(Thunderous applause as I enter. Tired, haggard, and physically more beaten-down than I was last year at this time.)
Thank you. Thank you.
(Continued standing ovation for at least 5 minutes, just to make me stand and wait for a bit longer.)
Revered potential clients and honored guests, we’ve had quite a year. You’ve shown great promise in your attempts to tear me away from my beloved actual clients. You know time is valuable, and you seek to leech as much of mine and my staff’s as humanly possible, all whilst keeping your wallets securely shut. You all deserve recognition, but I only have a limited amount of time before one of you calls in a deft attempt at siphoning a few more of my minutes.
In short, my office devoted 573 unpaid hours this year to your calls and inquiries.
(Thunderous ovation, lasting 10 minutes.)
In fact, we spent over $15000 in counseling and therapy for our intake paralegal.
(Huge whoop from the crowed followed by 15 minutes of deafening applause.)
Some of you truly excelled this year.
Here’s to you, Clyde from Butte, Montana. You showed me what it means to be passionate. When you emailed asking that I accept your procedurally-dead and hopeless appeal, you refused to accept my brief “I’m sorry, but I’m not able to help you with this matter; best of luck.” No, you responded with an epic screed, bemoaning heartless, unfeeling money-grubbers like me. (Speech interrupted by uproarious standing ovation by the crowd.) Never mind that I didn’t even quote a fee, you knew I was just after you for the money. Keep fighting the good fight, Clyde.
And Sally from Keokuk, Iowa. You taught me that time can truly heal all wounds. After all, you contacted me in mid-2011 only to be shocked at my fee and opinion that your case has only a slight chance of success. Then, you called in late-2011, expressing renewed shock and dismay at the same. You’ve continued to call every 6 months, and we set our clocks on your predictable faithfulness. We look forward to talking to you again in 11 weeks, 2 days, 5 hours, 43 minutes, 32 seconds.
(Big applause for Sally who makes a “call me” gesture from her seat in the balcony.)
And Ed from Oklahoma City. No matter how much you cuss at my paralegal, she’s not going to patch you through to me. You’ve shown that gentlemanly qualities are discouraged among lifetime members of the society of professional potential clients. You started by calling her sweetheart. Then, you attempted a bit of condescension, advising her that she was fully unqualified to entreat the beautiful nuances of your case. When told that we don’t really handle cases like yours, you splattered her with colorful metaphors and encouragement to perform many private sexual acts upon herself. (Sustained applause from the crowd.) You did so with unwavering belief that your persuasive tone might pierce the paralegal barrier to lawyerly attention. Indomitable is you, dear Ed.
And Dakota from Phoenix. We appreciate your dire financial situation. You implore us to provide pro bono representation, citing your homelessness and difficulty finding work. We applaud the guts it takes to tell us this sad story while allowing the last sentence of all your emails to remain “Sent from my iPad.”
(Thermonuclear applause from the assembled potential client delegates.)
And Beverly from Danvers, Massachusetts. You showed that nothing is stronger than a family bond. Calling us without permission from your unknowing, accused nephew, you dodged the paralegal barrier by stating that you wanted to hire someone to help your poor, accused kin. Then, once you reached a lawyer, you sought vigorously to obtain as much information about the process and possibilities. Not because you wanted to help your sad-sack nephew. Nope. You just wanted to know what was happening for your own gossipy self-indulgence. (Loud applause.) Good for you, Beverly. Now, you’ll have the upper hand during next week’s conversation at the beauty salon.
And Chuck from Shawnee, Kansas. Chuck, we know you work for our biggest competitor, and we know you’re just trying to see what we tell potential clients and the fees we quote. Nice try. Stop it.
And, finally, Cornelius from parts unknown. We always know you’re short on medication because you call us. Yet, our advice remains the same, and patient. “No Cornelius, the government didn’t give you ovarian cancer because you don’t have ovaries.” And, “I’m glad you shared so much about your time in the Navy, considering that last week you told us you were in the Army……….oh, Coast Guard?”
(Thunderous applause for Cornelius, who smiles and nods while flanked by two orderlies.)
It’s been a great year for all of you, and your sustained and continued success deserves recognition. We have no doubt that you will take advantage of a year ending in “13” by showering our office with new and innovative ways of flushing hours down the toilet.
May your medication continue to be in short supply, your dedication unrivaled, and your anger sustained at a high level. Without you, it would be far too easy to pay the bills.
Thank you, good night, and god bless.