Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Adventures in Hyper-Bureaucracy

I was going to spend my last hour at work today paying bills, but Dr. Wes just blew my mind, so the boring stuff will have to wait until the morning.

He's been sitting out at our conference table cataloguing the latest batch of public disclosure requests, which includes Customer Service Bureau data related to the homeless sweeps. Apparently, each time someone calls to complain, a case is opened, sent to an "investigator," and, once resolved, the case is closed. This whole process, when someone calls to say they oppose the sweeps, takes 2-3 minutes. Click on the above to enlarge, and you'll see all of the various fields in the database that need completion. I've blacked out identifying information to protect the innocent. When two family members complain, two cases are opened, investigated, and closed. Actual complaints about campsite sightings take longer, and people are sent out to investigate.

This suggests several strategies.

1.) Call the Customer Service Bureau (684-CITY) to tell them you oppose the sweeps, and be sure that the opposition of all family members is duly registered. Feel free to include family pets, such as Snooper, Goldie, and Prettyboy. They won't mind. Each will get their own form.

2.) Call the Customer Service Bureau to report non-existent encampments. Personnel will be sent to look for them. If their bogus to real call ratio goes up to, oh, say 4-1, they may become discouraged. The objection could be made that this is a misuse of taxpayer resources, but it's all a misuse of resources, so what's the problem?

3.) Invent your own variations on the bogus call theme. Sample Call:
"Hi. I'm calling to report a homeless campsite. It's a pretty bad one. You'll probably want to wear your haz-mat gear."

Where is the encampment sir?

"It's up the Mayor's ass. Bring flashlights too. It's way up in there!"
Then they'd have to fill in their little form.
Short Subject: City Hall: Illegal Encampment
Long Subject: Encampment deep inside Mayor's Ass. Possibly hazardous.

No comments: