Well, like most days my life is full of very high-priced lawyers and great offices and all the crazies that come with that. Associates who want to be partners or are looking for the pat on the head for doing a good job of billing hours. The parking attendants at the office buildings…NOT! And all of the others who show up trying to sabotage DIVORCE or CHILD CUSTODY issues. Today would not be any different!
The other night I get a call from one of my clients and she is just beside herself, this is a very tough situation as in many cases we have a mom who has raised her son on her own with the help of her mother as she is a professional and has to work (sounding familiar here?). She commences to tell me that “The Shadow“ who has been retained to WATCH her Husband is menacing her verbally. One comment, “you are a nice couple, you should get back together”…Huh? She gives her a flyer on some child issues…could this be? My client wants a meeting with her lawyer, I tell her I will take care of it.
Well, I contact the attorney who my client hired and it happens that I have known this lawyer and her husband for years. I adore them both and she, the DIVORCE lawyer of the two, is a power house of a lawyer and like myself, not a graduate of Burger King in so much as you will not be getting her services “your way.” I call and get the lawyer on the line and she sets up a 9 a.m. appt. the next day. This is to discuss the “Shadow” or “monitor,” another group all of you in the throes of DIVORCE who are going to pay for if some issues should arise as to your character or experience in being with young children and your ability to take care of the little ones. Keep in mind, folks, you are dealing with me here, I am not impressed with many who are involved in this DIVORCE stuff, evaluators, shrinks, and now we got MONITORS. The training for a “monitor” is more bullshit, I got more training on how to spit shine my shoes in the Navy.
My dog Charlie has more hours of training on how to sit quietly than the ridiculous 6 or 8 hour classes these “monitors” take. Also keep in mind some of these people can do real damage to a DIVORCE case out of just being fooled by one side or the other, real damage. In this case I am not going to let this happen, I have twenty years in this game of investigations and security and have seen every friggin circus this town has to offer me! And this is not going to be any different, read on… Whoever came up with this crap has to be laughing all the way to the bank…are the family law courts really this screwed up? Minors counsel talking to little kids who can’t speak and now monitors, too?
My client, who happens to be a medical doctor, is telling me that this “Shadow” is just terrible, and that she is speaking to her as if she is an idiot and is “dictating” and is a nightmare to deal with. When I talk to the lawyer she tells me pretty much, “she is like a Jewish Grandmother“ and that she thinks she is doing a good job, the “shadow”…Hmmm. On Grandma Phil’s site, “KIDZ FIRST”, there is this quote, “with me, your children are in the next best hands…GRANDMA”!! OMG! This lawyer thinks that “Phil” is the cat’s meow, I am going to find out!
The meeting with my client and the lawyer lasted about an hour and I can tell as does the client that the lawyer is not believing anything that the client is telling her about GrandMa Phil. Much to my surprise, the client fires the lawyer on the spot, and we are on our way out of the office. The client asks me, “John can you come to my house this afternoon about 5PM to observe the exchange?” Sure I figure why not, how bad can it be, “GrandMa,“ and if all goes well, then maybe the lawyer was right!
I arrive at about 5 P.M. as I am too billing by the hour like the “Shadow” and the “Lawyers” and why not? This is a money making opportunity is it not, DIVORCE. I maneuver my very large SUV into where I see a spot behind a white VW, a nice new one, one of those expensive ones, long and sleek (why not look at GrandMa Phil’s fee schedule). Well, this older women gets out of her car and as she walks past me she is giving me the “Stink Eye”…the look. She has a real puss on, as if someone had just shit in her cereal. I have not said anything, frankly I am wondering if she may have pepper spray hidden in her drawers. I have not even gotten out of the SUV (by the way, I am talking to the lawyer’s husband who hired Grand Ma Phil on the cell). I get out of my SUV and as I walk past “Phil” I get “Who are you?!!!”, very assertively and with a tone to think that I have to answer…I have just met “Grandma Phil.”
Note: she is not intimidated or afraid now…just wait. My immediate response is “NONE of your Business” and “WHO are YOU?“…now I am really getting the “Stink Eye,” she is morphing into “one eye granny.” I go into the house and sit in a rocking chair, soon “GrandMa Phil” and the client’s husband, who has no parental skills, are at the door. My client opens the door and “GrandMa” comes in as if this is her house and her mouth is in gear and the brain is in runaway neutral. Once again I get “who are you?”, so I tell her I am a private investigator and I am employed by “her new attorney” referencing my client. “Phil” now decides that she is going to do some questioning, she parks her ass on the couch and is making comments and demands of my client. She wants the lawyer’s phone number, I tell her, she hired you, you should have her number. She demands the number from my client. She then demands the name of the new attorney, I tell her she is not getting it. Once again, what kind of a “shadow” is this, quite possibly the noisiest I have ever heard…she won’t shut up! She then states, “I don’t like this, a private investigator.” She calls information to her employers number and tells her, “he parked right behind me…he is intimidating.” Where was I supposed to park, on top of her very nice import? “Intimidated,” not when she confronted me on a public right of way!
Well it does not stop, I tell her, shouldn’t you not be sitting here and be on your way out the door with the “dad” and child and acting liking “Grandma” for a day in the park??? No, she is sitting on her ass on my client’s couch in my client’s house making very very negative comments about her. AND paying no attention to the husband and child she is supposed to be the “Shadow” for…her new title could be “pain in the ass.”
“As a visitation monitor, I am focused on the safety and comfort of your children. Through her training and experience, Phyllis is able to stay focused on your children and remain impartial to each parent. Her reports are based on FACTS and not on any type of judgements.”
She was as impartial as my choice of having an eclair or a cupcake, please, it was painfully obvious by her comments directed at my client and her behavior that she was way out of her league.
“I have an AA degree in Psychology and have been trained to deal with disabled and emotionally challenged Children”
Well so much for that “A.A. degree,” and so what, with that degree am to expect that my son who took a CPR course can now do heart surgery? Just silly, from what I witnessed yesterday, Granny would be well versed to do child care at the local State Prison on visitation days. However she would have to put her big mouth in check.
At some point I guess “Phil” figures her fees and time are running and takes the husband and child to the park, AS SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO IN THE FIRST PLACE! And not be camping out on the couch. The two hour visit is cut short and they are back at my client’s home in about an hour and forty minutes (two hours were allowed). This went easily as “GrandMa Phil” remained outside as the child was brought to the door.
Well, here is my take, this “Shadow” was beyond less than professional, her comments in front of me to my client were anything BUT “impartial.” And I guess if her high dollar import ever fails to start that maybe a broom could be substituted! All I am saying here people is be VERY CAREFUL OF THESE PEOPLE, they have less training then Boy Scouts…and BEWARE of signs that talk about “home cooking”…“just like home“ and “Grandma.”
“Grandma Phil” was offered an opportunity to comment on this story but declined.
©Straight Talk with John J. Nazarian, Private Investigator
August 31, 2011
All Rights Reserved, do not reproduce in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.