Through my life I had to deal with different types of administrations in different roles. As someone who worked for them or with them (never in them), and as someone outside who wants something. I hate the word Kunde in this context, what means “customer” : I am not a customer of an official stately administration, I am a citizen. And btw the word “Kunde” itself has some not so nice connotations, but this is not a seminar in German linguistics.
I had to deal with school and university administrations, I worked for an institute at an university ; I had to deal with different public authorities like the employment office, the finance authority, different municipal authorities, the federal state in some forms.
I always had to deal with humans, with people. The employment agency was totally useless, their efforts were not worth one shot of powder (this is the translation of the German expression nicht einen Schuß Pulver wert sein, what means simply it’s worthless as a blank, just bang, smoke & nothing), but the people were friendly, and explained to me what they were trying to do. Even when I could name webpages specialised on jobs for fools like me they never had heard about, the case handlers were interested when I could show them something they did not know. Of course they never had a job for me. With one exception I’d like to forget.
I never had problems with people in the finance authority, no matter in which role I had to deal with them. As you may know now I am hopeless with numbers & maths, I grindingly understood the basics of bookkeeping, but taxes & stuff ?
I always asked, and got useful answers in a friendly way. I wanted to understand the principles of the procedure and the file, and it was explained so that even my numberwise four-year-old-self could follow and fill out the correct forms etc. They even told me how to avoid to pay too much, what I could claim or plead. Frankly I think one does not need a “tax specialist” even for a small fortune, the people in the finance administrations know exactly what to do : Just ask them in a friendly way.
At the university and in municipal administrations I learned what is possible “if they want” – wenn sie wollen, dann können sie auch, if they want it, they get it : It is always a miracle to see what a seal works. You hit this thing under a piece of paper, and all of a sudden this is not just a simple contract or a declaration of something, it is a tool, and – depending on the seal – it may be a powerful tool.
The only administration I never had a successful relation with is the social services department. Frankly, they should all be shot. I never have met such a bunch of unqualified & mean idiots before, and I hope I will never have to deal with them again.
I once was “invited” to a talk to the head of one of their departments after I had complained about their decisions. One would expect a dialogue, an exchange of arguments, but I was given forty minutes of crap. This guy warbled on and on serving one stupid platitude after another while I sat with big eyes. After ten minutes I tried to intervene, but was brushed off briskly ; after another ten minutes I gave in, it was absurd theatre at its finest. To the end he looked down into a file in front of him and ganz nach Gutsherrenart barked “Ah, yer academic …” and for the first and last time in my life I was ashamed of my degree. I walked down to the entrance and when I reached the street I was ready to strangle Bambi with my bare hands.
Anyway – this is long years ago, what is it now ? I have to get money from them. There is no effing discussion about this, it is all clear, not even the meanest inch-pincer of them all can deny it.
And I spent the whole day, since I returned from my morning drive until I had to leave for my late afternoon work, with futile attempts to reach someone in this rotten administration who can do what has to be done. It is basically simple, just a bank money order – it is like trying to nail a pudding to the wall : No one is responsible, no one is reachable, some react as if I’d have touched them inappropriately – and yes, I think one should grab them by the balls and squeeze the Jeezas out.
Wish me luck, tomorrow is another go. It’s a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll

10 thoughts on “Admin

  1. It seems to be more and more of an issue dealing with bureaucrats EVERYWHERE, but sometimes I think that is only when dealing with government agencies. People in business seem to be a bit more human when it’s possible to establish human rapport with them. On the other hand, when one is dealing wit a “script reader” who has no ability to do anything but what is on paper in front of him or her, you are screwed/diminished/tossed aside as just another cypher, as in “do it or die.” What a world we live in! xoxo

  2. Good luck. I don’t like dealing with useless/ineffective management and ignorant staff either. I remind myself not to give up and not let these people get to me.

    I’ll think positive thoughts and wish you the best. Don’t let them get to you. Don’t let them ruin your day. Stay strong and positive and keep moving forward. I know you have the strength and will to succeed.

  3. I think Eroswings is right when he says : “Don’t let them get to you. Don’t let them ruin your day”, dear Savannah. Do I allow them to give me bad feelings ? Even when it is hard, at least we all try not to allow this. Sometimes it even works !

    Exactly what I try, Eros !

  4. How did it go today? My advice is to start sobbing… I know, it sounds feeble… but it is not feeble if it is planned and it gets you what you want. All bureaucrats hate sobbing, if nothing else they will let you out of the stuffy room they have shut you in and they will definitely stop talking crap.

  5. This is something that works for attractive ladies with a petite frame, dearest MsScarlet, who can also make that dramatic look, best with a tear hanging from the (reinforced) eyelashes.
    It does not work for middle aged balding blokes who have to wrestle with other middle aged balding blokes, separated only by the stretch of a desk. Blunt force on the other hand …

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