Thursday, June 23, 2005

Garden of Eden

A client came in this morning to see Eden Shoal, an unusually young-looking partner who I always see brushing her teeth in the ladies’ room. I asked the client to take a seat and then dialed Eden’s extension. Usually when you dial an attorney’s extension, their secretary picks up and you say, “Mr. So-and-So is here to see Ms. Attorney,” and the secretary tells you that the attorney will be right out. But Eden’s secretary must have been on the phone or something because Eden picked the line up herself. The Acewell receptionist manual states that even if the attorney picks up the line, you should still say, “Mr. So-and-So is here to see Ms. Attorney.” This gives the waiting client the impression that there’s a secretary on the other end of the line.

So I said to Eden, “Mr. So-and-So is here to see Ms. Shoal.” To which she replied, “That’s me.” So I said, “Shall I tell him that Ms. Shoal will be out shortly?” To which Eden replied, with some annoyance, “I’ll come out to get him in a minute.” I don’t blame her, I must have seemed like a fool – but if I backed out of the charade at this point, I’d only seem more foolish, as if the light bulb had suddenly gone off only after her second statement. “I’ll tell Mr. So-and-So she’ll be right out.”

A few moments later, Eden came to the waiting area and approached the client. “Hi, I’m Eden Shoal,” she greeted him (the extra loudness and clarity for my benefit, I can only assume).

I considered trying to explain myself when I saw her waiting for the elevator later on in the day. But I didn't.


Blogger JLR said...

You have no idea how much I look forward to your posts. Not to put any pressure on you, or anything.

June 24, 2005 9:00 AM  

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