Working in a Bureaucracy, a Story

The project was not going well. It was over budget, poorly written, and with the passing of each new day seemed more destined for failure. Morale was poor, overtime was mandatory, and people openly spoke of applying for new jobs.

In the midst of all this depressing chaos the assistant vice-president of I.T. capriciously decided to schedule a mandatory project status meeting. That the meeting was being held during our lunch break didn’t seem to bother any of the clueless management. (Gee, I wonder why morale was so bad?)

We all trudged into the large conference room, most of us vying for seats in the back, while the usual butt-kissers sat in the front row, and pretended to be interested in and entertained by the empty rhetoric that droned on and on and on.

I foolishly sat next to Cliff. He had the knack for making me laugh at the most inopportune times, and with all the managers in the room I should have known better.

Nothing terrible happened for the first 20 minutes, other than my butt got sore from sitting in the hard chair. Then it happened. One of our nitwit directors made a comment about how, “…. as our efforts rise to the surface, everyone will see their success”, or something equally dumb. Cliff immediately muttered in a low voice, “The only way our efforts will rise to the surface is when their rotting corpses bloat and float.”

I lost it. I nearly choked myself attempting to squash a laugh, which came out anyway in a burst loud enough to be heard across the room. I bit on my finger and looked down at my feet, but the damage was done. I heard one of the more asinine managers make a comment about, “those with bad attitudes might want to consider working someplace else”, then thankfully the director cleared her throat and continued prattling on about success and ambition.

It was awful. I just know I’m gonna be called in to my boss’s office tomorrow, and maybe even put on probation again.

C.S. Lewis was right. Modern bureaucracies are incarnations of Hell.


This article was originally published by us on Bubblews, then copied over to FullofKnowledge.