Sunday, February 19, 2006

Rule #16

Somebody found me and The Rules of Bureaucracy over on the left there. I don't want my non-Pittsburgh readers to think that I'm neglecting them, so here's another rule...

But first some back story.

I entered The Bureaucracy with a benign naivete, hoping to do my bit for King and Country and to, in my own little way, change the world. In fairness, and despite all the paperwork that ensued in the interim, I did, and I continue to do so. I don't want to strain myself from patting my own back too hard, but you can see my work all over the City, if you're paying attention.

You're not paying attention.

Anyway, in the course of my duties I invariably come into contact with elected officials on all levels. This was initially a bit of a thrill to see "people in charge," but the facination started to wane after I got the chance to actually talk and work with them, finally coming to the conclusion that... well... a lot of these people are pretty dumb. And if not dumb, incompetant. And if not incompetant, self-serving and malicious.

Actually, this should be of no surprise to anyone; if you are a fan of Douglas Adams, you'll recognize this quote:

It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it... anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.
It works for local government too; we don't elect the cream-of-the-crop to be our leaders. Rather, we elect the unemployable, the hacks, the demogogues, and, worst, the outright idiots; these are the people who can't find a real paying job. As such, they don't understand either (a) the problem, (b) the whole problem, (c) English, or (d) reality; these qualities do not inspire leadership.

And while most will scoff at my snarkiness (and I say scoff away), we can generally agree on the following rule:

Rule #16: Politicians are not smarter than you.

There are days when I think we would be doing what the Greeks did: governing by lot, by pulling the first 100 names out of the Boston phone book. Or something like that.


BONUS: Rule #0

I've received the several complaints about The Rules of Bureaucracy, all of which boil down to the following:
The Rules are out of order.
The Rules are incomplete.
The Rules contradict each other.
Anyone who's worked in Bureaucracy for long enough will realize that this doesn't matter in the least bit, but to clarify for the "Normals" out there,

Rule #0: The Rules of Bureaucracy are mutable, non-canonical, non-ordinal, and contradictory, except in the cases where they are not. [cf. Beggers v. Choosers, 207 U. S. 161 (1907)]

Everyone happy? Tough.

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