How to combat bureaucracy in 10 emails or less

July 30, 2009 at 7:29 pm 1 comment

Bureaucracy. Is there anyone who likes it? Is there anyone who actually enjoys getting those carefully crafted form letters about rules, regulations, committee meetings and procedures?

Bureaucracy is, of course, everywhere, but Washington, D.C. seems to get a larger dose than most places.

Take, for example, applying for government jobs. About a year and a half ago, I applied for a job at the Dept. of Commerce as a Web editor. I finally got a notice that the department received my application for employment three months ago.

Take, for example, my utilities company. It took them 12 months to realize they hadn’t been billing me for utilities payments that my leasing company had incorrectly told me were included in my rent. When I went to the utilities company billing office to clear up the matter, they said they’d process my complaint in “about six weeks.” Clearly, nobody was in any rush to receive my money.

Take, for example, the D.C. government, which sent me a jury duty summons last July that said I had to report to jury duty the previous April. When I called them about the matter, it appeared as though this was a common occurrence.

As you can see, my method for dealing with bureaucracy was to call up the appropriate office and expect the matter to be dealt with in a reasonable, sane and efficient matter. This is where I went wrong, because if there’s anything bureaucracy is not, it’s reasonable, sane and efficient.

Today, I realized that I was going about battling bureaucracy completely wrong. The most effective and reliable way to deal with the “twits,” “talking heads” and “form letter writers” of the world is to convince them you’re so crazy you’re not worth their time. Don’t believe me? Read this latest entry from “Emails From Crazy People” on a property management company’s “No Pets Clause” and you’ll understand what I mean.

In a word? Brilliant.


Entry filed under: Quirk. Tags: , , .

Change Reaching a compromise with Julia Child

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