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Thursday, June 01, 2006

D.C. Talk


I'm swimming in it--mine as well as everyone around me.

Yesterday I caught myself . . .

I had spent two days on the phone with the offices of various Senators and Congressman in an effort to decide whether we'd like to get involved legally on an immigration issue,

And so yesterday afternoon I call Mrs. Misery and tell her:

"This is so cool! I feel as if I'm doing something so important finally . . ."

But that's not really what I felt. I didn't think I was doing something important. I just thought I was important.

I mean, it is really cool to call up a Senator's office--get his top aide on the phone--and say "Hi, I'm [Moonlighting in Misery] and I'm with [Important D.C. Public Interest Firm]."

And he is grateful you've called.

I suppose I can't keep fighting the Ego. Its never going away. I'll just have to try and keep it in check.

On another note, last Friday I got my first taste of bitchy bossy attorneys.

We were filing a brief in a big lawsuit with national implications and Friday afternoon my responsibilities had become to make sure we were following all of the local court's rules and knew how exactly to e-file the amicus.

After several disastrous phone calls with the walking-talking-stick-up-her-butt at the e-file help desk, in which she would not let me explain my question, would curtly answer a question I was not asking--and answer it wrongly--and then hang up on me . . .

After all that the attorney finally asked to speak to her, and after fumbling around with her for another 5 minutes on the phone (its a miracle she didn't hang up) he finally led her to the answer he wanted, and he received the e-mail address he wanted.

So he hangs up the phone and begins to write down the e-mail address. But he writes it down wrong. And he looks at it. And he asks me--temper rising-- "Wait a minute! What is this e-mail address?? What court did you have me at?!"

Initially caught off guard, I pointed to the computer screen and replied, "This is the right court. Look."

"Did you have me in state court?! I don't want to be in state court! Federal Court, Federal Court!! I've had a clerk do that before . . .," he roared at me.

Again, a bit speechless, I pointed to the screen and said, "See, no. Its the right court. Look, New York City."

At which point he lost it.

He turned around, threw his hands in the air and began walking towards the door cussing at me. He then turned around and threw my pen in my direction. It hit the desk and bounced off to the floor. He hit the door jam with one fist and yelled,

"No, g--dammit, what have you done?!"

By this time my confidence had returned in full force. And I sat in stone cold, almost bored, silence just staring at his temper tantrum. When he was finally done, and quiet, I spoke:

"No. If you will stop and look. The southern district of New York is located in New York City."

My fellow clerk, whose ego he'd beaten on a bit earlier, sat in the next office fighting back tears given the commotion.

The attorney, on the other hand, brightened suddenly and came around the desk to look over my shoulder.

He put his hand on my shoulder and said four words: "I take that back."

Then left.

I waited a few minutes then e-mailed him with the actual e-mail address.

But he has been super nice all week long since.


Blogger Anonymous Law Student said...

Holy crap....good job keeping yourself in check. I would have had a hard time now flipping out when he tossed my pen in my direction.

6/01/2006 11:29 AM  

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