Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bureaucracy at its Finest…

Now, don’t get me wrong – I am a smart ass, and a pretty good one, when I really put my mind to it, and shut off any concern or real worry about what affect my being a smart ass might have – perhaps that has been the stopping point in many of my personal and career oriented endeavors, but shock value has its uses, and as long as I drop the occasional F Bomb in polite conversation, people tend to keep listening. Now that I think about it, perhaps I may have had a better shot at getting the laundry done in my past life as a married guy if I would have politely said, “ Honey, I think the pile of clothing in the laundry room is going to take an awful long time to finish, shall I help you get it started”, instead of, “That fucking festering pile of dirty shit in the laundry room is not going to walk into the washing machine – hell, it might, as long as it has been sitting there –don’t worry about it, I seem to be good at keeping up with it”…hmmm, I wonder. Not that I am a chauvinist pig, I do my share of chores, believe in an equal split of responsibility, and think that all good things require give and take – but in that case, hell, that is just another story.

But that thought, and the way the trendily named “Stev-O” the flight attendant served drinks and picked up the trash tonight reminded me of the beauty of bureaucracy – (I know Stev-O was named Stev-O because his apron said Stev-O on it, and I suspect that if you are going to have an apron with your name on it, or even your commonly accepted nom de guerre crisply embroidered over your left tit, then you either have been shopping the Sky Mall catalog a little bit too much, or have bins at home that are labeled “left socks”, “Right socks”, “spoons”, “butter” – you get my drift…)

Some people need that extra level of organization of paper pushers to make sure that everything that is done is documented for the next poor sucker to come along and either:

1. Improve upon it – trust me, I have seen several times where I have read something, said this is stupid, and realized that what I was changing was something that was written by someone who has never actually applied the knowledge in a real life situation.

2. Use it as a coaster – this is more apt to be true, when was the last time you caught yourself browsing through the CFR for the latest and greatest releases in all things Federal.

3. Give themselves a Cause – if step 17B says to shove a pitchfork up your ass before setting yourself on fire, then damn it – you need to do that.

Me, I don’t crave that level of organization – in fact, I think the best things come out of chaos – sure, there need to be a few things written down and sketched out and filed for later use – but some people make a living out telling people how and when and where and why they should do things – but don’t actually do anything. I wonder who wrote the guide on how to serve sodas on an airplane – I can assure you that someone wrote a guide on how one should go about opening the can to reduce repetitive finger motion strain. I am sure that there is a quality control standard on the flammability of the little plastic cups and the size of the ice cubes. I am reasonably sure that someone probably sat down and had a vision meeting to discuss whether the attendant should say, “Can I serve you a drink” or, “What can I get for you” – now I don’t know any of this to be true – but I am pretty damn sure that some of it is.

I live in a world of documentation and steps and procedures – that’s what I do in many cases. I am a bureaucrat – but I also have the luxury of seeing what the poor folks who I write this stuff for have to go through on a daily basis – nothing pains me more that seeing them try and take the instructions that were clearly written, (in my opinion), clearly stated, (in my opinion), and have them get to the point of asking themselves what their purpose in life is, and that there has to be a better way to spend their time – hell, that’s enough of the deep thinking.

Top Ten Rules that Everyone Should Follow –

1. Don’t dance naked or clothed inside a predators cage or environment. This could include lions, cheetahs, alligators, large animals with teeth, small animals with teeth, starving cannibals, or venomous snakes. If you find yourself in this situation, you have failed the general rule of survival of the fittest, and probably will not have the opportunity to check yourself into the rehab that you obviously need.

2. Never pick on anyone your own size, or any size for that matter – Two things in life you cannot outrun, a bullet and a cell phone call to a friend who may own a gun with bullets. Best thing to do, just leave folks alone, and only step in when one of those great moral evils is being done. * A great moral evil is something where someone is in physical danger – if you are getting pissed because your girlfriend is getting hit on, you should repeat high school.

3. Try not to sleep with Married folks. Trust me, I knew someone who did this once, and it can be a real pain in the ass.

4. Give something to somebody who needs it – and no, most folks don’t need STD’s.

5. Don’t take a dump on airplanes. This one is just common sense. If you get the stink eye from every passenger because you just made aisles 17 through 38 smell like dead raccoon, you deserve it.

6. Celebrate something – but just don’t make other people celebrate if they don’t want to, and don’t be a prick if you don’t like what they are celebrating – in other words, if folks want to drink at Christmas or Kwanzaa or whatever, leave them alone. You go off and celebrate National Masturbation Week – and you can rest assured that you will be left to your own devices.

7. Eat and drink and sleep and stuff. I remember from eighth grade biology that you have to do this. If you choose to do too much of it – buy two airplane seats so your sweaty man tits and side bags are not in your neighbors space.

8. Clean up your crap – Don’t show up for work in a shirt that looks like it got pulled out of a thermos, brush your hair and teeth every so often, throw out your trash, keep your yard clean. Just by doing those simple things you at least come across as a functioning member of society. Why do you think there are so many jokes about trailers and cars on blocks and rednecks – because it looks like shit – and everyone else has to look at it.

9. Love your family. This rule does not apply to in-laws. I mean you need to be nice to them and all – but they are the ones who did that to your spouse. You only have one family, and even though they think they can get rid of you, they pretty much are the only ones who are going to visit you in prison or leave silk flowers on your tombstone. And yes, even if you are the biggest dumb ass in the world – your kids still look up to you. Turn off the damn game, and go to one with them.

10. Don’t believe everything you see, hear, read, touch, taste – there is not a single bit of cherry in a cherry popsicle, and the banana flavoring and scent is some chemical from somewhere in China and probably contains lead based paint. If they can make frozen water taste like cherries and smell like bananas – then anything is possible. Only believe it after you actually learn about it – in other words, you don’t know anything until you know everything – good luck with that one – this is the one that I find bites me in the proverbial hindquarters everytime.

There, that should be enough bureaucracy for now – don’t see much need to go into anything else for now. Gotta flag down Stev-O and see if has anymore regulation ice cubes in a regulation size cup that I can pour some flavored water over.

Until next time…


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