An Ordinary Contradiction

Today I experienced the exact type of ordinary contradiction I imagined filling this blog.

It was ordinary.  I was in the office, attempting to complete a project that really, I had no idea how to complete.  It involved multiple addresses and bank account numbers; things my Renewable Natural Resource degree really didn’t cover.  If a plant had been involved, I could have named it.  If there was chest pain, I know what to do.  Unfortunately, the multifaceted, complicated task lacked that clarity. However, I could see one, clear, easily completed part.

I needed a form.  Pretty simple:  I had an email address specifically for requesting said form. Nice, clear action steps. I could complete this part of the task.

As an aside, if you don’t know me,  know I hate bureaucracy.  An ex-government employee (federal, at that), a dyed in the wool “spirit of the law” person, a person who sometimes doesn’t even realize that a rule exists until after breaking the rule, I have the lowest tolerance for bureaucracy of anyone I know.

So, up to my elbows in the bureaucracy that is my life’s work to banish, I went to make one productive step:  send the email and ask for the form.

Unfortunately, I became wrapped in a contradiction and tied with an enigma.

  • First, my email wouldn’t open.  Okay, I like to consider myself tech savvy – I’ll send IT a trouble form, a form they have kindly created and linked to on the intranet for reporting problems just like this.
  • My “Technology Trouble Ticket” causes the entire computer to freeze up. This is ridiculous. In trying to ask for help with my simple computer problem I have created a new and bigger problem and effectively killed that route for asking for help.     I am well aware of how ridiculous this is.  There is obviously a massive conspiracy to keep me from doing anything productive.  I’m quickly losing sight of the big picture… what is my ultimate goal here?

Deep breath.  I am persistent and I will send this email.  I call the tech trouble hotline, also very courteously created by IT.

  • On the other end of the line, the very kind, courteous woman tells me she’s not surprised that my trouble ticket caused the computer to freeze.  “Yep, that happens” she says.

I give up.  I stock: it’s a nice, definite, non-bureacratic effort.

Finally, by the grace of Alexander Graham Bell (or Philipp Reis), I called and asked for the needed, chimerical, form.


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