One of my many jobs as office manager is collections. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. I’ve been told that I’m pretty good at it. In fact one of the girls in the office overheard me making a collection call and asked “How do you manage to sound so nice and so mean at the same time?” I guess it’s a gift, or the result of mentally torturing 3 younger siblings while smiling so Mom wouldn’t know. Sorry guys! But it was good training….
Mostly our customers are hardworking, honest business men and women who pay their bills on time or close to it. Sometimes they get in trouble and we work with them. But sometimes they just disappear, won’t respond to letters or phone calls, don’t even make an attempt to make payments. That’s when I have to make a last ditch effort to get paid by calling in the law – in the form of small claims court
It’s kind of a pain actually. They get a letter giving them about a month to pay up or show up. I try to get them to pay up before the court date. Usually those letters are ignored too. So, on the designated night, hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to court I go. At 5:45 the bailiff calls me into the courtroom. Mine is the only case on the docket, but he says we will wait a few minutes, have a seat. I nodd to the magistrate, the same guy who is usually on the bench. The defendants generally don’t show up, but I have to wait 15 minutes after the set hearing time, just in case they are running late. I think they should have to be there on the dot, after all they are on trial – shouldn’t promptness count?
The magistrate and the bailiff work on paperwork. I examine the courtroom – let’s see, it’s very clean and pretty modern since this courthouse is new. There is a big screen on the wall and what appears to be a projector mounted to the ceiling. A drawing on an easel left over from a traffic case. Four ceiling mounted cameras. I look at the bailiff’s gun, they continue to do their paperwork, or maybe they are doodling just to kill time. Finally, just before we all doze off, the bailiff calls my case (LOL! remember I am the ONLY one there). The magistrate’s a nice guy and he has these beautiful blue eyes …… sorry, I digress.
He asks me some simple questions, says “judgment in your favor” and we all get on with our evening. I was there one night when there was a big Cleveland Indians game on and we got out of there in record time!
When I came out of the courthouse there was this beautiful sky in the west, so I took time to take some photos..
Ahhhhhhhhh …. the silver lining!