Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Secretary X's newest super power

I was so inspired today by Secretary X, I simply have to tell the world the newest super power she possesses:

Refusing to do tasks completely within her job description and remain employed. (Where is some good super hero theme music when you need it?)

Here is a nonexclusive list of her version of "I don't do windows:"

*Make copies of exhibits. Note: I noticed ONE HOUR before the end of business that she failed to calendar today's deadline to file a court document. I scrambled to get the pleading drafted in that hour, which included a review of about 10,000 pages. When I asked her to make copies for the exhibits, Secretary X said she was going to have to find someone to make the exhibits and that I "might just need to do it myself because that's really [my] job." How about it's really YOUR job to calendar crap so I don't have to handle deadlines at the last minute to save YOUR bacon! I ignored her and walked away.

She gave the FIVE minute job to Secretary's Daughter, who is - get this - happy to do it and doesn't give me lip about it either. How novel - doing an assigned task WITHOUT an attitude. She later came to me to further explain her PERCEIVED job description, which, contrary to my experience, and to my shock and amazement, did NOT include wasting my time and refusing to do assigned work. Okay, you can pick up your jaw too - the floor is dirty. That little dramatization of her woeful, overworked life cost me 12 MINUTES of billables. I said nothing to her in an attempt to cut short her daydream about a world where she is paid to do nothing. I think I'll ask B-Dub for some clarification on her job description and try to bring the line of reality back within the confines of her disaster of a cubicle.


*Review any rules or statutes to ensure she calendars things correctly (even when I have directly instructed her to do so). She just looks at me like I was asking her to kill a baby or something. If I wanted to waste my time on non-billable work, it sure would not be spent doing her work.

*Set meetings with clients prior to major scheduled court events so the attorneys can prepare them. Instead of her doing so when she sets the event, I re-do the whole process to schedule the prep meetings. Ridiculous!

*Calendar certain events (she randomly chooses which ones aren't important enough to add to the calendar).

*Update filing the day before trial on a case that is 2 months behind on filing. (Wait, that must be my job, too.)

*Assist with trial prep whatsoever.

*Make copies of research in time for B-Dub to review on the plane when he has told her he needs it before he leaves.

*Inform me when she fails to do something or to do something timely.

*Make copies of a package that is 1/2 inch thick with no clips or staples. She says "those kind of projects just need to be sent out because I will never have time for them."  She obviously fails to realize the prep time it takes to send things out and in that amount of time, could actually complete the job.


  1. Oh yeah....Lawfirms are full of those that suck time and energy out of the collective effort to assist clients. 'makes you wonder why the attorneys aren't paying attention to their staff, huh?

  2. They pay attention alright, they just choose to ignore the problem.