Virtual bureaucracy

Bureaucracy is inevitable. And the consequence of any kind of bureaucracy is that you have to wait. Hence, waiting is inevitable.

The other day I was waiting, again. I had gone to a public office to collect something. I arrived at 10.59 according to my ticket, which also showed my number: 370. I looked at the counter; it was at 169. The place was packed. Everybody had something in their hands, mostly their cell phones, playing games, tweeting, googling, reading, writing on other people’s virtual walls.

169 people were attended since 9.00. That would make my waiting time more than two hours. After just five minutes, I gave up and went to my office. I worked, ate, killed time.

At around 12.50, I decided to make the 15-minute trip back to the place. It was still very crowded. I hesitantly looked at the counter. The number was 367. After two minutes, I was attended.

There has to be an easier way.

All these people had their smart phones in their hands, constrained to wait there, doing nothing smart. I thought the counter could be online. People could be at their homes or offices, looking at the counter on their smart phones. They could go there before their turn and avoid all the hassle. That would be smart.

This is not very difficult to do. Yet you don’t see it everywhere. Hence perhaps bureaucracy is designed to make you wait.

Hence, waiting is inevitable.