Sunday, June 06, 2010

Love those bureaucrats!

Public servants, civil servants, bureaucrats, government employees.

Whatever you call them, wherever they are in the world, they're a race apart.

They think differently from the rest of us but all over the world they think like each other.

Here's an Australian example.

We paid our council rates a few weeks ago but received an 'URGENT OVERDUE RATES ASSESSMENT' notice from them.

We e-mailed them to say we'd paid already so would they please check their records and confirm back what we already knew, that payment had been made.

They replied:

Good Morning

There is no balance outstanding on your water consumption account, however there is a balance of 37 cents outstanding on your rates account for the below property.

Naturally, in view of the tiny amount we suggested the obvious (to the non bureaucratic mind), that the thirty-seven cents be added to the next bill.

We should have anticipated the reply from a public servant:

Good Morning

There will be no further Council rates issued for this financial year. The first rates instalment for the 2010/2011 financial year will be due 31 August 2010.

The $0.37 as discussed below was payable by 31 May 2010. This amount will be charged 9% interest p.a. and this interest will calculated on a pro-rata basis daily.

Will a bank actually transfer 37 cents? Won't it cost many dollars just to process the 37 cents? Why do public servants have such a different way of thinking and a different way of doing things?


Grumpy Goat said...

Go on: send them a cheque for $0.37 because you know you want to.

Susan said...

Aren't they awesome! I once got a tax refund of 25p and six months later got a letter complaining I hadn't cashed the cheque!!

Zafar said...

Because they are bureaucrats, Simple!

We have a joke in our country about this race.

A pensioner's pension stopped and he did not receive it for several months. He filed the complained and after few months he was told by the department that in their records he is dead. The man was stunned for some time then he told the representative of the department that I am liviing and present here in front of you with all my documents and you must release my pension.

The poor fellow was told that this is not possible unless he brings a letter from a grade 17 government officer that he is alive.

The pensioner with the help of his friends approached a government officer in his neighbourhood and asked for such a certificate. The officer obliged and gave him a certificate that he knows the pensioner and has been in touch with him for the last three months, since January of that year.

The pensioner submitted the certificate and few days later he received his pension for 3 months, upon questioning he was told that the certificate by the government official certifies his life from January to March of the current year hence the pension has been issued for three years and if he wants his pension from September to December of previous year he must bring another certificate stating that he was alive even in those months.

How is that???

Var said...

Seabee if u want to see hardcore bureaucracy in action then look at India.Miles of thick red tape.U must have read about the justice give to the people in the Bhopal Tragedy in court after 25 years.

Anonymous said...

I has HSBC call me this morning because I have gone Dh12 over my overdraft limit!

They asked me if "I am able to pay in Dh12 to my account today."

The phone call must have cost them more than Dh12 when you include staff costs!

And the guy on the phone seemed incredulous as to why I wasn't taking him seriously.

Give me strength.