Paralegal Moments of Glory

The story continues…

*see previous stories about my paralegal days with Small Attorney and his partner, Sycophant Boy. I used to write about them on the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature (my literary zine since 1996) and it makes me downright yippie skippy feeling to write about them again, here on Medium.

So —

Sycophant Boy gets very angry on a daily basis. Both attorneys have incredibly bad tempers. Yelling while throwing files are today’s preferred form of aggression. Come to the South, I say, and see how it’s really done.

Today’s tirade: 
Seems he forgot to have the District Attorney sign off on some Limited Driving Privileges yesterday. You can request a Limited Driving Privilege when your license has been suspended and you’re waiting for trial. The usual reason for a suspension would be a DUI. You’re supposed to be eligible for one of these privileges if you have to work to support a family, children, etc.

Most of our clients are students, so they need their limited privilege not to support families, but to get to class. I guess they can’t use the town’s mass transit system or the University’s buses to get where they need to go. Or walk from the dorm across campus. Mommy and Daddy shell out anywhere from $2,000 to $2,500 to restore driving privileges to their roads scholars.

He forgot the signatures, despite the fact that the receptionist hand-delivered the privilege requests to Sycophant Boy at the Court House (where he was attending a post-election shmooze-fest with the new District Court Judge or something like that.) She told him to get both signatures. He got only the Judge’s signature.

Then Sycophant Boy went to the Clerk’s office to file the Petitions. This is surprising because he usually carries any paperwork back to the office and has a paralegal take the papers to the Clerk’s office for filing. The Clerk’s office filed the incomplete requests for him without noting the discrepancy. Our office receptionist noticed the problem when he came back to the office and handed the papers to her. She remarked to him about it…

Sycophant Boy’s response (this is with client’s sitting in the lobby, three feet away from him) was to begin yelling. As he stomped from the lobby, I heard him opening the hallway door. I quickly slid into GoGoGadget’s office, and hid behind the video/TV stand.

He yells, at the top of his lungs, “I am sick and tired of nobody fucking listening to me! Everyone is trying to make a fool out of me! Goddammit can’t anyone do a fucking thing right around here!”

Then he throws all the file folders he’s carrying — all the way down the hall.

Fortunately, I’ve gotten in the habit of punching holes in all the papers and securing them with metal clasps to the folders. It’s easier to pick them up that way. He slams the door to his office, from the inside, thank God, and continues to throw stuff. I can hear him through the wall as I remain in GoGoGadget’s office, waiting for the storm to abate.

A couple of weeks ago I moved from a nicely paneled, private office across the hall from him into a cubicle in a smaller office at the end of the hallway. I told him the computer wasn’t working right in that office. Now I’m in a room with the other paralegal.

I have about four square feet of floor space for my chair. The CPU is under the desk, so my legs don’t fit. Since the desk is in the far corner, I am not accessible without someone completely entering the room and walking around the desk which is an L-shaped unit with shelves. The pre-fab, pressed wood computer desk is the kind you see in offices everywhere. If I open one of the cabinet doors, I am not visible from the office doorway.

I like being in a room with the other paralegal. It feels safe, less exposed. I don’t feel so vulnerable. I’m away from the door.

So, as Small Attorney and Sycophant Boy continue their daily tirades, I continue to be amazed at their lack of self-control. I’m glad I didn’t work here with Small Attorney threw his computer across the hallway toward the paralegal’s office.

And I worry about the receptionist who sometimes cries in the bathroom, thinking no one can hear her. She’s really afraid of Small Attorney’s insidious bullying.