Turf Marking

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Good! Use your aggresive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you.

-Emperor Palpatine, Return of the Jedi

So, the benefits office at the Big Red school on the hill made Error #2 concerning my health benefits. The first error was simple, easily understood, and more importantly didn't cost me much in time and effort to fix. This new error could potentially cost me an extra $170 per month for the rest of 2006 unless I get it fixed now. On top of that, I'm utterly mystified as to how a mistake like this could be made.

Now, I'm sure the benefits office will do their utmost to correct the mistake. But, I also know how bureaucracies work. Corrective action is slow, especially when other bureaucracies are involved, and never painless for the person seeking remedy. That's no one's fault, really--just the way things are set up oftentimes.

I'm pretty much prepared to make someone's life a (metaphorical) living hell come Wednesday. I have not only my righteous anger, but documentation to back me up. I am utterly in the right--SO right that should they ask (as most bureaucracies will) for my indulgence and patience in the corrective process, I could tell them to kiss my @$$.

I've lined up my paperwork. I've lined up the sorts of verbal and non-verbal behaviors designed to keep them off-balance, and I've done most of the homework necessary to know about their chain of command, and whose name to drop if I had to. I'm prepared to go in there like Chow Yun-Fat with two glocks (Metaphorically speaking!!!).

I know about 75% of the folks that read this will say, "Damn straight! This is your insurance, you can't mess around with that. Fcuk them!" Heck, at least 20% of those folks would advocate me going in there and reciting Al Pacino's speech to Kevin Spacey in Glengarry Glen Ross. ("I don't wanna hear siht, and I don't give a siht!" "Your excuses are your own!") But, I know some of you may rightly ask, "What, you've never made mistakes? You've never incurred someone's righteous anger?"

I have to admit that yes, I've done both and repeatedly.

Some may ask, "Doesn't that give you any sympathy for the poor slob whose day you're bound to ruin--some schlub who was unlucky enough to get assigned to fix a problem he/she probably had no hand in causing, whatsoever?"

The unfortunate truth is, not as much as I used to have. Yes, I've shown sympathy and mercy. But, as I become involved in more and more things where the stakes get higher and higher--insurance for my family, money matters, etc.--the more inclined I am to use every means at my disposal, fair and unfair, to get what I need done.

It's all become a simple equation, really. I can either accept and shoulder some of the burden (that I don't deserve) as the bureaucratic, corrective process takes effect, showing understanding and sympathy to all involved. Or, I could use--and abuse--my modestly extensive knowledge of how bureaucratic systems work. I could raise holy hell, use all sorts of psychological verbal and nonverbal strategies, drop names, involve supervisors and higher ups (You know I've shmoozed with the ones in my area since Day One, for just such an occassion.) until I get what's legitimately mine, probably causing someone at least some amount of psychic damage for the sake of expediting the process. Let's face it, the squeaky wheel, etc.

It's perfectly reasonable to ask, "What would Jesus do?" It's also just as reasonable to wonder, "What would Jesus do if he had a family to take care of in a world of rising health care costs?"


Ms. Bizarro said...

Mercury is in retrograde again. Expect more of the same.

B said...

Well Jesus would say "Turn the other cheek." and he was crucified.

I say "Fuck'em." and I'm doin fine :)