Monday, September 19, 2005

I Might Need a Cell Phone (Or stop being stupid)

As much as I hate to admit it, I might need to get a cell phone.

Yesterday (Sunday) I put myself in a pretty stupid situation that would have been slightly less stupid had I carried a cell phone.

Just before leaving work on Friday afternoon, my office got another call that required us to act as a juvenile’s emergency attorney. The kid was accused of sexual assault. Unlike most of my little delinquents, he lived with a foster parent instead of in a group home. I left a message with the foster dad to call me to arrange a meeting with the kid before Monday afternoon. I knew this was going to ruin some part of my weekend.

I was checking messages Friday night and Saturday, but I didn’t hear a word from the foster dad, and thought I might just dodge this bullet. Paul and I slept in at his place on Saturday night and spent most of the day in bed. I went home and found a message from the dad around 5:00pm. I left him another message and sat reading the paper in my underpants, expecting to arrange to meet with the kid on Monday morning.

The phone rang at approximately 6:15PM –it was the dad and he said that he wanted me to meet with the kid that night, since he had school the next day. School? How strange–most of my other delinquents don’t regularly attend school. School has never before interfered with me meeting the kids during school hours.

The family lives out in the suburbs, and our office’s rental car place was already closed. I quickly checked the train schedule and saw that the next train departed to the suburb at 6:44PM. I called the dad back and he said he’d pick me up at the station.

I desperately wanted to take a shower, but I simply didn’t have time. I threw on some clothes, stuffed the file in my panier and pedaled to the station. The train was late – I totally could have showered -OR- I could have at least called Paul or someone to let them know that I was going to the home of an alleged sexual molester. Too late, though.

I wheeled my bike aboard the crowded train and heard a conductor tell me that since there was a festival in downtown Chicago, he was not allowing bikes on the train. Fuck! I was planning on riding back to Chicago, since otherwise I’d have to wait forever for the return train.
As I sat on the train, I realized that besides being merely unbathed, I also reeked of sex. The stupidity of getting a ride from a stranger to an accused sexual molester’s home was also beginning of sinking in. Somehow the combination of reeking of sex, not having informed anyone of my plans and visiting a sexual molester seemed like a really dumb idea. I was going to be bikeless, phoneless, clueless and friendless in some strange suburb. And yet, I normally consider myself a smart girl.

Anyway, the visitation with the kid and his dad was thankfully eventless. They asked me out for dinner, but I declined and chose to wait the 1.5 hours outside at the train station.
At this point, I am sure that I could have found a pay phone to call and arrange a cab back into Chicago. But my experience with cabs in most suburbs is that they suck and take forever to arrive after they have been called. If I had a cell phone, then on the train to the suburb I could have used directory assistance to find a suburban cab company, arranged for a cab to pick me up at the station, take me to the foster home & pick me back up in 40 minutes, PLUS I could have called a friend or two to let them know what I was doing.

Damn do I hate cell phones, though. I especially hate that I might have to get one because of work. Not surprisingly, most attorneys have cell phones and are completely dependant on them. If I get one, then the office will definitely contact me whenever I am away from the office during business hours – including vacation days.....grrrrrrr. Not only will this be annoying – but I’ll have to pay for it with daytime minutes.....grrrrr. I can’t help but feel that if my work is going to keep sending me into somewhat sketchy situations like Sunday night and my Tuesday adventure on the Southside, where a cell phone provides some security, then they should pony up and pay for the damn thing.

I got back into Chicago around 10:00PM. My bike was still there, unharmed and I quickly unlocked it while the homeless dudes eyed me creepily. I still needed to replace John’s Canfield’s Cream Soda (which I couldn’t find at the grocery stores I normally go to). Continuing the search, I got completely lost going to what had been my grocery store when I lived in the Den of Awkwardness. Even I was shocked by my lack of memory. After biking around getting increasingly frustrated, I remembered that it was somewhere on my old commute. I biked down Milwaukee avenue and found it –AND– they had the cream soda! Woo Hoo!

By the time I arrived home it was 11:00PM – Just in time to get ready to go to bed for another work week. Grrrrrrrr.......


At 12:35 AM, Blogger Frick said...

not smart

FYI: No one says you have to take your cell phone with you, or have it turned on if it with you. Mine generally stays at home plugged into the wall. Eventually, work would give up trying to contact you if you are never able to answer your calls

At 6:25 AM, Blogger George said...

Yup, I have a cell phone and I never use it, I hate the whole concept of "always being in touch".

The only time I use it is when I am on a solo bike ride.

I have it so in case I am 30 miles from my house and have a major mechanical.....I don't have to walk home with a broken bike.

At 9:26 AM, Blogger annie said...

Hmmm. I was actually just thinking about how much I'd like to get rid of mine, since I hardly ever use it, but then I keep thinking about the times I've been in the middle of BFE with my third flat tire and no more tubes, or whatever. You could always get one of those prepay dealies for emergencies only if you don't think you'd use the whole 300 minutes a month that regular plans make you buy.

George, is that a picture of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? I was converted yesterday. So nice to meet another believer. Ramen!

At 5:06 PM, Blogger George said...

Yes that is the one and only holy spaghetti deity:-)

Our daughter had that pic on her laptop as wallpaper and it piqued my curiousity (Curious George?) And I am now one of the converted as well.

Ever hear of the Dover School Board? I live in the same county.

Lucky me.

At 12:02 AM, Blogger equipoise said...

Be careful what you wish for - if the firm pays for a cell phone for you, they'll probably expect to be able to reach you on it at all times.

At 12:04 AM, Blogger equipoise said...

As opposed to if you pay for the cell phone yourself, you're justified in using it however you want ... or not turning it on at all if you don't want the firm to reach you.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Sascha said...

I have a cell phone. I use the same policy with it that I do with all phones: mostly I don't answer them although I tend to make an exception if I know you :)


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