I Just Wanted To Say...

What is your problem?

Name:
Location: Georgia, United States

I am me. More than I was, less than I will be. This is difficult. Facts-female, southern, mother and grandmother. Abstract-a Christian, a loner, intelligent, somewhat arrogant, impatient with stupidity, an unusual sense of humor.

6/20/2005

He lied to me

Working in a court system exposes you to a large number of people. It also exposes you to their character and their values.
I have referenced a young lady called Colleen in a previous post (4/26/05). When she came to work with us, she was optimistic, cheerful and completely naive.
She took a phone call from a young man one day in reference to a civil lawsuit that had apparently been filed against the young man's mother. The court date was coming up and the young man was very distressed because his mother had died a couple of months ago and the family just didn't know what to do. Colleen's heart was touched by his dilemma. She put him on hold and told the rest of us the sad story and asked how we could help him.
I told her the first thing to do was pull the file and check to see if the suit had been served by the Sheriff's department. I went to the files and pulled the suit myself.
Now, there are two acceptable types of service of complaint against individuals. One is called personal service and that means the deputy actually put the documents in the hands of the person named in the suit. The other is called MNPA or most notorious place of abode, meaning it was given to another person at the place where the person being sued lived. If neither of those services is possible, then the deputy writes "non est" on the service sheet, meaning it wasn't possible to serve the lawsuit.
I opened the file and looked for the service sheet. It was there. I looked at Colleen and said, "The deputy went above and beyond the call of duty to serve this one." She asked me why and I told her.

"This is the first instant of personal service on a dead person I have ever seen."

The suit had been personally served on the woman only four weeks before.
Colleen looked at me and her eyes grew wider.

"Personal service? His mother was personally served? He lied to me? You mean he lied to me? He lied about his momma dying?"

We had to laugh at her. Poor kid was so shocked that another one of the clerks took the call and just told the man that if his mother had died, he needed to provide the clerk's office with a death certificate. And we had a talk with her afterwards and explained the reality of the people we had to work with and the lengths they will go to in order to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. Colleen had her eyes opened that day. She was still friendly, cheerful and optimistic. But she stopped being naive.
I have laughed with others about how much a person changes when they work in the courts. One of the female bailiffs I enjoy talking to said to me one day, "I used to be such a nice person."
I don't think I have ever really fit the general concept of "nice person." But even I have become more cynical and more wary of people simply because of what I have seen and heard at work. I have become more realistic as well.
We're all human. And everyone at some time or other acts out of purely selfish motives, myself included. It comes down to choice. I will never live my life perfectly. But I choose to try to do better and be better every day. I choose to recognize my failures and my flaws and admit them to myself.
One of the mom'isms I used frequently on my children was this:

"You can't solve a problem until you can admit what the problem really is."

And for me, admitting that I'm the problem is what makes the difference.

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