Archive for January 26, 2016

When patience is not enough

January 26, 2016 Leave a comment
Symbolic snail

Symbolic snail

“Bureaucracy!” This is the cry of any Italian called on to justify delay in one of the many convoluted administrative systems.

Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine what might be going on. Are pieces of paper being delivered by mule cart over the mountain ranges? Does every document have to be produced in copperplate by a single scribe enshrined somewhere in the depths of the Vatican?

Any attempt to find out what the process actually is, is never good for the health.

“Ah, but it has to be presented before a Board which only meets once a month and you just missed it.”

“The person next in the chain of authorisation is on holiday for two weeks.”

There are no shortcuts. Every little step, however apparently pointless, is immensely important because that is the way it is done.

Sometimes no-one really knows the way it is done. In such cases, there must be a delay until someone is found who does know, or a procedure is invented that has the proper magisterial dilatoriness.

On the receiving end, patience is not enough. The only thing that works is not caring, or maybe forgetting something has been put in motion at all. Chasing is at best discouraging and at worst counterproductive.

Unfortunately it’s difficult to still the mind when it’s a matter of help for someone confined to a sofa who’s already waited five months and who’s beginning to think promised equipment is a fairy tale.

Photos of gastropods always come in handy when writing about this part of the world.