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Friday, October 21, 2005

Hot enough for ya?

Yeh, it's official: it's a rant. See the steam coming out of my ears? It’s the natural result of a normal human being coming into contact with a petty government bureaucrap.

[Warning: Stream of consciousness flowing your way. If you thought “Ulysses” and “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”—heck, anything by James Joyce—were as big a pile of crap as I did, this may not be your cuppa tea.]

Yeh, that time of the year, again. Because we live about 200 feet inside the “city limits” of this one-horse Third World County™ town, we have all the “benefits” of city livin’.

Like, for example, the fact that we’re on a city sewer line that’s older than I am, is only an eight inch line and serves an upflow/downflow population more than a hundred times the size of when it was laid. Result? Oh, backups a normal backflow valve isn’t designed to handle at least once a year. Yeh, gotta love it.

We do finally have a mostly full time police force. Well, a couple full time deputy dawgs and the weekend’s are covered by part-timers.

City hall… what shall I compare thee to?  Nah. Better not go there.

Because we are (barely) inside city limits, we have the benefit of paying the city an annual Danegeld for having dogs. Yep. We pay so the dogcatehr can be paid to run down the dogs of the irresponsible folks who let their dogs run loose. Still, that’s not unbearable. And The Boys do almost earn their keep, what with their varmint hunting in the back yard.

What is unconscionable though is what I encountered down at city hall when I went to pay the Danegeld.

Walked in. Clerk (the one clerk, whadda you think this is, a real city?) “serving” someone. I sauntered up with my documentation from the vet’s office. Yep, the person being “served” was asking about a sales tax rate chart she’d handed to the clerk. The clerk was studying it carefully with a puzzled look on her face. I glanced at it and saw that it was plainly marked as being from a different lil town some 60 miles away. Hmmm, thought I, what is the problem. As I listened, the (what would evidence itself to be so stupid as to hardly seem human) clerk said such things as, “What do you want.”  And “I don’t know.” Repeatedly.

I heard the questions she was being asked too, of course.

“Can I get a rate chart like this for Xxxxx (our town) here?”  (Response to the clerk’s “What do you want?”

Uhm, that’s the question that was answered, “I don’t know.” THEN, again, “What do you want.”

Huh?!?!? Asked and answered, dummy. If the stupid clerk hadn’t kept screwing up her face, studying and puzzling over the rate chart from another town and then asking again “What do you want?” then the other end of that stupid exchange wouldn’t have answered (looping the exchange—not elevated enough to be a conversation—once again), “Can I get a rate chart like this for Xxxxx (our town) here?”  

To which the response was again, “I don’t know”… screw up face, study the rate chart for different town again and again ask, “What do you want?”

I swear, I thought I had been transplanted to hell for that five minutes.

I was wrong. Because AFTER the mayor had popped in and told BOTH the clerk and the idiot who brought in the rate chart “We don’t have those here,” then, THEN it was MY TURN.

Arrrrrgggghhhhh!!!

I swear, nothing will improve in this country until ALL the petty bureaucrats are fired and replaced by chimps who will, of course, be much more intelligent, much more ethical, much more diligent workers. You know, beings who actually EARN the wages they are being paid.

Heck. I’d swear my son’s DOGS could have filled out the paperwork faster.

First this subliterate subhuman had to find the right forms. While doing so, she noticed another person had entered and so asked that person to step to another window to be served—then proceeded to go ahead with them, leaving me to cool my heels.

I DON’T THINK SO!

I simply intervened, told the other person being “served” to wait their turn, told the clerk to get hopping on my tags and made certain it was so.

Of course, if the mayor hadn’t called me by name while he was in, carried on a short conversation with me, etc., before straightening out the previous mess, I doubt the clerk would’ve even “heard” me.

Smiling pleasantly, the idiot proceeded to slowly demonstrate a level of subliteracy that boggles the mind as she waded through filling out her paperwork. “No, you dumbass,” I thought, “you don’t have to write “canine” there, since there’s a checkbox with ‘canine’ two spaces before it.” But I only thought it. “What color is the dog?” Damn. Still on dog #1? *Sheesh!* LOOK AT THE VET’S CERTIFICATE DUMBASS! THAT’S WHAT IT’S FOR! (Again, just a thought bubble.) Takes the original over to the copier to make a copy. Of course, she already has a carbon copy right there, plain as day. Stupidity. Does same one more time. Slowwwwwwwer.

Oh, there’s more, so much more.

Ya know, this “person” exemplifies much of what is wrong with the TSA, tag agencies, DMVs, etc.,—in fact almost every single solitary government employee outside the military I am ever likely to come into contact with: When a stupid person does something they KNOW is wrong, they always claim they are simply doing their job.

Of course, that so many government employees are doing jobs that the government shouldn’t be doing to begin with isn’t the point at all (well, not of this little tale) is it, now?

Nah, this government employee, though of the lowest rung on any scale of authority—a salaried functionary a small city office—is an example of the multiplied thousands like her: taking a paycheck for NOT doing a job (that often doesn’t need doing, anyway) well. In my book, that’s theft. The great thing about being a government “burrocrap”—however far down the totem pole—is that stealing from the people you abuse is such a great way for incompetent self-made idiots to make a living.

At least I feel much better now.

(Oh, and for the “WWJD” namby-pamby  crowd, let me refer you to Matthew, chapter 21. Oh, for a flail and a few tables to overturn! And yeh, I know that passage doesn’t directly apply to thieves in bureraucrapic civil government garb. But it could… ) Here ya go. This just begged to be added. Kipling on servants (and that's what petty bureaucrats claim to be, right? "Public servants"?):
The Servant When He Reigneth
"For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear. For a servant when he reigneth, and a fool when he is filled with meat; for an odious woman when she is married, and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress." -- PROV. XXX. 21-22-23. Three things make earth unquiet And four she cannot brook The godly Agur counted them And put them in a book -- Those Four Tremendous Curses With which mankind is cursed; But a Servant when He Reigneth Old Agur entered first. An Handmaid that is Mistress We need not call upon. A Fool when he is full of Meat Will fall asleep anon. An Odious Woman Married May bear a babe and mend; But a Servant when He Reigneth Is Confusion to the end. His feet are swift to tumult, His hands are slow to toil, His ears are deaf to reason, His lips are loud in broil. He knows no use for power Except to show his might. He gives no heed to judgment Unless it prove him right. Because he served a master Before his Kingship came, And hid in all disaster Behind his master's name, So, when his Folly opens The unnecessary hells, A Servant when He Reigneth Throws the blame on some one else. His vows are lightly spoken, His faith is hard to bind, His trust is easy boken, He fears his fellow-kind. The nearest mob will move him To break the pledge he gave -- Oh, a Servant when he Reigneth Is more than ever slave!
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