We all make mistakes. It happens, even to me (shock!). Sometimes, however, a pattern of mistakes by a person, without them (a) caring, (b) learning and/or (c) attempting to correct the problem, establishes that individual as Blatantly Stupid.
There's a corporate defendant we've been trying to serve for months. They used a fake registered agent with an address that doesn't exist. (I even drove all the way out there to verify it myself.) After getting the Alias Summons, we sent it to the process server to do service on the secretary of state.
Time passed, and other things took my attention away from this case. Partner sends me an e-mail inquiring about the status, so I check with the process server. "We served this and dropped the return back at your office 2 weeks ago!" I was told. Funny, I never saw it.
Advise the Partner of this, who directs me to her secretary.
Secretary plays dumb, blames another secretary who had nothing to do with this matter.
Go back to the Secretary, she then foists blame off onto an Associate also working on the case.
Associate has never seen it.
Frustrated, and knowing Secretary MUST have seen this, since it had Partner's name on it when it was dropped off, and thus HAD to go to Secretary, I go back to her. She insists she never saw it.
Fortunately, the process server keeps copies of everything, and quickly e-mails me a replacement set.
A few minutes later, Secretary comes to my office and informs me she sent it to the file room to be put in the file. An original, notarized document prominently titled "Return of Service" in a case she KNOWS we are working on actively. She just sent it to the file room without bothering to show anyone. I snarkily snap back at her (can't remember the exact words), and she's been carefully avoiding me ever since.
Unfortunately, this is not the first incident with Secretary. How this woman manages to keep her job is beyond me. She's done this to nearly everyone by now. I've seen far more competent people fired from this office for doing far less bad things. Someone with her level of experience (20-ish years) should damn well know better.
I have no idea how to deal with people THIS stupid.