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Sunday, December 14, 2008

From 'US NEWS' : Blocked by bureaucrats. Sounds familiar ??


Well this one was sent by our friend Pragmatic :-)
Surely should ring a bell in us Indians too.

It appears on USNEWS.COM and the complete piece can be read here.

When You're Blocked By the Office Bureaucrats

Michael Wade

Regardless of your rank, you should never underestimate the power of others to circumvent, delay, and block your decisions.

Some classic bureaucratic smothering techniques are:

Mistakes. “The plans for the kick-off were sent to Brussels instead of the Boston office. Don’t worry, we’ll get matters straightened out.” Eventually.

Inflated Estimates. “That will take at least three days.” (That = one phone call + two hours of work.)

Non-Agreement Agreement. “When we said yes, it meant that we understood you, not that we agreed.” And no, these individuals don't speak another language.

Convenient Memory Lapses. “Gee, that must have slipped my mind.” All undesirable instructions slip the mind.

Parsing. “When you said that you wanted an update on the status of the move, I thought you simply wanted the date of the move.”

Musical Chairs. “Rex is no longer in charge of that project. Ellen now has it. She’s in Europe for three weeks. We can’t find her notes.”

Timing. “We meant to send that out two months ago, but felt the recipients might confuse it with the Marketing Report so we didn’t mail it. Should we have told you?”

Barrier Collusion. “Our colleagues in the Cleveland office found a reason why that won’t work. They are opposing any action until upper management has reviewed it.”

Sandwiching. “We’ve analyzed the situation and have produced three possible courses of action. You’ll note two extremes. Our recommendation is the moderate one in the middle.”

Michael Wade writes Execupundit.com, an eclectic combination of management advice, observations, and links. A partner with the Phoenix firm of Sanders Wade Rodarte Consulting Inc., he has advised private and public-sector organizations for more than 30 years.



IndianACE said...

The bureaucrats are not the only people who resort to this method of smothering uncomfortable facts.

What about the shameless blocking/ mutilation of one's posts on the blog created by self- nominated experts such as this bloke, Pragmatic, himself?

Power corrupts, especially where it is not linked to any responsibility.

I for one have stopped visiting that one-sided trash.

Anonymous said...

If you are on mailing terms with Pragmatic then you are keeping a bad company.
How can you tolerate this clown.

Anonymous said...

Navdeep has picked up a correct cue. Such manuplations/blocking effors by the Babus or anybody else in our corrupt ambience, where accountability is a casuality more often than not,is at the rootcause of all ills. See how Dispropotional Assets Case of Mulayam Sing has been dropped/mellowed down. I can vouchsafe that Military is the only institution now left in our country to keep flying the honesty and truthfulness flag, exceptions notwithstanding. All efforts to block army's well-being, is an anti-national activity.Hope good senses prevail.

Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh said...

@Indian Ace / Anony

Well, for one, it's freedom of speech which we so very cherish that is the hallmark of Indian Democracy.

I may not agree with Praggy at times but support his right of expression to the hilt.

Tell me if what he has sent to me is wrong ? :-)

"What good is the mind of a man if it's run by another ?" Prince (Cybersingle, 1998)

Anonymous said...


Very brave of you to have posted this and more so for even acknowledging it to me. Be ready for vituperative railing and pillorying for publicly associating with me. :-)

Btw, the bureaucracy here doesn't refer to the civil services only. The armed forces have an equally "efficient" version of military bureaucracy. And Michael's example is from corporate world in the US. So, the world all over is affected by this malaise.

Anonymous said...


"The armed forces have an equally "efficient" version of military bureaucracy".

You got to hand it to 'Praggy', nothing incorrect said there... lol

IndianACE said...

Lo and behold!
Here passed (A few posts back), the upholder of free speech :-)

Very brave of you to have posted this and more so for even acknowledging it to me. Be ready for vituperative railing and pillorying for publicly associating with me .

Hey! don't you worry on that count, sir. Any regular guy can see through the sham and deceit which you propogate.

@ Navdeep
Sir, I have no doubt that this gent has his right to expression and I hope I have not inadvertantly, implied otherwise, in my earlier post #1.

As regarding the issue at hand, we are, of course, sufferers of the military bereaucratese and the buddhasque "golden silence" to any pertinent query. But then we send 250 men to sublime climes Somewhere in South India to learn this very art.

Anonymous said...

But then we send 250 men to sublime climes Somewhere in South India to learn this very art.

Well said sir.

Anonymous said...

Pragmatic has been blocking my mails (& others too) & he is talking about freedom of expression
I had pointed out the responsibility of Maharashtra's Chief Secy for disaster management (in connection with the Mumbai attack) & Pragmatic had blocked it.
It does make me feel that he is a stooge & has own axe to grind.

Anonymous said...

Pragmatic is a great guy. My request to him is to go into a fact ignored by the slavish and oversold media. And this fact is as to " WHY NO SINGLE BABU HAS BEEN SACKED AFER THE MUMBAI ATTACK." Are they no where in the responsibility loop??? If yes then why do they get such accelerated career progression and salaries. He is a great knower of the maladies of the defence forces. Why does he not turn his sharp beam at the Babus??? Fortunately he cannot delet this post. He normally delets such silly questions from his blog promptly.

Anonymous said...

i think this case of anomalies in cpc will go down in history as the perfect example of how the beurocracy can deny and prolong even a simple 2+2=4. The case is actually like this:- All reasoning and logic boils down to fixation of grade pay. Now we all have given enough logics, its time to employ different means. Fixation of grade pay of civillian pay scales should be given as examples and then questions should be asked to fix grade pay of faujis. I will post a sample questionere. Next it needs to be circulated to all schools and colleges from where the youth of the nation will join us. They can compare there answers with the ones answered by the greats like SM/PC. We have no right to keep our future aspirants in dark.

Anonymous said...


Here is a true account from an officer commanding a regiment

From IS Gill CO 22 Field Regt-------- --------- -

1. I had an officer in my unit who was very good, tough and commando type. Capt AK Singh (2003 seniority). He wanted to go to NSG. Becoz of his strong desire, we relented and the offr was deputed to 51 SAG in NSG early this yr.

2. On 27 Nov, he was one of those sent to Mumbai for dealing with the terrorists. Launched straight into ops in the Oberoi Hotel, he est contact with one of the terrorists on the 18th floor at 1800 hr that day. Since the terrorist was holed up inside a room, they blasted the door open. However before they could throw a grenade inside, the terrorist threw a grenade outside. The grenade burst right in front of the offr and with splinter injuries all over, he fell unconscious. He was the only offr to be injured in the complete op (other than Unnikrishnan - who is no more).

3. He was operated upon in a hospital in Mumbai and all splinters removed from his body -- less one. That splinter had pierced the left eye and destroyed it completely. It cannot even be replaced with a donor eye. No news, no media coverage, not even a mention in the press statements.

4. The offr is now alone, in 'Bombay Hospital' with the left eye still bleeding and the NSG people have all gone back to Delhi. He does not know how he will be treated further or what will happen to him. He is crying "Save my eye! I want to continue to serve in army". There is nobody from the NSG to console him. His parents don't know who to turn to for help. The CO of the Bn, an army offr, mind you, has not met him or even spoken to him till 01 Dec. When the matter was brought to the notice of the Adjutant of the Bn, he called up the offr and started off not by asking him how he is but "do not give any interview or statement to anyone".

5. Ridiculous! If this can happen to an offr, what must be happening to men. If this can happen to those who were hailed by the nation as heroes, what must be happening to others. Whatever the intention may be, downplay casualty or whatever, is this the way NSG treats its people. Like Cannon fodder.

6. Fortunately, my regt is loc close to Mumbai and I have mobilised my regt to help him. After all, He is MY OFFR of the Great Indian Army. The Unfortunate part is I can't save his eye and I can't get him any official recognition. Your advice/ guidance is this respect is solicited, w/o harming the offr's relation with his bosses in NSG.

7. Also tell your offrs. Be a leader, lead from the front, have initiative, be courageous and bold but don't get injured. DIE INSTEAD!! Becoz if you survive, you will die a thousand death every day.


IS Gill

Commanding 22 Fd Regt

Anonymous said...

Shoes Speak loud

One can block all logic and stubbornly resist common sense but only for a limited period of time - because one can't avoid listening when shoes speak.


We got to hand it to Mr Bush that his physical agility saved his face and that of the great nation. Wonder if Kohli Saab can show similar alertness!!

Size 10, was it?

Anonymous said...

IS Gill!!

The moral of the this story and many others is that DO NOT DIE FOR THIS COUNTRY OF SHOPKEEPERS.Have you seen the corporate tycoons shitting bricks ans dabbling in minor tactics and int gathering once their own backside is on fire. I have seen it all. Take care. I went through many life and death sits and lost many people right infront of me. I feel sad for them. Also I feel happy that I did not die for such an ungrateful society.

Anonymous said...

Further to Anon @ 15 Dec 10.01,

During Kargil War everybody knows about Tiger Hill captured by Sikh Regt with the famous photograph.
But hardly anybody knows about the two soldiers from HAWS who were the first one to climb up the feature to fix ropes for the rest of awards winning contigent.

Most of the gallant soldiers who sacrificed lifes during the war were suitably compensated but what about the ones who faced death every second surviving on half a meal per day for 60 days and then told by our Hon'ble Chief that no award for holding Formations.

So I fully agree DIE INSTEAD!! Becoz if you survive, you will die a thousand death every day.

Battle Cas of Kargil War