This will be an angry post, one where frustration sometimes is best
relieved by venting! It can be about the fact that it’s quite challenging
to get a hold of an actual human being on the phone! It can be your
own disappointment or disgust at the way businesses seem to give you
the ‘run around!’
I can only hope you will add to this, with your own examples of
(There is a reason why there are so many people throw the word, “idiocy”
around! Also, I do know there may be some people who may mention the
dreaded word, “politicians, ” too.)
Tomorrow will be my smiles and chuckles post. . .
I would like to start the ball rolling with a look at a small example of how
business in my workplace, at the good ‘ole warehouse, is run.
Last Monday, while about 20 people were lining up to ‘clock in,’ at our
time clock there was an obstacle to walk around to get to the clock. It is a
small ‘vehicle’ or ‘cart’ that has an engine, which the ‘bosses’ scoot around
It would ‘crack you up,’ to see them get on one of these, only to go about 30
paces, to get to another office or to use the rest room.
In each of these cases, no one else is allowed to ‘touch or move them.’
On last Tuesday, at the morning meeting, a fellow coworker mentioned that
whoever is parking their little mode of transportation in the way of the time
clock, was actually ‘breaking a safety rule.’
Then, my friend added, it is unsafe, due to the way people have to ‘clock in’
and then try to get out of the way of the next person in line. ‘There isn’t any
room to do this safely.’
Then, he mentioned that someone ‘almost tripped over it!’
Well, what do you know?!
That darn cart was once again parked in the location directly under
the bins order fillers’ time clock. I wish to note, at this time, I never get
in this long line, no patience for such nonsense. I enter the hallway by
the lockers, ‘clock in’ where there is usually only five people getting
their last sips of coffee, filling their water bottle, or something like this.
It is located by the break room.
No one blocks the break room!
Anyway, at the morning meeting on last Wednesday, one of our immediate
bosses, (one is for heavy bulk fillers and the other regular ‘bins’ order fillers)
made a proud announcement,
“We sent out a memo to whoever is leaving their cart by the time clocks.”
(In this case, he meant an ’email.’ There are no more memos, unless the
boss’ boss prints out an email and checks it for any facts that may not be
disclosed to us, (‘paeans.’) By the way, how many people would have put
an ‘o’ in that? Since everyone says ‘pee-ons’ I struggled with the spelling!
Out of practice!
On last Thursday, the cart was moved, presumably due to the ‘efficiency
and effectiveness’ of the email!
Another minor example of ‘Bureaucracy,’ came in a rather smelly way!
I went away to my Mom’s on June 27th and arrived home on July 6th.
I had a grand time, some challenges but overall, a nice escape from my
When I arrived home, I smelled an odor in the hallway, quickly sped up
to get into my apartment, presumable to be in my old, familiar, cinnamon
and other kinds of homey smells. (I love Yankee Candle Company’s scent
of “Home Sweet Home,” use it in my candles, warmers, and in my car, too.)
It was my apartment that truly stank! Yuck!
I quickly went to the nearly empty fridge, it held only pleasant condiments
and the baking soda box held any of the odors. No spoiled foods, check!
I then ran into the bathroom, and as I got there, I was splashing in the
hallway! The carpet was soaked and yes, it smelled horrific. Like a dead
animal, no none of those in evidence!
I called my apartment manager’s phone number, leaving a message.
I went out into the hall, stopped across the hall. The friendly woman, who
is still nameless, since my good friend, “Bo” and daughter “Amyah” moved
out, I have not attempted to know this one. I miss the grandmother friend
and her granddaughter, too. (I gave her a lot of my Dad’s porcelain light-
houses and other nice things, like a ‘throw’ blanket with the 12 Lake Erie
lighthouses on it.)
The neighbor opened her door, asked me had I been gone long? She had
noticed my absence and admitted to smelling my odor. She also told me
that her air conditioner pipe from the upstairs (floors 2 and 3) had somehow
gotten clogged. The overflow or pressure had leaked into her apartment,
hallway and into her bedroom, too. She said this happened on June 30th,
that the manager had provided a fan to dry it, would be cleaning her carpet
sometime around July 11 or 12th.
I was ‘freaking out!’ That meant he clearly knew others were having this
problem and had not bothered to knock and check around to see if there
were other instances of this. Just while I was talking to her, Pete called.
He lives on the second floor with his wife, Nancy. It is not like he is off
the premises, surely he would have smelled this, since they are supposed
to vacuum the halls and wax the chair rail in the hallway.
I approached this with caution, remembering my Mom’s favorite expression
for handling irksome circumstances:
“You can attract more positive responses with honey than with vinegar.”
(There are variations on this but this is how she would say it.)
I told Pete, that I had come home from vacation and found my apartment
very ripe smelling, think it has to do with the water heater leaking or the
air conditioner pipe. He said he would bring me a fan.
I called my oldest daughter, she came over. I was sure I would have a fit,
if someone would not be there to keep me from over-reacting!
I boiled tea for the two of us, I lit about ten candles around the apartment.
I put a little of my vanilla scented lotion inside my nostrils.
When Pete came down, he knocked and then opened the door. He did not
admit to me that there was any odor. (I miss my old landlord, Ron, he would
have sympathized and also, maybe offered to help find out the root of the
Pete said, “I will have to call a maintenance man tomorrow. He is also good
with the electrical stuff. He can check your heater and air conditioner.”
Carrie was walking in, saw my look and asked me to come in the hallway
while Pete set up the fan to blow air into my wet carpet and then he opened
the doorway to the ‘electrical stuff.’
Carrie ‘admonished me:’ “Don’t use your teacher look or your teacher voice,
Mom! But you may ask him if there are any avenues to proceed to, if it were
an ’emergency,’ mention that mold is not healthy for you to sleep in.”
I re-entered my apartment, almost knocking him down. Pete was going to
leave! I had to take a short breath not to let my steam blow!
“What would you do if this happened to yours and Nancy’s apartment?
Would you think there may be a solution that could be chosen tonight?”
(Inside my head I was yelling,
“So I won’t have to sleep knowing that there is water with possible mold
or e-coli, lying inch thick in my hallway!!”)
Pete asked me twice in quick succession, had I run my air conditioner
while I was on vacation?
Each time, I answered, “No.”
I am not sure if that would have somehow made it ‘my fault’ that the air
conditioner’s condensation had run into my apartment, but he seemed to be
focused on this point. Now, later, I wonder if I had it so that it would run
while I was gone, would that have somehow alleviated their responsibility?
An emergency plumber came that night.
I am thankful that he said to Pete, “This place smells disgusting! It would
be hard to sleep with this in the hallway!”
He said to me, “Maybe you could spend the night at your friend’s apartment,”
looking at my 34 year old daughter. (God bless his heart!)”
He also explained how there is a perpendicular pipe, that had filled with
mold, where the condensation from others’ air conditioners siphons down
into this. Normally, going into a drain. I was glad he explained that the
whole thing was ‘not your tenant’s fault’ to Pete.
In this case, as I talked to my coworker the next day who also happens to
live in my apartment building, he feels that Pete should have offered to
pay something towards a motel room. Another coworker says, he would
have insisted on getting the carpet cleaned and suctioning off the water,
I have a good thing to tell you! My carpet did get cleaned on July 1oth,
so I only had to live with the stench for Sunday through Thursday nights.
Another good bureaucratic occurrence is to be announced.
I got a refund from the Cable company!
What? You heard me right!
I called them to tell them I did not get my Time Warner Cable Channel
Guide for the months of June or July! I wondered if I needed to go to
the Post Office and ask for a trace on it? The first woman that I talked to,
used a businesslike tone, saying that they were no longer publishing this
lovely television guide, that was quite a bargain for less than $3. It had
the look of a magazine, with at least ten pages of colored paper, then the
rest of it, in black and white newsprint. I would pore over that, circle and
use two different colors of highlighters, too!
When I did not get a significant explanation nor confirmation of the bill
being changed, since I had sent both June and July payments by this time,
I asked for a manager!
I used a plaintive tone, almost whiny, but was almost beside myself, really
upset about this. I wanted to know if there had been written notice of its
discontinuation? I wished to have an explanation why this happened? I
wondered was I the only person who felt it was well worth paying for this
The manager was like a psychiatrist, she had a bell-like tone to her voice,
very sympathetic, kind and saying, “Oh, that is too bad!” and then, “Oh,
I can understand how important this was to you!”
I actually got a $30 refund, she felt this was well worth using her power
to use “discretionary funds.”
She was looking at my years of being an “Outstanding customer,” and
telling me she did not want to lose me, that I was “Valuable” to Time
I may have to call HER next time something else goes wrong, somehow
she imparts some warmth and love to the whole ‘bureaucracy’ and gives
me hope after all!
Let me know you worst case scenarios with bureaucracy and I will kindly
impart my “Oh, that is too bad’s” to each and every one of you! I have a
good feeling that this post may help you ‘vent’, ‘rant’, and you will feel
Fellow bloggers ‘therapy’ begins when I hang my ‘shingle up!’