The Other Side of Turkey
As I've shared in the past, we have sub-tenants. My Gay Crush (and I'm not just saying this because I have a crush on him) is low maintenance. He never has any clients come into the office. Mail comes in for him, I put it in a folder labeled GAY CRUSH (or his name, whatever) and he stops by to pick up his mail about once or twice a week. Once every other month or so, an accounting boy stops by to do stuff for an hour or so.
We have another sub-tenant who never shows up. They get mail. I dump it in a folder. Once a month, someone comes by to pick it up. The end.
We have a THIRD sub-tenant who is actually Turkey's employment attorney. He uses our office a few times a year, just when he needs to have meetings in the city. His main office is elsewhere. A few times a year he gets mail. No biggie.
Then we have our main sub-tenants. They are so much work. For me. They get mail. They have the guy (who asked me out) who comes by daily to pick it up. They have me date-stamp their mail. Fine. They pay higher rent than the other sub-tenants because they use our small conference room sometimes to meet with clients. Their clients are ... characters.
The main sub-tenants don't seem to ever tell their clients that they're just renting office space at our office. So the clients walk in and think I work for the attorneys. I don't. They don't pay me. They're not insured in any way that protects them from any mistakes I may make. Often, they will ask me for things that I either can not give (today for example, I was asked for a clipboard. I do not have a clipboard to give), or am not allowed to give (legal advice).
Now, last week, a gentle and sweet Asian man asked to use the restroom after his meeting. While he did that, the sub-tenant he'd just met with, left. When the man came out he asked if I would give his phone number to the attorney because he wasn't sure he'd done that. Sure. I zipped off an email to the attorney, and 30 seconds later, the old man was leaving. That's cool. That's the type of help I'm prepared to give.
The woman who showed up today asked if I could look up the total she owed in her file. No, I'm sorry. Well, could she borrow a clipboard? No, I'm sorry. Well, could she just borrow this (our client's) file to lean against while she wrote out a check? No, I'm sorry, but you're welcome to lean against the counter. Oh, could she borrow a pen? Sure. Could I just confirm that she wrote the correct amounts on each check that she's about to give to an attorney? Um, no. I can not take responsibility for that. What if she gets sued because I told her she wrote the right amount because I was rushing to get back to my work and made a mistake, and then she counter-sues me?
Turkey is excellent in these situations. Once, when someone wouldn't leave, I kept eye contact with them while scribbling "Get Turkey!" on a post-it and handed it to a co-worker. He popped right out of his meeting and took over, physically moving the person away from my desk, and then hilariously walking them to the stairs saying, "Let's talk over here," but then following with, "I'm sorry we can't help you. Be careful on your way down."
Today I didn't have to pass a post-it. Timing worked in my favor, and immediately after the woman asked me to review the checks she'd written, someone announced Turkey wanted to see me. I excused myself and ran into Turkey's office to see what he needed. After answering a couple of questions, I told him a client for our sub-tenant kept distracting me from drafting the email he'd asked me to send to a client. Turkey immediately stood, handed me a document while instructing me to go scan it, and strode out to talk with the woman.
He introduced himself, explained that we cannot assume liability for work related to another law firm, further explained that I was busy with work assigned to me by lawyers in my firm who I work for, and escorted her out. Turkey may forever be getting sued and losing something important (cell phone is the latest), but it's a relief to know I can always count on him for backup when the sub-tenant's clients are asking for more than I'm prepared to give.
*I'm a bitch, sure, but the reason I only provide minimal help to clients of our sub-tenants is because there really are liability issues. Never mind that I'm busy working for Turkey, who actually pays me. Never mind that the sub-tenants have a signed agreement with Turkey that actually spells out the limits of what services the person sitting at my desk provides.