My Lawyer Nightmare

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The phone calls started a couple of weeks ago, when a stranger with a pronounced accent of initially indeterminate Asian origin asked me if I was Kam Williams. “Yes� I responded, mentally preparing to inform him politely after his sales pitch that my phone number was registered with the National “DO NOT CALL� list.

But as it turned out, he wasn’t a telemarketer at all, but a collection agent, and regrettably, I had just committed the unpardonable sin of admitting to being someone named “Cami Williams.� I had heard “Cami� as my nickname, �Kam,� due to the static in the phone line of our international connection which had rendered his already inscrutable pidgin-English virtually unintelligible.

He proceeded to inform me that a default judgment had been entered against me and began demanding payment. Although I immediately attempted to explain that this was a case of mistaken identity, I found myself stuck in a fruitless conversation with a sadistic creep sitting in a cubicle somewhere halfway round the world.

What’s worse, the more annoyed I sounded, the more sure he was that he was onto something. So, he kept up the pressure, peppering me with inane questions, following a script carefully crafted to intimidate deadbeats into paying-up or else. When it became clear to me that this clueless alien was incapable of comprehending that he really had the wrong person, I informed him that I was going to hang up now, and did so in mid-sentence.

But my interrogator continued to call back everyday for a screaming session till he finally agreed to let me know exactly who had sicked him on me. To my amazement, he was employed by a law firm, and one located only about a half-hour from my home. I hung up on the fool and dialed the attorney directly, but he won’t take any of my calls.

Instead, I had to settle for a “legal assistant� who exhibited a similar hostility towards intelligence, perfunctorily asking for my file number before explaining that he would enter my complaint into the computer database, and that once my information was verified, the harassing calls should end in a couple of days. But like a practical joke, they just keep coming, in spite of my subsequent threat to sue for the intentional infliction of emotional distress.

My personal nightmare aside, I have to wonder where will all this outsourcing end? It’s bad enough that first the factory work, followed by so many white collar jobs left America for parts unknown. But now, to have to deal with infuriating ignoramuses who sound like automatons as they read legalese from a collections manual for a greedy attorney too cheap to pay a paralegal only adds insult to injury.

This development does not bode well for the prospects of an increasingly culturally compromised country. Like anybody needed another reason to hate lawyers, complicit in the unleashing of hordes of cyber mercenaries without a functioning conscience.

Black Star columnist Kam Williams is an attorney and a member of the bar in NJ, NY, CT, PA, MA & US Supreme Court bars.

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