Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Fun and Games at the Courthouse
For the most part, the folks who work at the courthouse are hard-working and diligent at their jobs. They are also poorly paid, and if they are in the public portions of the building, are abused by the public and lawyers alike. If they work in the clerk's office, they are also overwhelmed by paper. It's their jobs to accept the papers for filing, enter them into the computer docket, send them to the proper desk to be worked, either to have other paperwork generated, wait for responsive pleadings or go up to a judge or case manager for rulings and decisions. It's a lot to do. Did I mention these folks are poorly paid? That means that, not the supervisors or the people at the front desk, but many of the line workers are either poorly educated or don't read, and understand the English language very well. Yet, it's their jobs to see that papers get entered into the system correctly and go onto the right desk. With all of the above, you would think that there would be a lot of screw-ups. Amazingly enough, there aren't. The ones that happen are frustrating and maddening, especially because once the mistake is made, the attitude on the lines is that it is no longer their problem; it's yours. You need to correct their mistake. Usually, I'm happy to do what it takes to make things right. Sometimes, however, enough is enough, and I walk myself down to the courthouse to visit with the supervisor. They don't like to see me there, and not because I'm not nice and pleasant, because I am. They've been there long enough to know they don't see my face unless I have made multiple attempts to fix whatever's wrong, and it hasn't worked. The nice thing about that is that after I show up, everything is fixed within 24 hours. ( BTW, I don't think that would happen if I were unpleasant or showed up for every problem.) Mistakes happen, papers get clipped to other papers, pleadings land on the wrong desk. We all know that, and eventually, the problem will be fixed. Yelling, nastiness and being generally unpleasant doesn't help, and in fact, may hurt. Yet, I see it all the time when I'm in the courthouse. Again, the courthouse is a tough place to work, and for not enough money. A little kindness there goes a long way. Here in the Trenches.