Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The art of avoiding responsibility

If there's one thing Secretary has mastered (other than the art of keeping a job she doesn't deserve), it's avoiding responsibility.

We dropped a client for "conflict" reasons (because our duty to tell the truth "conflicted" with her lies). The client asked to pick up her file. Secretary X was responsible for copying that file.

For hours she ping-ponged back and forth asking questions of Associate and me as to what she should copy. Associate and I individually gave her the same general instruction not to produce work product (anything we created that hasn't been sent out of our office). That is a pretty clear guideline, even for those who are the superpower Secretary X. Unfortunately, she continued to ask over and over again because she didn't want to make a decision all by herself and take the blame if she was wrong.

When I told her I didn't have the time for this [insert explitive synonym for "nonsense" here], she just threw her hands up in a huff and exclaimed her frustration with Associate and me and how she "really SHOULDN'T be making these kind of decisions by herself!" She went back to her desk. Does she really think we all don't know she shouldn't be making decisions by herself? Does she really think we care?

People who are afraid of making decisions are afraid because they don't believe they are making the right decisions. In Secretary X's case, it is compounded because she never wants to take responsibility for her own actions. Beyond frustrating!

ALTERNATE ENDING #1: Tell her she should probably just give up and go home for the day, and we'll get her work done for her so she doesn't have to do any work. Afterall, we are there to assist HER.

ALTERNATE ENDING #2: Go to Associate's office and scream at her for not making all decisions of every kind for Secretary X. When she starts to tell me SHE doesn't have time for this, I'll interrupt and tell her Secretary X can't be expected to make these kinds of decisions by herself -- it's not her job. When she tells me it IS her job, I'll tell her the only thing that is her job is to annoy us about things she is supposed to do, but can't for one reason or another. I'm sure she'll understand.

ALTERNATE ENDING #3: Poof- I disappear. Just up and vanish into thin air and never come back. Let them head for malpractice without me. YAY!

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