Friday, December 01, 2006

Distillation

Sometimes, when I boil things down in my mind until they reach their most distilled form, I find that the finished product is toxic in its purity.

Today I was trying to isolate the source of a specific flavor of job stress. “Why do these [particular type of] meetings make me so anxious?”, I wondered. At the bottom of the process, I found that this scenario is entirely possible: By forgetting to circle one word in a particularly complex, tedious, repetitive, poorly-photocopied, 10-page-long application form involved in these meetings, someone could quite plausibly die. And, what’s more, there are lawyers actively promoting that scenario. It’s really as direct as that. I could go into the details, but they are just dilution, just fluff. What looks like paperwork is actually a matter of life and death. That’s why it stresses me.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Doug said...

What a pity! I'll bet the thought of what it would take to change the system is enervating, too.

This is something I fear about going into any hospital. That my well-being becomes someone else's tedium, and that the natural tendency of staff to become engaged on a human level is thwarted by managers, accountants, insurance companies, and lawyers.

Is there any part of this you can improve? Having a clerk read back the most dangerous parts of the forms at the end of the meeting, perhaps?

12/5/06, 9:55 AM  

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