An angry client emails a partner at a law firm about an expensive court filing. The partner responds "oh, don't worry, we'll look into this and take care of it." He cc's his secretary, the associate who drafted the filing, the associate's secretary, the paralegal, and the accounting clerk in charge of billing. Being at the top of the food chain, the partner immediately assumes that the associate will take care of it, and the partner's secretary assumes the same. The associate assumes that since the paralegal prepared the documents, including the itemized fee transmittal, that she'll handle it. Meanwhile, the paralegal figures that since the associate's secretary was the one in charge of electronically filing the document and selecting the fee options online, that it was probably an error on her end, and that she'll look into it. The associate's secretary assumes that since the accounting clerk is the only one with authorization to view and reconcile the charge account online, that she'll handle it. Last but not least, the accounting clerk brushes it off, as she works in accounting, not preparing and filing legal documents. Aside from passing the buck
, what is a good term, phrase or analogy to describe this circular, dysfunctional work dynamic that occurs when a dozen people are cc'd on the same email? Everyone assumes someone else will take care of a problem, and in the end, the problem is never addressed.
posted by invisible ink
on Nov 20, 2013 -
My girlfriend got her B.A. in Psychology, then worked for 2 years doing ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy with autistic children. After that, she worked for 6 years in the family business: her parents are doctors, and she served as the admin, doing scheduling, billing, hiring/firing, account management/finances, building management, etc. Now, she is looking for a new job (one of the parents is retiring next month), but we are having trouble coming up with her next career step. Any ideas, MetaFilter? More details inside. [more inside]
posted by rjacobs
on Mar 12, 2013 -
Help me make a decision I keep circling over again and again -- interdisciplinary masters that lets me do some cool research now, or continuing to work/exist in desired city and a more professional and/or appropriate MA/PHd in the next year or two? [more inside]
posted by elephantsvanish
on Apr 22, 2012 -
I'm the boy who cried wolf! (or 'ouch'!) Help me stop, especially in light of the fact that this behavior has been positively reinforced at some points. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Apr 9, 2012 -
How should I structure my gradual return to full-time work after two months off for a psychiatric illness? Have you actually done this, and if so, do you have tips? Have you even known or heard of someone who did a part-time transition after disability leave? All advice sought in creating my return-to-work plan. [more inside]
posted by Fee Phi Faux Phumb I Smell t'Socks o' a Puppetman!
on Oct 30, 2011 -
Is it normal to wanting to emulate a certain person at your job? My guess is yes, but I find myself doing this all the time. One day, I want to be as ambitious as General David Petraeus and it shows in my work - my productivity increases. This goes on for a few weeks... recently I've been reading about Tim Cook (Apple's new CEO) and aside from being very impressed with him, I have a more of an "industrial design" approach to my work... help! (more examples below.) [more inside]
posted by msposner
on Sep 4, 2011 -
My girlfriend graduated this past summer and has about $9,000 of college-related (not a student loan) debt. She's treading water and having a very hard time post-grad, and still hasn't found a job yet. Works full time at a coffee chain but it just isn't enough. Need some advice... [more inside]
posted by PetiePal
on Nov 22, 2010 -
Caffeine helps me to be optimistic, positive, and productive at work. Unfortunately, it's also fantastically addictive, and disrupts basically every important bodily process that I have. Should I talk to a psychiatrist about trying some kind of prescription stimulant? [more inside]
posted by Sloop John B
on Sep 14, 2010 -
How do I get coworkers to spend quality time with me? I am starting a new gig as a business analyst, and will be trying to convince strangers that they should meet with me to tell me about their jobs, needs, and requirements. After that I have to also get them to review the documentation I will create. What tactics have / would you use to get quality results from people who are busy and don't know you from Adam?
posted by jasondigitized
on Aug 11, 2009 -
As a (somewhat) older student, how can I best prepare to get into a clinical psychology PhD program? [more inside]
posted by sobriquet
on Sep 27, 2008 -
An older guy I used to work with (who had no sense of humor) once claimed that Bob's Big Boy subjected their employees to extensive psychological testing and used the results to keep them in the fold no matter what - supposedly this included giving baseball fans season tickets, car buffs a sweet company car, etc. I found this completely implausible and totally hilarious. Can anybody confirm or disprove that Bob's Big Boy was some kind of Machiavellian empire that knew its employees' deepest desires?
posted by mattholomew
on Jun 1, 2008 -
What is the first question people ask when you tell them what you do? Are there common misconceptions or generalizations that people make? How do you tactfully and/or humorously correct them? [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam
on Apr 28, 2008 -
I'm currently completing a B.A. in Psychology with the intentions of becoming a practicing therapist (mental heath, family, individual, children). Here's my question: the path to practice as a therapist diverges. I can get a Masters of Social Work in two years following my undergrad, but in order to be able to practice, I would need to get my license, which would require typically another 2 years of supervision. I could work, by at a low salary. The other path would be to following up the Undergraduate degree with a Masters in Psy and then a Ph.D. Any thoughts?
posted by bydar
on Oct 30, 2007 -
I'm presently completing a B.A. on Psychology (via distance learning) with the intentions of continuing towards a Masters in Clinical Social Work. I have a couple of questions:
1) I'm 42 years old and have done back to school as a career changer. I have a wife and daughter and need to work part time while I'm a full time student. Does anyone have any suggestions for work which might help with graduate schools looking at both my academic and work background? All of my previous work experience involves working with people, but not much similar to work a therapist would be engaged in (worked for last 8 years as a talent agent)
2) Does anyone know which cities offer the greatest potential for work as a clinical social worker as I hope to eventually open a private practice, but will work in hospital or mental health facility while gaining experience?
posted by bydar
on Sep 30, 2007 -
I recived my degree in psychology 4 years ago, rather than pursuing my masters or getting work experience directly related to psycholgy i chose to get a job in sales. I have done well and managed to pay back all my college debt(loans, credit cards). Now i'm at a point where i am burnt out from sales and I want to utilze my degree. The problem i;m running into is that most of the jobs require masters degrees(which i plan to get) or prior psyc related experience.
posted by Windell79
on May 1, 2007 -
My girlfriend just took a professional psychology test for a potential employer... [more inside]
posted by eas98
on Jun 13, 2005 -
When I'm doing something really mentally taxing, like working on a difficult programming task or doing a really really tough crossword puzzle, I sometimes reach mental overload. I'm sure most of you have this. It makes me sleepy and sometimes a bit dizzy, and if I try to work more, I comprehend less and less. At this point, I generally need to do something else for a while. If I come back to the taxing work the next day, everything is fine. Probably, I can come back to it on the same day, an hour or so later. I CAN'T come back to it five minutes later. I'm interested in tactics that let me return to the mental workout as-soon-as possible. When I quit working, what sort of activity should I do to recharge? How long should I do it? Is there anything I should ingest? Is it better to quit before absolute mental burnout occurs? Are there any studies about this?
posted by grumblebee
on Jul 17, 2004 -