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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Bureaucratic skills, the skills everyone needs but which are not really taught?

    It is an inescapable facet of modern life that you will have to deal with bureaucracies, public/state and private, in the process of meeting your needs.

    A simple example is that of becoming a motorist, provided you dont want to risk prosecution or you're not a complete law flouting outlaw, it will involve buying/renting a car, buying insurance, paying taxes for the vehicle and then licencing as a driver (although not necessarily in that order). This will get you on the road but annually the tax will be due and eventually the road worthiness of the vehicle will require testing, perhaps annually.

    This is just one, fairly average or open to everyone in theory, life challenge or test, it is going to involve making phone calls, scheduling appointments, very possibly record keeping, maintaining and updating records, accessing the right records for the right person at the right time for the right purpose.

    Those are all bureaucratic tasks in some respect, they are the skills which everyone will need pretty much, although are they necessarily or formally taught or can they be?
    All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.
    Chapter IV, p. 448. - Adam Smith, Book 3, The Wealth of Nations

    whether or not you credit psychoanalysis itself, the fact remains that we all must, to the greatest extent possible, understand one another's minds as our own; the very survival of humanity has always depended on it. - Open Culture

  2. #2
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    5w4 sx/sp


    I always thought there was a romance to being a complete law flouting outlaw, then I met one. He wasn't, in a sociopathic way, actually it was highly moralistic, which is why I didn't mind being his friend, but conceeding to the bureaucratic process actually has benefits when not too bogged in red tape and paperwork.
    Your above example of car ownership being a good one. We can be reasonably sure that most people are competent enough to be driving and that those vehicles aren't dangerous death traps.
    As to how teach people about dealing with bureaucracy, they got to see the benefits, I guess. People who have poor reading and writing compencies tend to have trouble. I don't know, but isn't school and education the training ground for bureaucratic systems. As much as I hate paper pushers, they are necessary to grease the cogs of society as we know it.
    How do you teach people to fill out paperwork, turn up to appointments etc? Really they have to see there is a reward. They have to value the results. I'm sure you have observed though, the machine isn't exactly adaptable to deviations of the human condition, we have to conform to it, and those on the fringes for what ever reason aren't always benefitted.
    You just know how to do it, people don't teach you, they may guide you, but it's kinda part of human conscious collective really. This is the stuff you lap up with your mother's milk.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.


  3. #3
    Insert witty line here... Ponyboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    The people you ACTUALLY converse with when dealing with a bureaucracy are never the ones that make the rules. They are people with jobs getting through life like everyone else. Most are happy to help you through the process (and usually skip you through a few steps/legalities) if you are pleasant. I hate the aholes that go in there thinking "I'm the shit! Noone will mess with me!!" But I suppose this just boils down to the social skill of "You catch more flies with honey..."

    Edit: I meant I hate standing behind those Aholes when I'm in line.
    I'm never wrong, I'm just sometimes less right

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