My phone call was made to the person that held the answers, to the person that I looked to for assistance.
Ten months ago I called 911 from my cell phone to report someone walking on the freeway in dark clothes while it was dark out. I was afraid the person would get hit by a car. Two weeks ago I got a call from the Public Defender asking me about this call (seriously?) because the person that I was worried for and called about, when picked up, was issued a DUI. My 911 call was to be used as evidence, and me as a witness for his client. I explained that’s all I know, I do not with to be involved any further.
A week ago I was subpoenaed to show up for the trial. 3 messages to the attorney, one letter hand delivered to his office by me, and one email later explaining I’m on vacation when I was asked to be there, no reply. Funny, he called right back when I first called him when he wanted something.
My subpoena states: “DISOBEDIENCE OF THIS SUBPOENA MAY BE PUNISHED BY A FINE, IMPRISONMENT, OR BOTH. A WARRANT MAY ISSUE FOR YOUR ARREST IF YOU FAIL TO APPEAR.’ Ya, not something I’m used to dealing with to say the least.
Yesterday I called the contact that was given to me when I visited the office ‘in case the attorney doesn’t call you back.’ I was hopeful as we began to speak that she may help me, and give me direction. That hope very quickly dissolved. As I began to explain my situation, she stopped me. She stated things such as “that’s how it is.” or “if you do not show up, the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest, it doesn’t matter that you don’t want to be there”, or “that’s how the system works, you have to know this.” She went on to tell me that if I cooperated (She must have used the word cooperated 15 times, no lie. I felt like I was on Sesame Street or something.) with my attorney that there may be a chance that he’d let me off for that day since they would be picking a jury, and then just call me for when I’m needed. What? I am obviously naive to court proceedings, I never thought it may be for more than that initial day that I was called upon.
As our conversation continued, and as I tried to get a word in edgewise to try and get guidance on what I am supposed to do, it happened. I heard my voice crack, and a tear or two came. That point where you are so frustrated, and so angry, and no one is helping you, and tears come. I was mad at myself, but whatever, I couldn’t help it at this point. I don’t need this shit in my life. As I continued to talk with this person, she began to berate me. “Why are you crying?” “I don’t understand why you are crying?” I continued to talk, almost dizzy from trying to process the mean, bullying tone that she carried out her words in. “What are you crying for?” “Are you crying?” Finally, my mind caught up to my body, and I said, “Stop patronizing me! You are very offensive.” She backed off a bit, but in this 10 minute phone call (checked my phone on that one), she was never in the realm of friendly or helpful, or even just neutral.
I pictured her sitting with the attorney that subpoenaed me that wouldn’t return my phone calls next to her while bullying me on the phone, giggling silently. That’s what it felt like. And then when I stood up for myself, it didn’t seem as fun to her anymore. I have never in my life been in a conversation like that, let alone in what is supposed to be in a professional setting.
I was so incredibly pissed when I got off the phone. About an hour later, I wrote an email to her, stating she doesn’t know me, nor why missing my vacation with my family would be so important to me. That I didn’t know her and who she must deal with every day. But that the way she talked to me was disrespectful and patronizing and I was offended. Before I pushed send, my husband brought up what if by sending that she makes this situation even harder for me. Good point.
So, instead, I called my oldest friend, and we had a laugh fest, talking about this person that we will never meet, and all the horrible things that we’d say to her if we ever did. All imaginary of course, but it was fun, and provided some laughter therapy that was desperately needed.
And then I came to write it here. To get it out of my head, because it’s eaten me up and exhausted me since yesterday. Which may be a partial reason that I left the keys in the ignition and locked my car when walking into the grocery store on my way home from working last night. Good Lord.
Amazing how appropriate this post I made the night before this horrible conversation is:
Make that 4 separate incidents over the past week now.
It’s too bad that people can’t remind themselves that the way they treat people, and the words they say really do matter. I’m not a hard criminal that this person may be used to talking to. I’m not a dumb little air headed woman though either. Nor am I weak. I was looking for assistance, guidance, and direction from a professional in a situation that I have no experience in, and instead I got patronized and bullied. Won’t happen again.