For years and years I answered the phone at the old office.
Someone phones and asks for the attorney, the attorney is not in, I convey this information and offer to take a message. Person leaves message. When available attorney checks messages and returns call.
These days I take fewer incoming calls but when I say the attorney is not in, virtually every caller asks: Is there any way I can get ahold of him?
Really? The type of law we practice very rarely involves emergency situations. Unless someone’s got a kidney on ice or a man with a hood is 60 seconds away from flipping the switch on the electric chair what’s wrong with leaving a message? And like I’m going to freely give out cell numbers anyway.
If he’s not in the office, it’s generally not because he’s sitting around somewhere watching sports or working on his tan. He’s on a plane, or in a meeting, or talking to clients who would like his attention right now.
One time someone phoned in a dither because she needed to order his lunch for a meeting later in the week. This gave me the opportunity to work out my secret inner hostility against lawyers by ordering the diet plate. “No, he doesn’t touch carbs. Green salad with lemon. Thanks!”