April 30, 2004
So far today I have encountered two examples of institutional idiocy.
Idiocy the First: We started with the La Verne post office. I called earlier today to see if I could schedule an appointment to get my passport done. It is done only by appointment there. The guy who answered the phone first put me on hold (long enough to get whoever could actually solve my problem out of the office, I assume), and then informed me that the woman who did those things was processing a passport, and would call me back. One hour passed. I left to go work on MallardBane. A few hours later I called again. This time, I was told that the woman who did “all of that” hadn’t come in today. I pointed out the discrepancy between that and what I had been told this morning. He said he would take my name and number for her. I asked why he couldn’t just schedule one for me?
He said that they just let her do all the scheduling, because she wasn’t in all that often.
Wouldn’t that be all the more reason to let others do the scheduling? I wondered. Aloud.
Apparently it would not, because no one knew when she was coming in and could be scheduled.
Had they considered using some sort of appointment book, perhaps? I said in the nicest of ways.
Ah, they had, it seems, but people were still scheduled when she wasn’t in, because she had other things to do for her real job. You see, this is just a service that they provide.
Not much of one.
I also restrained myself from pointing out that what they had done was had an appointment book. They hadn’t gotten all the way to the using it stage.
Idiocy the Second: I received a package yesterday. For an arbitrary and probably very stupid reason, packages are delivered to either the Dean of Students’ office or to the Registrar’s office, which, I suppose it goes without saying, have different hours, different storage rooms, and different notification methods. My package was at the Registrar’s. But right now is class registration for the frosh. So there were many people at the Registrar. So many, in fact, that after waiting for 10 minutes and extrapolating out the rest of the line, I decided to make a bold move.
“Noel,” I said, “do you think you trust me enough to go get my package?”
She did not, but said she’d help me next. Next ended up being still quite a little while away, I popped over to DOS, and asked if they could get to the Registrar’s package storage area. No (of course not), because they were not given a key.
When Noel finally came out, I asked:
“So, have you ever considered doing the packages together with DOS? That way in high traffic times, it would take some of the load off.”
“Well, it was set up separately long before I got here. One room wasn’t big enough for all the packages.”
“Right, but you could still both use both rooms, if necessary, right? Or use one as overflow?”
“But we’re responsible for these. If they leave the door open, we have to replace things.”
“…. You mean the school has to replace them, right? And that’s the Dean of Students office…”
“They’ve never wanted to.”
“I just asked, and Rita said you just never gave them a key.”
“They never gave us a key either.”
“So, wouldn’t this be a great time to pitch in and forge some cooperation there, for the benefit of yourselves and the students?”
It would not be, apparently.