My secretary is a very nice person. We get along great and she tells me when there is food in the kitchen or when Partner is cranky. But I have become increasingly frustrated with her. Since I have become busier and given more responsibility I have had to hand more stuff to her, which I don't think she is happy about.
A couple of weeks ago Partner told me to have Secretary help me with a task. She pretty much told me that she wasn't doing it and would get a file clerk. Then Partner told her to do it, and she told him the same thing! The problem is that the file clerks are backed up and take forever and we needed to be able to work with these docs ASAP. I had a similar request today and I had to absolutely insist that she, not the file clerks, put my pleadings file together so that I would have a file to work with. We have had similar issues with copies. She will not make copies.
And several time in recent weeks I have had to redo a fairly simple task that she was given. Things I might expect a newbie to need help with, but this is someone who has been a legal secretary for 20 years or more. (Shouldn't she know more than me?) Having to give her explicit instructions for every task takes so much time I might as well do it myself. (But I have been told repeatedly not to do things that the secretaries can do.)
Argh. Maybe it sounds peevish, but I really don't think I am being unreasonable. I can go days without needing anything from my secretary. She does no typing for me, and she is only assigned to my supervising partner and me.
So, I don't want to do the evaluation. Because on the one hand, I don't want to say anything negative that will impact her financially, or that will look like its coming out of the blue, because I haven't addressed these issues with her directly. I also don't want to look like a demanding diva baby-lawyer. Because I'm really not. I probably don't utilize my secretary nearly as much as I should, and I try to give her as much notice and time as possible when I need something done. I'm also not sure if Partner has noticed these issues--or if he will think "what the heck is she talking about?" if I bring it up. (I know I need to talk to Partner, but since she sits right outside his office, its kind of hard.)
On the other hand, I think some of these things need to be addressed. But I think it might be better to handle it gradually than suddenly in an evaluation. So I don't know what to do. Blech.