Crystal is one of our paralegals. Part of her job (a pretty important part, actually) is calling every single client with a pending QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) or absolute divorce. We’ve got about 60 or more clients in that status at all times.
Clients who fall into either of these categories end up waiting quite a while for the process to end. Both absolute divorce and QDROs involve submitting documents and sitting tight while deadlines run or while others review the submissions.
The absolute divorce process is unusual. In North Carolina, we can’t get a divorce until the parties have lived apart for a year. We can—and do—usually deal with property, spousal support, and kid issues way in advance of the year. We’re kinda quirky here in the Tar Heel State.
By Friday of each week, Crystal calls each and every one of these clients to give them a status update. In the QDRO cases (which, as you know, can drag on for an eternity), she might call a client weekly for months or even years. She keeps a list and updates our managing attorney when everyone has been called.
As you might imagine, many of these calls involve telling clients that we’re still waiting on the plan administrator or opposing counsel. She calls even when that’s all she has to say.
Here’s a typical Crystal call: “Hi, this is Crystal calling from Rosen Law Firm. I just wanted to give you a quick update. We’re still waiting on the plan administrator to get back to us. We haven’t heard anything this week. I’ll let you know as soon as I hear something.” “Thanks, Crystal, I appreciate the call. Have a great weekend.” “You too, bye bye.”
Do I get complaints about Crystal calling each week with nothing to say? Nope. In fact, Crystal gets high praise in our client surveys for keeping clients up to speed on developments (and the lack thereof).
How long do the calls take? Just a minute or two for each one. She often leaves a voicemail. Some clients request that she send the update via e-mail and, of course, she does.
What did clients think of waiting back in the pre-Crystal days? How did they react to waiting without weekly updates?
They were miserable. They were left in a dark void imagining the worst. They got upset and blamed us, even though we were doing exactly what we were supposed to be doing. It was fascinating and horrifying to watch very happy clients who had achieved all of their case-related objectives turn sour while waiting on a QDRO.
Crystal fixed all of that. She works her magic before the end of the day every Friday, and our clients are much happier because of her quick call. Thanks, Crystal.