Tuesday, July 22, 2014

No Nonsense Chayaisms from the 80s-At your service



At your service

THERE comes a time in the life  of every citizen when he has to meet a Minister or a Government  official. In a spirit of public service, I intend opening a consultancy bu­reau which, for a nominal fee, will give you the lowdown on how to cope with the many obstacles that lie between you and the powers that be.
If you ever want to meet a Minister all you have to do is contact me. My office will give you a step-by-step guide to the sacred presence in a neatly typed out bro­chure. It will tell you how to ferret out information from the Minister’s chowkidar about personal friends whom you can then approach for a letter of recommendation and pre­sent the same to the P.S. (not post script but personal secretary).
You will also get a fool-proof recipe to curry the favour of the PS enough to take cognisance of your letter of recommendation and admit you into the inner office. Naturally, further information as to how you can make yourself be seen by the Minister who is surrounded by ninety-nine people like you, will be an added attraction.
For an extra payment, my con­sultancy service will include a de­tailed leaflet on how to meet a Government official when you want to. This is a very specialised service covering all the officials from the Chief Secretary to the undermost Secretary (an organisational chart will give you the hierarchy so you can work your way up).
If you think you can, do without this highly priced service, you are mistaken. How else, (except by wasting your time experiencing it) will you know that the board saying “interviews from 3-30 to 5-30 p.m.” hanging in every Government office, is a code language which when deciphered means “We are in a meeting” The leaflet will give you tips on how to chase your file from room 146 to room 147 without it getting lost or stolen on the way.
An addenda will enlighten you on the little slips that stick out from the file. For instance the TODAY slip on the file indicates that you need to only take 3 days casual leave to chase it. If it says IMMEDIATE, you might have to apply for a week’s sick leave while PRIORITY gives you ample excuse to ask for annual leave.
Another booklet will give you the inside story of the movement of files. You will learn from this that files are as slippery as reptiles (rhyme unintended). As they wend their devious way through the tables of section officers and umpteen secretaries, the eye exercises given in one of the chapters, will train yours to spot your representation in the plethora of paper bundles strewn around!
“How to trace letters” is another publication from my bureau. This is a sure-fire investment for any citiz­en who believes in addressing his petitions to the Government. In a racy style, you will be told to address your letters not by de­signation but by name. For this to be useful you will have to buy my daily bulletin of transfers so that you can be sure you are writing to the right person with the right designation.
Believe me, I’m not trying to promote my public service bureau for my profit! I’ve just become a member of the SBIC (Society for the Benefit of Ignorant Citizens), a voluntary organisation started and funded by me. The cheque for this piece will be my only fund raising activity!