August 28, 2003

Tim 1, Bureaucracy 0! (or, how Tim almost becomes a socialist)

Any longtime readers of this blog who have photographic memories will recall that several weeks ago (two weeks from yesterday to be exact) I went downtown to apply for a passport so I can get across the border to go to university without a huge hassle. I paid sixty bucks extra to have it expedited (which meant I was guaranteed to get it in two weeks.) Yesterday I checked the mail. Wasn't there. Today I checked the mail. Wasn't there. I went back downtown to talk to the people in the city clerk's office. They were very nice about it, made some phone calls and took my phone number. I left rather worried; I had to send in papers that I'll need to cross the border and get my visa, so if it were to come late I'd be stuck here.

But then the lady from the City Clerk's office called my house. The INS people or whoever it is that handles passports said they would FedEx the passport and documents to me. I'll get them tomorrow or Saturday.

I started to rethink my thoughts about bureaucrats and government employees. Hey, the mailman does a decent job, and these people were really nice. I began to enter a sort of happy delusion wherein the government always made things better when they stepped in, wherein federal funds helped fix problems... but then I saw an MDOT (Mich. Department of Transportation) guy leaning on his shovel, watching cars go around a lane that was closed because of a huge hole they'd dug for no apparent reason. The bubble popped; my good old American antipathy toward government returned. Good thing, too -- I was headed straight for Frenchlike government-philia (shudder).

Posted by Tim at August 28, 2003 04:49 PM

I work with federal workers, and trust me, there are many who are dedicated and hard working public servants. Unfortunately it's almost impossible to fire one, so there are just as many losers who I wouldn't trust to run the french fryer at McDonalds.

It's no wonder Uncle Sam contracts out a helluva lot of work.

Posted by: Ted at August 28, 2003 08:03 PM

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