How to Deal with Bureaucracy: Be Pathetic

Can someone at the University of Not My Job please stop playing the game 1-2-3-Not-It! and tell me what the actual fark I’m supposed to do? I supposedly have a job at the U of NMJ that starts on Monday but I am not yet set up in their Human Resources system. (And I would love to be set up in their HR system.) If only someone there could tell me how to do that. The only answer I get is to “follow the instructions in your contract.” Well, that’s helpful. My contract states that my “department will set up my visit to HR.” No one in my department has contacted me. No one in my department will answer my emails. No one in my department seems to know anything about anything. I’m starting to think the HR process is the last test of my intelligence before I’m actually hired. I’m going to cry.

Why don’t you just march down to HR and demand answers? Some idiot just asked me. Well, first of all, the campus is literally the size of a town, with traffic lights and busy intersections and everything. I mean, I’m pretty bright, but I need a little direction, like where I can park my car and what building I’m actually supposed to go to. Stuff like that. Maybe whether or not my department has even given my hiring information to anyone in HR would be good to know too. Also, I live an hour away from campus so it’s not like I could just “swing by” even if I knew where the “swing by” location actually was.

What to do, what to do? Send a pathetic sounding email? That usually gets attention. Maybe cry on the phone? That’s guaranteed to make someone uncomfortable. If I lived closer, I would go cry in someone’s office. There’s nothing like angry tears to get some results. It’s even more effective when the outside temperature is over 90 degrees and crier is all sweaty and red-faced from having run all over campus. (It’s even better when the elevator isn’t working!) Now I kind of wish I lived closer just so I could go leak fluids on some bureaucrat’s desk. Also, it is actually over 90 today. Maybe I can sound sweaty and red-faced on the phone. Where is Hermes Conrad when you need him? He could limbo right under all this red tape and we could be home in time for a Manwich.

Of course the issue is that the institution is just excessively large and propped up with bureaucracy in order to function under its own bloat. I’m sure all the various people in all the various departments are each quite necessary and the entire university system would collapse without thousands of people who only do one very specific thing. I haven’t yet cycled through all of them as to find the person who can actually tell me what to do. Also, I seem very cynical about the institution and I haven’t even started working there yet. I’m going to get fired.

In summation, I am convinced there is exactly one person in the entire university that has the answer to my questions and she’s on vacation this week. I am now craving sloppy joes.