That day was today. And let me tell you , it was not a funny something. Every lawyer ( at least in Nigeria) knows that your phone MUST NOT RING in court.
So when you have clients and witnesses, you tell them accordingly, because if they get into trouble, you best believe that you are also going to be roped in.
It is a sacrosanct unwritten rule, though it is not uncommon to find it written and pasted. Not even the court audience, witnesses, spectators , police man or court clerks are exempted. If you are unfortunate enough to let your phone ring out loud in court, you are liable to get tongue lashed by the irate judge, face condemning looks and snide comments from your fellow lawyers, have your phone seized with threats of never getting it back etc.
Lets just say that as a lawyer, one of the most Embarassing things that can happen to you ( apart from not knowing your work) is to have your phone ring in court.
And if there is one thing I hate, it’s embarrassment. But apparently my phone decided ( on its own oh)that it wasn’t receiving enough attention from me (never mind the fact that I stare at it all day long) and decided that the Judge had to hear its ring tone too ( come to think of it, it may have thought that it was high time I change the ring tone from the one that comes with the phone which I haven’t bothered to change).
Regardless of the reason, my phone decided to embarass me, i could have sworn that I put it on silent last night which was why I didn’t bother to check it again in court. Apparently the silent thingy doesn’t work if you do it after it’s on airplane mode.
Imagine the scenario. Court silent, Judge all serious, lawyers paying close attention to the proceedings, and the phone rings.
Chai! I couldn’t even pretend that it wasn’t mine ( the darn thing was right in my hand). You should have seen my face.
I frantically tried to put it off, the silly thing apparently was in a bad mood, it refused to go off. I don’t know whether it was my Imagination but the ringtone seemed to get louder. And I don’t have one of those cutesy ringtones, I have a loud one so that I can hear on time if it rings ( my phone is usually on silent 80 percent of the time).
I continued to struggle with the phone oh, by this time it was beginning to be clear to me that I had to try desperate measures a.k.a remove the battery. Simple enough? Not quite. My phone had a pouch which you had to remove to get to the cover before you got to the battery.
By this time the Judge could hardly pretend that this wasn’t happening again, he ordered that the phone be put off or the owner should leave the Court. Believe me, he was being kind, other judges usually just reprimand you and seize the phone, meaning that you had to loiter around the court premises til he finished all the cases for the day, and beg your heart out till God touched his heart and he (or )she released it.
One would think that the phone would be off by now, but it was still ringing. I was getting frantic. The other lawyers were beginning to glare at me. I couldn’t even blame them, I would have done the same. I internally side eye anyone whose phone rings in church, banks or courts. How could I know my turn would come? Lol.
I got the phone pouch off, and spent precious seconds ( it seemed like longer) trying to remove the phone cover so as to get to the battery. For some reason , it took longer than usual ( you see why I said that the phone had a mission), or maybe because I was frantic so my hands weren’t really steady. Believe me you wouldn’t be too, if everyone (in a court no less) focused their attention on you.
Finally, I was able to remove the freaking battery. And there was blessed silence. Phew! Slowly, attention stopped being focused on me, although I could still feel some judgy stares. Thank goodness that I wasn’t using those phones with non removable batteries. No button was working, not even the power one. I am pretty sure I would have been sent out of the court.
Thank God. My boss ( I have a lot of them) was super nice,and the only thing he said was that I should wait for us to be through before putting inserting the battery . (He would later tell me that he sharply put his phone off too. No need to risk “silent profile”). Lol.
Thankfully enough, the rest of the day went swimmingly. I got my composure back and arranged my face accordingly. As if I wasn’t the one whose phone just rang. Lol.
I have to be in the same court next week. Here is hoping that the judge doesn’t recall my face. Amen.
So what about you? Has anything you owned ever embarrassed you before.
What’s your most Embarassing moment? Believe it or not I still have a couple. Share abeg. I want to hear gist.
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