For awhile now, the woman I work for has been challenging me to fight. Get angry. For God's sake, get angry. Les, it is time to get angry now. You have been too nice, for too long. If you are not going to get angry, I will get angry for you. Let me write a letter, let me call him up, let me call his family up. I am your counsel.
She is protecting me. Protecting me protects her practice in the sense that I will produce better, more accurate work if my life is settled. However, it is also her showing her love – she's got no obligation to work for me for free, in an area of law that she doesn't even practice. She's right. I should get angry. I should fight. I should fight, I should fight, I should fight.
But I don't want to fight. I don't want to be angry. I don't like fighting. I don't like confrontation. I don't like rocking the boat. I don't want anybody in my old extended family to think ill of me, more than they already do – god knows what they have been told. I don't even want to be thinking about ANY of this anymore.
I explained this to The Therapist.
The Therapist asked, "Why do you not want to get angry?"
Because it is a waste of my energy. It does not benefit me, it only makes me feel worse.
"Fine," The Therapist said, "but in the interest of self-care, you must still fight." She then made an interesting point. YOU are not going to be talking to anyone, your lawyer is. YOU are not causing a scene, your lawyer is.
Well, that's one way to look at it.
"And," she continued, "what do you care? These people didn't even call you to see if you were okay. They couldn't even be bothered to find out what was going on."
She's hard to argue with. You can't really argue with common fucking sense.
After that, I did manage to get a little angry. I sent an email with a demand in it. I expected it to be ignored. It was. After a week or two, I conducted due diligence, another email. Simply, "Can I hear from you on this?" Nothing.
On Monday, the Therapist asked: So, what's the status of that email?
Today, my boss asked: So, what's the status of that email?
I had to tell them both that the status is NO status. They both gave me that disappointed look. I hate disappointing people.
The Therapist said: We need to un-doormat you.
Alex said: I know someone in Philadelphia. We are doing the letter now.
To Alex, I repeated all the reasons I'd already told The Therapist about why I can't see it working. Blah blah blah, but my name is on everything too, I don't think I have a leg to stand on, he's just going to say [whatever], et cetera. The Therapist had responded with a reasonble, "Try. Just try."
"Shoot first, ask questions later," Alex told me.
(Try. Just try.)
In the interest of self-care, here is a phrase we use often in my work:
Local counsel has been retained.