128. Frustration

It’s a good thing that my 11 o’clock appointment had to cancel. I can decompress a bit. You see it all started last week, I believe. I was working with a distressed client in my office. Just outside my office is a public walkway with three benches. On one of the benches a seemingly homeless guy was stretched out with his backpack and sleeping bag. I walked past him a time or two, no problem. But later in the day he erupted in shouts and screams. His voice was maybe twenty five feet from my window, and he was disrupting my counseling session. After a few more shouts I excused myself and walked out to speak to Mr. Screamy.

“Excuse me, sir. Your shouting is disrupting my business. Could you please stop screaming?”

“I’m not screaming.”

“Well, one of you is. Now, please stop it. I’m just asking for a little civility.”

“I’m being civil.”

“If you keep shouting, I’ll have to call the police. Okay?”

“Yeah, sure, whatever.”

“Thank you.”

I walked back into my office and resumed the counseling session. In a minute the shouting started back up. I excused myself again, dialed 911 and made the complaint. A polite officer took the call and said the Boro would send an officer. In a few minutes I was interrupted for the third time by the responding officer. He wanted to make sure that they had the correct guy, who they had determined was drunk. “He’s a frequent flyer with us. We’ll take care of it.”

I thanked him and returned to my client. I was a bit ticked that a rude imbecile had overridden the rights of two law abiding citizens trying to do therapy. Mr. Screamy had caused several officers to respond, take him to jail, bother a district justice, etc. etc. I have no idea how many people were inconvenienced by him, and then there would be a hearing, a free lawyer, jail time, etc. etc. Why? Because the moron could not simply shut up.

Yesterday I got a call from the arresting officer asking me to come in and testify against Mr. Screamy at 8:30 today at the District Justice’s office. I asked if this would take a lot of time. The officer said it would not–“In and out in just a few minutes.” I agreed.

This morning at 8:12 a.m. I arrived at the District Justice’s office. The guard at the metal detector told me they did not open till 8:30 and I’d have to wait outside. I drove over to the coffee shop and met with two of my guys till just before 8:30. “I’ll be back in a few minutes,” I said as I exited. Back at the DJ’s office I waited a few minutes for Officer Randy. He told me that Mr. Screamy was contesting his charge and had a public defender, so it would take a few minutes. I waited and ruminated on the injustice of this fair system we have that bends over backwards for clowns like Mr. Screamy. He had disrupted me, caused me a slight reschedule to be here, and now he was wasting more of my time. I fumed. The clock did not seem to move at all.  I determined that I had a limit. Officer Randy was on the other side of two locked doors and the zombie ladies behind the glass wall were absorbed in their computer screens. “9:00 is it. I’m not in for any more time.”

9:00 a.m. arrived and I departed. I was steamed. I thought, ‘ Next time I’ll just take care of it myself, cowboy justice. I’ll squeeze his vocal chords down to whisper level.’ I shook my head but the anger hung on. Back at the coffee shop the guys had left. No good deed goes unpunished, eh? I tried to take care of my civil duty and was inconvenienced again. Fortunately the Egginator rolled in and we had time for a few games of chess. That really helped channel my aggression as my redeye coffee/expresso mix simultaneously jacked me up for battle.

Okay, I walked back to my office, and moved my car to avoid a parking ticket. That would have relit my fuse. As I jogged back to my office, Officer Randy pulled into the very parking spot I had just vacated. He got out with a paper in hand and threw his hands out at me with  the “what the heck?” expression. “Where did you go?”

I told him that I waited till 9:00 and left.

“Well, you could have at least told me. I went to get you and you were gone. He had a new public defender and it took longer. You made me look stupid.”

“Yeah, I know. You had told me it would be a matter of minutes. I could not spend the day waiting for the guy to get justice.”

“But you just left. You didn’t tell anyone.”

“No one was interested. I had wasted enough of my time. I was pissed, okay?”

“I don’t blame you. This guy has been arrested 23 times for public drunkenness and is facing 90 days of incarceration, but if you don’t testify, he goes free again.”

“Yeah, well that’s a shame, but I’ve been inconvenienced enough. The clown disrupted a session last week with a distressed county employee. And today he burned another half hour of mine. Enough. He’s not worth it. I’ll handle it myself next time.”

“Sir, I had to go for a continuance. This is a subpoena for you in two weeks at 1:15 p.m. I’m sorry, it’s a broken system but it’s all we have to hold this guy accountable.”

“Great! I am further victimized by this clown. I’ll have a lot to say to the justice in two weeks.”

“Okay, please do. See ya.”

“Yeah, adios.”

Fortunately I have blog therapy to ground my anger. I don’t get angry too often or stay angry for long. Maybe this is because I allow myself to feel the hot metal feel of it. Frustration.

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