you know it’s a bureaucracy when…

The office in which I work is probably best described as XTreme Open Plan. It’s noisy and really ill-advised for agoraphobics, and can get pretty depressing if you sit toward the middle of the building – while the sky outside the windows is more often than not gray, at least you’ve got a constant reminder that there is a sky out there, which makes it somehow easier to be indoors. But probably the handiest (and most dangerous) thing about the office design is how easy it is to eavesdrop. Stand around in the right general area long enough and you’ll hear all sorts of Secret Stuff. Then again, you’ll also hear all sorts of rubbish. So I’ve learned to tune my ears to pick up only the more-than-marginally interesting or excruciating or absurd. It’s the absurd things that stick, usually. Today’s gem, which I just heard repeated, increasingly emphatically, about 3 times in a single conversation: “THE PROCESS HAS TO BE SEEN TO BE DONE!”

So there you have it. Does this mean that if I can’t see the process, I can’t follow it? Or that I have to make an effort to appear as though I’m following it even if I can’t see it? Or that I have to be able to see it in order to appear as though I’m following it even when I’m not? No idea. If I want to find out, I’ll probably have to fill in a form.

In triplicate.