Stupidity and Clients

I have recently discovered that asking too many questions can turn a stuper (short for a disarmingly stupid person) away. And not a moment too soon.

I’m sure most of my readers are well aware of the reputation that many members of the legal profession shoulder: money grabbing, heartless, wily misanthropes who care nothing for the client. This may or may not be true, depending on the individual attorney, but I must remind you that for every idiot attorney, there is an idiot client.

I work for a charitable organization which attracts all sorts of people, including those that refuse to think. Nancy called me needing help with her landlord. A simple enough problem, no? Not when Nancy is a Class AAA+ stuper.

I try to get the facts out of my callers; directing them to dispense with the extraneous, ridiculous, cringeworthy details mostly of a derogatory nature. Nancy began her tale,

“I live in an eight unit apartment complex with a bunch of crackheads. And it isn’t even good crack.”

Which, of course, begs the question, how does Nancy know the crack’s no good? She continued,

 “I told the landlord I can’t take it anymore. The fumes sent me to the emergency room. And now I have asthma. And there’s banging on the walls. And the building is filled with gays. I’m the only female and I am constantly discriminated against. The Mexican gardeners make too much noise with their ()*#$*%& blowers. Why are all *&$&^*% Mexicans gardeners? The manager is a black homo and he’s the worst. Then there are the Asians and the Jews… I have it all on videotape.”

You get the gist of it. After about five minutes, there was no race, ethnicity, religion or gender that she failed to insult. Okay, she kept the Tibetans out of the equation. Meanwhile, I pondered hanging up on her, passing her on to some more deserving soul or breaking into song with the aim of encouraging her to grossly underestimate my abilities.

Instead, I asked her a few questions. How long she’d lived there, when did her troubles start, what does 1+1 equal, and finally,

“Do you have medical records of your visit to the Emergency Room?”

This was Nancy’s response,

“Lady, you ask too many questions! I’m going to Los Angeles to get me a real lawyer!”

Immensely relieved, I thanked her profusely, but she’d already hung up.

Now when a potentially whacked up client calls me (they are extremely easy to spot because they have zero self-control once they begin blabbering), I interrogate them to distraction. This way stupers are instantly revealed and shoved aside so I can focus on the clients that sincerely need help.

Keep thinking.


6 Responses to “Stupidity and Clients”

  1. Elaine says:

    This new job must be quite challenging for you since it sounds like you have more than your fair share of dealing with stupers. I truly LOL when I read Nancy’s retort to your very logical question re: emergency room visit.

    Good luck Nancy finding a ‘real attorney’ that doesn’t ask questions.

  2. omawarisan says:

    Yeah, don’t know why anyone would want an attorney who asks questions. Ridiculous.

    The interrogation strategy drives stupers away so well, and you really are doing your job. They can’t handle it because they think they know how your job is done and when it isn’t, it makes them snap.

  3. Suzie says:

    You are probably very happy with your job. You never know what kind of “stuper” is going to entertain you.

  4. Mad Woman says:

    Oi! I’m not sure how you manage to keep your tongue when you’re dealing with these people. I probably would have lost my job a long time ago.

  5. Ferd says:

    This was so funny! I’m glad you wrote it up!
    You are lucky to have lost her so easily. She was downright toxic!

    Normal clients aren’t as interesting, though, huh?
    Stupers are great material!
    Is that why you went back to work?

  6. Keli says:

    No kidding. Today alone, I think my calls set a stuper record.
    I will do just about anything to make a stuper snap, but the fact is they rarely think and questioning them really does cause them an enormous amount of pain. If one is patient, interrogation is the way to go.
    If only.
    Mad Woman:
    Believe me, one of these days, I won’t be able to hold my tongue. Today, I almost let loose…
    Normal clients definitely are not as interesting, but far more rewarding to assist. No, that’s not why I returned to work. But it may be why I leave.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.