Jewish World Review Feb. 24, 2003 / 22 Adar I, 5763
Choosing a career as
an obfuscation and complication specialist
Welcome to the Bureaucrat Institute. Congratulations on choosing a career as
an obfuscation and complication specialist.
Start out learning the basics
from paper shuffling to the telephone runaround. Then learn the skills
you'll need to add red tape to any organization. Here are some useful
- CABLE, PHONE AND SEWER REPAIRS: This course will teach you how to
maximize residential street disruption. Use sophisticated mathematical
models and computer scheduling programs to optimize the number of times any
given street must be dug up to repair just about anything. What appears to
the average person as random inefficiency actually requires skillful
planning among numerous private companies and public agencies.
- BILLING: Complicated service bills don't just happen by accident. They're
the products of decades of deliberate development. You'll learn the complex
formulas that connect dates and hours to interest rate increases and
climbing or sliding scales. In the municipal arena, see how mill rates are
related to school taxes and water usage to sewer charges. When puzzled
customers come looking for answers, you can give them more than they
- RECYCLING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT: Learn how to complicate a simple idea.
Start with the concept of recycling garbage with one blue box for weekly
collection. Add a black box for paper products and a green box for organic
waste. Be adventuresome. Add different colors for different materials such
as cardboard, Styrofoam and more. Learn the vagaries of collection
scheduling, including random pickup day rotation and holiday weekend
- PARKING SIGNS: Let your imagination soar! Start small with the production
of the standard "Parking" or "No Parking" signs and work up to sophisticated
creations such as multiple assigned sections in a single company lot or
odd/even day, alternate side-street parking. Get even more creative and try
an abstract collage of different, inconsistent parking signs on the same
- FORMS, GLORIOUS FORMS: Paper is the lifeblood of any bureaucracy. While
others adopt the computerized option, you'll learn how to stick tenaciously
to the paper path. Learn the difference between an LDC-01 (pink) and an
LDC-02 (blue). Find out how you can create your own form while carefully
adhering to the minimum $25 fee and triplicate requirements.
If you finish all these courses, there is always our postgraduate program.
We have courses in everything from Principles of Mazes to Dealing with Pesky
Elected Officials. When you've completed our course load, you'll be well on
your way to a satisfying career serving the public above and beyond their
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David Martin is a full-time bureaucrat and a part-time writer. He lives with
his wife and daughter in Ottawa, Canada.
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02/04/03: Dare to be average
© 2003, David Martin