What is a good phrase or analogy, similar to passing the buck?
November 20, 2013 10:11 PM Subscribe
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.