In my job you see a lot of tragedy, you see a lot of pain. You see people at their lowest ebb, at the very worst time in their lives. It can be quite heart rending.
And sometimes you see people who are out of their ever-loving minds and make you wish that drinking something stronger than coffee was considered professional.
I seem to be having a pack of the latter sort, recently. Especially today which seems to have them all lined up (at least that means I don’t have to leave the office).
What do you want? No, really, because this has been our second meeting now and I still don’t have a clue. I think that, maybe, you may be heading for a divorce? Maybe? Or was that just rambling about an unhappy marriage? Wait, your son is in trouble – is that with the police? Does he need representation? C’mon throw me a bone here! Honestly, I know every tiny, minute, dreadfully boring detail of your life now, but still not why you are in my office. It’s getting creepy.
Yes, the weather today is atrocious. Yes, you’re soaked to the skin, I can see that, you’re currently dripping everywhere. And you shook out your umbrella in my office – thanks for that. And how come you’re soaked to the skin AND have an umbrella AND a waterproof coat? Did you go swimming fully clothed or something?
I sympathise, but I’m not sure why you’re trying to make me feel guilty. I didn’t, as you so nicely put it, “drag” you here. It’s your case, if you want to leave then, by all means, the door’s over there and when you get to court and your soon-to-be-ex-wife is ripping the skin off your back to make sofa cushions you can tell the court that you didn’t get legal representation because it was raining. I'm sure everyone will be sympathetic
Let us all acknowledge what a terribly scary bad boy you are. Yes yes, you’re tough and dangerous and mean and *yawn*. Whatever. With this acknowledged, can we get on with things? Because you’re hard-man act not only fails to impress me but will impress a judge considerably less. Your threatening violence against everyone, apparently at random, including the person you assure me most convincingly that you did not violently attack is not going to help your case. However, you may help me on one of my missions – it’s always been my ambition to see if I can make a judge or magistrate laugh due to some of the ridiculous things my clients make me say. I think your “not guilty” plea may do it.
Normally I hate venomous divorces. There’s something very sad about two people who, we assume, at one time found each others company rather agreeable and now loathe each other beyond measure. And often there are children involved which is beyond tragic. Sometimes there is abuse and exploitation that is cringeworthy.
And sometimes there’s no abuse, no kids, nothing to cringe over and the parties are so excessive in their loathing that you just have to reach for the popcorn and listen to all the over-top threats, dramatic declarations of war and the glorious, frothing fury that rolls over every pretence of good sense. It’s one of those cases where you will be politely reminded you need to try and get the parties to mediate even while the lawyers are physically restraining their clients from going for the eyes.
And lo, when you came into my office and began the interview by loudly explaining why your husband was Hitler, I knew we’re in for a bumpy ride. Let me get my armour, this is gonna be good