Its time for something positive on this blog. Its getting quite serious. And dull...And someone complained I was mean to court staff the other day. So I'd like court ushers to be the beneficiaries of my high spirits this evening. Because surely they need some cheering up once in a while?
After all these are people who spend their days in a miasma of other people's stress and crises, who are routinely shouted at and are in the firing line for the frustrations of all those who come into contact with the courts and who watch their life grind inevitably to a halt...They are almost without exception (there are a couple of notable exceptions - you know who you are) polite, unflappable and funny. Well, prepared to try and stave off total meltdown with a bad joke anyway. Which is valiant at least.
They get it in the neck from the punters, they get it in the neck from the lawyers (although I do try to be nice) and (I'm guessing) probably from the Judges too. They run up and down the stairs, in and out of the court room, finding Mr Blogs who's popped out for a fag, rounding up counsel who are deep in discussion, trying to juggle all the cases so the Judge is kept busy and everyone is kept waiting for as short a time as possible.
And they even find time to relax the anxious litigants by chatting about nothing in particular. Its a hateful job. Of course they sometimes get to sit in on court cases and listen to hearings, which must be a little bit like real life soap operas, but they have to sit through the totally mindnumbing as well as the scintillating or juicy.
Yes, whatever else goes malfunctions at court, the ushers will be smiling. It seems unimportant but believe me, the experience at one of the few aberrant locations where the staff are less lovely is one that I would not recommend to anybody. Everybody (ushers included) finishes the day with raised blood pressure and a headache.