The Customer is alw…, well, can sometimes be… uh, can I get back to you?





“How can I help you?”

“Well, first, I’d like to access the remaining 5.5 ethics credits I bought from you two years ago,” I say.

“OK, so how many do you need for this cycle?” he asks, drawing his calculator close to figure his commission.

“Before we get to that, I’d like to access the 5.5 credits I already purchased from you.  It says in the email you sent me just now ‘Credits Never Expire!’ and I haven’t been allowed to access the remainder of the 12 ethics credits I bought from you.”

“Well, that actually means per two year cycle, but I can see how you could read it that way.”

It’s not possible to read ‘Credits Never Expire!’  any other way, it’s kind of unambiguous,” I say to my Dedicated CLE Manager.

“Well, in the future it will be specified more clearly what is meant, they’re going to make that more clear…”

“‘Credits Never Expire!’ with an exclamation point and the word ‘never’ in bold, they’re going to explain what that actually means?” I clarify, bitchily, “if I log on and am informed that the remaining credits I purchased, the ones that never expire, are not available to me, you would have to call that false advertising, wouldn’t you?”

At this point he realizes he’s talking to some disgruntled smart ass lawyer who will insist on the supposed plain meaning of the advertising claim that appears, in this guy’s stilted reading, not to be true.  False advertising is such a harsh thing to accuse somebody of.   Untruthful, or inartfully drafted advertising is not lying, per se, or if it is, why is that my problem?  I don’t write the copy.  I only get paid when I sell these credits to these lawyers forced to take these courses every two years.  What’s he going to argue about next?  Riveting Course Content!? These wildly entertaining lectures on the mechanics of legal work are not riveting enough for him?  Give me a fucking break.

“Let me get back to you,” he says.  “Give me five minutes to get this straightened out.”  I know I should have better things to do, and many larger fish to fry at the moment, as another CLE speaker drones on in another window on this computer I’m pecking at, but I can’t help but notice that promise was made more than twenty-five minutes ago and the clock is creeping toward 5 pm on a Friday.  I wonder idly what it is that he is straightening out.

“So strict!” they are thinking, “you are so STRICT!!!  You really should get a life and be happier, it’s not possible to be healthy being so strict!”

I call back, am asked my name, when I give my name I’m told my Dedicated CLE Manager is assisting another customer and this friendly fellow walks me through the log-in and assures me that my 5.5 credits have been restored.  I can’t see them until I try to use them, he tells me, but my account at least is not showing up the way it did when last I checked.  Thanks all around and I get on to other things.  A moment later the phone rings.  My Dedicated CLE Manager, apparently having asked his colleague “did the asshole sound mad?”   He got the all clear, we had a pleasant 20 second chat, told each other to take care and on with the rest of today’s fun already in progress.

“So strict!” they are thinking, “you are so STRICT!!!  You really should get a life and be happier, it’s not possible to be healthy being so strict!”


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