Pawn of Policy and Procedure

This afternoon I experienced for the first time at my new job something that I have long dreaded.  That I, a person who prides himself at being open minded and relatively laid back, might become a stickler for procedure and policy.  A person (my former boss no less) was asking me if I could reserve a time slot for our training lab.  I kindly informed them that I would need them to fill out and submit a “Training Lab Request Form” before I would be able to reserve the time slot.  I got a rather interesting look from her at this point.  I then smiled and assured her that the time slot would almost certainly still be available as long as the form was turned in by the next day.  I continued to receive her interesting look but she accepted the fact and said she’d have the form along as soon as possible.  Wonderful.  Doing my duty with flying colors.


Seriously?  I mean, yes we need the forms for documenting purposes, but I still could have reserved the time slot for her right?  Right?  Damn.  This is horrible.  Who cares about the form.  Really?  If I hadn’t had her fill out the form would the world have fallen apart?  Probably not.  Could I have ended up getting in trouble?  Quite possibly.  Is that what bureaucracy is, a bunch of folks trying to save their asses by making sure that things are done according to arbitrary procedures and policies that often times require more effort than just going and doing something? 

Aaaaggghhh!  It is devastating.  This was the first moment of my past year working at the library when I really felt that I was”working for the man” and let me tell you.  It made me feel ridiculous.  Ugh.  Not a great way to end the day though my two co-workers sure had a nice laugh about it.

Actually I really ended the day by demonstrating to my new boss my absolutely amazing skill to completely zone out in the middle of full conversation.  She was saying something and I was miles away thinking about who knows what.  When she politely asked “Nathaniel are you spacing out?” I confirmed that in fact I was doing just that by remaining off in la-la-land and not responding at all. 

Oi.  What a day.

~ by Nathaniel on August 6, 2008.

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