Bureaucrats are not evil. Thoroughly. Bureaucrats are just a little evil. They do not want to make my life or your life difficult (as I keep telling myself), bureaucrats work to make their lives easier. They work assiduously to do as much of nothing as is possible.
Phone trees are their “do as much of nothing” weapon of choice, as well as crummy websites, vague emails, fake smiles, coffee stains and cigarette smoke wafting through my cellphone.
I am a senior in English with few credits left to graduate. Utah Valley University’s (UVU) bureaucracy is punishing my misfortune and misprivilege. I’m an outlier–no money, no sponsor, no sugar-mama. I am extra-systemic and the system doesn’t like it. I am K. from Franz Kafka’s The Trial the machine is trying to kill. I am that which the machine hates, a minion of Apep swirling through the maelstrom of life. I am the antithesis of “do as much of nothing” since I require extra help and just won’t stop sticking around. I am that which refuses to stay in the cubby they’ve assigned me: loser.
Maybe they just don’t like fat guys. I know they have my BMI on file somewhere in their nebulous system of checks. I bounced around UVU’s phone tree this morning like a blob of flubber until a lowly flunky who had no one left to transfer me to sent me an email saying they are working on it and to call back tomorrow. Or better yet, the day after.
Better yet, don’t call them. Call someone else.
The bureaucracy just doesn’t want me around, but I don’t think they want anyone around. Real people require real effort.