Thursday, November 18, 2010

What's My Name?

     I don't make friends with my clients. I am polite, but not friendly. I am concerned, but not intimate. I expect them to say "yes ma'am" and call me Officer or Ms. or Agent. I have often said that if I don't invite you to my home for dinner, then you have no business calling me by my first name. Sometimes this is too much to comprehend.
     I was completing paperwork on a new case today. I introduced myself as his new officer. I gave him my card, with my name on it. I signed my name to his paperwork, with my name. Well, throughout our conversation, he called me by my first name. I corrected him. He did it again. I corrected him.
     Now, I knew he wasn't the brightest bulb in the ceiling fan. He needed a lesson on proper methods of brushing your teeth. I wasn't prepared to give him that. I told him he needed to return to a rehabilitation class in which he had previously been enrolled. When I told him the location, he got frantic and said, "wait, it's not where it used to be?" So I asked him where he was talking about and he named the SAME street I had just provided. See, he's either not bright or totally deaf or I may have slipped into Pig Latin, thus confusing him even further. Then I reminded him that he owes a fine. He said he knew it was due within a certain period of months, but then he got distraught. He wanted to know if the time period started while he was in jail., I don't think the court thinks you're going to have the means to pay a $2,500.00 while incarcerated.
     So, after slow and methodically explaining everything, twice, I felt he was ready to leave my office and venture home. Maybe he could figure out how to do that, I mean, heck, he'd figured out how to get to my office. By the way, did I mention that when I'd gone to the lobby to get him, he didn't realize I was calling him, both of the times that I had called his FULL name. Anyway, as I was escorting him out of the building, he said "thanks Vicki". Well, I reminded him that he can not call me that, to which he responded, "well, what's your name then?" At this point, I really felt like just responding, "call me Ishmael", but I figured that would be lost on him. What do ya think?

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