SURVIVING IN THE BUREAUCRACY
Working in government is not only a lesson in humility; it is also a course in patience. For those who retired in public service, the toll is not exactly light. It is not the culmination of a life long dream; it is, as a matter of fact, the termination of a long drawn struggle.
Government service is replete with tension filled conditions and its climate enough to wreck nerves, disturb health and bother one’s peace of mind. It is never for the idealist. Neither it is a sanctuary for the romantic. A worker must be extra cautious in every activity since every step is covered by rules. Whether one likes it or not, government service is pure structure. One who tries his idea to facilitate something out of box would surely get the axe. The adage “hell is paved with good intentions” has become a doctrine which every employee ought to be aware of. So, there is no space for initiative unless one would rather court a disaster in his career.
Work in the bureaucracy therefore is not an employment procedure where one’s skill and competence are required. It is never a level field for those who are capable and proficient. It is an occasion for routine, subservience and suppression. Try to be dynamic and the boom of discord suddenly drops from atop, towards nowhere and hitting one instantly. Day in and day out, the same scenario appears before the worker’s eyes and if it does not get into his skin, his immune system will.
After a couple of years, idealism wanes and practicality is imbibed. Why squeeze the brains out for a task when what is needed is silence. Ask those who retired smoothly. Either they played along with the system or literally condoned everything that passed through their noses.
There are no principles involved in the bureaucracy. If one intends to stand up on what is right, he should consult his office first. Anything rightful does not necessarily make anything correct in the first place. Neither one should be predisposed to pursue what is wrong because the system is not designed towards accommodation if the one on top is still new and trying to grope what is reality in his sphere. Any office or officer for that matter is only there to promote status quo. Nobody should rock the boat. That explains the fact that the usual edifice where a government office is situated is still the same for years on end.
A worker is therefore primed to act and think accordingly. Continued existence means learning to act through acquiesces. Retirement from government service is not only considered a right of passage, it is also process that buries his intellect ahead of his spirit. Surviving in public service is therefore receiving indulgence from infernal, if not so spiritual a consideration.