A huge post in lieu of the lack of late

Earlier today (say around 5:30-ish, a little after I got home) I was thinking about how I haven’t written much on this blog of late.  A lot of this has to do with the fact that, whereas previously I spent a lot of my day just sitting in front of a computer without much in the realm of assigned work, I now, in my new job, have quite a lot that I need to work on everyday. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not complaining.  I am thrilled to have my new position.  Further I am thrilled that I have been able to remain working for the Greenville County Library System.  It is awesome to have my own office, my own desk, my own voicemail and business cards.  It is awesome to have projects to work on everyday.  All around it is a whole lot of awesomeness.

But it is different and I’ve only been working in my new position for just over a week so I am still very much in the realm of adjustment and part of that involves adjusting my web presence (which I am realizing as I step back and take a look at it is quite a lot of things).  Things are changing (personally for the better considering the nice pay raise and opportunity to learn new skills and experience new things) and part of that changing means my blog updates my not be a frequent or in the same volume as previously.  That being said I have no intentions of discontinuing blogging altogether, I enjoy it entirely too much.

So anyway . . . Earlier today (as in earlier than 5:30 when I was thinking about this blog — more back during work) I got to thinking about bureaucracy and the ridiculousness that it is.  I’ve known since I took my job working for the Greenville County Library System back last August that I was working for the Man (aka the government — albeit a small and relatively harmless branch there of –relatively harmless) but in my first position in the library there was very little in regards to significant policy that either affected my work efforts or which I needed to be consulted on.  Not so working in the Staff Development office.  my new position gets to see up close a whole slew of policy creations and changes and recommendations and everything else that goes into allowing just about anything to heppen in an organization that makes it’s money off of taxpayers’ dollars (and, by the way, with the new pay raise, and the desk and fancy computer at work, I now feel slightly more guilt about where my income comes from — but only slightly).

Bureaucracy is absolutely absurd and yet I cannot really think of any other way we would or could get the system to work even in  the slightest.  Even when there is a really good idea that everybody agrees on that idea must be probed and examined.  A committee must be created to study the idea and the potential impacts it may have.  A whole shit load of people must then sign off on the idea.  Then the staff needs to be informed, the idea needs to be implemented, and everything, every little thing needs to be documented.  Today I learned the wonder and fun that is FileMaker Pro and all the datebase records we have to keep up with.  It is all quite dizzying. 

I guess what gets me is that, while in some areas it may make sense, there are a lot of places where all the bureaucratic efforts are, in fact, a complete waste of time in accomplishing a solution to a problem.  And I know I am not the only one who thinks this.  I also know, even considering how illogical it all seems, why we do it.  It is called watching our asses.  You document everything, follow the proper paths and procedures, and then if, God forbid, something goes wrong, a defense, of some sort, is in place.  But boy it can be exhausting.

But interesting too.  And often kind of hilarious.  Because you see another problem with bureaucracy is that it requires the working of a bunch of cogs and gears and wheels and when you get down to the basics of it those various parts are made up of people like you and me.  And the kicker is that none of us are all that perfect and so trying to make the whole bureaucratic machine work smoothly is a bit of a joke.  People are weird and unreliable.  They are also innovative and determined.  It is a whole mess of people trying to believe in a system and be part of it while both failing and succeeding at something that isn’t even really all that certain.  It is ugly and dirty and crazy.  And yet is beautiful in the sought purposefulness that it creates.  And we document it all . . . that is partially in an attempt to seek immortality.

Ahhh . . . blogging and thinking about things I shouldn’t be thinking about this late at night.  Wondrous!

~ by Nathaniel on July 22, 2008.

One Response to “A huge post in lieu of the lack of late”

  1. I like your positive outlook on bureaucracy. I’m not sure I could have that outlook if I was in the same situation.

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