Friday, September 19, 2008

Death by Bureaucracy

As opposed to death by poisoning or death by gunshot. Death by bureaucracy should be particularly drawn out and painful. I'll be happy to let you know.

The dictionary defines bureaucracy as follows:

1.government by many bureaus, administrators, and petty officials.

2.the body of officials and administrators, esp. of a government or government department.

3.excessive multiplication of, and concentration of power in, administrative bureaus or administrators.

4. administration characterized by excessive red tape and routine.

I love the petty official part of the definition. Do you suppose that is on the job application for government officials? Do you posses the skill to be petty? Also are able to thrive in an environment where nothing makes sense? Then great you are hired.

I have added my own definition as well:

5. A system developed to suck away people's life source and will to live until all that is left is a crumpled shell of a human being.

So if not actually dead, possessing many of the same characteristics such as lifelessness and loss of color. And if bureaucracy doesn't literally kill me, it may cause me to pull all my hair out leaving me bald and unable to show my face in public. Hence rendering me dead to all who know me.

Yesterday bureaucracy kicked my can to Timbuktu and back again. Here are just a few of the brick walls I have been hitting me head against lately.

My car needs to be smogged.

I was suppose to register it last Friday.

When my car was tested, it did not pass the test.

Not because it is emitting harmful toxic waste into the atmosphere, no because the computer in the car does not have enough information.

Somehow it had been reset to zero and so that makes the government think that it has been tampered with.

It is a 2005 for crying out loud, how is it not passing the test?

The guy helping me who looked like he just got out of jail, wasn't really all that helpful or clear about what I should do about the problem.

I went to my mechanic. Yeah, they weren't really sure what to do about it either.

So I was able to attend the joyful DMV in person and get an extension.

But I still am not really sure what to do. Maybe I could give up driving. That would go well with my plan to hide in a corner and ignore all my responsibilities.

Trent does not want to take Zoology.

A new regulation wants kids to have 3 science credits for something called the 21st century diploma,

Trent has 2.5 science credits,

You can graduate with a standard diploma with 2 science credits,

The school refused to drop him from Zoology until he registered in an independent study science class,

Trent's mother has been otherwise occupied with things like doctor appointments, grief over son's permanent disability, being out of town, and the worst head cold known to man.

Trent has been in to talk with the counselor about this several times

Trent has not attended the class even once in four weeks, because in his mind he has already dropped it,

Yesterday was the last day to officially drop the class, otherwise he would just get a "F" on his transcript.

After a twenty minute conversation with the counselor where things like "rules are rules" "that's just the way it is", "lump it or leave it" were bandied about, I was force to put my hands around the counselors throat. Seriously I did it, in a joking way more or less of course, but in my mind I was more not so much less.

After this attempt on the counselors life, I asked about the standard diploma

She then informed me that there is the option of waiving the 21st century requirement.

After I recovered from my seizure, I said for sure we were interested in that option.

She informed me that they can not find the form that needs to be filled out to waive the requirement.

Of course not.

This is the letter I sent to school with Trent yesterday:

September 18, 2008

To Whom It May Concern:

I give my permission for Trenton Hammond to waive the 21st Century science requirement. I understand that he will graduate with only 2 science credits. When the form to officially waive this requirement is found, I will be happy to fill it out.
In the mean time, please drop him from Zoology.
If you have any questions please contact me at 555-5555.

Patricia Hammond

See not even a death threat or anything.

My doctor leaves an ominous message on my answering machine

After a fun filled morning spent taking Jared to various appointments, I returned to my home for sanctuary.

I was met with a flashing message light on my phone.

The message was my doctor, informing me that she needed to talk to me about my blood work from the previous day.

She didn't say what was wrong, but conveyed that it was a serious matter and would I please call back and leave a number she could contact me with that day.

I called back, left the number and asked if the receptionist could tell me the results.

No sirree! The doctor is the only one who can give out results over the phone.

Well isn't that special.

So I had a fun filled afternoon of suspense and worry where I played through scenarios of my impending death.

Finally she got a hold of me, and told me that my Triglyceride cholesterol number went from a normal, healthy 115 last year to 375 this year. I don't even know what to think about this.

I really can not pin point how my diet is that different this year than last. One thing is that I did eat a whole bag of cheese curds the day before the test. Perhaps that skewed the test, but really would it be that much off. I kind of doubt it.

This month I will watch what I eat and take the test again. Maybe it is a mistake. That seems like an awfully big jump.

Of course the whole answer to much of what is wrong in my life would be to exercise. It is too bad driving ill tempered, teenage boys to doctor appointments doesn't count as exercise.

Thanks to all of you for listening to me whine and complain. When I do experience my nervous breakdown, I will try to get a video of it, K.


Kris said...

I hope you don't mind that I laughed at you blog. I can't get over the cheese curd Trygliceried conection. Hang in there!!

Eliza said...

I can totally picture you putting your hands around the councilor's throat and threating death. I'm actually surprised that you don't do it more!

Not that it doesn't make it any better, but I hope all of this didn't happen on one day.

I think that you are amazing. Besides the death threats you handle everything pretty well.