This Is How Bureaucracy Works03/26/2012
Department Bureaucrat: “Here. Fill out this form, and you will be on leave for the quarter.”
Me: “Dur, okay. You probably know how things work.”
3 months later, I place a phone call to solve a problem….
University Bureaucrat 1: “Hello? Uh, this computer thingy says you never filled out your leave form. You are discontinued.”
University Bureaucrat 1: “Department Bureaucrat needs to change the computer thingy. Here, we will call him together on the telly-phone!”
Me: “Okay…hello. Hello? Hello?”
Department Bureaucrat: “Hello? Why are you calling me?”
Me: “Um, University Bureaucrat 1 was supposed to be on the line here to ask you why you didn’t submit the form you said you submitted.”
Department Bureaucrat: “I submitted the form. They are wrong. Their computer thingy is wrong. I submitted the form.”
Me: “Um. They said you have to change the computer thingy.”
Department Bureaucrat: “No. I cannot change the computer thingy. THEY have to change the computer thingy. You call them and say that.”
Me: “Um, but I called them, and they made me talk to y….”
Department Bureaucrat: “You call them and tell them. Maybe they can call me. I will be here for 30 seconds, then I will be gone forever.”
20 minutes on hold later….
University Bureaucrat 2: “Hello? Hello? Why are you calling me?”
Me: “Um…well….University Bureaucrat…Department Bureaucrat…phone call…..discontinued…computer thingy….”
University Bureaucrat 2: “Computer thingy says you are discontinued. What do you want?”
Me: “Um….to not be?”
University Bureaucrat 2: “Department Bureaucrat has to change computer thingy. You should call h….”
Me: “I DON’T WANNA CALL NO ONE NO MORE!”
University Bureaucrat 2: “I will get University Bureaucrat SPECIALIST to investigate. Like X-Files. Because computer thingy says you are discontinued, and only Mulder would believe that computer thingy is wrong.”
4 hours later….
6 hours later….
End of Bureaucratic Business Day.
12 Hours later…
Department Bureaucrat: Good news! Your issue has been resolved! I lost your leave form, so it turns out you are discontinued. Bye…
Department Bureaucrat: What? You need something else? Okay. Fill out this other form, and maybe we can reinstate you. There is a fee.
Department Bureaucrat: Look, I don’t know what you want. I lost the form, so you have to fill out another form and pay a fee. Okay, maybe I can talk to someone about the fee. Maybe you don’t have to pay it. Maybe. I’ll do you a favour.
Department Bureaucrat: There is nothing else you can do! I don’t have the form, so you need to fill out this different form…
me: I HAVE THE FORM DO YOU WANT A COPY OF THE FORM I HAVE A COPY OF THE FORM IT HAS ALL THE RIGHT DATES AND SIGNATURES AND EVERYTHING DO YOU WANT A COPY WILL THAT HELP ME IN ANY WAY?
Department Bureaucrat: Maybe. Send me the form.
2 hours later…