Monday, August 22, 2005

In Which I Think to Myself: I'm a Citizen, I Don't Need A Visa

Thursday, a client brought me flowers. Friday, my second-least-favorite client spent the morning with me. We hadn't seen hide nor hair of him in a good month. His last visit started with a fight when he and Felix disagreed on how to proceed with his case (which sort of flabbergasted me; why hire an attorney if not to tell you how best to proceed?) and ended with the decision that we were going to file a different kind of visa than originally agreed on (and which, by the way, I had already done 70% of the work for). Grammar Boy was supposed to bring us two pieces of needed documentation so that we could prepare the new visa.

That was the last we heard of him until I decided to finish as much of the Petition and Memorandum as possible so that someone else wouldn't get stuck doing it from scratch after I leave. You know the expression "Speak of the Devil and he is bound to appear"? Grammar Boy called this Monday and asked to make an appointment for Tuesday afternoon. I set up a 3:30 appointment for him and then spent the rest of the day and most of the next morning busting my butt to get his materials finished (except for the parts dealing with those two missing pieces of documentation, of course). I even set up and formatted the two missing sections. 3:30 came and went and no sign of Grammar Boy. That wasn't too shocking because he always shows up a minimum of an hour after his scheduled appointment. This is, by the way, mostly par for the course with our clients. I don't know if that's because of cultural differences or because they've figured out that our office isn't exactly big on formalities, including strict adherence to appointment times. However, Grammar Boy takes it to a whole new level. And on this particular Tuesday, he outdid himself-- we closed the office at 6 p.m. having seen not a hint of Grammar Boy.

Wednesday, there was a lot of joking about his no show for the appointment, and I moved on to other projects. There were a lot of loose ends to tie up on my clients and the last thing I wanted to do was to hand the Senior Paralegal a stack of files, each with just one more thing to be done, first of all, because I didn't want to leave that kind of impression and second of all, because I like my coworkers and wouldn't want to stick them with that kind of work. So I spent Wednesday trying to finish an E-visa, filling out Adjustment of Status forms for two clients whose I-140s are still pending, and starting a summary of case status for each of my clients. Well, at least that's what I had planned to do, until Grammar Boy and his faithful girlfriend, Grammar Girl waltzed in the door at 4 p.m. that afternoon.

Twenty-five hours late for his appointment, a new record, ladies and gentlemen!

They proceeded to get into a minor imbroglio with Felix over the fact that his Petition had not been filed. Completely ignoring, of course, the fact that he still had not supplied us with the needed documents, nor had he been in touch with us at all for a month. Felix was having none of it. I, for my part, made myself scarce, being busy and unwilling to get sucked into the drama. It ended with the agreement that Grammar Girl was going to come in on Thursday morning and go through the eight or ten inches of papers to cull the appropriate material (armed with a list we drew up) in exchange for a discount on the legal fee, while Grammar Boy would sit with me and draft the two missing sections of the memo, then we would fill out the forms and he would take the whole thing to the appropriate person at his place of employment for signatures, then bring it back to us and we would file it on Friday.

Except that neither of them showed up.

Oh, Grammar Boy called me to let me know they were running late-- at 10, at 12, again at 3:30-- and then he wanted to reschedule for Friday. I told him that if he came on Friday, he had to be there at 9 am on the dot because our office was closing at 1 pm. He seemed shocked at that, but agreed.

Friday morning dawned grey and rainy, a desolate pouring kind of rain that left a distinct chill in the air. At 9:30, Grammar Boy came rushing in breathless and full of apology for being late. Another first ladies and gentlemen! We took his files down to the annex office and spent the better part of the next hour picking over everything piece by piece. He fretted over whether the letter from Government Official #1 should go before or after Government Official #2 and I could barely restrain myself from yelling "WHO CARES? They aren't going to bother to read them anyway! And both letters suck!" Superhuman self-restraint, my friends.

As it turned out, Grammar Boy had shown up without the missing documents AND utterly unprepared to fill out the forms for immigration, which are extremely detailed. Felix hit the roof. I scuttled away to my office, hoping to avoid the worst of it (I mean, people, it's my last day!), but they drifted into my office as the argument progressed. Finally, Felix told Grammar Boy to get out of the office and not come back until he had the missing documents and the information on the forms. Grammar Boy, as one might expect, did not take it well. However, Felix can be stubborn when he wants to and stood his ground, letting Grammar Boy know that he had wasted his golden opportunity to have me finish his application, that he was running the very real risk that he will end up out of status and that our law firm is not a babysitting service. Grammar Boy left the office in a snit.

But that wasn't the last of him. Oh, no. He called me two more times, not to say goodbye or thanks for the work on his case, but to ask me to do him just one more favor-- that is, to do some extra work on his case. I politely refused, telling him that I had other clients who needed my attention before I left and reminding him that I had cleared Thursday for his case. He meekly accepted my mild scolding and hung up.

Goodbye, Grammar Boy. I sure hope your green card gets approved because I take pride in the work I do. And I did a heck of a lot of work on your case. Your credentials are not stellar and if you do get approved, it will be because I rock. You, of course, being endowed with an outsized ego, will never recognize or admit this. Oh, well... at least I can console myself with the knowledge that I made more as a summer intern than you do working at your fancy think tank.


At 1:02 AM , Blogger pacatrue said...

I sure hope I never become someone like Grammar Boy. And congrats on finishing out the internship. Have fun this semester!


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