The first day I worked for a judge during my first summer of law school, the judge said to me, "Honestly, I have one big issue with lawyers and litigants...really anyone who appears before me. I hate it when they're late. I see it as a sign of disrespect. If someone is late then it means they don't take this or me seriously."
Immediately, my already high level of respect for this man grew.
I've always hated when people are late and I have an extremely low tolerance for it. Although I've never been in the position to issue a bench warrant to someone who doesn't take seriously when they tell me that they will be at a certain place at a certain time (and admit it, that would be damn cool), I have taken quite a number of people to task for their inability to read a clock. In fact, when one of my friends (who is serially late) was late to an event after telling me when she would be there, I took her to task so harshly that she not only apologized, but promised that she would never be late after telling me a concrete time again.
To date, she hasn't been.
Yeah, I can be persuasive.
So, when I was listening to a local NPR story as I got dressed this morning, I heard a story which made me yell at the radio.
And I'm not exactly a yeller.
[Warning: Long lead-in ahead]
One of the big news events in Florida lately has been that a young, African-American kid died as a result of events that occurred at a "boot camp." Evidently, we here in Florida have decided that the best way to reform difficult juvenile delinquents is to make them go through quasi-military training. I still think real punishment would be sending them to Iraq. That's apparently not part of the program. Anyway, after being beaten by guards at the boot camp the kid died.
When he was initially autopsied, the medical examiner determined he had died of complications of sickle-cell anemia. Apparently, the bootmarks on the kid's face weren't a contributing cause to the kid's death according to this M.E.. Well, people in the area went ape-shit, particularly the African-American community, and some state legislators (some of whom will prostitute themselves for any type of publicity) jumped on the issue. They demanded another M.E. investigate the case (not a bad idea), and then demanded the firing of the initial M.E. (oh, get friggin' real...while I think there was serious reason to doubt the M.E.'s conclusion, I'm well aware that science is anything but an exact science; trying to fire the guy is profound overreaching). Nevertheless, one state legislator imparticular has been all over this issue, claiming that she's met with the victim's family and promised them that she won't rest until this guy is fired, drawed and quartered, and disemboweled.
And that leads to today's local NPR story. Apparently, yesterday, the medical examiner's office had a meeting to discuss the issue. However, the meeting ended before the legislator got there. Of course, I thought for a minute that perhaps the M.E. was playing games and started the meeting early, adjourning it before there could be too many political issues.
And then they played a quotation from the legislator.
She stated roughly (I can't remember exactly) that she was only just over a half hour late for the meeting and that the M.E. was leaving just as she was arriving.
That's right, this legislator, who is so dedicated to this particular cause cared so deeply about this attaining retribution for the supposed wrongs committed by the M.E. that she didn't even bother to show up for the fucking meeting on time! And then, she's such a prima donna that she makes it sound like they should have waited to start until she got there!
To add insult to injury, the reporter doesn't even ask her why she didn't show up on time for an issue she cares so deeply about!
What good is freedom of the press if the press don't use it? Schmucks.
My take (if you can't tell already) is that if this was so important to her, if her promise to this family who lost this child meant anything to her, if she cares so deeply for their loss and about the supposed wrongful acts of this M.E., then the least she could do was set her fucking watch ten minutes early to make sure she was there on time. The people that elected her showed up on time to vote for her. She should extend the same fucking courtesy.
Of course, that would require her to debunk the assumption the world didn't revolve around her.
And that's an issue, I just don't have time to deal with...