In dealing with my health insurer, the NYC Parking Violations Bureau, and an English bank today, it comes as no surprise to anyone that these bureaucracies are designed not to do things, but to prevent things from happening. Usually, they are given a revenue stream that is operated by highly efficient and often officious individuals. On the back end, the crew that are supposed to help in times of need, that is to give service, these people are often handicapped by their superiors who teach them not to answer any question until it is properly asked of them. Their purpose is to prevent the revenue stream from being breached in any fashion and for profits to be maximized. It works.
How did we get into this predicament? I don’t want to blame Wal-Mart just because they are big (although my daughter had an interesting run in with them on Sunday about a prescription) but the larger a corporation becomes, the dumber the employees are allowed to act. Even Einstein knew how to act dumb, so it is not as if these people are stupid. But when intelligence is not engaged in a job, why think? Consequently, we have a dumb boundary or the moat for the modern day thane, laird or whatever you want to call Mega-Huge Corporation of today. With dumbness, you can discourage people as my manager had to call the health insurer three times before she knew the right question to ask, I had to hold for 15 minutes for the Parking Violations Office who had overcharged me and finally, the bank who told me that it was after hours and I should call tomorrow. After all, I only had an unauthorized transaction on my debit card. If I have spent a million pounds by tomorrow, it isn’t my fault. Or is it?