Bureaucracy

Why do I have to work always with a couple of idiots?
I am so frustrated sometimes; I just want to scream.
Aaaarrrrgh!!

I was looking in a thick, big, old file for some irrelevant, dumb document that The Bureaucracy found necessary to keep. They are collecting them endlessly in the form of wasted paper, although everything we process in an office has few copies electronically stored in a database. Oh, poor forests, how uselessly they die – and for what…
This is one of my dilemmas. If the computers are here and they’ve been around for quite a while now – why do we have to waste forest after forest and keep a copy (and even copies of copies) in large, ugly, messy, boring files, which nobody really ever needs again. And when they do – ironically – all the trash it’s there, but the wanted piece of “evidence” so desperately needed is not, 8 times out of 10.
Usually a draft and an original PDF document is in the data base, but some dumb creature always needs to prove with a printed “original” document that the PDF was in fact printed in the past “and filed”. Yayyy, what an achievement!! Therefore they print the PDF, and on that print it says, “copy of original”(sic!) and they also want the first ever-printed copy of that from a file…
How idiotic.

Looking for the stupid thing, I found an advertisement of some cosmetics brand, a glossy illustrated 5-6 years old piece of paper, filed by mistake by some distracted trainee or god knows who else. Because a trainee I can forgive, they must be new at it, usually young and bored out of their mind teenagers forced by mean adults to do filing. If one of the officers did that though, s/he’d better be drunk in order to have an excuse. Not that would be a valid excuse in anyone’s eyes, including mine.

Now the department where I work is a Department dealing with licensing and has nothing to do with cosmetics of any kind. It’s not a place that would ever have to keep on file any pages from any glossy stupid magazine.

I sighed, feeling more bored than any trainee would and threw that piece of rubbish in the recycling bin.
Few hours later I had to look in another thick, ugly and boring file for another irrelevant document and this time I found amongst other things, a printer test! Filed there about 2 years ago. I laughed.
What else I would find that day, supposing I was to look again for something, I thought.

Because it was simply ridiculous, I showed it to one of my co-workers. Just because she was around. She is a young woman in her twenties, not too ugly not too pretty, who swears a lot and makes friends with some young people in the office. They go sometimes to pubs together and then at the beginning of the next week, they come to work with incredibly bland stories about their binges. Which they discuss loudly and laugh about a lot.
Them getting totally sloshed once a week, does not impresses anyone any more. You getting drunk and having somebody else to have to remind you what you said or did, gets boring for the listener after a while, week on, week off.

That girl perceives herself as some sort of a supervisor. She is not, but she prefers to see herself as such, because probably she hopes to become one in the future. She seem to enjoy practicing it although she does not get paid to do so. Maybe she is deluding herself because she worked in that area a bit longer than some of us.
She insists that she is also a bit dyslexic and when she looks at a piece of paper, takes her a bit until she is able to decipher it, apparently. It’s not the kind of dyslexia that needs special glasses or some treatment and if I think properly, she might just pretend to be dyslexic, because that way she can come up with some excuse “just in case”, for the numerous mistakes she does in her line of work.

However, after looking at the piece of paper for about a whole minute, she said, as usual: “So what are you trying to show me here ‘cause you totally lost me?” She always says that whenever someone shows her some printed text. Meaning that she cannot concentrate in reading a paper at a glance “because of my dyslexia". A sentence that should be translated plainly rather like this: I cannot read without an effort because reading anything bores me to death, therefore I try to avoid reading as much as I can. And when I have to read to save my life, I really need to make a great effort to concentrate and make sense of the content of what I read".

However, this person is, and will be probably for the rest of her life, a public servant. Entailing that she has to serve the unfortunate public. Which she does in a rather careless and incompetent manner.

So, I explained her (meanwhile becoming mad at myself for wasting my time, a thing that I could have avoided if I only kept the bloody thing to myself, instead of trying to share a laugh with someone else) that it was a printer test inadvertently filed in that particular file.
I guess the term “inadvertently” was too big a word for her and irritated her instantly.
I could not tell at that particular point in time that she was irritated. All I saw was her rather vacant eyes opening wider and her forehead getting wrinkled in an effort to understand the meaning of such a strange fact.
Realizing that I was anyway wasting too much time and perhaps there would be necessary to waste even more until she would finally comprehend the meaning of the word and the meaning of the meaningless paper, I said ‘Never mind, it’s nothing.’ I scrunched the useless piece of paper and “recycled” it on the spot.

The self appointed “supervisor” went berserk almost instantly: ‘ You are not allowed to extract documents from a file and trash them” she said, with a very sour tone.
I thought she was kidding, so I just went about my business pretending actually that I did not hear her. She insisted, getting louder: ‘ Someone probably put that piece of paper in that file with a purpose – she said’, and went on and on with similar comments for a while.
I could not believe my ears, but I suggested that if she felt that way about it, we perhaps should ask our management, to make sure.
She could not see anything wrong in that, I could sense that she hoped sincerely to get me “into trouble” although she did not even read the content of that paper to see if it was or not, a printer test or whatever it was.
To me, she is stupid enough to have all it takes to progress in the public service in the near future and she obviously hoped beyond any doubt, that discovering such an outrageous behavior as I displayed, throwing away papers form a file, would further her career if she got in touch with our boss about that matter.

Commenting louder and louder on my recklessness, she went to the bin, picked up the scrunched paper straightening it. Her tone was heard in the next cubicle by one of her friends, the one that really acts for a bit as a supervisor, a gal about 4-5 years older than the one in question. That one came in but did not ask what the problem was because she probably heard from the very beginning what was all about.

However, she doesn’t seem to be smarter than her partying gal-friend and although this one does not blame every mistake she makes on dyslexia, she cannot read one page from top to bottom either. It seems that reading is as tiring for her as it is for her friend, the self claimed dyslexic.
Luckily, most of the texts she has to work with are templates. If somehow any of the pre-formatted text gets a little bug and then the meaning, order or number of words changes somehow, she never-ever notices the changes.
So, the “acting supervisor” took the formerly scrunched piece of paper and went to the big boss “to tell” and probably to “clarify” such a disregard of the “rules” like the one I committed myself to.

There’s no point here to extend this account of the story because as everyone’s guess would be, nothing nice for either of those two came out of the whole incident. Which in fact was not an incident, but another exam for the public service and its employees.
Of course the boss got a bit upset (not with me though) and threw that printer test to the rubbish bin, right there in his office.
The briefly lived memento for both those girls, had passed. With rather different consequences than expected, since their presence in the boss’s office reminded him of their existence. The boss had to ruffle a bit their feathers actually for some mistake they committed together in regards of a different matter, that had nothing to do with files and printer tests wrongly filled.
One hour later, the “dyslexic” gal improvised some story about a family problem of some sort and went home early.
She was, obviously, pissed off.

Myself, I was left there to reflect, wonder, and ask myself – why do I always have to work with a couple of idiots?
Where do the normal people work?
Where is the workplace of the nice people, the smart people, those with common sense?

I wish someone would sell some information about that, to me.
I’ll pay, honestly.

Bureaucracy

Diastra

Adelaide, Australia

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Artist's Description

Another exam for the public service and its employees.

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  • BigPauly79
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  • Diastra
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