The Bureaucracy Strikes Back

14 Feb

Ok, this doesn’t have much to do with the issues at hand, but I had to share this.  One of my part-time jobs is in retail.  The company in question is a huge worldwide chain.  Ok, story time.

Yesterday at work, I closed my thumb in a drawer.  I’ve done this at least a dozen times in the 7 months that I’ve worked at the store.  Unfortunately for me, our District Manager was there yesterday.  He made me fill out a FOUR-PAGE accident report.  That’s right- four pages for a blood blister that I later drained myself.  At work.  The form was absurd, so I decided to match its absurdity with my answers.  After all, no one really reads these things.

An example:

Question 4. Describe in your own words 1) what happened, 2) how it happened, 3) what you think was the cause of the accident.

    1) I closed my thumb in a drawer,  2) I didn’t move my thumb fast enough before I closed the drawer, 3) Inability to properly process spatial concepts.

My manager dutifully sent off this report in every way possible (call, email, fax, carrier pigeon, etc.)  and we thought nothing more of it.

This morning I got a follow-up call from corporate risk management.  It turns out someone really does read those reports.

Me: Hello?

Risk Management Specialist 007: Hello. Is (super long pause) Miss Anderson there?

Me: Yes, this is she.

RMS 007: Yes, I was calling to follow-up on your accident yesterday.  I have just a few questions. First, did you seek medical attention for your…. thumb?

Me: Um, no.  (because the doctor doesn’t give me lollipops for my boo-boos anymore.)

RMS 007: Ok. Next, do you plan to seek medical attention or workman’s compensation for your injury?

Me: (well, the three occupational therapists that I called laughed at me, so…) No, I do not.

RMS 007: Ok. One last question.  We aim to make the workplace as safe as possible for all our employees.  How do you think we could improve your…. ‘inability to properly process spatial concepts’?



And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is American bureaucracy in the flesh.

Happy Valentine’s Day.


2 Responses to “The Bureaucracy Strikes Back”


  1. Losing My Cents - December 27, 2013

    […] my thumb in a drawer in front of the district manager knows that I have issues in this area. (Read The Bureaucracy Strikes Back if you want to hear that story, and also find out why I’m not allowed to fill out accident […]

  2. Rabbit-sized Hole | Losing My Cents - September 13, 2014

    […] hole stuck with me.  Not literally, as I’ve never been good with spatial concepts (see The Bureaucracy Strikes Back for proof of this), but the inherent magic in it.  A literal rabbit-sized hole can be any size, as […]

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