meet with a potential client of his today. By the way, it's a one hour drive from my home to his office. His potential client's problem touches on both business law (Hoover's expertise) and divorce law (my expertise). We figured that the two of us can combine together to be one competent attorney. Anyway, the client was a no-show. This is the second time she was a no-show. I drove an hour out to the office last week for the first no-show, and ended up wasting the rest of the day, goofing off with Hoover and Pinto.
After calling about our no-show potential client, and after deliberation, Hoover decided that her case was worth potentially too much money to let go. We had to give her one more appointment if she wanted one.
Actually, that's Hoover's official explanation. You see, Hoover thinks that he's a level-headed, rational businessman. The unofficial reason that this potential client gets another chance is that he truly sympathizes with her and wants to help her out. He can't admit that, because he's above the touchy-feely nonsense that he criticizes about me.
Truth be told, a potential client who misses several initial appointments looks like a bad business risk. However, he seemed to ignore that sound business assessment after he called her. During the call, I was watching his face. He was listening intently, and his vocal pitch was raised into that "Oh, I'm sorry," range. That's what it looks like when "CONCERN" is written all over someone's face.
Welcome to my crazy, touchy-feely world, Hoover.
Our potential client is going through a rough time related to her legal problem, and that rough time may contribute to missed appointments. I suggested that he send her a sympathetic card, and guaranteed that if he did that, she wouldn't miss a third appointment. My intuition is that she will be more motivated by an ounce of "I care" than a ton of "let's win."
Hoover thought that was a great idea. He thinks I'm a people-person. ("People-person" is the masculine form of describing someone who is "empathetic.")
Anyway, I have that intution because, for several years, all I did was represent domestic violence victims in family law matters. In that time, I learned more about what goes on in an emotionally-stressed female mind than I should have to know.
And I regret knowing it, because it interferes with my ability to use my law license to make big-time money. So instead of making big-time money, I'm currently in a graduate program trying to figure out how to solve the problem of gender-based violence. And being a graduate student doesn't pay money, in fact I have to pay money to the university. And after I finish, I'll probably end up working for some non-profit organization dedicated to solving some manisfestation of gender-based violence, and the thing about non-profit organizations is that they don't pay well.
But I've digressed.
Hoover's a good guy. I've whined before about not having any friends, but that's not at all accurate. There's a certain kind of friend I want that I don't have, and that's the kind of friend with whom I can talk about feelings, and contemplate Life's meaning or lack thereof, and all of those other mushy things. Hoover isn't that kind of friend. However, he's the kind of friend who's always there to do a favor or help a pal out. He's very good at being that kind of friend, and I appreciate him to no end.
Right now, he's passing work my way since I'm leaving Omega House (a job he helped me get last year when I found myself unemployed). Some of the work involves issues with which he doesn't have much experience, but I do. However, some of the work he's giving me is work he could very well do himself and keep all of the money.
So after a no-show, Hoover and I decided to go to Starbucks. We got there, and- I told Hoover I wouldn't tell anyone this, but I am changing the names to protect the guilty- Hoover locked his keys in his car while it was still running. He didn't want to call a locksmith though. That would be a waste of money, when he has spare keys somewhere. So he decided that after coffee, I could take him home to get his spare keys and bring him back to his car.
We didn't do that. After coffee, we decided to go software shopping, and here's why. I had intended, after the appointment, that I was going to the bankruptcy court to file something for another case I have. That would have been another forty-five minutes drive. I wasn't looking forward to the drive, and I don't get paid for the drive. It's something that I couldn't bill to the client, especially since the bankruptcy court has online filing and thus driving to file in person is an unnecessary expense.
As a matter of fact, online filing by attorneys is mandatory with this court. But to file the forms online, I need Adobe Acrobat 4.0 to save the forms, and I don't have Acrobat 4.0. The only option left to one in my unfortunate situation is to complete a special wavier to allow me to file things by paper. The wording of the wavier is something to the effect of: Even though I'm an attorney, I live too poor to move out of the 19th Century with my law practice. We'll call this the Matlock clause.
The wording about being too poor to be a lawyer actually does describe me at the moment. But my client would read that wavier and wonder why she was paying an antiquated, rural, bumpkin lawyer at a modern, big-city, jet-setting hourly rate.
So Hoover decided that we'd buy Adobe Acrobat. I drove him to two different stores. The first didn't have it, the second had it but at retail price. Hoover is opposed to paying retail, because paying retail is un-American. So he decided to get it later, and I decided that I'd go to school and buy it for myself with my student discount.
Hoover thoroughly enjoyed riding with me in my car. I had all my Beatles CDs in the car, and he pawed through them like he had just found lost treasure. There were too many songs that he wanted to hear, and he kept changing CDs, playing just a minute of a song, singing along with it before jumping to the next song to sing along with it. I have a theory as to why he was doing this. His household isn't a television household, so he doesn't get much of an opportunity to flip through channels. I think he had some pent-up male channel-flipping tension that he needed to release.
Having failed in our mission to find the software, I took him home. He looked for the spare keys to his car, and couldn't find them. He surmised that the keys were with his wife, who was somewhere else. And she doesn't carry her cell phone with her. I suggested again that he call a locksmith, but he refused, because paying a locksmith when he has the spare keys somewhere is not what our Forefathers died for during the American Revolution.
He gave me a file on which he wanted me to work, and then we talked until he had to leave for a meeting, taking his mini-van. His car was still at Starbucks, engine running for hours at that point.
I went to school to buy Acrobat, but it wasn't in stock, so I came home. I was experiencing the late-afternoon drag-ass problem. Now I have to either get the software over the weekend, or I have to drive all the way out to the court to file this thing on Monday. Knowing myself the way I do, I'm sure I'll be driving out there on Monday morning.
And thus my day has disappeared into nothing again. So much to do, nothing accomplished.