As anyone who has met or reads me, knows: I’m not exactly the conforming type; I even got fired from a job once because I wasn’t smart enough to deal with the internecine warfare of the bureaucratic institution I was working for. So why would someone like me, with a basic allergy to all things bureaucratic, write a Blog that is in praise of bureaucrats? Because I was treated with such courtesy, respect and downright kindness by someone who works in the Victoria office of Canada’s Old Age Pension. It wiped all my previous negative ideas about faceless bureaucrats mindlessly following their Borg routines right off the map. I am now ready to admit that I was wrong.
Yes, folks, Bureaucrats are people too. And some, like this lovely lady, who described herself as ‘just a small cog in the system, not very important’, really do deserve our respect and admiration. I for one, could not deal in such a restrained, kind and efficient manner with hundreds of seniors all looking to the government for help. Very likely, some of us oldsters are a bit slow, or confused, or perhaps angry. It must be a test of character to deal with such an onslaught of people and their concerns for security. She does it, every day and seemed a tad surprised when I told her that I found her kind and efficient. Clearly, she’s not used to praise, or simple appreciation of any kind. She’s ‘just doing my job’.
And we should all pause and reflect that it is this simple act of ‘doing their job’ that keeps Canada a country where order and good governance prevail. It’s not just bureaucrats either; it’s everyone who does real work for sort of okay pay. I’m thinking of teachers, janitors, bus drivers, policemen on the beat. And let’s not forget garbage men! (Persons?) Most of the time, and in most places, they serve us well. As a nation, we have our failings, and we know what they are. I’m just grateful that Old Age Security isn’t one of them. It seems to be working just fine, and every now and then, it’s okay to say thank you to bureaucrats.
So. In Praise of Bureaucrats! Who would have thunk it?