Crazy making bureaucratic, hair-tearing out form

Bureaucracy can move mountains.  It can systematize what’s repetitive, streamlining processes & people with an elegance & ease that’s sorely needed.

Bureaucracy can be a pain in the arse.  It can make the most simple things so complex that a triple PhD is required to navigate your way through it.

We all come into contact with bureaucracy.

Setting up shop in Kenya I’ve had more than my fair share of it.  It took me 5 months to simply get my Smart Card at the local grocery store & don’t even get me started on how it’s been 7 months & counting since we’ve been waiting for our security reimbursement (realizing the both are firmly PPP problems, but that’s for another post).

We’ve had challenges getting credit cards issued here.  They were ordered but never came.

Enter bureaucracy.

Note the above picture.  See the bit where it says ‘you may not use this form to report that a card was lost, stolen or never received’?

Check out the bottom bit of the same form below.

Yep, the same form says ‘please replace my UNFCU card’ (see the picture below).

I felt like I was in one of those mazes where the exit sign was hidden.  I checked with the banker guy, asking if we had the right form.  When he said yes, I pointed out the discrepancy.  He didn’t raise an eyebrow, merely assured me I had the right form.


Our cards finally arrived.

In the meantime it was a lesson in how to make something simple quite confusing…. something we can inadvertently do when we’re communicating (assuming our message is received loud & clear) &/or teaching (assuming participants know more than they do for example).

Figure out your equivalent of the crazy making bureaucratic, hair tearing out form & ditch it.

Note: PPP = privileged person’s problem


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