Tag Archives: work

Frolicking on the Medicare website

15 Mar

Large amounts of sarcasm should be assumed with that title, by the way. 

So, for the first time in a million years, I had to obtain information on a plaintiff’s Medicare lien status.   Just let me say that the Medicare.gov website is about as helpful as a bikini in a snow storm.  (Actually, I guess a bikini top could double as ear warmers.)  It was also about as much fun as sticking your hand in a blender. 

We had sent the plaintiff discovery asking if Medicare had paid any claims, if so, how much, blah, blah, blah.  Instead of answering the questions, since they SHOULD know this since they have to inform Medicare of any liability or worker’s compensation claims, they sent me a signed Consent to Release form and basically said, “Have fun.”   Golly gee, thanks. 

My boss calls me up and asks if we sent them the Medicare discovery and if so, where is it.  Of course, it was in the notebook of discovery he had in front of him, and scanned in the computer.  As, dum-dum-dum, “Discovery!”   I’m a frickin’ genius, I tell you.  Then he asks me what we’re supposed to do with the release.  Good question.  I told him I was hoping he knew, and to my relief he laughed instead of sighing or scowling.  We must have had a good billing month in last month.

So I go upon my happy way thinking, “Tra-la-la, I should be able to hop on the Medicare website, find something dealing with liability claims or liens.”  Right?  Oh God, no.  That would have made too much sense.  I fall back on my old friend Google.  After looking at a website entitled something like “Medicare liens for Dummies”, which most assuredly meant me at that point, I learned nothing except plaintiffs have a lot of hoops to jump through now with Medicare liens. 

Finally I discover the MSPRC acronym and find out there’s a whole entity just for processing the claims dealing with liability insurance, no-fault insurance and worker’s compensation.  I was then introduced to the Medicare Secondary Payer Recovery Contractor.   Seriously?  You guys couldn’t have mentioned this on the Medicare website?  Google is my BFF.  Forever and ever. 

For some of you paralegals, I’m sure this is seriously old news.  You may be rolling your eyes and thinking, “Duh!”  I just hadn’t had the pleasure of dealing with it in so long.  And in case you are just as clueless, and feel as behind the times as I did today, the website is http://www.msprc.info.   Scroll to the bottom and there’s a section on Proof of Representation. 

Here’s the fun part:  If you click on the “Liability Insurance, No-Fault and Worker’s Compensation Recovery Process” link, it downloads a PDF page that says, “Refer to the Proof of Representation versus Consent to Release Power Point.”  Okay, again, really?  We have to download a one page PDF just to tell us to pull up a Power Point/PDF?   All I want is a frickin’ address to send the request for information!  This information isn’t so complicated that we need a bloody power point presentation!   

No wonder the government has no money.  Once again, life is pointlessly made more complicated.  I need a drink.

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File from hell revisited (again)

4 Mar

Every time I think I get ahead or some kind of handle on this frickin’ file, I find something else that has to be done.  Or I just get buried by the sheer volume of it.  Seriously, it’s the largest case in terms of medical records, issues, experts, etc. that our office has handled.  The chronological medical summary set a new record for me and the firm.  Attorney B complained about how long it would take him to read the summary.  My response?  Imagine how long it took me to type it!  Suck on that. $20 says I still know a whole lot more about those records than he does.  Hell, probably the entire case.

My newest battle in this ongoing war with File from Hell (FFH) is the research.  I ran across an article that was on point authored by one of the physician witnesses.   I thought, hmm, let me make sure I don’t already have a copy of this.  And you  know what I found?  Not a damn thing.  How could I have had this case for so long and labored as much as I have over this case and NOT have any medical research?  What. The. Hell.  FFH landed a sucker punch on me. 

Surely this couldn’t be.  I looked over my notes and I had a few general internet research articles on some things.  But no “official” research from medical journals on the most important issues.   Holy crap balls.   So, here I am, a billion other things piling up and I’ve been researching on this case for about 2 days.  I haven’t even read most of the articles I’ve downloaded as I’m too busy digging up more research.  Seriously, this case has more issues going on than I’ve got gray hair.  Trust me, there’s plenty. 

And even though the Attorney hasn’t even thought to ask me about research in this case, he’ll probably have some smart remark about how I should have had research done sooner.  You’ll know when that happens because you’ll probably be able to see the mushroom cloud when I explode on his ass.

One of these days, as God (and you guys) as my witness, I will rule this damn file.  In the meantime, you’ll find me at my desk.  Behind the many, many, many piles of paper that is the ever-growing FFH. 

PS – On a related note, doing research means I’m not summarizing depos.  At least there’s a narrow silver lining here.

And you expected what?…

3 Jan

Today I was brave.  Today I had the day off due to T’s daycare apparently having a brain fart, and deciding that today would be a great day to close instead of Friday.  You know, when the rest of the world seems to be off work.  Okay, I’m not really that upset because – HELLO!  I had all day off and somewhere to drop the hellion off for the entire day.   I was also okay with taking a vacation day today since I didn’t have anything pressing that would require me to be present Monday.  Oh darn, another 4 day weekend, whatever shall I do?

Aaaannnndddd…. cue Murphy’s Law.  Thursday AM I was reading Attorney B’s calendar when I noticed an initial meeting on a new case I had been assigned.  Trying to cover my bases (ok, cover my ass, really) I emailed Attorney B to just to make sure he knew we didn’t have any medical records on the case yet, and in case they were sitting on his desk somewhere, get him to pull his head out of his ass long enough to give them to me.  Sure enough, I get an email to contact the doctor’s office manager right away to get the records ASAP.  Oh yeah, they’re going to love that phone call.  “Sorry, my boss just now realized that we have nothing to meet with your boss about on Wednesday.  Would you mind stopping everything and sending me a copy of the file.  Now.  Pretty please?”   But even that turned out to be not as bad as it could have been.  They actually did have the records copied and waiting for us to pick up.  Except that they are 2 hours away from our office and we had no idea the records were waiting for us.  But they agreed to fax the records. (FYI, I HATE faxed medical records.  Let’s take something that is sometimes difficult to read anyway & make an even worse copy. Great idea.)   Thankfully, it was only about 60 pages, so big deal.

Here’s the part that totally screws up my Monday off.  Attorney B is meeting with this client on Wed AM.  At the client’s office, 2 hours away.  Which means I will not be seeing him on Wed AM to get the records to him.  He’s also out of the office Tuesday afternoon for another meeting.  So that would leave me with just Tuesday AM to get everything together and to him.  I spent a few hours this weekend organizing and summarizing the chart, and doing some preliminary medical research on the issues.  That’s fine, but I really need to get make labels, 2 copies of the records and print everything out.   Ideally, I probably would have considered going into the office on Saturday or Sunday to finish.  Nope, I decide it’s a really great idea to take Mr. T., aka the Hellion, to the office with me for an hour or two on Monday to finalize everything. 

And that’s where the title of this post comes in.  Making labels and 2 extra copies of the chart in notebooks is usually not a difficult task.  Except when you’ve got a 3 year old rummaging through your desk drawer, using that White-out tape stuff to decorate your desk and insisting he sit on your lap and play.   Oh yeah, and finding the black Sharpie in your pen holder.  I had packed him a bag to bring with snacks, juice boxes, monster trucks, extra Pull-Ups, and his new hand-held electronic game player.  He’s obsessed with the game player lately, but do you think he’d sit still and actually play with it when I wanted him to?  If you have kids, or have even spent any time around them, you already know the answer to this is, “Are you flippin’ crazy?”  He had no interest in his game player until about 10 minutes before I was ready to leave.  Naturally. 

And Murphy’s Law struck again.  When you really, really, REALLY need to be able to make some copies and scan records quickly, the main copier will be down.  Yep, I was stuck using our incredibly slow, rinky-dink, back up copier.  Which sucks hairy camel nads.  And doesn’t 3 hole punch.  And guess what else?  Since it had been so long since I had used that copier for multiple copies in a while, I forgot that you have to tell it collate.  So I’m trying to make copies as quickly as I can, and hoping that Mr. T keeps his cute little butt inside my office.  I had thought about taking him with me, but 3 year old’s don’t stand still very well.  Their volume level is always incredibly, skull-shatteringly loud, as well.   At one point, I looked over and could see the top of my office door was now open.  I ran over and expected to see him peering out, but he WAS.NOT.THERE.  I barely had time to panic, when I heard something behind me and turned around to see him in an empty cubicle right out side my door, standing among boxes stacked about as high as he is.  I didn’t even have to say anything.  I glared at him, and he replied, “Mommy, I was waiting for you here.”  Yeah, sure kid.  Way to think on your feet, though.

We got out of there in about 2 hours.  I took him to McDonald’s for lunch and to let him get the wiggles out on the playground.  Then he pitched a ROYAL fit when it was time to leave.  Despite a discussion and lots of warnings and threats about doing so before we even got there.  He continued to show his butt all the way home and when I tried to put him down for a nap.  Or at least “rest time”.  Actually, the rest time is for me.  Also, so I don’t have to post bail or explain why I’ve stuck him beside the road with a sign reading, “Free to Good Home.” 

Seriously, I know he’s got a bad kid.  But DAMN.  3 year olds will exhaust you.  It was really my fault for expecting too much of him.  He really wasn’t too bad at the office, it was the aftermath at McDonald’s and on the way home that did me in.  I should have known that keeping him cooped up for 2 hours and then expecting him to willingly and happily leave the McDonald’s would be too much.  We were pushing the limits on nap time, as well.

But, the cutest thing ever today?  When we walked into my office, he said, “Where are the toys?”   He really expected toys to be there.  Really, doesn’t EVERYBODY have toys everywhere they go?  I really hope someone overheard him say that because I’d hate to have been the only one to get a chuckle out of that. 

Really, I will be happy to get back to the office tomorrow.  God only knows what little surprises T has left for me around my office.

Another rant

29 Dec

I generally try not to get aggravated with a group of people based on their job description alone, but I’ve had it with medical records custodians today. 

I know that paralegals and law firms in general are not the favorite people of medical records custodians (MRC’s).  Honestly, the feeling is mutual.  Why, oh why, is it that I can get 2 copies of the same medical record, made at different times, and come up with 2 almost entirely different charts?  Is it not obvious that getting accurate copies of the records is important?   I mean, it’s just a lawsuit that people have probably agonized over filing in the first place (I hope), a good sum of money has been paid to even file the suit, lawyers have been obtained, probably experts, too, and let’s not forget that we are dealing with issues concerning the health of the plaintiff and also the profession of the defendant, in the case of medical malpractice.   I guess it’s just not inherently obvious to some people that they might actually need to pay attention to what it is that they are copying.  Are some pages 2 sided?  Do ya think somebody might be interested in what is written on the back side of that page?  Did an entire inch of information down the right side get cut off on the copy?  Maybe you might want to take that Post-it note off the page so we can read the progress note underneath it?

I’ve spent a large amount of time recently comparing a set of records that was received pursuant to an authorization with the copy previously produced by the plaintiff.  Mostly because it’s like looking at 2 different charts.  I guess nobody noticed the first time around that we were missing almost a year and half’s worth of office notes, labs, pathology reports and radiology.  The second copy, while more complete, is still missing pages compared to the first copy.  Needless to say, I don’t have a lot of confidence that we’ve gotten a copy of the entire chart even between these two sets of records. 

Let me back up for a minute and say that I know that not all MRC’s are slack.  There are some very good ones, and for them, I tip my hat.  Thank you for actually paying attention to my request for the records in the first place, since that seems to be half the battle with some.  I also thank you for calling me with any questions.  I have no problem answering any question you may have since I’m delighted that you took the time to read my letter and could find my name and phone number.  Some people have a hard time doing that, even though my name and phone number are usually printed TWICE between the body of the letter and the letterhead.  Also, thank you for being educated and informed regarding the HIPAA  regulations and the state statute concerning the release of records and fees.  It’s annoying as hell to argue with someone who may be only 2 years out of high school about whether a medical malpractice case is the same as a “personal injury” matter in regard to the statute.  I even copied the definition of “personal injury” and “medical malpractice” from the statute and sent it to this MRC.  To me, an MRC is worth their weight in gold when they understand that I would rather not harass them to send the records or call back asking for missing pages, and that I’m just doing my job as well.  I understand MRC’s probably get a kajillion requests and calls from antsy attorneys who have waited until their statute of limitations is almost expired before paying attention to their case.  I’m not going to stab you in the eye through the phone if you call me and tell me you will get to my request, but it might be a little while.  I’m not going to take your birthday day away if you ask me for more information or need a copy of the estate letters of administration that I forgot to attach with the authorization.  I’m really a nice person, who just wants the records so I can do my job, and I’m even polite.  Just please make an accurate copy, okay?

The one where I finally get holiday-ish

20 Dec

This year, I have totally sworn off stressing about Christmas and presents.  Maybe what I have mistaken for my lack of Christmas spirit is really just feeling laid back and choosing to focus on things other than what I need to buy.  (That’s my story, anyway.  Don’t laugh.)  Seriously, I didn’t even make out a list of Christmas gifts to buy until Saturday morning.   By the way, if you’re over 5 years of age and on my list, you’re getting a gift card from me.  Whenever anyone in my family has asked me what I want, I tell them I don’t need anything.  And I really don’t.  Okay, I need a replacement for my blackberry since I still haven’t done anything with it since I dropped it and broke the screen.  But I have to research phones to death before I can possibly pick a new one. 

Otherwise, I’m having fun buying presents for my son and coordinating with my relatives the things they are buying him.  Everybody asked me what to buy him this year and it looks like everybody might actually get those things.  Although my mom has a history of saying she’s going to buy “X” and we wind up with something that’s not “X”, and usually not even in the alphabet.  So that shall remain to be seen. 

Buying for my nieces is also a treat.  It’s one of the few times a year I get to look at all the frilly, girly stuff and buy dolls and things.  As a side note, I wish the clothes manufacturers would make adorable little girl things in something besides PINK upon PINK.  Seriously, it was enough to make me nauseous.  I finally found an adorable chocolate brown and light blue outfit for my youngest niece that I know my sister is going to love.  Although I did almost buy her a pink dump truck just because boys shouldn’t have all the fun with dump trucks.  More dump trucks should be pink.  I wound up with a pink bus instead because it did more cool things.  Tough vehicles + pink = awesome.  (Barbie vehicles, excluded.)

I also have a newfound motivation to do some Christmas baking and wrap presents.  Seeing as I actually have some presents to wrap now!  I escaped got to go Christmas shopping by myself Saturday morning, and it was glorious.  I didn’t even care that I had to walk a mile to the store from where I parked.  I’m going to be a whirlwind of festivity in the next few days.  Stand back, damn it. 

In the spirit of focusing on the things I have, I have to say I am very thankful that I got 3 new cases in the past week or so.  For some reason, it’s been a little quiet at the office lately and I’m thrilled we got in new cases.  Attorney A asked me if I wanted the first one and I accepted before I knew that Attorney B specifically directed that 2 more be assigned to me.    An additional 2 cases came in last week, but they haven’t been assigned.  I’m praying someone else gets those, as I like new cases, but I’m not that crazy.  Yet. 

One of my old cases is going bye-bye and I’m happy for the “fresh meat.”  I’m sure I had a little bit of a crazed glint in my eye when I first started pouring over the complaint and sifting through the few medical records that we have already.  Maybe I’m just a nerd that way, but I love the beginning of a new case.  New medical issues!  New medical history and records!  New things to research!  New holes to poke in the plaintiff’s theory!   Okay, sometimes it’s new tragedy, too, when there’s been a particularly devastating outcome, and that’s the not so good part. 

But I haven’t had a new case in so long that I was dying to get my hands on something I hadn’t already gone over or researched.  I practically devoured that small set of medical records and poured through the literature at record pace.  I have already drafted a memo to the attorney with my initial findings and proudly placed it on his desk.  He probably won’t even look at it until the beginning of the year.  But damn it, it’s done!  I also love that feeling of having reached a point where I can say I have done everything there is to be done a case so far.  That happens so very rarely that I savor it when I can.

I hope everyone is able to relax some this holiday season and enjoy the things that really matter.  This is really the most heartwarming post I have read all year, by The Bloggess, and is tops in my book of awesome holiday posts.  You have to read it, and maybe have Kleenex nearby, depending on your hormonal status.  (Provided you are female.  Sorry, don’t mean to be prejudicial to the guys.  But maybe some of you guys have hormonal issues, too. Whatever.  Enjoy!)    Oh, and after all that heartwarminess, you might want a laugh.  And this is my most favorite funny Christmas post this year, by Mom In A Million

In case I get totally wrapped up in that festive tornado I plan on whipping up this week, and don’t get back to post, have a most wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus or whatever the hell you like.  Just make it good!

Things are looking up and other assorted musings

30 Nov

Well, at least I got rid of my cold anyway.  I gave it to poor Hubby who came home early last Tuesday feeling like something the cat wharfed up.  But I don’t feel too bad for him – after a trip to the doc, he came back with prescription cough medicine (lucky bastard) and had a week off between sick days and the holiday.  He was a lot better in a day or two.  I feel like I’m totally going to jinx myself saying this but, somehow, someway, Mr. T didn’t get it.  I have no idea how that happened, but I’m thanking all of my lucky stars, and maybe some not so lucky ones, too. 

Jr. High Lawfirm still isn’t any better, but if people are going to behave that way, then I’m totally fine with them not speaking to me.  Saves me the hassle of telling them to go play hopscotch on the interstate.  Why do some people have nothing better to do than drum up drama?  Really, take up scrapbooking for something, for crying out loud.  I’m up to my eyeballs in medical records in the Case From Hell, but I’ve about got that file eating out of the palm of my hand.   Other than that, it’s been eerily quiet at the office so far this week.  Which is usually a sure sign that something is going to hit the fan soon.  I’m so optimistic, right? 

How is that you can have an entire week off, but because of a holiday feel even more tired than before?  Seriously, if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m not in the least bit ready for Christmas, I would already be counting down the days until my next day off.   And how the hell did it get to be almost Christmas, anyway?  I’m tired of saying “I can’t believe it’s ____ already.”  I’m convinced that as soon as I utter those words, time speeds up just to screw with me. 

You know what’s hilarious?  Watching in the rear view mirror as the person behind you has a conniption fit because they haven’t figured out that everybody is going 25 mph because it’s a SCHOOL ZONE.  Honking the horn and gesturing wildly without bothering to notice why everyone is going the same excruciatingly slow speed only makes you look like a total jackhole.  I would have gone slower just to screw with her but I was too busy laughing and watching my mirror.    Of course, my 3 year old doesn’t miss a thing.  He repeatedly asked what the honking was about, and how do you nicely explain that someone is just being a douche? 

Oh, and entertainment in the car tonight courtesy of Mr. T:   “I’m Superman!”  Me: “Oh really?  Superman, huh?”  T: “Yeah, I’m Superman.  (in a very serious, tough sounding voice)  Don’t mess me up!”  Me: “Do you mean ‘Don’t mess with me?'”    Yesterday he told us he was concentrated at school.  I have no idea what he meant by that, or how he learned that word, I was just totally amused that he knew the word “concentrated.”   I also wasn’t lying when I said my kid might read before he is potty trained.  He sounded out all the letters on the Petsmart can lid this weekend.  I’m sure we wont’ be able to get away with spelling P-I-Z-Z-A for long before he figures out what we’re talking about.  His teachers have assured me that he will go potty soon, and that he’s just resisting now because he knows I want him to.   *sigh*  I guess I should start talking about how awesome Pull Ups are?  I know I should be able to outsmart a 3 year old, but it’s proving easier said than done. 

I hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

File from hell, day 2

11 Nov

So I haven’t quite made the file from hell my bitch yet, but I’m working on it. I think the file is running scared. It should be.

Yesterday just got better and better. (Insert sarcasm here.) I got another email from Boss A that he was missing a section of the nurses notes from the hospital record. Oops. Seems the copy service skipped a small section of pages when they copied the 2000+ page production for me, and I missed it. It’s bound to happen sometime. My bad.

I do feel like I should defend Atty A a bit after my tirade yesterday. Yeah, he should have checked the scanned file to see if it had everything he wanted before he left, or just asked me where to find what he was looking for. But it’s not his case, he was not all that familiar with how everything was set up, and that was what he was used to.

I mentioned it to Atty B since it’s really his file, and he just said, “Oh, he’s just grumpy, don’t let it bother you.”  Nope, doesn’t bother me.  If I took crap like that personally, I would have flown this chicken coop a LONG time ago.  I just need to know what he wants done going forward.  You know, a little communication?  Novel idea.

Ambushed

10 Nov

Getting ambushed is so much fun.  Today I got a lovely email from Boss A, who is attending a depo out of the office.  Apparently, he copied the scanned discovery file to his laptop before leaving, without looking at it to make sure it contained what he expected it to contain.  A little while ago I got an email proclaiming that the production should always be included with the scanned discovery responses, and now he’s there without it and I must do it ASAP!  (His exclamation point, not mine.)   

Yay.  I love getting emails yelling at me for something that I haven’t done as a matter of policy at all during my tenure at this firm, AND I cannot defend myself until he comes in the office.   If he had looked, he would have seen that the production was scanned as a separate file because it’s a bazillion pages long.  Not only that, but he would also find that the production was bookmarked by bates number and document description.    

And if that isn’t enough, if he was looking for a key policy document produced by the hospital, he would have found that it was scanned all by itself.  Because it’s important.  Just to add more fun to this already delightful situation, he hasn’t been the lead attorney on this file.  I’m not sure if he is jumping in so they can tag team this case, or if he’s just filling in for depos.  I’m pretty sure none of this would be happening if this had been his file from the get-go and he was familiar with it.  

Instead, I am the scapegoat for the moment.  I’m probably going to tell him that I haven’t been scanning the production with the discovery routinely, and he will tell me I’m wrong.  Clearly, he knows what I’ve been doing better than even I do.  And because one paralegal has been doing it this way, he assumes that it’s supposed to be done that way across the board.   

I would have an awesome defense to all of this because of the aforementioned production file that was scanned, EXCEPT that I can’t find the hospital’s production to verify that I have their production scanned in its entirety.  I suspect that the only thing that was produced other than the medical records was the policy document I scanned, but now I can’t be sure and cover my ass.  I hate an uncovered ass.  It’s the worst thing EVER.    I suspect I will find the missing production in an attorney’s office.  Just a hunch. 

This is the file from hell anyway because it’s got a bazillion records, multiple parties, and every time I try to tame this beast, something comes up and I’m pulled away.  But now I really hate it.  Me and this file?  Oh, we are going to tango this afternoon.  File from hell, you are going DOWN.

What I Wish That Attorneys Knew

1 Nov

The article by Paralegal Pie, “What Do Attorneys Wish that Their Paralegals Knew?”  got me to thinking, “Oh, there are so many things I wish my attorney knew.”  The list could be endless, but here’s some I have come up with for now:

1.  We cannot read minds.  I really wish I could, then I might actually know what’s coming up in this case, and figure out what you’re trying to tell me when you sent that vague email or the note you scrawled with such horrible penmanship that I will need a decoder ring to figure out what it says.  Sadly, I was not given such awesome psychic talent, or a functioning crystal ball, so you’ll have to forgive me and stop giving me that annoyed look when I dare show up in your office door and ask you a question.  I would have emailed you, but my chances of you actually responding are less than the chances that I might get a raise this year.   Pretty damn slim.

2.  Figure out how to change the toner in the printer and add paper to the printer.  Pretty please?  It’s really not that hard and would save both you and me, and any other staff member within earshot, a lot of time and spare us all the headache.   Mmmmkay?  It would also be super helpful if you figured out how the coffee maker worked, too, but I’m not going to push my luck.

3.  We know you’re super tense about the upcoming trial, but could you tone down the attitude just a notch?  Really, we are just as concerned about the case as you are, and working hard to make sure you are prepared and have everything you need.  We want you to win almost as much as you want to win.  We probably won’t get any recognition, and definitely not any of that nice big bonus you’ll get for winning, but we still work our asses off , just the same.  So if we need to enter the sanctum that is your “war room” and interrupt your intense trial prep, it’s probably in your best interest that we do so.

4.  Do not stand over our shoulder or ask us every 5 minutes if that super important rush job is done yet.  Having to answer you constantly or move you out of the way so that we can breathe only makes it go slower.  We will happily let you know when the task is complete.  Seriously, we’ll be happy when you’re off our back.  I know you have to leave for court in 30 minutes, so rest assured I’m not going to file my nails or spend 15 minutes drinking coffee in the break room until it’s done. 

5.  I don’t take my kid to the doctor every time he has a tiny fever.  I’m really not a hypochondriac, or whatever it is you call it when it’s someone else, when it comes to my son.  If I’m taking him to the doctor because he has a fever, it’s because the doctor told me to or the kid really needs to go.  It’s not a big ol’ hoot for me to leave in the middle of the day and sit in a germ-infested waiting room with a grumpy, fidgety kid who just pooped in the last diaper I had with me.  I also don’t want to fork over another co-pay just because Junior has a fever.   So, don’t laugh & call me a hypochondriac, okay?  Because if I hear it again, I might accidentally drop that poopy diaper in your briefcase.

6.  We cannot make  clerks or medical records custodians respond to us any faster or with the answer you want by bugging them.  Really.  Calling them 5 times in one day is not going to help.  Then they’re just going to think that I am a hugely annoying douche and put my request on the bottom of the pile.  So please stop asking what the status is or to verify what said clerk/custodian has already told us. 

7. If my door is shut, it’s not an invitation for you to knock on it and see what’s going on.   And if I seem a bit grumpy or annoyed when you barge in for the third time, it is your fault, so deal with it.  

I’m sure there are a ton more, but I think I’ve mentally blocked some things to save my sanity.  Seriously, I’m not saying my boss is like this all of the time, but these are things I have witnessed or had the “pleasure” of dealing with.   So what are some the most important things you wished your attorney (or any attorney) knew?

Here I am again

4 Oct

Today I find myself at home during the almost middle of the day to wait for the TV repair guy.  To Hubby, this equates to the elusive “Mommy’s time alone” that I keep bitching talking about.  I say it does not, because being home in the almost middle of the day means that at any moment, an attorney could be looking for me.   And I stress about things like that.  Being home and “stressy” doesn’t equal happy, relaxing Mommy time.  At any moment, one of my bosses could be looking for something or need something, and my not being there could throw a big wrench in the works.  No, I’m not indispensible.  But they tend to get all knee-jerky and say things like, “If you’re going to have an unforseeable TV catastrophe (and your husband cannot be there even though he’s the one who scheduled the damn thing) then you need to give me advance notice!  And have someone cover for you!  And read my mind so you can figure out what I need before I do!”   In reality, I’ll probably get back to the office and no one will have even noticed I’m gone.   There is always the possiblity, though, that I’ll get the knee-jerk instead.  Especially since we’re getting ready for trial.  Technically, litigation attorneys are ALWAYS getting ready for trial but every legal staff member knows that trial prep really doesn’t start in earnest until about 4 weeks before the trial date.    But “trial prep mode” will have to be another post.  And oh, what a fun post it will be.

Anyway, this morning was also another one of those mornings where being a mom of a 3 year old and being employed full time didn’t mix very well.  I am not a morning person.  Never have been, never will be.  So getting up bright and early and making it into the office before 8:30 has never been a frequent accomplishment of mine.  (Except on trial days, but I can thank adrenaline for that.)  This morning I bartered with the alarm clock for another few minutes (once…or twice) and went about my AM routine.  Mr. T was not in his obstinate, I’m-going-to-do-the-opposite-of-what-you-want-me-to-do-because-I’m-three , mode so we actually had a chance at getting out of the house at a decent time.  Now, I haven’t mentioned it much but we’re still in the throes of potty training.  And it’s not going very well.   T has just decided that he isn’t interested.  Yep, he agrees that all the “big boys” at school go pee pee on the potty, but not him.  He’s perfectly happy in his Pull-ups, thank you very much. 

So, we’re ready to head out the door and I’m all, “Yay, I might actually make it in by 8:30”.  I check T’s Pull-up and he’s still dry, so I offer the potty.  Nope, he doesn’t have to go.  Super, let’s roll.  We get out the door and three-quarters of the way to the car when T looks at me with this horrified look on this face and says, “Mommy!!!  I’m peeing!!!!”  Now, this shouldn’t be some big revelation.  He’s been peeing in his Pull-Ups or a diaper all his life.  It wasn’t leaking and running down his leg or anything.  Just ordinary urination.  I told him we’d change his Pull-up when we get to school.  Nope, that’s not going to work.  That would be too easy.  He gets all whiny and puts on his scruntched up, not happy face, “Nooooo, please I want you to change me now?!!”  (Insert really, really whiny, pathetic voice.)  He rarely asks to be changed but NOW it’s just too unbearable to go on.  For the love of God, I was “this close” to getting out of the driveway at a decent time.   So on one hand, I’m happy that he’s acknowledging this and wants to change.  On the other hand, I JUST WANT TO GET IN THE CAR!   My mommy side wound up winning out over my professional side (of course), and we went back inside.   T then insisted he still had to sit on the potty, so he sat.  And did nothing.  And then said, “Please I want a race car?”.  Nope, sorry, it doesn’t work that way.   But you have to admire him for trying.  *sigh*

The TV guy is done so I should go back to work.  This kinda did work out to be not so bad Mommy Alone Time.  And I got to eat some of the carrot cake in the fridge.  So, not so bad.  Just don’t tell Hubby, okay?  I don’t want him to think I actually enjoyed this.