September 14, 2011 in B
Nobody in the office wanted to process the backlog. These files had been sitting untouched for years for a reason. Sometimes it was because it went to the wrong address, or a mandatory box on the form had not been filled in. Generally anything that made it more work than a trained monkey could deal with got thrown into the ‘delayed processing pile’. For a while it had just been a pile on the edge of a desk. Then it took over the spare desk in the corner. Now it was the old stationary cupboard jammed to the rafters.
The thing that really got to me was that these forms were from people who didn’t have long left, so the delays we were sometimes a matter of life and death, if it took too long we just blamed ‘bureaucracy’.
It was seeing a form get chucked into the cupboard for not being in all caps that was the final straw. I couldn’t stand it any longer so I spoke up. As the most junior member of staff I should have known what Gladys would do, and sure enough, here I am, at the weekend, sorting through dusty papers.
I wonder if I should thank Gladys? Probably more hassle than it’s worth, as she usually starts shouting at me before I get the first word out.
From the scrawled “incorrect receipt” in the ‘official use only’ box, I think this was even one of hers. She probably saw the headache inducing spidery scrawl on the 4 pages of supplementary information, and was delighted to see the little square attached was not the size or colour of the correct type of receipt. I can even see her twisted delight in this no longer having to be her problem.
It’s quite a sad case actually, a lady who sounds sweet enough, but stuck in her ways and surrounded by what sounds like a horrid family only kept from being at each other’s throats by the thinnest veneer. It must have been a hard decision, but I can see why she thought this would blow the family apart, and would do anything to keep them, dysfunctional as they were, together. I’ve no idea, though, why she thought sending the winning lottery ticket through to us was the best use of it, but I’m happy to make sure it doesn’t go to waste, gathering dust at the back of a cupboard.
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