Thursday 30 April 2015

Bernie the lawyer

I used to work in a financial management firm. Well, I used to work a lot of places. One of the people who I dealt with was Bernie the lawyer who did most of the legal work for the company through his law firm. Bernie is a great name for a lawyer or even an accountant. Some names just fit with some occupations.

Bernie was one of those unique types. When I knew him he was in his late fifties. He was always sharply dressed and never had a hair out of place. I was at his office once when he was boxing up his files as he was retiring and he was wearing his very first pair of blue jeans. For some reason he was immensely proud of this fact. I was amused, he was kind of a fastidious type. He always introduced himself as "Bernard", never "Bernie".

Strangely I had never spoke to him over the phone. Then one time I called him as I needed a quick answer on some documents he had sent over. I did not know that Bernie had a particular quirk when on a phone call. Every time he was finished his part of the conversation he would say “Over”. As in, “Everything should have been signed by the third party before it was sent to your office. I reviewed it personally before sending it by courier. Over.”

After a few minutes of this I thought the guy was trying to be funny. After all, we were talking on a phone, not ship-to-shore radio. I did not know that he really did this with everyone on a regular basis. He said “Over” again so for fun I responded with, “For sure, for sure good neighbour. That’s a big ten-four. You are wall to wall and treetop tall. I got your twenty and I will catch you on the flip-flop.”

Silence. Click.

It became clear that Bernie did not have a sense of humour in the traditional sense. He also took himself way too seriously. I never had another phone conversation with him again.


  1. I see a challenge with people like that

  2. Saying "10-10" first would have probably sent him into a bout of depression.