Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Brain-Dead Government Workers

 How is it that government can make everything so complicated?

I got an annual renewal fee invoice from the State of California, Public Utilities Commission, Private Carrier Unit for $30 or $35 if delinquent.

At the top of the letter was a phone number to call for questions. 

I called the number late last week and a recording of a giddy chick gleefully announced, “This is Karen.  Hooray, I am finally retired.  If you need assistance call (referred number).”

I called the new number several times that day.  No one answered.  Later I remembered that it was Friday.  Government doesn’t work on Fridays.

So I waited until Monday and called again.  No answers; it was MLK day.  Government doesn’t work on holidays either.   In fact, government doesn’t work most of the time but they're just too dumb to know it.

On Tuesday I called several times and got busy signals.  Finally I got a live person with a thick, foreign accent and dead brain – a Brain-dead Doofus (BDD).  Following is the conversation I had with BDD.

(Ring,  ring,  ring,  ring.)

BDD:       Public Utilities Commission.  This is (Brain-dead Doofus).  May I help you?

Me:         Hi, my name is Ralph Petersen and I received an annual statement requesting a $30 fee to renew our PRIVATE CARRIER permit.  Can you please tell me what the permit is for?

BDD:     Oh sure.  That’s is for Private Carriers.

Me:        Yeah, I know.  I just read that to you but my question is, WHAT IS IT FOR?

BDD:      It’s for $30 or $35.  (I'm not making this up; really!)

Me:         I know how much it is.  That’s not what I asked.  I want to know what the permit is for?

BDD:       Do you know what your PUC number is?  It should be at the top of the letter and it starts with the letters, CA.

Me:         Sure, it is 0067897.

BDD:      Eight, nine, ten? 

Me:         No, eight, nine, seven.

BDD:      Did you say nine, seven, ten?

Me:         No, I said, eight, nine, seven.  Let me repeat it.  It is 0067897.

BDD:      Okay, so you are with (Name of Company)?

Me:         Yes, that’s correct.

BDD:       Okay, that is for your annual renewal fee.

Me:         I know that.  That’s not what I asked.  This isn't a hard question.  Is there anyone there who can UNDERSTAND ENGLISH AND ANSWER A SIMPLE, STRAIGHT-FORWARD QUESTION?  I WANT TO KNOW, WHAT IS IT FOR?

(Maybe it’s my fault.  I probably confused the poor guy with my lousy grammar; I ended the question with a preposition).

BDD:      Hold on.  I’m going transfer this call to my supervisor.

(Ring,  ring,  ring,  ring.)

Hello.  This is (BDD’s supervisor).  I’m sorry, I am away from my desk at the moment.  Please leave a message and I will return your call as soon as I get back.
It is now twelve hours later and I am still twiddling my thumbs.  

So here's my question:  Shouldn't a fourth grade education be a prerequisite for public employment?  Just wondered!

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