When I first met with the lawyer I screamed about on Monday, I asked her to transmit files by registered mail using a USB stick I provided.
Lawyer-Lady insisted that she uses e-mail all the time and never has problems, so I reluctantly agreed. Her Kanzlei, right?
Breathe, Molly. Maybe there's an instruction manual on breathing somewhere. Inhale, exhale. Ah right, then inhale again. Maybe this lawyer does entertainment law on the side, maybe she's starting her own show.
My father's brother has the same first initial as I do, different middle initial.
Right, keep breathing.
My libertarian uncle and I share an appreciation for ironic kitsch, and for mindful violation of our own ideals: we use the same data-violation-specialist freebie alternate mail provider.
Since I'm having huge spam issues with my real mail system ), I gave the lawyer
mentioned here my freebie-jeebie address. To which she copied highly sensitive files - accidentally entering the wrong middle initial.
Breathe, Molly. Right, all the way into the lungs. Good news, bad news.
My uncle doesn't know German. But his mother-in-law is German, and loves nothing better than a good read from the homeland. Somehow, I've been able to breathe through dealing with that this week. Got some good-natured grief from my uncle's wife about not having my stuff together and do I need help and as soon as her mother's done with the translations they'll all pitch in and handle my correspondence for me. Her mother had sent the files to my great-aunt, who delights in translation challenges. I kept breathing.
The only e-mail addresses they've got are Schulz-Meyer's, the lawyer's, and mine, so if the fam is in the mood for some good practical jokes, I'll get a good laugh at their spoofs. When my parents were newlyweds, this great-aunt sent them an official-looking notification of the annulment of their marriage. Ha, ha. So what if they send the lawyer threats from the IRS (International Retirement Service) ? Or Schulz-Meyer a draft notice from the U.S. Army?
No, I'm not happy this "stayed in the family." (Not any more so than I was when UnGroom's bank sent my account information to his sister. We didn't have the same family name, so I didn't buy the bank-boy's excuse that it was all in the family. Not to mention that x-sis-in-law was the last person I wanted to access my financial 411. ) Sure, I do see the advantage of family ties in this case - my uncle is driving up the level of pain and suffering incurred. So I've kept breathing.
Now that I've read the lawyer's response to my snarky mail that I was going to read her the BORA riot act? I'm not breathing.
Sehr geehrte Frau Breyer,
in vorgenannter Sache übermittel ich anliegend mein Schreiben vom heutigen Tage an Dr. Schulz-Meyer zur Kenntnisnahme.
Im übrigen darf ich darauf hinweisen, dass ich üblicherweise nicht per Email mit dem Klientel kommuniziere. Bei Ihnen habe ich hiervon erstmals eine Ausnahme gemacht, was ich im Nachhinein sehr bedaure, dies um so mehr, als ich bei Eingabe der Emailadresse unbewusst und ungewollt einen Buchstaben falsch eingegeben habe. Ich habe zwar eine „Delivery Confirmation“ erhalten, kann aber nicht feststellen, ob es sich hierbei um die Rücksendung der fehlgeleiteten Email handelt.
Da ich im Internet, wie die meisten Kollegen meiner Generation, nicht sonderlich bewandert bin, wüsste ich nicht, was ich weiteres tun könnte.
Ein befreundete Kollege und Internetspezialist hat diesbezüglich mitgeteilt, es sei höchst unwahrscheinlich, dass es eine weitere Emailadresse mit dem fast identischen Namen gebe und, falls dies wider Erwarten der Fall wäre, der Empfänger mit den Daten etwas anfangen, diese zuordnen könne. Vermutlich befände sich die fehlgeleitete Email im Mülleimer des Providers, soweit sie nicht als Delivery Confirmation an mich zurückgelangt sei.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Why do I have the impression that her "friendly colleague and internet specialist" is NOT named Jens Ferner?
And dangit, I paid 18 Euros for that USB stick, so I'd better get that back. I need to trade it in for one of those breathing instruction tapes blondes use.
I don't buy the lawyer's excuse that she just doesn't "get" e-mail because of her age. She has that deliciously knackige trainee (yo Molly, keep breathing!) who's probably all of 20 years old.
Mr. Ferner, in case you happen to read this, Nein, ich habe diese Geschichte leider, LEIDER keineswegs erfunden. (Na ja, ausser, dass ich ueber den Azubi gesabbert habe. Weil ich dafuer womoeglich in den USA wegen Belaestigung verklagt werden koennte : das hat nie statt gefunden!)
Oh, and Lawyer-Lady still hasn't sent an apology to Dr. Schulz-Meyer. I'm not the one who put real client company and contact names in the documents (though if one of them finds out they could indeed go after my sorry gluteus maximus in the U.S.), I'm not the one who's screwed up in ways that place one's professional standing at stake. I'm not the German whose life is anchored in Germany for ever and ever, amen. So I'm going to nag Lawyer-Lady until she writes and sends her heartfelt apology to Dr. Schulz-Meyer. He's suffering enough at my hands. Hired unprofessionalism isn't an instrument of torture I employ.
I know, I should translate the e-mail for my one occasional anglo reader, but I have to buy that breathing instruction tape first.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
When I first met with the lawyer I screamed about on Monday, I asked her to transmit files by registered mail using a USB stick I provided.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I'm at an internet cafe,* trying to get my machine up to speed.
*Shut up. I get the irony and am aware of the non-security.
Suddenly, very shiny black Italian leather shoes appear next to me. I look up, and a tall, dark and handsome guy is standing next to me, smiling and looking at my stuff on his table.
Yes - another suit in this sea of gaming young'uns. I smile and move my stuff. He drops his laptop and a Bounty bar on the table.
Amen! He's not going to hold lectures about coconut. There's a list of foods UnGroom can't see without expounding on how he doesn't fancy them. Just to make sure you know, you know? Because he just needed to say that. So you know. Laws against lecturing against foods only silence his mouth - he'll stand there, his eyes fixed on your fingers, your lips, on the olives, his forehead anxiously conveying the lecture, his tense posture bursting with the need to explain that he doesn't care for olives.
Mr. Smooth loudly chomps his Bounty bar - must be hungry
He sucks his teeth
Starts his computer, with sound on
Turns his head to sneeze a big wet one - didn't bother covering it
Snorts in nasal mucous
I write to Jon over at Dyers.org. He's been really generous with various technical information.
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2007
From: "Molly Breyer"
Subject: stoopid tech question from the peanut gal-erie
Hi, Jon -
Is there a way to protect my computer from spyware installed on a network?
I share phone service with my flatmate. The ISDN and DSL boxes are controlled on her computer.
Knowing nothing about spyware, I presume she could monitor my internet activity (incl. banking etc) from her computer. If this is true, can I stump it somehow?
Not coming out of the blue with this ... she made some changes in the service - new cables, confidential mail from the phone company etc. and has been highly paranoid-acting and secretive about that. Which, you know, provokes a bit of the same.
Would appreciate your take on this.
Mr. Smooth restarts his computer, still with sound on
Does something involving his nose and his thumb
Rips open Twix and shoves into his mouth
Goes to counter for more candy bars
Jon's Holiday Gift Guide leaves me pleasantly cold, as I'm through with the holidays for the year.
The sharp dresser to my right clears his throat, repeatedly, loudly
Restarts his computer, still with sound on
Keeps playing with the skin on his throat and face
Is coughing up pflegm as he guillotines an unidentified candy bar
I scan through Jon's list of 40 Free Winterized Fonts, which reminds me how much my blog design rots.
Model-boy picks his teeth as he restarts his computer
Looks at whatever he picked from his teeth
Pushes back his glasses
Snorts in more mucous
Goes to counter again
Jon's already answered!
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2007
From: "Jon Dyer"
To: "Molly Breyer"
Subject: Re: stoopid tech question from the peanut gal-erie
If she's running some sort of proxy on her computer, she would be able to log everywhere you go. If you have an adversarial relationship, this is probably not a good thing.
The way things should look is DSL Box plugs into a Firewall/Switch, and the various computers plug into the switch. This gives you all equal access and helps to protect all the PC's from attacks coming from the 'net. You can pick up a Netgear or Linksys router for $40 or so. If you're paying for it, you can control it.
If you're concerned about her attacking you, you should have a software firewall on your PC. That way you can track and block anyone trying to attach to your PC. ZoneAlarm and Commodo are two excellent free firewalls that you can use.
If you're concerned that she has already accessed your PC, change your login password immediately. Install Spybot Search and Destroy and Adaware on your machine. Running both will ensure that she hasn't installed any spyware or keyloggers on your machine.
If you need more info or specifics, let me know.
Sleek dresser comes back, presumably with more candy
I start downloading a firewall program.
Mr Looks-Without-Manners-is-a-Powerful-Emetic sighs deeply.
Picks at his cuticles, digs in his ear
Slams something down on table
Spybot brings up a list of suspicious files. None titled ModelKillsMartyr, but still.
The firewall program seems to have stalled at 65% installation. Hmm.
Herr Clothes-Don't-Make-the-Man picks at his teeth
Looks over at me for the gazillionth time
Clears his throat again
My successors are lucky UnGroom is trained not to do this stuff so much any more. But this guy is wearing a wedding ring. Slowly, the light goes on.
Adaware is downloading. Wonder what to do about the stalled firewall?
Repulsive Guy in Zegna woolens gets up
Shoves computer etc in his bag
Slams his chair against the table
Crumples candy wrappers in his hand
He's picking at his face and being generally unappetizing because his wife isn't around to forbid it. He's feeling free and pretty dandy attractive. He'll never understand that other women just don't care enough to say anything, that the positive attention he does get - e.g. my smile as he arrived - is his wife's oeuvre, her choice of clothing. Thus the egregious mis-match between his apparel and demeanor.
Granted, he didn't Jonathan-Edwards me on the evils of coconut, but given a chance, I'm sure his wife could recount a list of his sermons long enough to keep you edified for centuries. I hope she's enjoying her evening - or week, if he's here on business - alone.
The firewall installation is still stalled. But I've made progress. Thanks, Jon!
(Sad my internet neighbor left? Here's a French nosepicker to comfort you.)
Monday, December 10, 2007
Erklaerung einer Anwaeltin, die Dateien mit persoenlichen Details an die falsche Adresse gemailt hat ...
Sehr geehrte Frau Breyer,
in o. a. Angelegenheit ist meine Emal vom 10.12.2007 an Herrn Dr. Schulz-Meyer versehentlich nicht an Sie, sondern an eine falsche Email-Adresse zur Kenntnis weitergeleitet worden. Es hatte sich ein falscher Buchtstabe in Ihre Emailadresse eingeschlichen. Ich bedaure dieses Versehen und bitte um Entschuldigung.
Da keine Adressen - außer meiner - in der Email genannt werden, sollte für Dritte nicht nachvollziehbar sein, wen die Daten betreffen.
O-kaaaay. So, if I understand her reasoning:
Because her mailing address was the only one listed in the e-mail body, the person who receives the mail and reads the names and extremely detailed, extremely personal information in the files won't figure out that the e-mail pertains to the details in the files. This renders harmless the disclosure of the personal details, with names, in the files.
Or am I missing something?
I so don't have time for this now. I already have to comb through the RVG to figure out how to explain to her that I'm NOT paying her hourly rate for extra time, calls etc incurred due to her use of a bloody freebie-ISP.
Sehr geehrte Frau Lawyer-Lady,
leider werde ich erst am Ende dieser Woche Zeit haben, um Ihre noch-offene Fragen zum Datenschutz im Internet zu klaeren und um die fuer Sie scheinbar nicht ganz durchschaubare Feinheiten der anwaltlichen Geheimhaltungspflicht zu erlaeutern.
Bitte kommen Sie meinen Antrag von heute morgen, eine schriftliche Entschuldigung an Herrn Dr. Schulz-Meyer zu schicken, umgehend nach.
Ich hatte Sie in meiner Mail am Dec 4, 2007 um 16:31 gebeten, Ihre kommunikationstechnische Unklarheiten mit Herrn Dr. Schulz-Meyer zu korrigieren und daraufhin eine neue Runde zu starten.
Welche Frist haben Sie Herrn Dr. Schulz-Meyer jetzt gesetzt, um die Abwicklung seiner noch offenen Auftragsangelegenheiten fort zu setzen ? Eine Kopie jeder Mail an Herrn Dr. Schulz-Meyer wuerde ich weiterhin schaetzen.
Mit freundlichen Gruessen,
This feels like a case, or at least an intensive training candidate, for the good Herr Ferner.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Plenty going on Model-wise, but there's also a lot going on real-life-wise that makes her issues seem other-worldly. Maybe there's a blog writing service somewhere, b/c for anyone not involved, a lot of her performances of late would make a hilarious read.
If anyone knows how I can easily edit (to anonymize) mobile-phone videos I've taken of some antics, let me know. Model apparently hasn't figured out that I'm not taking still photos when I hold up the phone during her conniptions.
Don't want to violate her privacy. Most of her shrieking and jumping around would still be understood if there were a happy yellow smiley face over hers. Or a Rumpelstiltskin mask.
In other news, I've been topping up her milk again.
Sometimes I cringe at the English "adopted" and often warped by non-native speakers. Other times, they're really missing out.
Spam, for example. Everyone knows what it means in an in-box, but how many know the etymology of the word?
Sing a little song, and check out this SPAM-Nigirizushi recipe. Or this SPAMalicious biography of SPAM - "America's miracle meat."
More than you wanted to know: At 14, I was tutored by a creationist biology instructor in exchange for housework and cooking.
She had two cookbooks: one of microwave desserts, the other all SPAM.
For a kid raised with Leviticus trumping Mark in the kitchen, cooking SPAM every day raised questions about whether the instructor was as Christian as my parents presumed. I was pretty sure that eating pork was the path to supporting gay marriage.
Perhaps the instructor is to thank for my support of gay marriage (as far as I support the state's involvement in anybody's private life) today. Or perhaps she was hoping a few Vikings would drop in for a bite.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Now here's a reasonable application of the Gleichbehandlungsgrundsatz:
A student at a German college of medicine who ran out of time during a multiple choice exam sued in hopes of getting credit for answers she hadn't transferred to her answer sheet.
Maybe my bemusement is culturally based. Given the number of times I've heard Germans ridicule the U.S. educational system for our widespread use of multiple choice exams, I'm guessing this medical student hadn't memorized the general rules for navigating this test form. But still. Someone studying medicine should be smart enough to think about why an important exam is administered in a given form. And to think about how the system works. What's the point of the answer sheets, if students can also write answers in the exam books and graders will have to leaf through and finish the job?
Pity the nurses working wherever this woman ends up when she's through medical school. "Oh, don't go by what's on the chart - you have to dig in the white coat I left in the interns' lounge and decipher what I scratched onto post-its!"
Oh, and for Germans who're still snickering about American use of multiple choice exams: just because the right answer is there somewhere doesn't mean that those suckers are necessarily easy.
Pressemitteilung des OVG Münster v. 12. 11. 2007
In der Multiple-Choice-Prüfung zählen nur die Antworten auf dem Antwortbeleg
Das OVG Münster hat entschieden, dass in dem bei Prüfungen häufig verwendeten Multiple-Choice-Verfahren nur die Antworten des Prüflings berücksichtigt werden dürfen, die der Prüfling auf dem dafür vorgesehenen Antwortbeleg markiert hat. Eine Studentin hatte nur die Antworten von 91 der gestellten 160 Prüfungsfragen im Antwortbeleg markiert. Für die übrigen Fragen hatte sie lediglich im Aufgabenheft Antworten markiert.
Am Ende der Prüfungszeit hatte die Studentin der Aufsicht, die die Antwortbelege einsammelte, auch ihr Aufgabenheft mit der Bitte übergeben, auch die dort markierten, aber aus Zeitmangel nicht mehr in den Antwortbeleg übertragenen Antworten zu berücksichtigen. Der schriftliche Teil der Ärztlichen Vorprüfung ist auf Grund der Bundesärzteordnung im Antwort-Wahl-Verfahren (Multiple-Choice-Prüfung) durchzuführen. Dabei werden bundeseinheitlich zeitgleich an zwei Tagen allen Prüflingen Fragen in einem Aufgabenheft vorgelegt, für die mehrere Antwortmöglichkeiten vorgegeben sind. Nur eine dieser Antwortmöglichkeiten ist jeweils die richtige Antwort und ist in einem gesonderten rechnerlesbaren Beleg zu markieren. Für die Entwicklung der Fragen und die bundesweite rechnergestützte Auswertung dieser Antwortbelege haben die Bundesländer durch einen Staatsvertrag das Institut für medizinische und pharmazeutische Prüfungsfragen gebildet.
Dieses Institut wertete nur die im Antwortbeleg von der Studentin markierten Antworten. Auch die für die Prüfungsentscheidung zuständige Bezirksregierung Münster lehnte die Berücksichtigung derjenigen Antworten ab, die nicht im Antwortbeleg markiert waren. Das VG Münster wies die Klage ab, die auf Berücksichtigung der im Antwortheft vermerkten Antworten gerichtet war. Das OVG hat die von der Studentin angestrebte Berufung nicht zugelassen. Zur Begründung hat es ausgeführt: Die Bezirksregierung habe bei ihrer Entscheidung nur die Markierungen der Studentin im Antwortbeleg berücksichtigen dürfen. BVerfG und BVerwG hätten mehrfach entschieden, dass das besondere Verfahren der ärztlichen Prüfungen verfassungsrechtlich nicht zu beanstanden ist. Die im Staatsvertrag der Länder über das Institut für medizinische und pharmazeutische Prüfungsfragen geregelte Art und Weise der Aufgabenstellung und Antwortauswertung sei die notwendige landesrechtliche Umsetzung der bundesrechtlichen Vorgaben. Es gehöre zur Prüfungsleistung bei diesem Prüfungsverfahren, die Antworten innerhalb der Prüfungszeit in der vorgeschriebenen Form zu erbringen. Deshalb widerspräche es dem bei Prüfungen besonders wichtigen Prinzip der Chancengleichheit, wenn bei einzelnen Prüflingen auch Antworten berücksichtigt würden, bei denen dieses nicht der Fall war. (OVG Münster, Urt. v. 7. 11. 2007 – 14 A 5273/05)
(Pressemitteilung des OVG Münster v. 12. 11. 2007)
No, the student's name wasn't Sophie Currier.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
I've been reading this book bit by bit since it was given to me. It's about a bunch of home-schooled kids whose parents disobeyed God and sent them away to Patrick Henry College, where secularized lukewarm "Christians" train them for jobs in D.C.
At the tiny college located in Virginia near Washington, D.C., Rosin found eager, clean-cut young people who "love their iPods as much as they love Christ."
Real Christians don't have iPods, but the author got so much else so right that we'll overlook her slippant forgiveness of Satan's instrument of deception.
The girls always say to me that because of the way they grew up, they don’t experience their jobs as quite “real.” They could be at a high-powered White House or journalism job and still feel like they’re play-acting. The “real” job to them is always raising a family. That said, I’d like to see them in ten, fifteen years, when they’ve given up their careers and it’s too late to get them back.
Sigh. Things aren't so great even if they don't breed a litter ... Rosin describes PHC's biology instructor, who decided to teach creationism instead of marrying.
During orientation week the campus still felt warm and familiar, like a big homeschool family reunion. The central buildings and dorms were packed with typically oversized homeschooling families—ten-year-old girls pushing strollers, toddlers scrambling after their pregnant moms like baby ducks. The little kids were eerily independent and well behaved; they sat in circles on the grass or outside the cafeteria, playing games or reading the campus maps for fun.
That's what my college orientation looked like, too. Oops, wait, all those kids were my siblings. Guess it was just us. Oh well.
Rosin must have an incredible sense of humor, just to have completed the project. One fundy mom told Rosin's husband he was greatly blessed, b/c Hanna looks "so biblical."
On The Daily Show, Rosin looks a little less biblical.
Labels: other blogs
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
So many things in Germany are so well organized. Why isn't there a neighborhood system so that pedantics can all live happily together?
There could be another neighborhood for total chaots. And another for people who generally try to be respectful and take conflicts directly to mediators.
While we're at it, let's color-code lawyers. Gotta think about that schematic.
Monday, December 3, 2007
The initial brief hearing had been scheduled for today, and since I'd already lined everything up so I could be there, I went to the judge's session for two brief hearings as "general public."
We couldn't have gotten a better judge. Smart, clear, directive, realistic. Will I feel that way after my own hearing? He happens to be married to an American professor of corporate law, which I hope means he's unlikely to have problems with my accent.
For one of the cases, he scheduled a full first hearing IN DECEMBER. So my self-congratulatory (perhaps deludedly so) is that he probably didn't push my hearing back to January for lack of time.
After the second brief hearing (I was in there for 20 minutes, tops), I left when the parties did. Outside the courtroom, the claimant's lawyer said to the defendant's lawyer, "Oh, so you brought your daughter with you." Too bad I didn't immediately realize that was an insult to him - the guy was at most ten years older than I am. Sorry, heavyset dude from Duesseldorf, if I'd been less thick-skulled, I'd have said I was your older sister or something.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Apparently, Germans don't learn typical US self-whatever group rules such as "what's discussed here stays here," "never use what someone shares against him," and so on. So after group, they all go home and call their ex-wives and tell us who's infertile, which guy has experimented with his new girlfriend's makeup, and things even the most cynical anonymous ex-wife wouldn't repeat to a friend or post on a blog.
Guys from UnGroom's men's group go to different events together. Movies, street festivals, cookouts, sport events, weekend retreats, sauna sessions. I'm not sure all of them are quite ready for attending concerts, though.
Since UnGroom was having so much fun with his guys, I thought about joining a group, too. But in the interview, the shrink said he thought I'd overextended myself by going to a seminar in Stuttgart. So I said I wasn't ready for a group and asked for recommended reading.
Irvin Yalom's text, Theorie und Praxis der Gruppentherapie, is thoughtfully written and easy to read. His novel, Die Schopenhauer Kur, was also a good read. I borrowed both of them from the library, but even full-price hardcover, they'd have cost less than a quarter of one of that shrink's group sessions.
Reading textbooks and novels instead of going to a group means that I don't get to go on group outings like concerts. Not that I'd get to hear songs with my name.
Come to think of it, the shrink I interviewed looked kinda like this Martin guy. Heh, maybe the shrink is in UnGroom's men's group, ne!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
From the RVG-doesn't-guarantee-maximum-client-revenue files:
The warmth of the mug nestled in my cold fingers and the comfort of the soft chair almost make me feel it's okay to be in an establishment belonging to a much-disparaged coffee chain. Generally I hate 'meeting for coffee' and prefer to meet for a walk. For today's installment of the road-kill rubbernecker reality show that has me in its grasp, I accommodate the actor's wish for comfort.
When we met at a networking event a few years ago, she was just setting up her own law practice. Across from me, my cringetainment provider settles into her chair, crossing a tight-jeaned leg to provocatively display her studded leather boot. Last time we talked, she'd screwed up a licensing case and lost a chunk of change for a good client. I ask where that stands.
She knows that he knows he can calculate the loss she incurred as damages. She's pretty sure she won't get any payment for a case that was a lot of unpleasant work, because she screwed up. Happens. They haven't yet sat down and resolved the issue. She's hoping it will go away.
Today she reports she's just won a leasing case for him. He'd prepaid more than half of her fee, and the opponent wired all funds to her account. The client still owes her some money, and legally, she's entitled to withhold the balance of her fee and wire him the remainder.
Strategically, is there any good reason for her to do this? If he's got a strong history of honoring his obligations, should she fear he won't pay the relatively small fee? And even if she did fear that, would grabbing that money now really be worth provoking an upstanding client to feel less good-will in handling the inevitable discussion of the significant damages she incurred?
Not sure why I've met her for coffee again. Maybe it's her absolute conviction she's the hottest stuff going, a worldview so foreign to me, that fascinates me in ways no movie star could. Today, though, I realize how bored I've become of her being too bloody smart to treat people, including clients, like humans. Too egotistical to build value and share it equitably.
Why do so many lawyers dance around on client relationships as if they can hold billing norms over clients' heads without damaging trust? A few weeks ago, I'd commented it was really fair of clients who offer to pre-pay, when her bill technically isn't due until she's completed the work. She grinned, self-satisfied, and said she was entitled to demand pre-payment. Talk about not getting the value of a decent client. She's often talked about other clients who she has to chase down for money, so why take this guy for granted? Maybe she's just callous.
I'm struck by clarity: this 'networking' thing isn't working for me. When she's told me about 'putting in a word for me' when she's had the chance to connect me with projects, she's talked about me in ways that didn't in any way convey what kind of work I do. Any information I've given her about my projects, she manages to downgrade to the lowest possible level. I've rationalized that she just doesn't know much outside her field. Now it slaps me in the face: she hasn't asked, or tried to learn.
She gets up to order another 15-specifications-coffee drink, and I think of her (self-)righteous anger a few years ago, when she'd turned down a project I'd recommended. It didn't pay squat, it really didn't, and she lectured me that a German lawyer has the right to fair remuneration! It's a big, reputable American company, I'd insisted. They don't know you, your exam results are anything but stellar, your work history is spotty. Just do one little project for them. For some reason, she did. Then another. They turned into one of her best clients.
As she returns, I don't say anything, just go on stirring my plain, short coffee. She runs her hands through her thick, silver-streaked, dark hair, pushing it back from her face. I wonder why she doesn't see the revenue she'll not generate in the future, just because she felt entitled to hang on to her couple hundred Euros this week.
It's all in the RVG, so it must be the right way to do things.
My coffee is cold, and my delusion that this woman was ever interested in improving her practice has evaporated. I excuse myself and clear my cup. She stays, feeling pretty and smart, twirling her straw in her fancy coffee drink.
n.b. : said acquaintance never violated client privilege by disclosing identifying details