Joseph, The Partner Who Got Fired - Part 1
Twenty comments. You guys always come out of the woodwork when I throw something up here that invites voting. Practicing for November, huh? Though for all I know someone is corrupt and all you anons are really just one person. So you want to hear about Joseph, the partner in South Florida who got fired. Alrighty. I need a break from all this election shit, and maybe you do too, so let's talk about how shit went down in Florida. And Meeks? Here ya go. One, Two, Three, Four, Five.
I had temped at this firm previously, and liked them just fine. They're one of the biggest firms in Florida, and when I interviewed with the HR guy we'd already known each other from my temping days. (See? Different coast, same job problems. You really can't run away from yourself.) He had me sit in the little interview room next to his office while he went to fetch Joseph. All I knew was that it was IP (intellectual property) law, the guy had previously had his own practice, lived in Miami, and had come to the firm as a partner.
And then I met Joseph. He was jewish, with clean fingernails and a big smile, and was what I call "dad-age." I flashed a jewy smile back at him, and we chatted. "Have you worked in patent law before?" "No, but I hadn't worked in Florida before I moved here either," I tossed out, displaying a confidence I didn't really have. Joseph explained that he'd just come to the firm recently, and the department was small, but hopefully growing. He did patent law, had a female attorney who did trademarks, and he was excited. I nodded eagerly, "It sounds really exciting." I am such a kiss ass in an interview, it's disgusting. And yet I keep doing it, because it totally works.
Right when I started, like the first day or two, Joseph stressed to me the need for confidentiality. Most attorneys do this. Just a breezy thing in passing. "Hey, you know you're bound by the same confidentiality I'm bound by, right? Okay, just making sure." No big deal. He had stacks and stacks of files all around the floor of his office. Pointing to the files, I asked if he wanted them filed. No. He wanted to go through them - they were client files from his private practice and needed to be incorporated into the current firm's file format. I offered to come in on a Saturday, and help. Overtime is my friend.
The next bright Saturday morning found me driving through downtown Fort Lauderdale, on Broward Boulevard, feeling slightly uncomfortable without the homeless guy on the church steps. He used to ask everyone for change as they walked to the parking garage a block and a half away, Brasserie, Las Olas Boulevard, during rush hour. Once a lawyer was walking in front of me when he got asked for change. The lawyer leaned toward the homeless guy, and said, "Change comes from within," and kept walking. Since I felt like I'd just been punched in the chest, it's hard to imagine how that homeless guy felt.
I crossed the street, stumbling into the side entrance of the building (which was a Starbucks), and Nat, the gay owner rushed right over, asking if I was okay. Words escaped me. Shaking my head I gestured towards the lawyer in front of me who was striding to the elevator banks, and gave his back my middle finger. Nat was cool. He'd been there a long time, and just nodded to me. "He never tips either." I never gave that homeless guy on the church steps any money, but I always looked him in the eyes and said, "No, sorry," which is what I say these days too.
It would make a good story if I told you that attorney was Joseph, but that's not true. I just wanted to mention this homeless guy because he was the first one I interacted with on a regular basis in my life. That church had a daycare, and a fenced playground. Each day when leaving work the kids would be outside playing and screaming. I don't know if other people liked it or not, but I did. I liked to imagine they were screaming with glee that work was over for the day.