Dealing with Vogons

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy describes Vogons as:

Here is what to do if you want to get a lift from a Vogon: forget it. They are one of the most unpleasant races in the Galaxy. Not actually evil, but bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous. They wouldn’t even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters. The best way to get a drink out of a Vogon is to stick your finger down his throat, and the best way to irritate him is to feed his grandmother to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal. On no account should you allow a Vogon to read poetry at you.

I am not referring to actual Vogons since they are fictional, but real life bureaucrats, which, unfortunately, I deal with on a daily basis.  And I have done this for most of my life in both military and civilian capacity.

You may have had the type of experience of dealing with an official agency who returns your form via mail without a response because you failed to provide an SASE.  Nevermind that they could have just as easily sent a response since they were mailing back your form, but–No–you failed to do what they want in the way the wanted.

I used to call them Little Hitlers, but the Vogon is a better term since these people are such pains.  I am not sure why they need to have everyting done in such an insane manner–especially since it makes more work all around.  Another fictional place where Bureaucracy ran amok was Palnu, which I learned about from the Cerebus comics.  The best quote was “This is a bureaucracy, Sir, nothing is supposed to get done.”

The problem for all you anti-big government, libertarian types is that this sort of person shows up in pretty much every organisation of any size for some odd reason or another

Amusingly enough the ARRSEPedia mentions this lot under its listing for Movers (AKA the RLC’s Movement Controller)

Bastards. Absolute complete petty minded little Hitlers who exist only to persecute soldiers trying to get flown anywhere by the RAF.

|| AL1 to above – [a] Deleted “minded” [b] Delete “soldiers”, insert “tri-Service personnel and freight”

Bear a close resemblance to the Vogons from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. They are petty, dull, bureaucratic, small minded and follow the rules to the letter. Over time a game has developed on this theme, called the movements game. The rules to this can be complicated though. In particular, see RAF Mover.

The Amusing part, is that those were the people I dealt with in the military.  Well, not the RLC per se, but that lot’s precursors.

Nowadays, it’s mostly civvies with the Vogon mindset.  This rant is brought about by someone demanding that I come up with a form which had been created over a year ago, but she wouldn’t accept the year old version.  I had to go to a couple of different government departments to get new versions.  One department was unaware that the first step had been completed–despite it’s having been entered on the official record.  This was ll due to the fact that no one had sent them yet another form.

There was a British Railways ad that talked about a workaholic that pointed out the person really only made work for himself by making things harder than they needed to be.  While that may make work and create jobs–it doesn’t make for an efficient society.

Or efficient use of time.

But somehow, these people are out there making a hard time for everyone around them!

See also:

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