The narrator of the story is an unnamed lawyer with offices on Wall Street in New York City. He describes himself as doing "a snug business among rich men's bonds and mortgages and title-deeds." He has three employees: "First, Turkey; second, Nippers; third, Ginger Nut," each of whom is described. Turkey and Nippers are copyists or scriveners while Ginger Nut does delivery work or other assorted jobs around the office, and the lawyer decides his business needs a third scrivener. Bartleby responds to his advertisement and arrives at the office, "pallidly neat, pitiably respectable, incurably forlorn!"