Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wrong! There is such a thing as badly-timed, stupid questions!

I am starting a MAJOR trial in a couple days. I have told Secretary X that I have no time for anything but trial prep, especially since B-Dub is on vacation and I am preparing the case by myself.  I told her to see me in two weeks if she needs instructions on anything and to simply deal with anything else herself in the meantime. Well, that little instruction through her into quite a tizzy. Her response a-la-attitude was that now I have one case and she has a THOUSAND cases and that isn't fair, promptly stomping her hooves in protest. Obviously, I told her that I don't have time to help her with that issue and she needs to bring it up with B-Dub if that's a problem (again, he's on vacation). She walked away.

Now, of course, five minutes later she comes to me about another question, and another, and another, all unrelated to my case going to trial. So frustrating! Here is a list of her issues that are more important than my huge trial:

1. (My favorite) "Do you think I should go buy some bottled water?" Caught off guard by the absurdity, I disregarded my previous instruction to leave me the __________ alone, and asked "What are you talking about?" She promptly complained that SHE (pointing to the receptionist - no emphasis added) never ordered another water pitcher for the second conference room, so now she had no way to get Associate water for her arbitration. Deep, deep breath. I didn't tell her this was only an issue because SHE (I would point to Secretary) failed to check the conference room calendars when she double-booked the conference room.  However, I did suggest she pour water into a glass and take it to Associate. She walked off in a huff.  (Did she really think I would yell at the receptionist? Is it really the receptionist's fault that Secretary X double-booked the main conference room? Um, no, it is not.)

2. "Who do I need to call to schedule a mediation in the ________ case?" I confirmed she knew who counsel agreed would be the mediator. Nope, she really just needed to know who opposing counsel was.

3. "When are the clients coming in for the arbitration tomorrow?" Deeper breath. I asked her when she scheduled them to come in.  Turns out, she didn't tell them about the arbitration at all. I had the glorious task of calling the client to apologize for the "oversight." (Oh sure, I had time for that.)

4. "Who needs to be deposed on this (brand new) case." Really? She  can't figure out who the parties are from the case caption? Really. I told her to go look in the file.

Well, that was just one fantastic day.  Cant wait for the awesomeness to ensue today!


  1. Wow! I would be completely at my wit's end. Is she clear on what her duties are? Perhaps someone needs to clarify for her what the words "initiative," "follow-up," and "appointment confirmation," mean. She needs to create a system to follow, and I'd make that her next assignment. Her job cannot become everybody's else's responsibility; it's counterproductive for the firm/department. Perhaps you should call a meeting where it's suggested of everyone so that she is not singled out. Wow!

  2. She believes her job duties are to make things so difficult everyone does everything for her.

    Meetings have been had. One-on-ones have neen had. Last chances have been given. There is no hope. B-Dub is too much of a wimp to rid himself and the firm of the parasite.

    Lastly, AMEN!