When I said ‘Can my day get any worse’, it was a rhetorical question, not a challenge…

Why is it that some days start badly – and just keep getting worse?

One wrong turn leading inevitably and inexorably to the next, til you’re in a cul de sac with a juggernaut too big to turn.

The arse-kicking I got the other day set the scene for a difficult conversation with my ‘client’. I can’t dress my failures up as anything other than failures. Nae point. Bullshitting is not my game. But that involves laying yourself bare as a professional plonker – not a great strategy when you’re trying to reassure anyone that you really, actually, truly and in fact, know what you are doing.

Said me I accept full responsibility for the poor show. I will understand if you have lost faith and would prefer alternative representation. However, here is what I plan to do – if you are prepared to give me the opportunity to redress the balance…


Big fat yawning silence.

It is a long time since I experienced this acute sense of plonkerishness. It hurts, big style. I reflect, during the silence, that this is my idea of hell and that I deserve it.

It’s a funny thing, but the longer silent man hesitates – and then procrastinates – the more I want to keep his case. I need to show him. Prove to him that I can win his dodgy case.

He says he’ll phone me back.

I come off the phone, shaking with a frustration that surprises me and immediately go for a cigarette or two.

When I come back in, I sit. Tapping my foot. Mind spinning and wheeling. The phone is quiet. By now I am obsessed by the need to fix that case.

I look around. I’ve nothing pressing. I’ll do something I haven’t had time to do for years… something which I was taught to do way back at the beginning when I was prosecuting Health and Safety cases. Write my case in reverse…

And so, feeling positively, sublimely virtuous and smart, I write my submission for that case now. I’ll make this all perfect. It will be textbook. This will be the submission to top all submissions. My case will shine like a shiny big diamond shines. It’ll be a stunner. Knock the spots of the employer. 

Excited, I start typing. I have quotes from the Competency Framework and comparative studies. I have ET caselaw authority. I quote lengthy legal judgement and academic studies. I have my client’s statement and all the in-gathered ‘evidence’ (so far anyway). My fingers clatter across the keyboard. I am on fire! This is smoking. I start to laugh. This’ll show them.

Four pages in and the system crashes.

I’m at home now. I don’t know what has been saved. The Office manager was still working on the server when I left.

And a 7pm email from my client says he’ll phone to discuss on Monday.

I want to believe that this is proof that there is hope. But today has been so shite, so I am not counting my chickens.


4 thoughts on “When I said ‘Can my day get any worse’, it was a rhetorical question, not a challenge…

  1. And why the Scots invented Whisky, e.f. ;-D

    Haha, Fly. Like it. And I am wondering if you've been in my kitchen because the bottle that's half-way gone (and my favourite) is Highland Park!

    Divorced Lady – thank you for that wee touch of empathy and reassurance.
    In the cold light of today I know that my mistake was bigger in my eyes than anyone else's. I just gave my momentary legal advantage away – I wasn't sharp enough, my mind was thinking about getting home and the traffic and the sofa I'd passed in that gorgeous furniture shop on Great Western Road and… full, in fact of everything but the case…Doh!

    PS Can anyone tell me how to bring back the 'reply' button at the bottom of comments?? I seem to have lost it…(maybe in more ways than one!).

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