Friday, September 19, 2008

My BYU Bureaucracy Experience: Unpleasant

Bureaucracy: a system of administration marked by officialism, red tape, and proliferation, says Merriam-Webster. Don't forget to add large headaches and a heeping helping of my unbridled rage!

I applied for a BYU parking permit back in the day and was quasi-promised that it would arrive, in mail, 2-4 days later . . . riiight. So I left some "feedback" for the Parking People asking them where in the freckles my permit was at. Response: We have it, we just weren't coordinated enough to MAIL IT to you (paraphrased).

So I said, "Oh, that's it! CougarAbogado bout do somin bout dis!"

I left my Bio class at 3:45 (15 mintues before class, plenty of time to run a couple of errands) expecting nothing more than a commonplace in and out cake walk. I was sorely mistaken.

I walk into the parking office, sit in line for like 7-15 minutes (I'm not good at guestimating ranges), have the woman tell me that even though some clown sack told me that they HAD my permit I had never applied for a new one since, get this, last September. Wow. So I figured that I would quickly bust out the scantron form on the left. No big deal. Tell me something, Jedi Knight, have you mezmorized your VIN? Most of us haven't . . . So I figured that I would just hit up the closest computer station and resubmit. That was easy enough. I go back in and the girl who told me that I hand't submitted anything tells me that her screen isn't working . . . So I go sit in line in the one to the right, waiting, waiting. When I get up to the front, the woman tells me that the system is moving slow and so she'll have to make me a temporary (yes, meaning that I would actually have to deal with more nonsense) permit. Next she asks me if I have my student ID and I point to her circular mouse pad and say something like, "Actually, you have it on your mouse pad . . ." Needless to say, I was not thrilled with swimming upstream like a desparate Salmon against the ferocious currents of shameless bureaucracy.

So I leave, "salty," as Fword (the Blogger, not the epithet) would say, and head over to the Talmage to pick up my generous check for services I had rendered in an experiment to the department. I pick up the check, somewhat satisfied that at least I would have some George Washingtons to add to my name, and the guy yells out to me, "Actually, that's not a real check, it's just a form you take to the ASB so that they can cash the check." WOW.

So I walk over, saltier than a 3-foot-long Westchester pretzel, and march into the ASB (otherwise known as the X building). My woes would continue. I go into the back of the opaque windowed office room to whip out my check and receive vindication. The thing is closed . . . so I turn the corner and ask if the girl can cash me check. After five minutes of incoherent mumblings, consulting with another girl at least twice, and then having to go make change becasue she didn't have any $5s or $10s on hand, I was the proud recepient of a handsome sum of $12. That's right, kids, $12. I almost felt like charging the school $20 just for wasting my time with their nonsensical gibberish.

The bright lining of this story is that my Bio professor spends about as much class time actually going over stuff that we need to know as a drunk Russian trying to speak English makes sense. So the fact that I returned to class at 4:30 (45 minutes later), wasn't the impetus of a nuclear holocaust or anything.


So I tie up my boot straps this morning, take care of some business, and then mosey over to the parking office. Christy needs a new permit as well, so I, the ingenious Hidalgo that I am (it's from Don Quixote), had the tremendous foresight to prepare a power of attorney form, have her sign it, and even had the wherewithal to take in her ID. The result? FERPA. That's right, sports fans, SHE has to walk in there physically because FERPA thinks that all men are chauvinist pigs who like to take advantage of their wives by stealing their parking permits!


When I gave the woman my ID, it took like two seconds and she handed me my permit. Irony truly is a very, very harsh mistress.


Don't ever think that you can go an entire calendar month without running into our dubious friend, Mr. Bureacracy. He's out there, and he's waiting for you!!!

See Strongbad for more hilarity and a similar "customer service" situation:

1 comment:

Fletch said...

I made the blog!!! I feel your pain. Good times.