I hate it.

People whose jobs involve making life complicated for others.

As I was working today I got a call from the local council office letting me know that our ‘church in the park’ gig this Sunday hadn’t been run past them and we didn’t have permission to have a public gathering in that location.

Oh really… she started to speak to me about council rules and regs and I began to glaze over, except that I knew I had to listen.

As she was speaking I vauguely recalled a mate having a birthday party for his wife and encountering similar issues when he wanted to use the park across the road from his house.

I hadn’t even thought to ask. 30 people in a park having a picnic… probably most of them ratepayers… but to use the park you have fill in a truckload of forms, pay $50.00 and have it agreed to by the council… blah…

The issue was that we made mention of it in the school newsletter and that was considered advertising. (Really makes you wonder how they got hold of a QBC newsletter doesn’t it!?) As a result we may be ‘inundated with people’ and the council needs to know.

I don’t have much energy for this kind of stuff. In fact it really gives me the shits because it actually works against people trying to do simple positive things like a picnic with ‘the family’ in the park. Crikey given their rules every time Danelle’s family comes around and we head down to the park we’re going to need a permit!

Its just one more way in which life becomes complicated and people say ‘forget it…’ Maybe that’s the idea…

And in case you’re wondering – no I wasn’t operating on the ‘easier to get forgiveness than permission’ premise. I just didn’t think 30 people having a picnic needed a permit. Obviously it does. Obviously it could create a significant challenge for the local community on Sunday.

Ironically it looks like it may rain on Sunday and we might not be able to do it anyway…

I think Danelle is going to follow it up tomorrow and she’s even feelin feistier than I am so it could be fun!

7 thoughts on “Bureaucracy

  1. Red tape. I hate it.

    I was talking to the new manager of the local community centre this morning and, almost in passing, mentioned that I had kicked a couple of doors in during my time as a volunteer there.

    Strangely enough he looked a bit surprised!

    I simply pointed out that I was there to do a job and that if someone else had stopped me doing y leaving a door locked the door was not going to stop me.

    I bet he will be watching me for a while!!


  2. Y’know, as someone who has organized block parties for my neighborhood for the last 8 years and who has recently discovered that my city just introduced a $25 fee for holding one, I feel your pain. Bureaucracy kills all sorts of good things.

    But, on the flip side, as a person who also has a next-door neighbor who feels it too difficult to remember to put out trash on garbage day and stacks up literally *scores* of bags of garbage in his backyard, bureaucracy can come to the rescue.

    I never had much appreciation for government until I started running into problems with the way some people treat “shared spaces”–like the street or even a backyard. Someone has to set the rules for everyone and be in a position to enforce them.

    When I complained about the fee the block party people told stories of people wanting to block off their street for their daughter’s graduation party. They weren’t inviting neighbors–just their friends and family–but they certainly were inconveniencing the neighborhood. Now, while I couldn’t understand how $25 would prevent the problem where the permit process itself could not, I did gain an appreciation for what the government was doing *for* me.

    If you want to complain about the process of having 30-50 of your closest friends take over a public part, let your imagination run wild to a worst case scenario of 30-50 other people deciding to use the park for some other purpose–maybe one that generated smoke, trash, noise, or bizarre sights for the folks living around the park.

    I know your eyes are probably glazing over right now, as they did with the woman at your council office. But, maybe, before you complain, put yourself in the position of someone who *doesn’t* like what is going on in the park. Then you’d wish the council would have some standards about what can and cannot be done in a park.

    But you can’t have it both ways. It’s part of what we call living in civilized society under the rule of law.

  3. Hamo,

    *This is in response to your marketing request but the comments had been closed. Keep it if you like or discard as appropriate.

    1. List your business in http://www.google.com/places. I noticed your site comes up first in Google for “retic Alkimos” but its relegated below the three operators already on Places. This is free and definitely where you need to be.

    2. Another possibility is to find a well-placed, prominent new home being built in the area and offer to do their retic, and possibly lawn, for FREE in exchange for housing your sign on their frontyard for the next 12 months.

    3. After each job, leave your business placard on their front lawn for as long as you can.

    4. Park a moveable sign at the entrance of the estate or in any of the new home carparks. (Caution willl need to be exercised here as councils can get a bit funny about this type of signage but it’s great guerilla marketing)

    5. Get business cards onto sales rep’s desks.

    Hope these may be helpful. All the best with grabbing the ‘lions share’.

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