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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Singing the Process Server Blues!

Yesterday was a very interesting terrifying day in so many ways I thought I'd share it. First, I'd like to say that I don't intend on being a process server for much longer. I envisioned serving legal documents in my local area to businesses for law firms. Thus far I've had individuals contact me from far away to serve at places I really don't want to find myself in.

Behind Bars on Friday Morning at the SF County Jail!

For instance, yesterday morning I was at the SF County jail waiting for a officer
to deliver papers and get a signature from someone behind bars! The waiting area I was in made me feel I was behind bars. I waited 10 minutes behind the waiting area's bars to deliver papers. I don't care what anyone says, is it worth $40 to find one's self standing in a cage at the SF Jail on a Friday morning? I don't think so.

Even when you're searching for an independent life style working for yourself, our system still manages to find ways to make you feel imprisoned in ways I never would have imagined. -Cheryl Meril

Suddenly I'm Whisked onto the 101 Freeway Against My Will

The other example of my day yesterday is I had to serve divorce papers to a teacher at Mission High School in San Francisco. I was told he was never home and it would b
e best to find him at school. I called administration and confirmed he was there, then hopped in a Zip Car to deliver the papers. It should have been easy to drive there, but Google Maps didn't indicate the route it advised would inadvertently place me on the on ramp to the 101 freeway to San Jose! Suddenly I'm whisked onto the freeway when I was intending on turning right on 16th Street per the directions. There was an on-ramp that came out of nowhere I was forced onto and the terror began!

For those who may be following this blog, it should be clear by now, I'm terrified of driving on the freeways so I don't.
I was also under pressure because I had to complete my task of serving papers in one hour or face a $50 fee for returning the Zip Car late. If you are as much as 5 minutes late, Zip tacks on a serious fee that would have caused me to suffer a loss on the serve. When I ended up on the freeway, I was so terrified because I don't like high speeds I get vertigo from. My hands often go numb and I become panicked being on the freeway. I fear I could pass out under certain circumstances such as being on a bridge where there's no exit or means to pull off the road.

Back to High School - Barely Got Out With My Head

Anyway, I was fortunate after having been on the freeway for 5 minutes there was a turnoff that led me back to where I needed to be. It took an extra 15 minutes but I got there, not realizing I parked blocking someone's driveway. I then ran up to the school not being able to find the entrance after trying several doors. When I arrived, I asked the administrator to summon the teacher who came down in about 10 minutes to get the papers. He was very upset and called me into a private area to say "are you serving me?" I told him yes. He looked like he wanted to rip my head off but restrained himself and walked away.

As I had waited for the teacher, I looked around the hallway at Mission High School a bit and was appalled to say the least. What's happened to the public schools? Awfully nice building and grounds though. I wouldn't have wanted my kids attending that school that looked pretty scary to be in had I had any. Let's put it this way, it wasn't any "Pleasantville" school campus one would have observed during other generations. It looked very scary primarily because there was no overall behavioral discipline evident among the students I could observe.

At Least I Didn't Get a Parking Ticket

I finally got back to the car and realized I was fortunate not to have received a ticket for parking illegally. I had blocked an apartment building driveway without realizing it! I ended up getting the Zip Car back with one minute to spare. Had I received a parking ticket I would have taken a huge loss of $150 because Zip Car also penalizes you for getting a parking ticket on one of their vehicles.

So, I don't think this is the kind of work I'd like to do on a regular basis. I'd prefer to pick and choose what kind of process of services I wish to perform for customers I work on legal forms for in the future. I don't want to be predisposed to these environments and angry people again.

I'm Sorry (i.e., Please Don't Kill Me!)

I've actually apologized to certain people I've served devastating lawsuits to. One said "you don't need to apologize, it's your job." The truth is, not really. It's kind of, sort of my job but I don't have to do this work if I don't want to. I thought it might be interesting work. It's turning out that I don't like what I'm being exposed to lately.

Another example is a couple I had to serve papers to a few months ago in a condo in the outskirts of San Francisco refused to cooperate. This means I had to eventually serve the grounds' security guard who also didn't want to accept the papers so I placed them in his windshield wipers. It was extremely cold and windy near the water and I was on foot so it was a strange eerie experience to have to go there several times only for them to tell me on the intercom they didn't want to receive the documents.
The first time I delivered papers to the man, but the wife was a real problem to serve. The intercom voice responded "she's away for a month in Tahiti". Uh huh. . .

A Good Young Person's Job

Some people make a lot of money process serving. It can be a lucrative business with very little investment. This may have been something I would have prospered from in my 20's or 30's. This is the kind of work younger people need to get into to have their own independence. I don't understand why more young people don't get into it.