Government offices are just Ugh !
Have you ever been to a government office to get your work done? Here are some of the things that may happen to you when you visit a government office to get your work done — be it the passport office, a rationing office, electricity billing office or just getting a license renewed.
Government offices are just UGH! Here are some of the stages that you might have to go through starting from the time you get out of your house.
The false hope: You have this hope that your day is going to be good in the morning. You think that you are going to the government office to get the work done in an hour or two.
You may also think that maybe you can get the work done early and visit the mall or the cinema hall and spend the next half of the day chilling. But sadly, the hope gets crumpled soon.
Wastage of paper: You walk into the government office and the first thing you notice are huge piles of paper/files everywhere.
Piles as high as a ten-storeyed building. You wonder why! Didn’t India go digital? Shouldn’t every task be done online?
Circle of counters: You ask for the directions to the department you have to report to and you will receive a reply like this: “It’s on the third floor, then you take a right and then the first left, and then look for the water cooler and hidden behind that is the department that you want to go to.
” And then, you are thrown out from one counter to another in an attempt to get your work done.
Unending queues: When you finally manage to find where you have to be, you see huge queues everywhere.
When you actually get to the counter, that man at the counter says, “Yes, it’s the same line. ” But because it is so long, it feels like there are multiple lines.
Now for the task of finding the end of that line, the time you take to find it out, the line already grows to several meters.
Multiple forms: You somehow stood in that line and walked the three kilometres to the end, that is the counter.
Behind that counter is the man who will bombard you with silly questions and name a number of forms you haven’t filled in.
You stand right at the counter and fill in those forms while the people in the queue keep grumbling at you for taking their time up.
Even after you have filled in those forms and submit them to the clerk at the counter, he will still find out faults which will consume more time.
You are finally shoved out of the line and you go to a bench to sit and fill in those forms once again.
Lunch break: You fill in every detail and somehow make it to the counter once again. And just when you reach it, the clerk behind the counter puts up an old wooden signboard that says, ‘lunch break’.
Last attempt: After the lunch, you hurry back to the counter but see that they have stopped accepting the forms for the day and shut the windows.
You call up your parents, try to talk to the officials to accept your forms but in vain. Finally you are left with no other option but to return the next day.
—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Mumbai, India