Friday, January 13, 2006


I think I've invented a new word today:
bu-reau-crap (byûru`krap): [n] The unfortunate treatment by, or a bad situation in dealing with, a public or institutional official who gives rules a higher priority over people.
I had to deal with a bit of bureaucrap today. Due to the fact that the incident in question took place at one of the myriad educational institutions at which I am gainfully employed, I'm not going to reveal the actual nature of the bureaucrap, but let's just say that it's the equivalent of an entire report or proposal being rejected by virtue of an undotted "I" or an uncrossed "T." So even though I've already posted about local government bureaucracy, federal government bureaucracy and bloated school-district administrations, today's event was enough to launch at least one more general rant on my part:
  • If a rule doesn't actually help people (at least the people it's intended to serve--not just the people making/enforcing the rule), the rule should be abolished as soon as possible.

  • Until said rule is abolished, it should be bent as much as possible by all reasonable, thinking people in positions of power.

  • Those individuals in power who give rules a higher priority than people (i.e. acting without thinking because "the rules [or "the boss"] told me to do so") should be removed from a position that interacts with the public as soon as possible. Whenever feasible, the bureaucratic position should be eliminated and the bureaucrats replaced by computers.
OK, I've ventured off into an imaginary world here, but, to quote a tune on the Jazz Camp CD, I can dream, can't I? The notion of one-size-fits-all simply has no place in a sane society. As I said in an earlier post,
The problem is, one-size-fits-all thinking just doesn' all. Never has, never will. It's just easier (lazier?) to hide behind a set of rules and not take the time to consider each case on its own merits. It's also a quick and easy way to avoid having to make difficult decisions, or (heaven forbid!) stirring up controversy. Why do any work when you can sit back and let the rules do the work for you?
Or maybe what we really need is a "B" Ark. In the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, Douglas Adams spins the tale of the planet Golgafrincham, where the leaders announced that the planet was doomed and it had to be vacated; they promptly divided the populace onto three giant spaceships to go and resettle on another planet. The "A" ark had the thinkers: the leaders, the scientists and the great artists and so on; the "C" ark had the doers: the people who made things and did things. Aboard the "B" ark were all the middlemen: consultants, account executives, etc. The "B" ark did find it puzzling to note that they had lost contact with the other two arks shortly after takeoff; what really happened, of course, was that the Golgafrinchans had found a way to rid themselves of the entire useless third of their population by blasting them out into space. Sounds like a good solution for dealing with bureaucrats, although I'm sure that a few would also respond to rehab or reprogramming sessions and eventually lead useful, productive lives.

Anyway, I'm just venting; thanks for listening. I hope I never have to post about this again, but I bet I will...

Triskaidekaphobia? Not here: Did any of you do anything in the least bit differently today because it was Friday the 13th? I heard on the radio that nearly $2 billion in commerce is lost on any given day like today because of superstition. There were no black cats in my path today (Tasha is a tabby), no ladders under which to avoid walking, and I only talked to one person named Jason.

Yay, we win: This is a headline we thought we'd never see: Garland leads region in retail growth for 2005. Take that, Frisco! (Don't worry, Gary, you guys will probably reclaim the top spot this year, but Garland was tremendously under-retailed before this year, so we had to catch up in a big way.) I said before that Firewheel was going to transform this city, and it's doing so...and there's plenty more room to grow.


Anonymous said...

your stupid bureaucrap word is not funny.

love colin

Gary P. said...

Take that, Frisco!

Yeah yeah yeah.... call me back when your fine city council starts blowing money and exercising eminent domain for the civic good of minor league sports stadia.

If Garland can be under-retailed, then I think Frisco is over-retailed. All the private sector jobs here are low-paying retail sales jobs. When retail sales start to level off or fall (which I expect to happen once the toll booths go up on Hwy 121), property tax rates are going to have to skyrocket to keep up with all the social utopia programs the council is spending money on.... like red-light cameras, a "free" public transportation bus that drives up and down Preston all day which I've never seen anyone ride, and a newly-approved program that will actually pay people to live here..... some sort of rent payment program for two years for "low-income" residents. The town is banking its entire economic future on minor league sports and retail sales.

And bureaucrap rules.

Steven said...

Colin, your stupid comment is not funny. And I'm one of your fffrrrrrrrriiiiieeeennnnnndddssss.

Maximum Dingosity.