An incident with the security guard who opens and closes the gate to the compound where my university-owned condo is situated got me to thinking.
Why is there so much bureaucracy in post-apartheid South Africa?
"You need a thing to open the gate on your own," the guard said to me.
"So in all this time that you have opened the gate I have needed a thing," I replied with irritated sarcasm.
It was early morning. The guard was flashing a stern attitude.
"What thing," I asked.
"This kind of a thing," he said showing me a remote control.
"I don't want that thing," I said trying to press the point that it is one more thing for me to lose.
"But you are the only one," he said firmly.
"Where do I get it from," I asked.
"I don't know," he said with a vacant stare.
"You can't be serious. You want me to get a thing but you don't know from where?
"Yes I am seriaz. If you come home today I won't open the gate for you," he warned.
Well bowl me over.
The gatekeeper is seriaz.
I guess the fees I pay for his service includes the nicety of being threatened over a thing.
This incident is just one of too many similar idiocies I can relate. South Africa is defined by bureaucratic tape that parades as if it is meaningful structure.
I spent a lot of time after getting to work trying to figure out where to get the thing.
I went to an office where things are kept but it was closed.
I returned after an hour and a telephone conversation with the chief in charge of security things.
The office was still closed.
What the hell hey?
I think that a lot of red-tape is needed to hide the fact that we are just without a f*cking clue.
In addition to being a rude nation we are also very much an inept one.
I could go on but I need to go get that thing.
I bet the person(s) in charge of that thing is most likely out for the day ... perhaps even the week?