Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An offer I could refuse

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As part of the continuing legal education requirements for the Utah State Bar, attorneys must take courses on ethics and civility.
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A recent exchange with opposing counsel has me concluding that we need to dial back the civility just a notch.
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OPPOSING COUNSEL: How's the new baby?
ME: Great! Thank you so much for asking.
OP: So, are you nursing?
ME: Uh . . . yeah . . .
OP: Is that tough now that you are back to work?
ME: [shifts uncomfortably] I am able to send bottles of milk with the baby.
OP: Man! Those breast pumps are expensive!
ME: I guess.
OP: My wife had really nice ones.
ME: Excuse me?
OP: Breast pumps.
ME: Oh!
OP: If you want, you could have one.
ME: Thanks, I'm set.
OP: It would be good to have one at home and one at the office though, right?
ME: They are portable.
OP: Seriously, do you want the pump?
ME: No thank you, really.
OP: Why not?! It is in perfectly great shape.
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I was able to finally communicate that I wasn't really all that interested in a second-hand breast pump before I made my escape.
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My point is that civility can go too far. Uncomfortably, skin-crawlingly too far.
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3 comments:

Toemailer said...

Wow, that must have been terrible to go through wondering where the hell he was going with that. I am all for open honest dialogue but people should have enough respect to not bring up bodily functions without being eased into the topic, and they should definitely back off when they see the other person uncomfortable, if indeed they are capable of that at all.

Reluctant Kerry said...

I am amused by the notion of "easing into the topic" of bodily functions.

Thank you for your empathy. I do find, however, I can endure many awkward circumstances if I think I can get a funny story out of it. That is the single greatest benefit of being a laugh whore.

Also. I love that you have a blog about toes! Now that's just downright charming!

Toemailer said...

Thanks, Yea, I do tend to come up with phrases like easing into bodily functions as if it's all part of the decorum at a state function of some kind - Um, Mr.President, this is the King Of Siam. (President lets one rip) Well, hi there, Your Highness, don't mind me, just trying to ease your Royalness into the culture...