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Color Me Pissed

I have a basket of small toys and books that I keep in my office should clients bring kids that need distracting. I used to have crayons as well, but I stopped stocking them a long time ago.

I’d give the kids a choice from the basket, and if they picked crayons, I’d provide a pad. However, that wasn’t good enough for one girl about three-years-old, who knocked the pad from my hand and exclaimed, “No white paper!” As that’s the only color paper I had, and her parents hadn’t written my retainer check, I very gently suggested that she choose another toy. She insisted on keeping the crayons and demanded I “find pretty color paper.”

I looked to her parents and said, “White paper is all I have. We need to review the contract,” hoping they’d step in and take back control. Instead, the mom said, “Could you look for some construction paper, please? She’ll be quiet if you can find some.”

For one crazy moment, I wondered if I had any construction paper anywhere. Then I remembered that I worked in a law office, not a pre-school. I said, “This is really all I have. Let’s get started.” The mom told the kid to accept the white pad, the kid threw a major hissy fit, and vindictively smashed the point of a green crayon straight down onto my conference table.

By the time they all left my office, I had signed contracts, a retainer check, a severe headache, and a suggestion from the dad that the bold stain on my table “should” come out with Formula 409.



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