I Fought the Law and the Law Didn’t Win

6 Mar

Happy Lollipop Tuesday, my dearest dearies. I so adore you all that I’ve decided to go to a gig with Dave, whip open my laptop, and tell you about a time that scared me out of my wits instead of socializing with humanity. Because right now I’m having trouble with a big girl decision I recently made. I decided to try to do something very difficult and it’s scary and adult and since those sort of things make me want to curl up in a ball with a block of cheese and a bucket of hot fudge, I thought I’d instead open up this laptop and be reminded that I am the creator of Lollipop Tuesdays and I shall not be daunted by the great open plain of adulthood. After all, I have gone to a pole-dancing class and reenacted The Battle of Manassas and competed in the World Pinball Championship. I shall remind myself that even though I’m scared to death to go outside every single day, I do it because by golly, my resume reads like an adventurous person and I do therefore I am, dammit.

So let’s talk about the time I decided to represent myself in court.

Oh! Happy Lollipop Tuesday ladies and gentlemen.

Once upon a time I worked at a fudge factory. I know that sounds ridiculous but it’s true. I was the office manager and I signed sheets for people that read “fudge packer” because that was literally their job and I tried every day to be mature about the whole thing. But then they kind of lost some money and had to lay people off and I was one of them. So I claimed unemployment for 5 weeks and then began working for the woman who wears fashion capes to work and I felt like Anne Hathaway before she quit to pursue a writing career.

That’s where you all come in. Right there with that Jackie who is an executive assistant and blogs about being the Jane Goodall of the corporate jungle.

Anyway, here I am three years later being all zen with my recent decision to go to grad school for two masters degrees at the same time, and unemployment sends me a random piece of paper in the mail that states that I was not laid off three years ago, that they were taking the money back they gave me from insurance, and that if I didn’t agree with the charges of fraud, I had the right to hire an attorney.

Let me tell you, that’s some seriously adult stuff right there. I miss being a kid when I get a letter like that in the mail.

pigs in space

This is what my friend drew at the bar while I sat on my laptop and wrote a blog post instead of talking to her. Let”s call her Navi. All hail Navi.

As it turns out, I couldn’t afford a lawyer and hiring one would have been the same amount that they were going to take away from me so no matter what I was screwed unless I could 1) represent myself and 2) win. But I was scared and the paperwork was confusing and I wanted to play video games instead. So I told myself to make it a Lollipop Tuesday, told everyone I was going to do it so I couldn’t back out, and did the dang thing.

Let me tell you: it wasn’t fun. There’s a lot of really complicatedly simple and stupid paperwork to do and then you have to ask people who know you to go to court and be like “yeah, she was laid off. we all were” and then go to court and swear to tell the truth and sit in a tiny room in a tiny place with a tiny man who is very stern and records you and asks you the same questions over and over and then decides if you’re lying and mails you a letter to tell you so.

I put myself on autopilot so I can’t remember much except when I was waiting in the lobby to review my file (that’s a real thing. It’s pretty much like it is on the movies, don’t worry. You just act like you’re demi moore in a few good men). There were a bunch of lawyers there with briefcases looking very serious and I realized that all I was doing was staring around the enormous room like an idiot so I tried to look busy and got out my phone and contorted my face very seriously and played Hay Day.

It’s like Farmville. I’m embarrassed that I play it but I do. I’m sorry. I’m trying to quit.

So I planted digital corn and milked digital cows very seriously and when I was let in with my witness, we told him all about the day I was laid off 3 years ago and he was all stiff and grumpy and we finally made it through to the end. He tells us we’ll get a letter in the mail and ends the recording and hits the gavel and we’re done.

And then something amazing happened; he began to tell us his life story.

I kid you not – the moment that gavel landed, he suddenly lit up, and began to tell us about the first time he went to court and about how it’s a procedure people used to know and now no one does anymore and how he got his pilot license and how one day he got pulled over by the police for speeding and got out of the ticket and a bunch of other things I really couldn’t hear because I was thinking about the cost for parking in the garage next door while I listened.

But I listened. Because this guy was about to send me a piece of paper in the mail telling me if he liked me or not and I didn’t know what else to do.

And then two weeks later I got a piece of paper that said he believed I did get laid off from and I could go about my life in peace.

I fought the law and the law didn’t win.

That’s the moral of the story I suppose: I can do anything. Anyone can do anything. We just tell ourselves that we can’t and if there are people out there who can climb Mt. Everest and stand up for social injustice and be social workers and make products that change the entire world, I can suck it up and go to court.

So tomorrow I will embark on my new journey. Because it’s an incredibly small thing to do in comparison to all the things people are doing everywhere else. And someday I think that’s how you become one of those people: by being bold.

Please excuse the sincerity of this post. And the fact that I’m ending it with a quote. Just pretend it didn’t happen and go read one about how I can’t stand being trapped in an elevator.

Every day I’m hustlin’.


27 Responses to “I Fought the Law and the Law Didn’t Win”

  1. lisareither March 6, 2013 at 12:08 am #

    That is terrifying! And don’t worry, the only rational response to a bunch of lawyers staring at you is to play games on your phone. My favorite is Bakery Story. Then at least when someone asks you if you’re really an adult, you can be like, “I’m baking you a cake. It will be done in twelve hours. Be excited, please.”


  2. georgefloreswrite March 6, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    I went exploring Humor Tags and your post caught my eye. Very cool with a happy ending! Good job. I can’t believe they are trying to claim you weren’t laid off, 2 years after the fact. Some people might even pay the money rather than go to court.


    • Jackie March 13, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

      Hey, thanks! And trust me, I would have *loved* to just pay the money and not deal with the junk. But I felt like I had to fight the man. Aaaand I had no money. I’m glad it all worked out 🙂


  3. crankycaregiver March 6, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    Once again, you’ve put a stitch in my side from laughing! Great post!


    • Jackie March 13, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

      Hey, thanks! I really appreciate you reading 🙂


  4. breezyk March 6, 2013 at 6:30 am #

    I’m impressed. I’m an actual lawyer and have never been to court. That takes balls, girl!


    • Jackie March 13, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

      How is that possible? Is that possible? Does that mean you serve as consultation but don’t ever actually go to hearings or anything?


  5. Jae March 6, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    Good news! I would like to personally hand you the “BEST MOMENT AWARD” for this post. Congratulations and enjoy the rest of the day! [Jae]


    • Jackie March 13, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

      Oh my, well thank you! I have a bit of an elephant in the room with Blogger Chain Awards, as discussed here. But I very much appreciate it. I checked out your blog as well – I noticed in the About section that it’s not your first time attempting to maintain your own website. Best of luck to you – the key is to just keep doing it 😉


      • Jae March 13, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

        It’s totally fine, Jackie. I just thought that this post deserves the award, hence the nomination. 🙂

        Thank you for your kind words. It’s been fun blogging in the WordPress platform. It’s now my new home. 🙂


  6. knotrune March 6, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Well done you! That is a very grown up and scary thing to do. I think sometimes ‘they’ do just try these sorts of things on to see who will just pay up to make the scary thing go away. But you heroically stood up to them. Maybe there’s something in this Lollipop Tuesday thing 🙂


    • Jackie March 13, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

      If I had enough money, I would have loved to just pay it and not deal with the BS, but it just wasn’t even an option. Plus I hate knowing that the reason they’re such pains is because they hope people won’t fight and will just pay the money. And it appears there *is* something to the Lollipop Tuesday thing. I thought after a year of doing something new every week, I would just naturally be more outgoing but the reality is that if I didn’t blog about new things, I would never do them at all. So far, so good 🙂


  7. srajf49 March 6, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    Great post!


  8. Samantha March 6, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    I love this. And that was definitely brave. I think I would have been just as nervous and scared at having to do that. That is fantastic that you won, too. People shouldn’t be allowed to get away with taking money that they don’t deserve. 😀

    Congrats on going to grad school, too. That’s pretty darn awesome in itself. Go for what you want! 😀


    • Jackie March 13, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

      Hey, thanks! Now if I can just find a big wad of money under my blankets when I wake up one morning, I won’t have a care in the world 😉


  9. Jules March 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    I was singing that very song to myself during the bike commute yesterday. The look on my face when I get home, relax, check email and find the blog title creepin on me.

    Not even kidding. 100% srs

    Jackie, quit being a creeper. pls 😛


    • Jackie March 13, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

      That’s awesome. I can read your soul.


  10. patriciaduffin March 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    You’re awesome! There are multiple amazing things happening in this blog- and I must admit you are now one of my heros- mostly because you have the balls to do what you say and say what you do with honesty. My Lollipop Tuesday/everyday is to be more like you.


    • Jackie March 13, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

      Well holy baby cows, thanks. That’s awful lovely of you to say; I appreciate it. But remember: aspiring to be like a house hermit is a low bar to set for one’s self 😉


      • patriciaduffin March 14, 2013 at 9:21 am #

        I think it may be harder. The world really wants us to interact with it. I find being my reclusive-self really difficult! Plus, who doesn’t want to stay at home and ignore things! That would be Ah-May-Zing! That you get chances to do just that = hero.


  11. me March 7, 2013 at 1:30 am #

    I am so very proud of you. What a inspiration to us wimpy kids you are!!:) Thanks for that!:)


    • Jackie March 13, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

      I’m not entirely sure how, but thanks! 🙂


  12. gorillarobot March 11, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    Love the blog, love it. At the risk of being an asshole, I feel compelled to tell you that the movie you’re thinking of is A Few Good Men, not Men of Honor. And I tell you this not to be a dick or because it matters, but only because A Few Good Men is a great movie, and worth a watch next time it’s on TV (like everyday). I’d hate for you to get to the end of Men of Honor and not get to watch Jack Nicholson explode.


    • Jackie March 11, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      This has been immediately rectified. You are not an asshole. I’ve always messed those movies up with each other even though I’ve seen them both. The fact that you’re the first to say something makes me worried that very few people have seen the movie. Or that many people are afraid of being assholes. Neither is pleasing. 😉 thank you!


  13. doreenmutheu April 10, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    Hilarious. If it were me up there, I think I would have bolted half way or broke into a musical just to amuse the judge 🙂


    • Jackie April 10, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

      I wish I had the cojones to break into a musical before a judge. That would be amazing.


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