Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Penetrating the Bureaucracy

I love the scene in The Incredibles when Bob Parr (aka Mr. Incredible) is being dressed down by his boss Mr. Huph at Insuricare. Bob has a kind heart and lives to serve others even when he is forbidden from living his dream life as Mr. Incredible. He takes pity on his clients and helps them through the otherwise impenetrable bureaucracy to see his clients collect what is rightfully theirs when otherwise they would have their
claims denied by the frigid, profit-minded corporation. Mr Huph rages:

"Complaints I can handle. What I can't handle is your customers' inexplicable knowledge of Insuricare's inner workings! They're experts. Experts, Bob! Exploiting every loophole, dodging every obstacle! They're penetrating the bureaucracy!"

As I work for a facility operated by the federal government, I have seen more than my fair share of bureaucracy. I have come across more than a few individuals whose sole purpose seems to be to make getting practical work done as difficult as possible. Just when you are beginning to work your way through the crap to make progress, it is as if they can sense it. They then immediately change all the rules and condescendingly look down upon you as if you have the intelligence of a bowl of Grape Nuts. They seem to purposefully be disingenuous, obliquely rude, and smug, all the while smiling their own special toothy insipid grin. Only when you go over their heads and force the issue then they suddenly act if they are pleased that things could proceed. All the while they look at you with a thinly disguised bubbling contempt. How dare you deign to think that you can do an end around and penetrate their bureaucracy!