Sacha | Thoughts
2 min readSep 4, 2021

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There’s nothing more you could have done. Your own self awareness also makes you willing to adjust to what amounts to unreasonable (toxic even) expectations of others, which is to your detriment.

I’m reminded of a time when I worked as a trial lawyer and was subjected to unreasonable demands from a judge (and protested in-kind!).

I had my own business, but was still subject to the dictates of the courts and judges I worked with. Usually this wasn’t an issue, as I’m like you - happy to go with the flow and to do the work needed to ease issues as they arise / always willing to go over and beyond within reason.

On this occasion though, I had had a baby just 6 months earlier. I’d been to court that morning and then gone home at lunch to take over care of my baby from my husband.

I had a trial starting the following week, but I was managing the prep around my families needs. I had pre arranged court appearances that I always attended without fail and I was always VERY prepared for these, even if it meant I might be up at 2am ensuring it, outside of my parenting commitments.

So that day, when I’d gone home to look after my baby, and then got a call from the court registrar, demanding that I appear for an unscheduled pre-trial hearing that afternoon, I was left feeling rather put out.

Like you, I responded reasonably though, explaining that it wasn’t possible for me to attend with last minute notice. There was a back in forth via email (with my baby in one arm and my phone in the other) that ended with my being threatened with being held in “contempt” or a professional complaint being made to my law society if I didn’t attend.

Essentially, the message was that as a lawyer (not even an employed one - I ran my own business), I had to be available to the court during all working hours, regardless of what other personal / family / childcare commitments I might have. Gendered discrimination at its finest too - apparently you can’t be a part time mum and lawyer either it seemed.

I got my own back though. Incensed as I was, I took my baby down to court with me and suggested that “his honour” might want to hold the baby while we resolved his less than urgent issues. Not precisely the language i used: the language I used was far more respectful than he actually deserved, but it amounted to the same.

The stand off ended with the judges registrar holding the baby while we very quickly resolved a far from urgent issue.

I was labelled “rebellious” and “difficult” thereafter, and ever since I’ve questioned why my reality seems so different to that which most people seem to unquestionably (and wrongly) accept.

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Sacha | Thoughts

Sociologist and writer focused on analysing societal power dynamics and promoting positive social change