This is my first post about my internship experience, it’s not the type of first post i had anticipated, but i really needed to write this.. Enjoy the read.
So on Thursday, i “painfully” sat through about three mediation sessions over some land issues. (You know all the argurments, disagreements and stress that come with mediation). The most “pain” however, came from the very first session.
This is what happened:..
Now, the mediator and i were peacefully sitted in the mediation room waiting for the parties to arrive, when suddenly, a woman pokes her head through the door, observes the room with a somewhat irritated look and jeers.. Before i can comprehend what is going on, the mediator, as if oblivoius to what had just happened, tells her “come in counsel”…
So before i can register in my head that the person who had just done something that mannerless for no apparent reason, was actually a counsel, she barks at the mediator to stop wasting her time and get this session over with because she had been around since 9:00am and it was now 10:30am, yet nothing had been done yet.
The mediator reminds her that the session was for 9:30 but it was delayed because both her client, and one of the major parties of the defendants side, were not present at that time.
She barks at him to start the session since her client was now around. The mediator informs her that the other party was still on his way since he had to travel from far and besides her client had not carried a particular document he had told them to carry.
All hell broke loose…
In about 10 minutes, i had learned through the screaming of this counsel- punctuated with alot of jeering, that she wakes up at 5:00am to start travelling to court only to find unseriousness, that the mediator was not impartial, he wanted to cheat her client, she was taking her case to litigation because mediation clearly was not working(Meanwhile she was in mediation because the magistrate had advised her against litigation since it was a land issue involving kibanja), she cannot be fooled because she is a lawyer, she will not speak as she looks at the defendants (and then she turns her back to the defendants and leaves the room as she says this).
Amidst the screams, the mediator tries to speak sense to her, tries to remind her that the magistrate had advised her that litigation would not yield her the fastest results since it was a land issue, he reminds her to lower her voice since its not a quarelling issue but all these fall on deaf ears.
Feeling defeated, he tells her that he has washed his hands off her case and will be re assigning it to the magistrate and she gladly agrees to it.
When she left, he told me, with knowing smile that he had met her type before and she would be back sooner or later.
Well, turns out he knew what he was saying because that same afternoon, this very counsel returns with her client, and the “look of shame” on her face to the mediator.
God bless him! He humbly accepted to listen to her and hear the case. There was no sign that this was the woman who had screamed and barked at him just a few hours earlier because he was “wasting her time”. It turns out her client didnot want litigation after all.
He was so calm, he handled the matter like a real proffesional.
I couldnot believe my eyes, so I simply carried myself out of the room before i smirked or did something like that infront of all these people. I had had enough for the day.
Now that whole scenario got me thinking and i “re learned” two important lessons from it: Self Control and Humility. I say re learned because all of us already know about them but we usually forget, until something happens to remind us, then we re think about them.
The lesson about Self control came from the outburst of the lawyer. I know she was pissed and all but i know she wouldnot have gotten embarrased If she had tried abit of self control. As i was leaving work that day, i promised myself never to embarrass myself like that when i get into such a situation. I pray i always remember not to.
The one about Humility, was from the mediator. That was some real stuff. His ability to remain so calm during and after her outburst and still treat her like any other of his clients was a great show of humility, which honestly, also needs a great deal of self control to achieve..
So that was my Thursday.
Probably next time when someone does something like that to us, we can try to handle it the best way we can, with all the humility and self control we can master.
Enjoy the weekend!.
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