Thursday, September 22, 2005
Threaded's third law of bureaucracies
In Denmark the stuff from the Kommune (local council) only comes in Danish, or is that only just...
I relate an amusing story: I had a letter from the Kommune that I found rather baffling, so I had a native dane at work look at it. The language baffled them so much they gave up trying to read it half way through. I then had one of the translators look at it, they could translate it, but what it meant? Hmm, tricky. Next up was a Sognepræst (Vicar) friend look at it, (who happens to be an expert in interpretating meaning from documents written in a variety of Latins, Attic Greek and the Danish language going back hundreds of years,) they hazarded a guess but weren't too confident. Finally I gave it to my lawyer who proceeded to phone the kommune, got through to the lady that wrote the letter, asked them what it meant, and then told me her reply.
Anyways, a few days later, I was chatting with one of my neighbours, and they had had the same letter. Confused by it, they too had phoned this same letter writing lady from the council.
Turned out she had told them something quite different from what she had told my lawyer.
Threaded's third law of bureaucracies: They lie, because telling the truth may be helpful.
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