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    Joe Citizens - new story, regarding Motability scooters. My favourite!

  • The Un-Civil Servant

  • BB

    BB is Bureaucratic Bullsh*t.
    It can also stand for Big Brother.
    In the civil service, they are one and the same.

  • What’s it all about?

    Bureaucracy is an umbrella term for official incompetence; that is, incompetence which has officially been sanctioned as being good practice. No-where in the world is that more apparent than in the British public sector. Misadministration of public services is the backbone of every government led department.
    Trust me, I’m a civil servant.

  • It’s a disease

    Bureaucracy runs rife through the corridors of power like a child riddled with ADHD, high on fizzy pop, crisps and jelly-beans.

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Can They Really Be This Thick?

English: Poster for The Idiot Cycle

English: Poster for The Idiot Cycle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You see, this is what we have to deal with, hour after hour, day in, day out.  Can you blame me for wanting to throttle every last one of these idiots?!

This is a word for word transcript of a conversation I had with a member of Joe Public, today.

JP: When is my payment in December?

Me: The 21st.

JP: The 23rd?

Me: 21st!

JP: But the 23rd is Christmas day.

Me: 21st!!

JP: Oh.  The 23rd.  Thanks. Bye.

Notice how I didn’t even bother to correct the Christmas day abonimation? It’s not worth it.  Sometimes – most times – it’s like talking to jellyfish.


What Language Please?

Free Translation

If we get a call from someone who doesn’t speak English (you’d probably be surprised how many we get), we have to use a telephone interpreting service.  This is a three-way conversation between the helpline officer, the customer and the interpreter.  We can connect to an interpreter through this service almost immediately, for any language.  And this service costs a small fortune for every call.

Now, I didn’t get one of these today, but one call I did get prompted me to explain the reality of how we deal with these calls!

It was a call from someone who originally came from Slovakia.  The speaker was the son whose mother didn’t speak English, but his wasn’t too bad.   He told me what she needed and I complied, but during the call he said his mother had telephoned five times over the last couple of days and requested an interpreter.  The problem was that every time she was being connected to one, she was cut off.  Strangely enough, this seems to be a common occurence for calls such as these.  Any guesses as to why this might be?  Faulty equipment, perhaps?

Nope, your first thoughts were correct.  We cut them off!  Most of them anyway, and a lot of helpline officers do it.  The nightmare you have trying to sort out a problem whilst dealing with an interpreter who doesn’t have a clue how the benefit works is unbelievable.  Of course, we all take the odd one of these calls in the correct manner, just not to make it too obvious to the little Hitlers in the back office.  But it is amazing how many times I dial the wrong connection number and the recorded message tells me “this number is not recognised”, or as the connection is ringing my finger slips on the big red disconnect button.  They shouldn’t make it so big!  It’s very distracting.

Look, before you all start shouting the odds, don’t you think the lazy blighters ought to at least make the effort to speak our language before claiming our benefits?  Half the time we do connect with an interpreter, we could do with an interpreter for the interpreter!  It’s a bloody stupid service given solely so the big, fat, soft, lefty do-gooders can say we’re embracing diversity and report to the politicians that all their asses are covered.  Bullsh*t!  As far as they’re concerned, ‘everyone has the right to converse in their own language.’  Even if a Welsh person who can speak English perfectly (and surely 99% of them do), wants to speak in Welsh, we have to transfer them to a nominated Welsh speaker!  Why?  What difference does it make?

One day soon, I am going to learn how to say, “F*ck *ff” in every language!

Rabbit, Rabbit

I had a call today from some Joe Citizenwhite rabbit

who was concerned because he hasn’t received his DLA for a while.  I can’t remember why he hadn’t but he said he was desperate for it because:

  1. He had to get some gas
  2. He had a bill to pay
  3. His rabbit needed some food

I really thought I had heard it all but apparently not!


The Survey Says . . .

Well, Joes, how’s it going?  Can you believe it’s two years since I told you all about my work day?  Amazing how time flys by.  Time really doesn’t just go quick when you’re having fun, in fact, I’ve noticed that when you’re having fun, it’s usually because you’re doing something different to your usual daily slog or doing something you don’t do often.  And when you’re doing those things, time actually seems to slow down!  Whoever said time flys when you’re having fun must have been a politician.  They always spout bull.

Anyway, today was like any other at work.  Nothing outstanding or unusual happened, but the daily grind does seem to be getting worse.  Not just because every time I go there the ‘Soul Vampire’ who sits under my desk, drains a little bit more out of me, but also there are a lot of changes happening very soon.  Even without these changes (which I will bore you with at some point soon) the whole place is becoming excruciatingly wearisome.  It ranks only second in the worlds most undesirable place to work, just behind the ‘Bog of Eternal Stench.’ Mind you, saying that, I think I’d rather be a cleaner there than a helpline officer here.

Here’s something Joe Citizen does quite a lot that makes me giggle every time! (insert ‘throw my pen across the room in a vile temper’ for ‘giggle’).  Here’s the scenario:

  • Me: Good morning, may I have the customer’s surname, please?survey question
  • Joe: The customer’s survey? What’s that?
  • Me: The customer’s surname.
  • Joe: I’ve got a National Insurance number, is that what you mean?
  • No.  The surname!
  • Joe: Sorry, I don’t know what that is.
  • Me (giggles!): No, I want the LAST NAME! The SURNAME!
  • Joe: Sorry, why do you want the cat’s name? I don’t have a cat.
  • Me: WHAT IS YOUR. . . LAST. . . NAME?!!!

At this point they finally get it!  And my blood pressure has gone up, the girl next to me is laughing her head off and my supervisor has walked out of the room on pretext of getting a coffee so he doesn’t have to bollock me for being a twat!  You can’t blame me though, surely! That really does happen on a weekly basis – maybe not the cat thing though!

Apart from that, I had a brill day!  NOT.

Oh, and we have finally upgraded our work e-mail to Office 2010 from Office 2000!  Though we still have IE6, so it didn’t work for most people all day!  Our computer systems are sh*te.  But what can you do?  Nothing that happens there surprises me.  I only wish it did.