Month: December 2011

Coke Commercials and Clients

Probably my least favorite commercial in the last ten years is that Coke commercial where the guy keeps getting stuff in his life, a job, stock options, etc., and every time asks, “And?” afterwards, like, where’s the rest of it? A lot of times clients can be like that. One exchange in particular this week reminded me of that commercial.

Client: I still haven’t received my child support.

Me: I’m sorry. I guess the court is backed up. We’ve given them everything they need. Shouldn’t be much longer.

Client: So when will I get my child support?

Me: Again, I have no control over that. I will call them and see what the holdup is.

(Ten minutes later…)

Me: Good news! Everything is in place. We just need the Judge to sign the order and you’ll start getting your child support.

Client: And then what?

Me: What do you mean, ‘and then what?’ Then you’ll get paid.

Client: Ok, but what happens when he signs the order?

Me: You will get your child support per Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration.

Client: I know, but then what?

Me: Then, you magically begin to receive child support.

Client: Ok, but then what if he doesn’t pay it?

On Employees…

“It might be said that it is the ideal of the employer to have production without employees and the ideal of the employee is to have income without work.”
-E.F. Schumacher


After hiring (and firing) my first employee this quarter, I thought it might be helpful to share some things I learned throughout the journey. This may be helpful for employees and employers alike. Or it might just be me venting to no one in particular but this is what we’re doing today so let’s roll.

1. If you ask a potential hire if there are any red flags you should be made aware of, and they kind of awkwardly laugh, walk away.

2. If in your initial interview with a potential hire, you ask why they were fired from their last job and they kind of awkwardly laugh and mention “something about statutes of limitations”, why yes, walk away.

3. If you mention having regular, predictable office hours, and your new employee is late the first day, and every subsequent day after, you should say something about it, but then after three consecutive months of it, walk away.

4. If your new employee bemoans their lack of ability to purchase health, car, dental, life, or any other type of presumably valuable insurance, but smokes two packs of cigarettes a day, you should consider this entire sequence one giant, blinking red flag for which only one remedy remains: walk away.

5. If, after several conversations with your employee about communicating and/or not showing up for work, and/or work not being completed to your satisfaction, said employee doesn’t show up for work one day, and then when you casually text them to see, you know, if they’re coming in to work, and they call you in a fit of cursing rage, accuse you of being the reason they’re broke, while they presumably are smoking a cigarette, and then accuse you of being on drugs, and then you finally tell them not to come back anymore, yet they still inexplicably assume they still have a job there, so you send them a termination letter and THEN they start with the emails about you stealing from people and being lazy-slash-incompetent-slash-unethical, you can only look yourself in the eyes and regret every day you didn’t just walk away.


Why Soon-To-Be Exes Should Stay Out of Court

This is a great article by M. Marcy Jones regarding avoiding the court process in divorce and custody cases.


Here are my top five reasons why soon-to-be exes should stay out of court:

  1. Litigation is the most expensive and least effective way of getting divorced.
  2. It destroys family relationships. It’s hard to co-parent after you annihilate your spouse in court.
  3. It’s incredibly stressful for the whole family, especially your children.
  4. It takes forever! Dockets dictate the pace of your case.
  5. No one wins when you go to court. It’s definitely a lose-lose situation.

Ms. Jones correctly highlights some of the newer alternative dispute resolutions that are becoming more popular in family law cases, from traditional mediation to collaborative law. It will be interesting to see if the trends continue to shift away from in-court battles to more unconventional (but more effective) methods of resolution.


M. Marcy Jones: Why Soon-To-Be Exes Should Stay Out of Court.