Monday, April 11, 2011

Beyond frustrated...

Secretary X is at it again!

I asked Secretary X weeks ago to reschedule an arbitration. She is in charge of ALL scheduling/ calendaring. She scheduled it, but didn't check with our witnesses or opposing counsel. At that point, I told her I would handle communication with the witnesses so she wouldn't screw it up (witnesses who agree to voluntarilly appear to testify must be carefully handled so you don't piss them off). I told her to communicate with everyone else (the client and client's family, arbitrator and opposing counsel).

Then, of course, because she didnt confirm with opposing counsel, opposing counsel needed to reschedule it. So, Secretary X sent me an email with proposed dates so I could contact the witnesses for a SECOND time with the new dates. I was wrong to think she would follow instructions and confirm everyone was available. I called all the witnesses and experts and got them dialed-in for the second new dates. I told her the witnesses were all available and to confirm with the arbitrator. What I didn't know is that she just picked the second dates randomly without talking with anyone to see if they were available. She hadn't even called the client or arbitrator to confirm THEY were available. The dates she gave me were dates only Associate was available. Evidently, the only people that are supposed to show up are the witnesses and Associate. WRONG! It turns out the client wasn't available, and was now pissed because it was going to be rescheduled again. (Awesome!)

So then, she picked a third random date and confirmed with the arbitrator without talking with ANYONE else (me, Associate, witnesses, experts, opposing counsel, client, or client's family).

Why is it that after repeated instruction that she MUST communicate with EVERYONE involved, she contacted fewer and fewer people with each reschedule attempt?

Luckily, I was able to convince everyone to accommodate the third date, irrespective of their pre-existing schedule commitments.

I am so beyond frustrated!!  It's not rocket science to call everyone that needs to appear at an event to make sure they are available - it's flippin' common sense. I wasted TWO BILLABLE HOURS on this crap today. Ridiculous!


  1. Wow. Just wow. Unfortunately I know this ish would happen would my secretary too, so I handle all of the calendar myself. If you want it done right, you gotta do it yourself. I just wish I could get paid for both mine AND her job.

  2. I did that at the last place. Unfortunatly, my workload doesn't allow for it, and my bosses are clear that I am not allowed to do it. So, I sit on the sidelines and watch the car wreck unfold before my eyes.

  3. Litigation_ParalegalApril 12, 2011

    Personally, I would just let her crash and burn. You basically saved her but by speaking to the witnesses and staying on top of it, not to mention getting everyone to comply with the date. There is only one way to handle someone like that -- stop saving her. If the attorneys you work for have to deal directly with pissed off clients because of her mistakes, maybe they will get a clue and realize she needs to go. And it is not like they can say anything to you since they have told you scheduling is not your job. I say give Secretary X plenty of rope -- she'll hang herself eventually.

  4. I agree! How else will she learn if you just keep cleaning up her messes? OR maybe she's just pushing your buttons for fun knowing you'll come in and save the day???

  5. SuperlegalApril 12, 2011

    I agree with y'all 100%. The problem in this situation is that she has been fired from working for everyone else in the firm and B-Dub is Secretary X's last chance. He told me when he hired me that she is a problem. She continues to screw up. B-Dub knows about it, yet he doesn't want to fire her for some reason (and it's not an eye candy reason either). That is one reason B-Dub only allows her to do scheduling. Ugh! What a pain in my petuty!! Thanks for the advice though, it's good to have reinforcement and support.

  6. SuperlegalApril 12, 2011

    PS. AND B-Dub told me to watch her and make sure she does everything right. So, I have to babysit her, but I can't punish her if she acts like a two year old or does something wrong. (Awesome!)

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