Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis hyper arousal workout, due to external stressors directly relating to paperwork/bureaucracy, that have the additional feature of benefiting no one; in some cases occasioning detriment to all parties involved.
Often the conflict could be permanently solved with the implementation of simple inexpensive measures; however no one has done so, nor does anyone show any intention of doing so on into the future.
Section 1 – Professional Registration for Government Concession Patient Reimbursement
The University says they can not give credit for any classes I have ever undertaken (even though I read many of them at their school), unless the APS approves. Everything I had done was APS Honours approved at the time, but they thought it better to check with APS.
Yes, I should contact APS, just to be sure.
APS says I need to talk to PBA to confirm programs, as they are currently working with AHPRA to nationalise (an already national) system of accreditation.
PBA and AHPRA said they get informed by APAC. That I should contact them.
APAC said I need to talk to APS, because they inform APAC and PBA on such issues, who, in turn, inform AHPRA.
APS this time said I need to talk to the University; because, being self accrediting institutions, it is up to them what courses they ultimately deem acceptable.
The University, of course, said I’d have to contact APS: because they are ultimately the ones that approve what courses are acceptable.
Well, thank you for my time.
Section 2 – Government Emergency Flood Assistance
Emergency payments, to assist in floods, were claimed to be available; with hundreds of millions made available by the Federal Government.
Twice in the past this had happened, where the ATO would put a single payment into the account associated with tax returns in states of emergency or for financial stimulus.
The online form failed on the final page: every day for two weeks. So I had to call the Federal Government.
Federal Government said that they were not running my area, to contact the State Government. But that federal funding had definitely been made available to them, not to worry.
The State Government said that, rather than putting money into tax accounts as in the past; those affected should make their way in person to some remote evacuation centre, to stand in line all day.
Here the Government had printed a pile of single use credit cards with $100 or so of value added. They warned of long lines.
Hey, they are here to help. Sure, in the most ridiculous way possible. But in how many other lines had I been in, how many hours of hold time, where I was not given $100 at the end? It could certainly be worse.
Section3 – Student Loans
Department of Education and Training Hecs-Help student loan service told me blatantly that they do not understand how the loan system works, not really, and to contact the ATO. They didn’t know if (in answer to my query) my case would or could (under law) be discussed over the phone.
But they made note to mention that no one had ever stayed on hold for a third time in a row that day, just in order to call them back to tell them that it did NOT work.
They added this as some form of proof in support of the plan, along side “we hand out their number all the time in response to such queries!”.
ATO hold time was 41 mins.
They said I would need to talk to a lawyer, because they didn’t know how it all works in detail, only in general, and couldn’t discuss specifics over the phone, requiring an in person visit and TFN and Government ID, ideally.
The lawyer said this wasn’t exactly a specialty, being between tax law and law still being written and ever changing.
He advised I contact the ATO. Following my story of already speaking with the ATO, he suggested I try the channels at the Department of Education and Training; they have a Hecs-Help student loan specialty team don’t you know?
I thanked him for his expensive help.
Section 4 – Digesting Paper
Add to these stories a litany of secretaries ignoring direct questions; sending me back to the university or departmental home pages, where I first found their contact details; extended periods on hold, only to be cut off inexplicably; voice “recognition” machines; missing professors; no professors assigned (but signatures required by these non existent professors all the same); and a whole heap of ending up with the first receptionist, some 15 days later, having done much, yet achieved nothing: this is how “paperweighting” slowly digests a human: by devouring them temporally.
Governments’ own mighty Sarlacc.
When bureaucratic red-tape reaches this point, such that it is palpable, the force, with which it holds you down; and it does this to the benefit of nobody (or sometimes at extra cost for everybody): this is what is termed “paperweighting”.
Everything is nobody’s fault, outside of their purview, and requires referral to another department. Everyone saying “That’s not my department” does, naturally, get paid for this referral. And, of course, (and this is key): it usually IS their department.
Make no mistake; this is akin to a chronic disease.
Excreting energy expensive enzymes that provide no benefit to anyone, other than to nourish Sarlacc and present one with an extraordinary, and recidivistic, opportunity to become expert at meditation under SERE-subtle, inane, chronic stress conditions.
And for this gift, I am totally, wholeheartedly and completely grateful.
Adapted from “Paperweighting”
First Published J.J. R. (2013). Chronicle Letters, 13 (2), 712.