I know it looks bad that I have left you hanging for more than two weeks. But..BUT..there is method to my madness. I have this strange need to make these next few posts timed to almost the exact time they happened last year. Even in the blogosphere…I strive for neat and tidy. Just stick with me.
So, last post, I wrote about my George Costanzaesque moment of hiding under my desk during a minor freak out as my story circled the Internet in ways I had not prepared myself for. This occurred mostly because I sorely underestimated my fellow man’s interest in this sort of thing when it’s a woman they don’t know, who’s not a sexy supermodel or a celebrity.
When I emerged from under my desk and went on with my day, an email popped into my personal account and took my breath away. It was from my Italian attorney, Vale, whom I had not heard from since several days before my self-healing getaway to Charleston, S.C. in late April. As you read this, imagine my face shifting from smile to concern to…pissed:
I hope everything is fine with you in NY.
I have a good news and a communication.
As you remember Tamburro was sentenced to pay in favour of the formal offended party (you) the expenses of the trial, quantified in Euro 4.815,72.
The good news is that last week Marco Tamburro has paid this amount, which covers the activity done in front of the Court.
According to Mr Spagnolo (my Boss) the correct fee for all the activities done in front and off the Court, is 10.000 Euros.
Almost 5.000 Euros have been paid by Tamburro, so the missing 5.000 Euros (not Dollars) should be paid by you.
As you remember in the very beginning of the case we have found an agreement on the basis of 5.000 Dollars which at today’s change are 3.622 Dollars, so we are asking you a 30% more then what we have settled.
This 30% comes from several factors that we couldn’t imagine at the very beginning of this case: for example, your trip to Rome and my presence with you was unexpected, as was also unexpected that in case like yours the Public Prosecutor gave Tamburro his consensus to bargain without impose him a minimum restore of the damages, so that situation has imposed me to study and evaluate with another colleague, Mrs Hurle, the possibility of a civil action and, last but not the least, took me 8 months of mails, calls and fax to be paid by Tamburro (this was not so much unpredicted).
Let me know what you think about.
Mull that over. He..wanted to know…what I think about being told, out of the blue, that they wanted me to pay the equivalent of $7500US.
Not sure how you work, but my immediate instincts are my best ones. This read, looked, smelled…like a scam. The Italian Courts are clear on this: the offender, if he pleads guilty or is found guilty MUST pay my attorney and court fees. And Marco did. And then, my attorneys decided 7 months later that I owed $7500US.
As I warmed up my knuckles to blister my keyboard with a “Go to hell!” response, another email arrived from Vale’s personal account. He wrote “I write you from my personal account. Please understand this request of money does not come from me.” I smiled. Vale is a doll. And he was letting me know that he knew that what his boss was asking me…was wrong and for fabricated reasons. I don’t know if his boss thought I was somehow compensated for the article, if the timing of the email was serendipitous or if I was just THAT unfortunate to have my day marred by this offense, but he wasn’t going to see a dime.
So, I hit the keyboard in response to Vale’s personal note:
“I know. Where I am from, we call this “bullshit.” I am a businesswoman and Mr. Spagnolo can outline for me exactly why this is double and where there was no indication it would be so. I will then pass it to lawyers at [my company] to see what they think. I will not be pushed around. That’s what this feels like right now. I still think you are fabulous.”
(NOTE: I had come upon Mr. Spagnolo’s firm from the recommendation of an in-house attorney at my company)
I felt proud of myself after hitting ‘send’ but I assure you I had a pit in my stomach from that moment on because it meant I was going to have to find another attorney to fight my Italian attorneys. That prospect was so..ridiculous, that I started laughing like a hyena at my desk. I mean, I literally was at the limits of my ability to believe my situation. And yet, I gladly kept swinging. I was that twisted.