29 September 2007

Please Hold for an Unimportant Annoyance

Time for another set of annoyances, I suppose.

  • If your telephone message is that important, don't block caller ID so that I don't know who's calling (or rely on "Toll-Free Call"), don't call me at a convenient time for you in a different time zone that happens to be when I'm trying to get my son to school or to practice... and, especially, don't have a computer tell me to hold for "an important message" when I actually do answer. And, of course, it would be really nice if your message really is important... but if you act like a baboon, don't expect me to ever get it (especially if you're refusing to deal with me on paper, but that never happens, does it?).
  • If you're running for office and expect me to take your positions on national defense seriously, don't surround yourself with sycophants from the American Enterprise Institute (or Heritage Foundation, or Brookings Institution, or damned near any other think tank) who have never been any closer to the military than they could avoid. This week, that means you, Rudy G. Norman Podhoretz??? Didn't your time as a US Attorney teach you anything about "witness credibility"? By next week, at least one of the other seven or eight "serious" (credible is the wrong word for these clowns, especially in this context) candidates will make the same bloody mistake.
  • If you're going to claim that arbitration is "quicker" and "more efficient," you'd better ignore the amount of time it takes for the arbitration agency to process even routine rulings. If I'm in federal court, a judge's ruling dismissing a matter gets signed on day X, becomes official on day X, and gets disclosed to the parties on day X. If I'm in state court, a judge's ruling dismissing a matter gets signed on day Y, becomes official on day Y, and gets disclosed to the parties within a couple of days after that (usually just long enough to embarass people when the local newspaper knows before the parties, but that's another issue entirely). If, however, I succeed in getting an arbitral panel to reject a matter as outside the scope of an arbitration agreement on day Z, it usually doesn't become official until about day Z + 10, and usually doesn't make its way to the parties until about day Z + 12. And, on top of it, day Z + 12 fell on a two-day, well-known religious holiday concerning both sets of counsel and two of the three arbitrators, so I can't even be sure that the opposing party (as opposed to counsel) knows yet that there will be an invoice coming for its improper attempt to invoke arbitration.