Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

At about 7: 45 am, I watch Ghandi struggle with two heavy files on his way from the filling room. His glasses are slightly askew and his barrister’s jacket is a little higher than it should be. In my characteristically saintly mode, I offer to help him carry the lighter looking file. While we walk down the stairs, we make small talk. It turns out he was to appear with Plain-short who fell ill over the weekend and could not make it to the office.

‘Yes, so I will be appearing alone’. We are on the first floor.

At this point, sensible Rookie ought to have shut up or moved on to the weather and other ‘safe’ topics but sensible Rookie had not had her shot of caffeine. It was a case of diminished responsibility. I was not thinking straight. Then again, the work-free Friday made me lose my edge and a scoop of sense.

I hear myself offering to appear with him. I assume that it would score me brownie points and that in any case, since the matter was merely for adoption of motions, so I would be back in an hour.

‘Adopt and leave. That should not take forever’ – I reason. So, I run up, grab my wig only taking a few seconds to drag it across the wall for the right amount of dirt and distinguished threadbare look.

I do not realise the dire consequences of my good deed until we get to court and it’s filled with what appears to be the all the lawyers in Lagos. Everyone knows that the next worse thing to braving traffic and rain for an empty court is braving traffic or rain for a full court. Our matter is listed twenty-eighth on the cause list. The judge is one of those annoyingly efficient ones who would sit through rain, fire and no electricity.

What hurts most is not the thoughts of spending time away from my pc and Facebook tool but the fact that I could have earned the same brownie points by volunteering for work which I could pass on to some junior.

It is finally our turn at past three and we adopt our motions (which really means that Ghandi mentions my name while I take a bow; he speaks while I take notes). I am body-tired, mind-exhausted and definitely anti-good deeds.

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