How to Survive a Bureaucratic Workplace


Some pointers from someone who’s done 10+ years.

Being employed at a secure organization can be a real catch-22. One one hand, I don’t have to worry about coming in to work one day to find my cubicle packed up. On the other hand, large organizations are bureaucracies.

Basically, this means getting things done is a job in itself.

For instance, say the fluorescent light above one’s cubicle needs replacement. Screw in a new one and get back to work right?
nah. Fill out form SP-1556, two supervisory signatures, one admin officer, one clerk from the Maintenance office, two laisons to process ticket request, and one actual lightbulb fixer.

This process is unsettling for several reasons.

Independent thinkers may want to take a flying leap off the roof, screaming random acronyms on the way down. The downside of dividing up even the most menial tasks is that it eliminates any sense of accomplishment. You will not be driving home reminiscing about taking charge of the lighting situation in cube 7D860.

Instead, you will wonder if the form has even made it past psycho Secretary B upstairs. Is the routing slip correct? Will the form be returned for a less-than-acceptable justification code in section 5A ? Will supervisor #2 sign if his middle initial was not included?

So how may one survive such a fickle environment?


And as we’re crossing border after border
We realize that difference is none
It’s underdogs who, and if you want it
You always have to make your own fun

And as the upperdog leisurely sighing
The local cultures are dying and dying
The programmed robots are buying and buying
And a psycho load of freaks they are still trying trying
–Gogol Bordello, “Through the Roof N Underground”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s