Our nightmare began when we got into the cab at our Atlanta hotel and my husband Raj put his computer bag in the cab’s trunk. We were flustered when we reached our destination. The cab driver stopped on a busy road, without a place to pull over, and we rushed through the process of paying him. Almost as an afterthought, my husband asked him for his card so we could call him when our appointment was over.
After we got out of the cab and watched it disappear, my husband said, “My computer bag is in the trunk.” Not only his computer, but a pen drive containing all of the passwords for all of our accounts, including bank accounts and brokerage accounts.
Raj handed me the cabbie’s card and I pulled out my cell phone. The cab driver’s card had a typo for his phone number, with an extra number after the area code. As I stared at the number, I tried to decide which number was correct. “I’m sorry, that number is not in service”, I heard during my first attempt.
On my second attempt to decipher his number, I got through to him, and blurted out, “Our computer is in your trunk.” He sounded puzzled and said he would take the bag to the hotel. “No, please bring it to us.”
We stood on the sidewalk, watching for him. A very long 10 minutes later, he pulled up, and handed us the bag. Relief!
- Inattention can happen in a second. All it took was a bit of pressure to make both of us forget the bag.
- I keep all my passwords on Lastpass.com. Password management systems eliminate the need to have a pen drive with passwords. However, my husband does not trust them with brokerage account details and prefers his pen drive.
- I should have said, “Our suitcase is in your trunk”, instead of “Our computer is in your trunk.” If he was not an honest person, I just invited him to disappear with our computer. Yes, there is a password on the computer and a password on the pen drive, but I wouldn’t gamble against a smart hacker.
- The computer is never going into the trunk again.
The honesty this cab driver displayed made me think of all of the times honesty and integrity issues come up when you work with attorneys.
Be trustworthy. Recognize the responsibility you have to carefully handle someone else’s money.
Here are examples of integrity in action:
- Track your time using billing sheets or a timer. Don’t estimate how much time you spent on a case.
- Return unused portions of retainers.
- Don’t accept a case if you know you cannot handle it or help the attorney.
- Tell the truth. Don’t misrepresent your skills or credentials.
- When you make a mistake, admit it and tell the attorney how you will change your system and do things differently the next time.
Attorneys gravitate to people they can trust. Practicing with integrity is good for business. You will get repeat business and a great reputation.
And if you ever need a cab driver in Atlanta, call Mitku Eranigo 404-932-8962.