I am a North Carolina State Bar certified paralegal, educated as such in a program approved by the American Bar Association, and holding a couple of graduate degrees along with my paralegal certificate. So, naturally, I am working in a flower shop.
“What?” I hear you ask. “How does ‘naturally’ fit into that sentence?” The answer is a mere six words: Intelligence is not a marketable commodity.
This is one of my favorite rants. I excel at ranting, which may be the reason some of my friends – whose primary exposure to the legal profession is through the medium of lawyer jokes – say I should think about becoming an attorney. I feel compelled to share with you, instead, some of the things I have learned in the course of my current job – mostly doing deliveries – which I try to look at in the same way an actor looks at waiting tables: Survival until the break comes along.
One thing I have learned is that a global positioning system receiver is a mixed blessing. Aside from atrocities in pronunciation – such as “Puh-SASS-fa-ree” for Paces Ferry Drive, “Ba-KAL-a-reet” for Baccalaureate Boulevard, and the “Bloody Pope” (rather than Claude E. Pope) Memorial Highway – the system is only as good as its database is current. With new subdivisions springing up every ten minutes or so, all unknown to the GPS, it’s amazing anyone who lives in one of them ever has anything arrive at their door!
When other means of attempting to find a given address fail, a phone call to the Sheriff’s Department is the usual resort. These folks are seriously under-appreciated, in my opinion. This is particularly so when they have to deal with people – me among them – who have no idea of where they are and are trying to find their way to someplace they never knew existed. Whoever happens to answer the phone at the Department is unfailingly polite and normally patient as well. Mostly, they are quite helpful. On occasion, though, I get someone who could probably fall out of a boat and not find water. I have learned that I can usually count on this happening when I have the least amount of time to spare.
From contract work I did a few years ago, entering crash report data for the Division of Motor Vehicles, I discovered there were far too many people without licenses to drive that were doing so, anyway. Based on my observations while making deliveries, I’d say this is still the situation. I also believe I have figured out who the chief licensing examiner is: Mr. Magoo. (In fact, having lived in a few other states during my life so far, I’d also say he works a circuit.) Only a blind guy could have passed some of these people on a road test. Did I miss the “Daytona” sign, or something? People drive through parking lots like they think they are on the Interstate. They drive on the Interstate – and along city streets, for that matter – like they are looking for a NASCAR sponsor!
There are things I have learned in the shop, too. I have learned that there are hundreds of flowers I’ve never heard of. I have learned that piles of wet flower stems are difficult to sweep up, and cellophane is impossible. And I have learned that, since a broom is the only thing I seem to have time and opportunity to dance with, I am happy to have no complaints about stepping on someone’s foot.