Bartleby is a conundrum to his employer. As a successful lawyer, he is used his employees doing their work without question. When Bartelby "prefers not to" proofread his work, the lawyer is perplexed. He tries, at first, to be understanding, but finally Bartelby becomes a problem for the lawyer. He does not want to abandon Bartelby and he sees it as his Christian duty to try to take care of this troubled employee. The problem is that the lawyer does not seem to understand Bartelby's basic problem, that he is totally incapable of dealing with the mindless work he is given to do. So, until he finally dies, Bartelby becomes a burden for the lawyer.