Manual for Bureaucracy – Friday Fictioneers

Step in line for a summer rerun. Thanks as always to our splendid host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week’s photo was provided by Sandra Crook. Thank you, Sandra. If you haven’t read Sandra’s stories, you simply must.

Enjoy! It’s time to go look for Pokemon.

PHOTO PROMPT ยฉ Sandra Crook

(99 words)

Manual for Bureaucracy

1. File in, collect a number, determine destination.
2. Sit down, complete paperwork, wait to be called.
3. Talk to the hole in the glass, return paperwork.
4. Wait.
5. Talk to the glass; learn you need a Specialist.
6. Repeat Step 2, add paperwork.
7. Walk through long, white corridor. Hint: Turn left, left, right, no left. Just follow the red tape.
8. Repeat Steps 1 and 4.
9. Talk to the Assistant who talks to the Specialist.
10 Repeat Step 2.
11. Learn it is the wrong Specialist.
12. Repeat 2, 4, and 9.
13. Take multiple flights of stairs. Hint: Follow the red tape if you’re lost.
14. Read the sign: Sorry. We’re closed. Come back tomorrow.


For more 100-word stories, visit the Fictioneers linkup.

50 thoughts on “Manual for Bureaucracy – Friday Fictioneers

  1. They say the British have a great tolerance for queueing. That must be why the NHS was conceived in this country. Very funny, Amy, and a little too much true to life. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sandra. The British are famous for their queues. Just say the word government and you have an instant line. On another note, is everything okay with you? I’m not sure where you are right now, Sandra. Please tell me you’re okay.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We’re in Dorset right now Amy, having been so busy moving house that we’ve only managed one trip to France this year, back in April. Today’s news is appalling, my heart goes out to those poor families.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh .. a long time I’ve been exposed to a face-to-face bureaucracy… but on telephone…yes… press 1 … you are number one-hundred thirty seven … we will help you as soon as we can… we are open Mondays between 1 and 2… if you want to do this press your personal subscription code you can find on your last invoice… I kind of miss the standing in line.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. That’s a perfect story right there, Bjorn. Nicely done. True, the telephone has its own ugliness. I dread making calls. And how about that punching in all that info only to repeat it again when or if you actually talk to someone? The worst is when you’re talking to the robot and you want to scream at them!! Oh, yes. I completely understand.


  3. “Just follow the red tape,” good one, Amy! The paperwork required for renovating a a co-op in Manhattan follows those directions, too, but at least when I open the door to my bathroom, I’m not greeted by a herd of goats. Guess I filled it all out right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Virginia. Thanks. I imagine anything in Manhattan is a bit complicated. Are you renovating a co-op? Wow, good for you! Goats are fun though, aren’t they? Always smiling…


  4. There’s a Spanish cartoon in the papers called “Mafalda” who is a little girl who looks like Nancy (from Nancy and Sluggo) and talks like the Peanuts characters. She’s yelling, “Bureaucracy!” She waits and waits and this turtle comes up and she hands him a piece of lettuce saying, “Your lunch.”

    Amy, you killed it! Knocked it out of the park like Eric Hosmer and Salvy Perez (so, I’m biased, I know!) ๐Ÿ˜‰ Excellent story.

    Five out of five steps, papers and red tape. If you can get through it. ๐Ÿ˜€


  5. Ha! New Jersey DMV (Dept of Motor Vehicles)? I thought you were going to have the sheep playing Pokemon (we walked through a group playing and looking at their phones this past week and they looked like these sheep!) but I prefer the line waiting bureaucracy. It’s timeless, and by looking at your comments, it sounds like it crosses all borders. So well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, good to see you, Jen. I’m pleased my stories had a global reach. Very pleased by that! Thanks for noticing and commenting about it. I always try to make an appointment for the DMV if I have to go there. That one can be quite painful.
      Have you played the Pokemon? I’ve considered it only because I think it will get my kids out and about. I think that’s one good thing about it. You just have to watch out for cliffs and stuff! Thanks!


  6. I once had a problem with renewing a visa whilst living in Maryland in the States and after much pointless toing and froing of paperwork (and someone on a phone who cut me off because the problem was too complicated) we drove to Canada so we could speak to a real living person at the US border (who understood straight away). Bit drastic but Niagara Falls was wonderful!


  7. Heheh, what a great idea for the prompt. Obviously, the one connecting thing humankind has in common is bureaucracy. We should put them in charge of wars: closed, come back tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gah, it definitely seems to be common ground for all of us. I’m glad this connected for people, even if it’s with such a thing as bureaucracy. It’s hard to get away from from no matter where you live. Wouldn’t that be nice to simply close a war? If only it were so simple.


  8. Hilarious only if you’re not caught in the middle of it. I’d guess that procedure is universal. There are ads on TV here for insurance, etc where you don’t have to do all that. And for goodness sake don’t try to settle anything over the phone. Good writing, Amy. ๐Ÿ˜€ — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true, Suzanne. The phone can be the worst now. All you ever want is to talk to a human, which seems harder and harder to come by. Glad you enjoyed it!


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