Thursday, November 20, 2008

Use Form 1706b (I think)

M.C. Escher TreppenhausYou think bureaucracy in the U.S. is bad? Well, it gets much worse.

I was talking to a couple of guys at work this morning - one of whom is Chinese and in his fifties. We were complaining about the crazy way bureaucracy works at the job, especially with human resources (that's got to be one of the worst misnomers ever). He then started telling us about working in China in the early 1980's, where the HR department is actually two departments of the communist party. Everything in your life went through your job "HR" people.

Everything.

He told us he had to submit an application to get married. It took a couple of months to get approved; and they told him that he could get married, but not live together until the next calendar year.

But that was better than for his parents, he continued. In the 50s and 60s the "HR" people kindly suggested who you should marry. In fact, they would often offer you a promotion if the marriage did not seem one you would want. Of course, turning down this proposal would result in your being laid off - but hey, you had a choice!

Things are pretty cynical around here right now, with work bureaucracy getting downright ridiculous. This made me feel a modicum of gratitude for being where I'm at instead of someplace worse.

4 comments:

Chaotic Hammer said...

Enjoy the current level of bureaucracy we have while you still can.

The Democrats are in charge now. ;-)

Kate McDonald said...

wow- that's nuts. I had no idea about any of that!

thecarrikers said...

WOW! That puts a different perspective on the "HR" department. Lately, we have been complaining about hubby's HR. I guess we won't be complaining now =0)!

MamasBoy said...

I found it interesting to hear my Chinese grad school friends talk about the fees their government charges to all their citizens who are out of the country and not "contributing to the common good," but had never heard of marriage "suggestions." I wonder how widespread this is geographically and if it is more predominant among certain social classes?

MB

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