“Do you have a baby or a small child?” I asked.
The client said she did, so I directed her to bring her toddler with her to the building department at whatever the child’s fussiest time would be. “Maybe right before a nap or at a time he gets hungry,” I suggested.
The client seemed aghast, so I elaborated. “Grab the paperwork and your kid, and go to the building department and ask for what you need. The clerk will tell you how many days or weeks it will take, and that’s when you burst out crying — accompanied by your seemingly out-of-control child. Claim to be hopelessly overwhelmed, relentlessly pressured by your spouse, badgered by your lawyer, and about to lose lots of money… whatever it takes. And did I say cry?”
Plan executed, the client got what she needed. I toyed with the idea of sending some aspirin over to the building department. Anonymously, of course.