*Walks into one of the council offices, where three ladies are working on reception, happy to help*
“I can’t talk to you without a ticket”
*Stares and turns to the next official, sat beside her, apparently doing nothing*
Ummm, Hi, I just…
“You need to take a ticket”
*Mutters, finds the display and presses the relevant buttons to get a ticket*
Hi, you called…
“You need to wait your turn”
*Stares around the vast, nearly empty room*
“You have to wait until your ticket is called.”
*Stares open-mouthed, turns to another bored-looking official, again sat, apparently doing nothing*
Look, I just…
“I’m sorry, your ticket is for that lady”
*Points to the first lady, who looks me in the eye, then starts rearranging paper clips or something*
*Watches a group of official-looking visitors walk past and get signed in at the desk (no ticket needed for them, apparently)*
*Watches an old gentleman fight with the same bureaucracy*
*Waits while one of the woman photocopies all the man’s papers. The second smiles, then walks past us to stare out the window. The third appears to be contemplating a white spot on the wall*
*Ticket number finally gets called (no-one has been seen in the preceding time, no other numbers were called the entire time I was there.)*
Hi, someone from reception telephoned and asked me to collect a letter.
“Ah, yes, there you go, we had it here ready for you”
On a busy day, with lots of people to be seen, yes, there is a need for an efficient queueing system. On a day like today, when they clearly have more staff than visitors, most of whom seem to be doing nothing, it is not just blind obedience to rules, it is downright rude.
Coincidence that ‘bureaucracy’ is excessively complicated word to spell?