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There Are Places I Remember

I recently closed in an extremely small and stuffy office, which caused me to reflect back on some of the strange rooms I’ve been to over the years.


Many years ago, when the capital gains tax laws were to change on January 1st, I spent three days in a kitchen/lunch room at a bank closing scads of transactions by December 31(those were the days, my friends).  Others who closed in conference rooms remarked that I was the luckiest of all, as I had access to water and microwavable ramen noodles to fortify me between closings.


  I once closed in an attorney’s living room, where her cat walked back and forth across the table throughout the transaction. 


A closing office that was popular for a while always had a distinct odor coming from the Chinese restaurant downstairs (you could set your watch by what time the lunch cooking commenced). Once, the aroma was nowhere near as distracting as the escalating sounds of voices in the restaurant, speaking in a foreign tongue but with unmistakable hostility, accompanied by lots of clanging and screaming. The closing attorney asked those of us assembled whether she should call the police.  Hell, yeah! We didn’t want to be in danger, or have to testify if someone was stabbed.


One place answered affirmatively to my specific question as to whether it was handicap accessible.  Turns out that it was not, leaving my client in the teeny lobby while I ran up and down two flights of stairs to get papers signed and to engage is lasy-minute negotiations. I carped afterwards, but was told, “There are no steps from the parking lot to the lobby, so we consider that accessible.”


Then there was the attorney’s closing room, where a bandage and a $1.00 bill were taped onto a low beam.  I wondered about the significance of the decoration; the attorney responded that  if someone banged his or her head, “They shouldn’t bother to sue me, as all they’re going to get from me is a Band-Aid and a dollar”.





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