February 09, 2004

Oh bureaucracy, I hate you a lot

OK, so I have a job on campus -- two, actually. Over the last month, I've worked about 20 or 25 hours which should give me a good chunk of money.

Enter message on the white board telling me I need to turn around and go back to school so I can fill out forms.

OK, I'm cool with that. They need my signature all nice and legal, they need my bank account number so they can direct deposit my salary.

But no, there's more. I don't have a Social Insurance number. I need that number to get a job in Canada. I need... (drum-roll) More Forms. This time for the government.

Can you explain to me why the Canadian Federal Government needs to know that I was born in Calcutta, India, or what my mother's maiden name is? I didn't bloody think so.

According to the form, I should receive my Social Insurance Number card in three weeks. We'll see.

Thank you, Canadian Federal Government, for creating lots of forms for me to fill out so that I can give my money to the national health-care system, an entity that I will likely never need and wouldn't be able to use (for free) even if I needed to.

Maybe if I fill out more forms at the end of the year, they'll graciously give me whatever large chunk they've appropriated from my paycheque. Right now, I just have to guess whether I'll get my card in time for the March payday, I've got less than a snowball's chance in Hades of getting this all together in time to be paid this month.

Thank you, Redeemer University, for not telling me that I needed this stuff in when I started working for you a month ago. I can thank you that I will probably be getting my first pay in mid-March, two months after I start working and one month before I leave to go home.

It's a good thing I don't have to worry about bills or housing or anything like that. If I really were poor, I wouldn't be able to jump through all these hoops. Another example of how Big Government hurts the poor. It's enough to make someone a Libertarian (only joking, Mr. Strauss -- by the way, the response to Rousseau will also likely be late since I'd budgeted this afternoon to do that reading but now have to do these forms. Lovely.)

Update 4:34PM: Today is now officially the Worst Day Ever. Crappy Sociology class at three (highlight -- we watched a video from some ecumenical organization about the American involvement in Colombia. Lots of peasant types were going on about how the increased American military aid was helping their government spray crop-killers on their land with the effect that they couldn't produce anything, etc. They were sure that US involvement wasn't doing anything to help the War on Drugs. That's funny, I said to myself. Why would the US endure international criticism and waste lots of money to oppress a few Colombian peasants and do a little democracy-subversion? Then they started talking about the oil exploration. Oh yeah, I said to myself. How could I forget that the primary, overarching drive behind all of United States foreign policy is OOOIIILLL!!!?

Uh huh, then after that I found a note in my mailbox telling me to change the sign (one of my two on-campus jobs) by tomorrow at noon. What is this message , so sudden and urgent that I couldn't have had, say, 12 hours' warning? (I can't do it tomorrow morning because I promised some friends I'd drive them on errands and such). The super-important message is "Redeemer Royals / Men's Basketball vs Lambton / Tues, Feb 10 at 8 PM". That's right, we've apparently now started advertising for basketball games, like anyone who wants to go to a game wouldn't already have found out when they're playing. So I have to go change that sign now before supper.

And this all on top of the six hours of class I have today (three during the day, one three-hour night class) mean this is truly the Worst Day Ever.

But God is faithful, and His mercies are new every morning. Tomorrow is a new day, eh?

Posted by Tim at February 9, 2004 02:34 PM

Please don't become a libertarian, Mr. Van Alstyne. I would hate to have to use my silver bullet or little wooden stakes, or bring garlic to class.

Posted by: Gideon Strauss at February 10, 2004 03:30 PM

Hey Tim,
my web journal is at http://www.livejournal.com/users/ally788 if you want to check it out. It's not very interesting, but that's because I just started.

Posted by: Allison at February 10, 2004 04:13 PM

"eh?" methinks there may still be hope for Michiganders like yourself

Posted by: Graham at February 11, 2004 01:54 PM

How much it cost to attend college in Canada (in US dollars please)?

The Bills in in the US are killing me!

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