Saturday, 8 November 2008

The Priorities Of Bureaucracy

I received one of those little cards in my letter box last week.

Not one of the kind that says ‘you may already have won’ or ‘you’re next, sleep with one eye open’ or even ‘you were out when we called but have you heard about Jesus?’ but one that said ‘you have registered post waiting for you at the Post Office’.

Of course I did what anyone would do. I started imagining that I’m going to end up in Cartagena being pursued by Danny DeVito.
Despite the fact my sister isn’t married, doesn’t live over there and nobody we know has been chopped up in a bath tub.
That I know of.

So a week later I finally get down to the Post Office during opening hours* and it is not a package but a registered letter which once opened informs me that my rent is going up. Five whole dollars.
‘Shut up, you smug bitch,’ you might be muttering right now and rightly so, who am I to complain what with the economic crap-splosion being experienced by most of the world right now.

Fair enough but my point wasn't the rent increase. What actually tickled me about the situation was the fact that my real estate agent’s office – which is closer to my home than the Post Office is – routinely sends out things like, oh, I don’t know, the lease to my street address** where it can be gently moistened by the falling rain, dyeing the document a light yellow to match the cheap envelope. IF it isn't stolen or pushed into the wrong mail-box OR caught between the fence and the box in a way that invites tetanus or exciting faux tribal scars around the hands if you wish to retrieve it.

I expect it is so you can’t claim ignorance of the rate increase, which is probably more substantial for the people in less ‘characterful’ vintage abodes***, so that if you try to say ‘What? Rent go up! When? What an outrage!’ they can point calmly to your signature acknowledging receipt.

My lease is due for renewal in a month but the politely harrassing calls about why I have not returned the canary coloured document of joy have already begun and are set to continue.
Especially as I stubbornly hold on to the thing for just a little bit longer to bring a little panic and excitement to their lives.

Bah, I suppose I'll sign the thing and send it off just to hold their whist.
Now all I need to do is find the bloody paperwork for the rent payments so I can update the amount...

*Call me Ms Lazy if you must.

**My letterbox is of the ‘don’t want nothing too fancy’ design where you cut a rough rectangle in the corrugated iron of the fence and then shoot a box type shape you made in woodshop onto the back of said fence with a nail gun.

***The building in which I live was built by Jesus in his architectural experimentation days when he was on exchange to Australia. What? He can't visit other continents? I've heard otherwise...

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