The office was dark this morning. It being lightly staffed, and Bankers’ Hours more aptly described as Attorneys’ Hours, meant that I would likely have forty-five minutes to an hour before any other employees arrived. The attorneys went to the gym or got their kids to school in the mornings and rolled in casually between nine thirty and ten thirty. Unless there was a large project or a backlog of filings or medical records to scour, the paralegals had little reason to arrive much sooner than their leads.
I keyed open the door, flipped on the lights, unlocked the handle for the next person in and headed to the office in the back with the big window. I dropped the Wall Street Journal on the corner of John’s executive desk and walked back to the small office space I had carved out of an oversized storage closet. Sharing space with racks of office supplies and logoed promotional tee shirts didn't offer much clout, but as far as office mates go, the swag was quiet, tidy, (when I'd go on a folding rampage,) never microwaved fish or clipped their fingernails at their desk. I had no complaints.
I relished one last moment of quiet before I logged into my computer terminal. As soon as I pressed enter, I would make myself available for outside phone calls. We had a terrific after hours answering service, but during business hours, Mike and John preferred that all calls were answered in office. They were not to roll over to the Legal Answering Solutions office in Chattanooga. New clients were often local to St. Louis and easily confused by the thick Tennessee accent.
I opened my email just as my phone started to ring. At the top of my inbox was an urgent alert email from the LAS.
NEW CLIENT CALL: FATAL WORK INJURY
I answered the telephone, “Rodd and Rodd…”