Oklahoma Bar Journal

The Back Page | Not Remotely Interested

By R. Steven Haught

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Sitting at the computer in my guest bedroom/office while wearing a sports coat, a dress shirt with a tie, a tropical-colored Tommy Bahama swimsuit and HEYDUDEs below, I await the beginning of an arbitration evidentiary hearing over which I will preside via videoconference. From my perch on the penthouse floor of the tallest building on the island, where a peregrine falcon occasionally sits on my balcony, I can see the breakers of the Atlantic Ocean dissolve into a swash onto the powdery beach located two blocks away. Out of the other window, I see the Intracoastal Waterway, replete with long, beautiful yachts gliding effortlessly on manatee-inhabited waters with the style and smugness of a runway model at a Paris fashion show. In between, there lies a manicured garden of palm trees reaching toward the sunny Florida sky. Idyllic?  Meh.

As a practicing trial lawyer for more than 40 years, I have always worked from home, but it was always in addition to, not in lieu of, working in the office. On Saturdays, I regularly came to the office to check the mail, and on Sundays, I convinced myself that I needed to go into the office to organize for the upcoming week. The office was always my favorite place, holding an allure that could not be denied.

I miss the steady stream of employees and colleagues rushing back and forth in the hallway outside my office, the deadlines, stress, urgency, laughter, celebrations, steady buzz and energy that a real office provides.

Following my videoconference, I will quickly remove my jacket, dress shirt and tie. While donning a T-shirt adorned with obligatory tropical motifs, I will make the most important decision of the day: 1) take the elevator to the outdoor pool and enjoy a refreshing swim or tan beneath a palm tree while weighing my happy hour options or 2) walk to the nearby beach and be greeted by my beach captain, Rutger, who will direct me to my beach chair and table and adjust my beach umbrella to my specifications for the preferred degree of sun exposure.

Whichever option I choose, I am likely to close my eyes and fantasize that it is the 1980s again. My long hair is slicked back à la Gordon Gekko, and I am wearing a high blue Trofeo wool Ermenegildo Zegna suit, a Brioni white and blue striped shirt with French cuffs, a blue, purple and gold striped silk Luciana Barbera tie, black alligator shoes handmade in Florence, an engraved platinum Mont Blanc pen in my coat and a Tiffany silver card case in my pocket holding the latest iteration of my business card, a Copperplate Gothic Heavy font in bone. In my dream, I am walking with purpose to my ultimate destination, the biggest corner office imaginable. As I open the door to my anachronistic leather and wood paradise, I am jarred back to reality by the piercing sound of a lifeguard’s whistle.

OBA member R. Steven Haught is enjoying semi-retirement as an arbitrator based in Delray Beach, Florida.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar JournalOBJ 95 No. 6 (June 2024)

Statements or opinions expressed in the Oklahoma Bar Journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Oklahoma Bar Association, its officers, Board of Governors, Board of Editors or staff.