Friday, February 25, 2005

Elevator Awkwardness

I spent the morning in court today--what a miserable experience. First there is the cattle call of attorneys slowly working our way through the metal detectors. Then we all wait at the elevator banks and try to squeeze as many people in each car as possible. Strewn throughout the halls are clusters of lawyers trying to fuck each other over as much as possible. Dishonesty and greed are palpable in these hallowed halls of justice. The whole scene sets my skin crawling.

There were several hearings I needed to attend, so I was up and down the elevators--almost every trip brought about some uncomfortable situation.

The first started with a guy trying to make small-talk while waiting for the elevator. I knew where this was headed--weird silence, more small talk, silence, acting like he's my friend, silence........ Sure enough, he kept trying to make conversation about the stupidest things. Dude--just stop, people are thinking about their matter before the judge--not your stilted attempts to talk with people. Shut up and avoid eye contact like a good american.

On another floor an attorney started yelling, 'Tori' at me (not my name). I thought he was talking to a person behind me, but no--he thought I was some City of Chicago attorney named Tori. We discussed it a bit and I convinced him that I wasn't Tori.

The next situation was the worst. While waiting for the elevator a guy just kept looking at me, oddly. I somehow thought it was because I had just been fumbling with my bike helmet. I tried to ignore him, and attempted to shoot him a 'stop staring at me' look, but it didn't work. As soon as the elevator door closed he burst out,
' did you do that or is it real?'
---"Excuse me?"
'is it real or do you get that done?'
---"What?"
(he had files in his hands so he nodded in the general direction of my head)
---"Oh, it just grows that way" realizing he was asking about my white stripe of hair.
He fawned about how cool it was in a completely gross, beer-goggling, 1:30AM type of way an asked what caused it.
---"Law school"
'You're a lawyer, too--what a coincidence! Wow."
(Are you high? this is federal court--almost every single person is a lawyer. Notice I've got the whole costume--suit, file folders, sour face. This isn't brain surgery, kids--this is IDing a walking, talking duck.)
He tried talking to me more and kept getting closer to me in the elevator. Stop Being Weird. He was too eager and ernest to be creepy, but damn it--I hate being trapped with weirdos, even harmless weirdos.

Finally, I was leaving with a whole pack of attorneys who are basically my opponents (it's complicated). Several were trying to introduce themselves and I think intimidate me--Fuck That. We were squeezed into the elevator--which seemed to embolden the +6' bastards. They pretended to be nice by sweetly inquiring if this was my first time in court (no--I've been monitoring this trial for about three months and have been dealing with you longer) and how young and new to law I must be (interpretation--you are inexperienced and I want to take advantage of that). I expected that they were going to pat my head like a dog.

Well, jokes on you: a pack of senior attorneys won't even notice a new attorney--unless they want something. That all of them were trying to flatter/condescend/bully me only did one thing--I now know that they think I have information that they want. Interesting.

Finally--why in the world would I be intimidated by someone just because they are taller than me? Should only children and midgets respect me? I have been short my whole life--everyone is taller than me. My life would be scary and lonely if I were intimidated by everyone who is taller than I.

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