Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Bureaucracy is Killing Us!

Bureaucracy is a government characterized by a specialization of functions and adherence to fixed rules.  At first glance, it seems to be an effective way to govern  -- let's have the experts in their fields making decisions and doing their jobs.
But, the reality is that bureaucracy does not deal in black and white, it deals with humans.  Bureaucracy is NOT about efficiency, but human nature.  And no two humans are alike or even have the same experiences -- unless of course, you go to the DMV, in which case everyone has a miserable experience.

When my daughter was getting her license, she arrived with all her paperwork and her test was complete.  The DMV employee entered her information incorrectly.  Luckily, Ashley noticed that her birthdate was incorrect and came and told me and asked what she should do.  I went with her and kindly explained to the worker that the info was incorrect.  She became upset with me and told me that there was no way the info was incorrect.  I explained that she entered Ashley's birthday as September (which was actually my birthdate) and here was her passport and birth certificate to show her the correct dates.  She shook her head and told me that there was no way that she entered the wrong dates.  I started to tell her that she was the ONLY one entering info -- that no one else entered numbers, we just handed her the proof, but she was so busy telling me she wasn't at fault that I just gave up trying to deal with her and dealt with her supervisor.  I was not unreasonable, just frustrated that there was a HUGE mistake made and the person making it wasn't taking responsibility for the error, instead blaming us!  The supervisor was not much better, but at least we finally got the license with the correct dates.  (Imagine that?)

Sadly, it is not confined to the DMV, but any agency or institution that is faceless.  Our local school system has turned into a crazy bureaucracy.  It is nearly impossible to deal with anyone who has any degree of responsibility, just people who have control over others.  They give out incorrect information and have no consequence for their actions.  And these are the people who are teaching our children each day?  Instead of demonstrating honestly and professionalism, they behave in a manner that is dishonest and sneaky.  Instead of being taught that mistakes happen and you remedy them by acknowledging them and making corrections, our children are taught to never admit to mistakes.

This attitude carries over from childhood, to young adulthood and throughout life.  And since they never admit to mistakes, they never have to learn how to become proficient at something.
Because, after all, they are always correct -- whether or not they really are.

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