3.07.2006

Answering machine hell

Now for a non-firm-related post. And, to tell this story, I'm going to have to give up a bit more background information about myself. I've told you that I was either a an Asst. PD or DA before working in a firm--it was the former. And, the following is one of the funnier stories from my tenure as an Asst. PD.

I was assigned to represent a guy with a long misdemeanor record on some sort of small charge--a petit larceny, if I recall correctly. He was one of literally hundreds of my clients, about 50 of whom were incarcerated, including my guy--let's call him "Joe." I generally made it into the jail to see all of my clients once each week, although I tried to meet with them more often, if possible. I hadn't met with Joe yet, though, and, as I quickly learned, he was desparate to see me.

The only outgoing phone calls allowed from county lock up were collect calls. And we weren't allowed to accept collect calls from the jail. But, Joe still managed to get his message across.

He was all too familiar with the system, since he'd been in and out of it forever. And, he knew how to get around it. Until I was able to get to the jail to see him, he left about 10 messages in rapid succession on my voice mail each day, and they went something like this:

(Automated voice)You have a collect call from: "Ms. Moi, it's Joe. You have to..." Would you like to accept it?

You have a collect call from: "Come down to the jail.." Would you like to accept it?

You have a collect call from: "Tonight to talk to me..." Would you like to accept it?

You have a collect call from: "Come see Joe, Ms...." Would you like to accept it?

You have a collect call from: "Ms. Moi, PLEASE come see..." Would you like to accept it?

You have a collect call from: "Ms. Moi, it's Joe..." Would you like to accept it?

Joe knew that he had about 5 seconds each time, and he took full advantage of each and every 5 second opening. It was quite creative, actually, but the novelty of it wore off by about the third message. After 2 days, I was thoroughly annoyed with Joe and his constant barrage of 5 second messages.

Fortunately, I was finally able to get down to the jail and shortly thereafter was able to dispose of his case quite favorably.

The next day, I was checking my messages, and to my chagrine, there was another set of messages from him. I sighed and thought, "What the hell does he want from me now?"

You have a collect call from: "Hey Ms. Moi, it's..." Would you like to accept it
You have a collect call from: "It's Joe, Ms. Moi..." Would you like to accept it?

You have a collect call from: "I just wanted to tell..." Would you like to accept it?

You have a collect call from: "Thanks Ms. Moi..." Would you like to accept it?

You have a collect call from: "Thanks for your help..." Would you like to accept it?
I actually laughed out loud. That was the last thing I'd expected. I didn't get thanked all that often in that job. And I certainly hadn't expected it from Joe. It made my day.

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