For those who serve, or don’t


ROBBIE BURNS wrote that the greatest gift that God give us is “to be able to see ourselves as others see us.”
One can only wonder at the lack of common sense shown by those running many services yet can’t see the value of seeing their business from their customer’s perspective.
Airports scream out for a suggestion box, but try finding one. In my view they are badly signposted and badly run.
The cost of Alicante’s refurbished airport was phenomenal yet on re-opening lacked simple signs for directing traffic to passenger drop off.  Never mind; the contractors knew their way around.
On our roads directional signs are so plentiful they actually add to the confusion. It would be less dangerous to sit with a Charles Dickens novel on one’s lap when driving. The use of mobiles are banned as they are distracting; what about badly placed hard to spot road signs?
It seems most are sited by those who know their way around and enjoy perfect eyesight. Signage is pretty useless after dark to strangers, especially when being tailgated by an impatient local.
Very often bureaucracy is clueless as to their own methodology.
If you want five different answers then ask the same simple question of five town hall apparatchiks. Recently a spoof video was doing the rounds. It depicted a young woman who, wise to the dull-witted dumb insolence of local authority clerks, won a significant victory when she was required to provide sheaves of papers.
The simplest task requires reams of certification; duplicates and triplicates; originals and various desks. In our case all that was needed was an NIE name change.
A clerk in a minute could have done it standing on her head. Not in Spain. My partner, at considerable cost, has to provide various certification and documents translated from her own language to Spanish.  Her passport can get her into virtually any country in the world but can’t get a name changed on a piece of paper.
EWN correspondent N. Sutton is spot on when he identifies bureaucracy as the mother of corruption. He had to go on an international paper chase at considerable cost just to prove he and his wife have not divorced.
Banks too are victims of institutionalised stupidity and inertia.  It is claimed that transferring cash from the UK is done in three easy steps. How come I and a helpful bank manager, spent a total of five hours in a bureaucratic maze in an attempt to transfer £500 from the UK branch to a branch of the same bank in Spain? It is time the public said enough is enough; before we drown in red tape.
Bureaucrats do not serve the public but are there for themselves. I believe the British Empire at its height was efficiently run by less than 100 Members of Parliament. The empire’s long disappeared yet today there’s well over 600 MPs and for what? Seventy per cent of all UK laws originate in the EU.
Bureaucracy is a cash-consuming self-perpetuating brake on economic efficiency. The government is buying civil servant voters with our money. I hope the recession cuts a swathe through it.
Good riddance to thousands of officious pen-pushing bums on seats.


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