Numbskull: We need somebody to come to court for 10.00 today at (city).
Baron: I'm not sure how far (city) is from (my location).
Numbskull: It's 30 minutes by car.
Baron: I take the train. Let me check Google Maps.
(checks Google Maps -- it's 30 minutes)
Baron: I can do it but I need about 30 minutes to get ready and then it's a 30 minute journey so it's going to be 10.15, 10.30, something like this.
Numbskull: No, it's definitely 10.00. It's a 10.00 start. I'm sorry I put this off so late.
Baron: Yeah. Well, even if I left now I wouldn't get there by 10.00.
Numbskull: Yeah, that's the thing. It has to be 10.00.
Baron: I don't think I can do it then.
Numbskull: Okay. Thanks anyway.
Here's what wrong with this scenario:
1. Court almost NEVER starts at 10.00. There's always a delay. The judge is doing other work in another court or there's a list of cases that has to be heard before the case that you're doing, whatever.
2. They're not going to find somebody else. There aren't many people who do the job and everybody else is either busy or lives too far away.
3. NOBODY would be able to do this. I probably live in the best location for this particular court. And as I said to the guy, even if I left now, in my underpants (I'm not actually lounging in underpants, but metaphorically) I wouldn't get there by 10.00.
4. If nobody is there the case can't start. So isn't it better to say, "There's somebody on the way and he should be here at 10.15 or 10.30" rather than "We didn't book anyone s --
That's where I left off with that message this morning. The guy calls back 15 minutes later and asks if I can come in.
I thought it was the solicitor who I was speaking to but it turns out that it was some paralegal so I can overlook the numbskullery. He doesn't know how things work in the court.
So I got there at 10.30 and we didn't start until 11.00 because the parties were in talks to try to settle the case. That's another common reason for delays. But it ended up proceeding and I'm going back later in the week. So great. Work. I had nothing this week because a Dubai job cancelled. Fuck those people. I told them if they don't pay me a cancellation fee for each day I can't accept any other work from them. I don't expect that they'll pay.
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