The world is drowning in a sea of bureaucracy, and no one knows how to swim out of it. Everywhere one goes, there are forms to be filled, and paperwork attended to before one can accomplish any task. If you are a nurse, you have to enter patients’ notes on their charts before you go home. If you are a doctor, again you have to write some details on their files. One wonders if you should spend more time with your patients than writing notes to meet some bureaucratic requirements.
No matter where you go, you will find bureaucracy justifying its existence by creating more work for itself. It spreads like cancer, where the individual cells have lost their function. These cells are supposed to replace themselves and keep within their boundary, but they have gone crazy and start multiplying and migrating beyond.
Every one of us sooner or later will end up working for some private or public bureaucracy. When this happens, please become aware that this can put a limit on your intelligence and mental growth. The reason is simple. You will not be allowed to use your common sense and use your brain. You will have to abide by the rules and regulation set by whoever employs you. So unless you are aware of the limitations placed on you, you are likely to turn unwittingly into a zombie.
Here is one recent example of how bureaucracy limits your intelligence and makes one feel handicapped:
Do you know that an electricity company can take away your solar bonus benefit, without your knowledge, consent or authorisation? All they have to do is mistakenly give your address to Energex. (Energex is a company that supplies the electricity in Queensland.)
When you complain to Energex, they say that they have no option to refer your complaint to the seller who made this error. You will have to reapply with a form they supply to have your benefits reinstated.
In my case, the electricity seller, Powershop mistakenly provided my home address to Energex who automatically cut off my solar bonus benefit. I had to reapply, filling a statutory declaration form to get it reinstated.
This situation made little sense to me. It raised the following questions in my mind. Why Energex could not have referred my complaint to Powershop and resolved this matter with them directly? Why did I have to reapply when the benefits were withdrawn from me, for no fault of mine? If Energex can take away my solar benefits without my consent, surely they can also reinstate it without my consent?
I took this complaint to the Office of Fair Trading, which is a branch of the Justice Department in Queensland. They explained that Energex had acted within the law. But is it fair for an electricity company to cancel a consumer’s solar benefit without his knowledge or consent and then make the consumer responsible for reclaiming the benefit?
I asked them that since they called themselves “Office of Fair Trading”, did they considered this fair to the consumer according to the law? What was their position on this issue?
They replied: “Office of Fair Trading cannot determine if this is fair or not, and you would need to seek independent legal advice if you wish to take this further.”
Thus we have a situation where someone makes a mistake, but you are held responsible for correcting it. And the Office of Fair Trading which is a branch of the Justice Department, cannot determine if this is fair or not.