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Monday, October 25, 2010

RUN-AROUNDS

I don't think anyone likes what is commonly called "run-arounds" - you know, people who set up a bureaucratic process just to keep you busy and out of their way. There are other names for it, such as "chasing your tail," "the dance of the fairies," "bunco," etc. No doubt you are familiar with the expression, "They are giving him the run-around." Run-arounds ultimately represent a test of our patience, endurance, and determination to see something through to fruition.
Government bureaucrats are particularly well known for creating run-arounds, be it at the federal, state, or local levels. Municipal health and fire inspectors can be particularly annoying in this regard. They are adept at creating a shell game whereby they identify several things you are doing wrong, you correct them, and when they return they suddenly discover a whole new list of things for correction. You learn quickly the list is never fulfilled as the inspector needs to show his/her supervisor they are doing something. Federal and state income tax bureaus can also drive you crazy with the minutia they require for their reports, thereby causing delays in processing.
Corporate bureaucracies can be every bit as aggravating as government, particularly Human Resource (HR) departments who have mastered the art of procrastination. Maybe its because management allows certain fiefdoms to be built internally and jealously guarded by pit bulls. Such people tend to be "Theory C" types who are introverted detailists. They may have trouble communicating to other people, but are a whirlwind when it comes to adhering to rules and regulations. They tend to be very cautious and reserved, and will not venture into something until after all the facts have been checked out.
When you apply for a loan, be it for either a home mortgage, automobile or commercial, you are typically strip searched for your financial and personal history. If you do not give them every last little detail, the loan application is conveniently lost thereby causing you to wait even longer. This makes me wonder how we ever got into the trouble with mortgage lending a few years ago. Maybe the only people who are so thoroughly interrogated are white Christians, and maybe everyone else got a free pass, but I digress.
The fact finding run-around by the lending institutions is so rigorous and thorough, even the CIA envies the process. I have this image of lenders staying up late at night laughing at our applications, making notes about our financial situations, and figuring new ways to wear us out. It's all rather humbling and exhaustive. I guess it's a matter of how bad you really want something.
Just wait until Obamacare kicks in - Kowabunga! You like run-arounds? Just you wait; you haven't seen anything yet.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com
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