Counselor’s Tales: Making A Man Cry

[Note:  This file has now been closed.  I wrote this post some time ago and waited until the proper time to post it.]

The instructions from my client to me were clear: make this guy cry.

The guy (we’ll call him “Rush” based on his fondness for Oxycontin) was making a claim for an injury he sustained on the job.  Let’s just say that there were questionable circumstances surrounding his fall from a truck.

One man's gold.

Additionally, Rush’s history as documented by his medical records did not qualify him for automatic induction into the Hall of Greatness:

  • Theft of his grandmother’s Oxycontin for his own recreational use
  • Faked or extreeeeeeemely questionable prior injuries to get hardcore prescription drugs
  • Fencing prescription Lortabs on the street to obtain “Hillbilly Heroin” (no offense intended to my redneck readers, to the extent that they actually exist)
  • “Candy shopping” from doctor-to-doctor in an attempt to maintain his supply
  • Forgetting which doctors he had previously solicited for Oxys and returning for a “re-beg”
  • Insisting that his co-worker make a stop so that our hero could chop up a pill and snort it up his beak
  • Approaching the same co-worker after Rush’s injury to solicit insurance fraud by offering to split the proceeds with the worker if the co-worker would just play ball on Rush’s version of events

In the words of the immortal Jimmy Buffett, “I’m no Saint Ignatius, but again I’m no barfly.”  I don’t enjoy casually judging people.  Who knows? Maybe this guy was actually Mother Teresa in stone-washed denim.

But, I doubt it.

Okay.  So I had ammo.  I have the tools — I’ve been doing this for nearly 20 years.  Still, making a grown man cry is not as easy as it sounds.

Now, before I go any further, I understand that addiction is a disease.  It doesn’t necessarily make someone a “bad” person.  But, I’m not a social worker.  My job is more akin to hockey goalie.


Rush showed up on time.  No mean feat considering he was coming from a far distance.  And that he was towing his Baby Mama and one-year old, Desmend (no mistake in spelling on my part).

That’s right, the man brought his woman and his baby to his Examination Under Oath (EUO) for filing a questionable insurance claim.  Now, that’s class.

Me, asking the questions. As if.

When I came out of my office, I encountered Baby Mama.  She was a pretty, young woman with a shirt that I thought was wayyyyy too low-cut (and that statement, coming from me is very telling).   She had cute, little Desmend hanging on her knee.

“It’s such a nice day,” I told her with a smile.  “You can take that handsome, little guy for walk and head over to the park on the waterfront.”

I wanted to add: And here’s $20.  Stop off and buy yourself an appropriate shirt.

Baby Mama politely demurred.  She was having nothing to do with the “mean streets” of Buffalo on a Tuesday afternoon.

I went into the Senator Charles Schumer Conference Room (click here for more detail on this one), and started the show.

During his EUO, Rush denied it all.

Well, maybe not all — he acknowledged his date of birth and his Social Security Number.

But otherwise, he made my job a heck of a lot easier.

My colleague sitting next to me complemented me on how nice I was to Rush under the circumstances.

Now, I’m really not a cruel person.  I don’t enjoy inflicting pain (just don’t ask my kids their opinion on this topic).

But, about two hours into the process, there it was in the corner of his eye — a big, fat tear.

I would be less than honest if I didn’t admit that I felt a small pang of satisfaction.

Jamie to Paul in an episode of Mad About You:  “You are a little, little man.”

— The Major


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